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ceeaton

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Trying to keep my New Years resolution, I'm going to make an all grain batch on my day off tomorrow. My notes say I haven't made a batch since last February (yikes), this wine making thing is becoming too much of a priority. One of the first books I got when I started making beer (circa 1990) was Pale Ale by Terry Foster. I started making the recipes in the back using all extract, then partial mash, then full mash. British Ales are among my favorites as I like a nice clean overly hoppy ale, and they tend to do well with kegging (I hate bottling). So I ground my grain tonight, have my water pre-boiled and cooled (high carbonate hardness around here), and I am ready to start when my wife leaves (and wakes me up) for work around 5:15 am tomorrow morning. Recipe at this point (subject to change):

7 lbs Avantgard pale malt
8 oz 80L Crystal malt
.25 oz Apollo pellets (18.3% alpha acids, 60 min boil time, 18 IBUs)
.25 oz Apollo pellets (18.3% alpha acids, 30 minute boil, 13.9 IBUs)
.5 oz Willamette leaf hops (6.5% alpha acids, 15 minute boil, 5.8 IBUs)
SafAle S-04 English Ale yeast
1 oz Willamette leaf hops - added to hop bag and thrown in kegging time

Plan on making a few like batches, experimenting with different hops, just to fill the kegs for this Winter.

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Mismost

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I haven't ventured into all grain and do not think I will until I retire....or buy a Grainfather....but, I admire your style! I make beer because I prefer a more malt forward flavor profile and that's easy with extract.

For pale ale summer lawn mower beers I like Munton's Pilsner cans, a couple pounds of sugar, and a bit of Joe's orange zest....fast, cheap, and tasty...I'l be in the bucket and cleaned up before you mash out. I will do a partial mash...like a Cariboo Slobber. Got the gear for BIAB and really should do a beer outside while it's cool here. But have no doubts your beers are very good and more complex.

Like you, this wine thing kinda side tracked my beer brewing...and that's OK in my book!
 

ceeaton

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Here's some more images from my morning of fun. Didn't get it going until almost 7 am, but images include my igloo cooler mash tun, my zap-a-tap lautering device, my brew kettle setup, an image of my wort chiller, and the final wort being transferred to the fermentation bucket. Ended up getting more evaporation than expected, so ended up with 4.25 gallons at 1.051 SG. Will come to about 1.044 when I top up to 5.25 gallons, so I got about 72.2% efficiency. Over several hundred batches I average 72%, so it makes hop additions easier to calculate correctly. I must say the Avantgard malt (first time using) was really low in protein, didn't have one boil over. Nice hot break after 10 minutes of the boil and incredible cold bread when I was transferring to the fermenter. Nice malt, I'll buy again, and it's very inexpensive.

Started at 7am, was cleaned up by 1:24 pm, so a little over 6 hours. Can tell I'm a little rusty...

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ceeaton

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Checked the SG this morning as the "blurping" is slowing up, it was 1.014. Should be able to rack it out of the primary tonight. Nice aroma of hops when I opened the bucket lid to check, can't wait to get this one in the keg. Checking through my old recipes for a porter or stout I'll attempt this weekend, that will be for keg #2. Also thinking of a Marzen/Octoberfest for my wife, since it's 57*F in the basement. Should be able to pull off a lager ferment w/o too many issues since it is supposed to stay cold for a while, that will be for keg #3.
 

Redbird1

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Looks good. Nice clean grain bill and I love Willamette, so this would be right up my alley. Is the 30 minute addition for bittering? If so, what advantage is there vs. adding a bit more Apollo at the beginning?

It's been a while since I did recipes and I'm not one to argue with someone who's done several hundred more batches than me, but that doesn't look like an overly hoppy recipe, at least not when compared to an IPA, and definitely not some of the hop bomb recipes I've seen. This seems like a fairly standard Pale Ale hop schedule (which makes sense, given the book title).

A half ounce at 15 minutes doesn't seem like it would add a ton of hop flavor. I've never used whole hops as a dry hop before, so maybe that is a larger contributor than I'm giving it credit for, but the hoppy recipes I've seen have multiple ounces of flameout and/or whirlpool hops and then multiple ounces of dry hops.

Maybe we're working from different baselines on hoppiness. Can you give an example of a commercial beer that you consider overly hoppy?
 

ceeaton

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Can you give an example of a commercial beer that you consider overly hoppy?
I haven't found one yet.

