Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Heather ale brewday

As the Dayton DRAFT Brewfest 2011 draws near it's time to put together some entries. I'm planning on submitting the two wheats from the partigyle I did a few months ago and the coffee porter from last year. I'm undecided if I want to enter last year's Festivus since I'm running low. I decided to brew one more batch while there was time and went with my wife's request for a heather ale.

The beer is a Scottish 60/- session beer with two additions of heather for some bitterness and aroma as well as a little Fuggles at 60 minutes for some added bitterness. It's a Maris Otter base with some unmalted, roasted barley for color and added breadiness. I decided to break one of the rules for traditional Scottish ales and add a small amount of peated malt for a little smokiness. Normally the slight smokey flavor is supposed to come entirely from the yeast but that tends to require a bit of aging and I'm a little short on time so I cheated a little. Other than that, the numbers are right on par for the style with the style guidelines. The OG was right at the top end, coming in at 1.035. If it finishes a little high, I enter it as a 70/- instead and still be on style.

The day went reasonably smoothly. I was initially a little high on mash temp so I added a little cold water to adjust. It went down a little far and I was under at the 30 minute mark so I tried to bump it with a hot water addition. That wasn't quite enough so I pulled a small decoction which did the trick and might help the maltiness of the beer as well. No major boil overs or other boil problems. 3/4 oz Fuggles at 60 minutes, 1 oz heather at 30 minutes and 1 oz heather at flame out. I forgot to add Irish moss which would help clarity for the competition but I don't think it will be too much of a negative.

I came in a little under target OG which I'd normally ignore and just have a slightly weaker brew but I was just out of style so I added some DME to boost the gravity.

The wort was bubbling away and holding at a good fermentation temperature in less than 24 hours. I expect it will be done fermenting within a week and ready to go into bottles.

Heather Ale
Scottish Light 60/-
Type: All Grain Date: 7/30/2011
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal Brewer: Trevor
Boil Size: 6.43 gal Asst Brewer: Brent
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal) and Cooler (48 qt)
End of Boil Volume 5.72 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 79.2 %
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 94.5 %
4.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 2 3.6 %
2.1 oz Peat Smoked Malt (2.8 SRM) Grain 3 1.9 %
0.75 oz Fuggles [4.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 12.8 IBUs
1.00 oz Heather Tips (Boil 5.0 mins) Herb 6 -
1.00 oz Heather Tips (Boil 30.0 mins) Herb 5 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.037 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.035 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 3.8 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 3.3 %
Bitterness: 12.8 IBUs Calories: 114.8 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 10.5 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 6 lbs 14.1 oz
Sparge Water: 5.35 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps

Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 8.60 qt of water at 164.7 F 150.0 F 75 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 5.35 gal water at 168.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Bottle Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 3.93 oz Carbonation Used: Bottle with 3.93 oz Corn Sugar
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
4:41: mash-in
during mash, added 2qt water for temperature adjustment, 1 cold at start to adjust initial down, one at 30 minutes to adjust up. temp was still low after up-adjust so I pulled a 1pt or so for a small decoction to push to 150°F

5:50: mash-out
1gal first runnings, 3.25gal second batch, and 2gal third batch
I wrote down a pre-boil gravity of 1.072 but this seems wrong..maybe I meant to write 1.022?

6:28: boil start
Just before it reached a boil, I added 3/4oz Fuggles at 4.2%AA

6:58: 1oz heather tips

7:28: flame out; 1.1oz heather tips
The boil went well with one or two minor boils overs but almost nothing was lost.
Immersion chiller went in and cooled to mid 90's fairly quickly but had to work to get it to 85°F and lower than that seemed unlikely given the ambient temperture

7:41: OG 1.027 was a little low for style so I added 10.9oz of light DME dissolved in a pint or so of water. Not all the DME dissolved but most did. This moved the OG to about 1.035 which is the upper end of the style.

7:59: Transfered to a 6gal glass carboy and aerated for about 5 minutes with a pump

8:20: Everything looking good, temp a little high in the mid 80's but ok for pitching an ale. Put one healthy looking vial of WLP028 without a starter. Use by date for 2-Oct-2011.

July 31 afternoon: 72°F with a strong ferment