Good Friday morning blog readers. I am lucky enough to have the day off work because it’s a holiday or something. I’m not entirely sure, but I think it has something to do with the Easter Bunny going into cave to prepare the eggs and stuff to deliver on Easter. Anyway I’ve known since Tuesday that I’d have this day off. My 1st thoughts? Brew some more beer! So that’s what I’m doing today. Just a simple 10 gallon batch of an American IPA. I am brewing solo today. I love my friends and assistant brewers but sometimes I got to go back to my roots and brew alone. It’s a Zen type of thing. Just me, the mash tun, the brew pot, my backyard and my stereo cranked up to eleventy.
Today’s recipe is simple enough. I am brewing with ingredients I already have on hand. Here’s what I threw together:
ABCC (Amarillo, Belma, Columbus & Cascade) IPA – 10 Gallon Batch
Estimated OG 1.074 Estimated FG 1.018 Estimated ABV 7.34% Estimated IBUs: 53.30
20 pounds 2 row brewers malt
5 pounds Vienna Malt
5 pounds Light Munich
2 pounds light crisp malt
1 pound Carahell
1 ounce Amarillo Pellets at beginning of boil (60 minutes)
3 ounces of Columbus leaf at 30 minutes left in boil
3 ounces of Cascade leaf at flame out
3 ounces of Belma leaf after 30 minutes of whirlpool
3 ounces of Amarillo pellets dry hopped after 3 days of fermentation.
Safale US-05 4000 ml starter.
60 minute boil, 45 minute whirlpool, cool down and pitch yeast at 65 degrees.
So I am up early and am going to live blog and video the whole brew day, or as much as I can. Like I said, I’m brewing solo. All the cleaning is on me. I hope I can take care of everything and still update this blog on my temperamental WordPress iPhone app. My goal is to get done as early as possible. I want to get cleaned up, maybe hit the YMCA for a quick session on the torture bot 10000 and be ready to pick up my son to take him to the Regal Riviera to see the new G.I. Joe movie at 4. Can I do it? Follow along and find out. Tweets, comments and text of encouragement are most welcome.
7:25 am. I’m so glad I set everything up yesterday after work. I just started the strike water in my bathrobe. Wiping the sleep out of my eyes, making coffee and brushing my teeth are next on the agenda.
My “small batch” brew pot, a 20 gallon Blichmann
8:05 am: That was quick. I just mashed in. Now to periodically keep an eye on the temperature while the starches convert to sugars.
8:45 am: A little over 15 minutes left mashing. Getting my sparge water heated up. Being productive & sanitizing carboys, hoses, etc.
9:20 am: Almost ready to sparge.
9:26 am: Spaaaaarrrrrge!
9:53 am: Well I’m done with the sparge. Unfortunately, I need to make a quick run to my LHBS, Allen Biermakens, because I’m out of hop bags. I realized this last night, but had to wait until 10 am for him to open. There’s a whole lot of leaf hops going into this & I can’t just throw them in the brew pot. I might as well stop by the store & get more propane just in case.
10:54 am: I’m back from my errands. I left the burner on low when I was gone. Just cranked it up and it’s almost to boil.
10:56 am: Did I say almost? It’s at a full rolling boil. Adding in the 1st addition of hops.
1st hop addition, Amarillo
11:30 am: 30 minutes left in the boil. I just threw some Columbus Hops in there.
11:45 am: I ran out of propane with 15 minutes left in the boil. I’m glad I picked up a spare. Also, it has started sprinkling, so I’m glad I’m brewing inside today.
11:56 am: 5 minutes left in the boil. Time to add the Whirfloc & the yeast nutrients.
12:10 pm: Started the whirlpool, added more hops. In 15 minutes, I’ll add some more. Time to go on a cleaning rampage.
12:35 pm: I just added the last addition of hops to the whirlpool. 15 minutes until I start the cool down. Time to get the chiller hooked up. Still tons of stuff to clean. Hoping to be done by 2.
1 pm: Pitched the yeast and cooling down wort.
Always make a massive yeast starter, your homebrew will be happier for it.
Yeast starter in the carboys awaiting chilled wort.
1:08 pm: just like that, the cool down is done! Thank goodness for cold ground water. Now to my least favorite part: clean up.
1:40 pm: Still cleaning. I’m starting to think I won’t be done by 2, but that’s alright. Just took my original gravity reading. It’s at 1.064.
Stuff still to do: clean mash tun, brew pot, put everything back where it goes, vacuum seal the hops, rinse the hop bags, relax & have a homebrew.
2:34 pm: Final done cleaning & the ABCC IPA is happily fermenting. I’m going to eat something, hit the Y for a quick torture bot session & then go see a movie. Thanks for tuning into my solo brew day. I hope you were entertained.
I’m going to head out to Suttree’s this evening for a few beers if anyone wants to join me. I’ll be bringing a sample of my Smoking Hops ale to share.