Brew # 12 - Homegrown Pale Ale Mk II

I've had a bit more practice now so it's time to attempt a steeping recipe again.

Brew # 12 - Homegrown Pale Ale Mk II

Now I'm a bit more practiced, I'm going to give John Palmer's Cincinnati Pale Ale steep/extract recipe another go.

Start date: 31st December 2020

Equipment

  1. 19 litre stainless steel stockpot w/ lid
  2. Induction cooktop
  3. Fermentasaurus ("Fermus") w/ pressure kit
  4. Grain sock
  5. Digital thermometer
  6. Sanitiser in spray bottle
  7. 2 litre glass chemistry flask
  8. Long handle spoon
  9. Funnel w/ strainer attached
  10. 2 x 5kg Ice

Ingredients

  • 2 x 1.5kg extra pale liquid malt extract
  • 250g Crystal (~80L) crushed malt
  • 20g Chinook 11.8% bittering hops
  • 35g Cascade 6.2% finishing hops
  • 20g Centennial 8.8% aroma hops
  • 100g Dextrose powder
  • 2 x 11.5g US-05 Safale yeast (ideal fermentation temp. 15-22C)

Cleaning/Sanitising

I think my latest brew might (again) by tinged with clove-like off-flavours. I read some more on this and it's most likely caused by residual iodine from sanitisation. I think maybe I'm a bit liberal with the iodine spray and I'm not allowing the liquid to dry, particularly when attaching the collection bottle.

This time, I've soaked the main Fermus in Sodium Percarbonate for a few days. I've rinsed this with cold tap water, which I'm going to allow to drip dry before spraying with Iodophor (iodine) to sanitise. This will also be allowed this to dry, then I'll rinse with cooled boiled water before I start the brewing. I'll do the same with the glass flask (used for yeast prep), spoon, and funnel.

Brew Day

  • Placed 1x tin of LME into hot water to soften
  • Boiled kettle
  • Added ~7 litres filtered water to stock pot, plus 1.5 litres of boiling water
  • Boiled a second 1.5 litres of boiling water
  • Placed 500mL of boiled water into sanitised glass flask and covered (see Yeast Preparation and Pitching)
  • Emptied the softened LME into the stock pot, stirring continuously and used the remaining boiled water to rinse the tin
  • Placed the stock pot on induction cooktop and started to heat - starting temp was ~47C @ 14:05
  • Filled the grain sock with the grain and added to stock pot
  • Temp reached 49C at ~14:12
  • In order to ensure the steeping temp did not exceed 77C, I had to turn the induction cooktop off for a few minutes towards the end of the 30 minutes steeping - starting with a couple of kettles of boiling water has made the process much quicker
  • The grain sock was removed ¬†at 14:45 and allowed to drain (no squeezing)
  • Continued to heat the wort to boiling point (no boil-overs - YAY!)
  • Once boiling, added the Chinook hop pellets (15:15)
  • After 45 mins, added the Cascade hop pellets (16:00)
  • Submerged the second tin of LME in hot water to soften at this time
  • After further 15 mins, turned off cooktop (16:15)
  • Added the Centennial hop pellets
  • Added second tin of LME, stirring continuously
  • Added dextrose powder
  • Allowed to stand for 15 minutes
  • Whilst this was standing, I added the two bags of ice to a laundry sink (deep) and filled to half way with cold water
  • I placed the stock pot in the ice bath to cool at 16:30
  • Stirred the wort to reduce the temp more quickly, taking care not to contaminate the wort with the ice water and to not splash the wort whilst hot
  • Once the wort was <40C, I poured into the Fermus through the funnel and strainer. The strainer became dislodged, so more chunks/protein made it into the Fermus than intended, but this shouldn't be a problem.
  • Final wort volume was 10 litres
  • Shook the wort in the Fermus to aerate
  • Added cold filtered (not boiled) water to 23 litre mark, aiming for a final temp. I was concerned that I was going to over-chill, so I added 500mL of boiling water, but this turned out not to be necessary and the final temp was ~28C.

Yeast Preparation and Pitching

  • Once the boiled water in the flask had cooled to <26C, I sprinkled both packs of yeast onto the surface
  • This was allowed to hydrate for about an hour whilst the wort temperature dropped, with occasional gentle stirring/swirling to ensure all the yeast was getting onto the water's surface
  • After about 30 minutes, I placed the flask in the fridge (set to 23C) to ensure the temp didn't drop too low
  • I had to wait for an hour for the wort to hit <25C, at which point I gave the flask one last gentl swirl to suspend the yeast, then poured into the Fermus

Primary Fermentation

  • Fermus with yeast was placed into the temp controlled fridge set to 23C
  • PRV attached to ensure it doesn't explode
Finished wort with yeast in temp controlled fridge at 23C
  • Checked pressure regularly to make sure the PRV is set correctly (~10PSI)
  • Let the wort sit for a week
  • Attach collection bottle (this was just to collect a few drips)
  • Note that I did not use the collection bottle to collect the trub
Beer before racking

Racking

  • Transfered the beer to a snub-nosed Fermus
  • Began cooling by 0.3C every 2 hours
  • Transferred to keg when the temperature reached <4C

Kegging

  • Filled a keg with cleaning fluid (sodium percarbonate)
  • Left to stand for a few hours with occasional shaking to get into the crevasses
  • Rinsed with tap water
  • Allowed to dry for ~2 hours
  • Sprayed with sanitiser (Iodophor)
  • Left for ~5 mins, then rinsed with cooled boiled water
  • Pressurised to 8PSI and purged trapped air
  • Place in keezer to chill for 3 hours
  • Performed closed transfer of beer from Fermus to keg
  • Attach CO2 to keg at 49PSI for 36 hours to carbonate

Had a taste of the leftovers at this point. No hint of cloves (YAAAAAY!!!). Tastes like a "best" bitter from England, albeit a bit lighter in colour. Looking forward to trying again in a week.

Coming next...

  • Allow to sit for at least a week
  • Drink

Improvements for next time

  • Continue adding 2 x 1.5 litres of boiled water to the stockpot as this reduced boil time by about 40 minutes
  • Ensure the funnel strainer is secure
  • Continue with this cleaning/sanitising process as it seems to work
  • The Gen 3 Snub-nose Fermus was easier to use than the regular Fermus I use (pressure lid seal is incorporated so the rubber ring doesn't drop into the wort; no leaking from butterfly valve; less cleaning; smaller; etc.) - maybe I should convert to using two of these as primary/secondary fermentor?