I tend to add hops at different times, even the kettle (bittering) hops, to layer the flavors. Only reason I didn't do a 1/2 ounce at 60 minutes is that my IBU's would have been in the low to mid 40's by the time I got done, and for an original gravity just above 1.040 that might have been a bit much to support those hops (I usually aim for 1 IBU per 1* SG average). Also, I aimed for and hit 151*F for my mash temperature, so I shouldn't have very much residual sweetness (from dextrins) to balance out the hop bitterness. Third reason is that this was the first time I used Apollo and I didn't know how clean/course the bitterness would be. So far it seems as though it is a pretty clean bittering hop, be curious if I can note any of the grapefruit essence I could smell right after adding the hops (in the 30 minute allocation).

I don't have an easy way to infuse hops after the boil (no hopback), so I tend to just add the leaf hops loose when I turn off the heat (I actually added 1/2 oz of the Willamette so I wouldn't have a partial bag hanging around in the fridge). I start up the wort chiller right when I turn off the heat, so it's usually about 25-30 minutes to hit 70*F or below. The dry hopped ounce will add some needed character and aroma, I like a "green" hop flavor in the finish sort of like an All Day IPA flavor.

This is a get reacquainted with beer brewing batch since it had been almost a year since my last batch. I may very well make the same batch and up the IBU's by 5 or so until I reach a point where it is a bit too bitter.
 
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Redbird1

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So I guess you weren't saying that this particular recipe is overly hoppy, but that you like that style?

Sounds like a good plan and I can definitely see how you'd end up with something close to an All Day IPA with that recipe and hop schedule.

I've never worked with Apollo either, but I don't remember hearing much about it the last time I brewed, which is almost 2 years ago! at this point. Warrior was always my go-to for bittering, but sometimes matched the flavor hops, depending on AA%. Please let us know how it turns out!
 

ceeaton

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So I guess you weren't saying that this particular recipe is overly hoppy, but that you like that style?

Sounds like a good plan and I can definitely see how you'd end up with something close to an All Day IPA with that recipe and hop schedule.

I've never worked with Apollo either, but I don't remember hearing much about it the last time I brewed, which is almost 2 years ago! at this point. Warrior was always my go-to for bittering, but sometimes matched the flavor hops, depending on AA%. Please let us know how it turns out!
I used to get 1/2 lb and 1 lb bags of Magnum and Chinook hops from FreshHops, but then I started slowing down (brew wise) and my wife wanted the space in the freezer. This is the first pellet hops I've used in 10 years or more, and I've never used 18.3% alpha acid hops, maybe 12-15%, but 18%, yikes.
 

Redbird1

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I've never seen anything that high. I've had some Warrior at 16%, but 18% is crazy. A little bit will go a long way.
 

ceeaton

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Racked it this morning so I could clean up the fermenter for the next batch I'm in the process of making today. Was surprised that the SG was still hanging around 1.013, I expected it to go lower. Either my thermometer I use in the mash is wrong, or I didn't have even temperature over the whole mash and some was higher than 151*F I was aiming for. Oh well, shouldn't be overly malty with those bitter hops I added. I'll have to wait another week or so until it clears and take it for a test drive. Carboy is in the basement now so it should clear up pretty quickly at 57*F. Also the 80L Crystal malt made it a bit darker than I was expecting.

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Redbird1

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Looks good. How much lower did you expect it to go? What temperature were you fermenting at?
 

ceeaton

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Looks good. How much lower did you expect it to go? What temperature were you fermenting at?
Expected about 1.010, but I normally use Dry English ale yeast (WLP 007), and this was the first time I used the SafAle 4 English ale yeast. My temps were around 65-67*F as I had it near the heat register (I keep the house at 65). I'm sure it will be fine. I'll make another batch after the Oktoberfest I'm making right now and a Dry Stout (maybe tomorrow's project if I get motivated) and I'll keep all of the variables the same and up the IBUs and see how that works out. Might also add more hops with 5 or 10 minutes left in the boil, not so many IBUs but good flavor.
 

ceeaton

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Kegged this one, I think, Thursday morning. Sampled a few today. Nice session beer, but needs the dry hops to make it more interesting. The Apollo bittering hops are way too clean. Bitterness is there but it needs some chunkiness to it. If I used those hops again I'd increase by 20-30% minimum. Some fruitiness (first time using S-04 yeast) but it isn't overwhelming. Some pineapple and banana notes to the fruitiness. The maltiness is there (first time using Avangard Pale Malt) but not as noticeable as I had with my Maris Otter Pale Ale malt batches. Very little aroma from the dry hops yet (Willamette, damnit), but that should increase over time. Need to let it alone for a few days so it will clear up a bit. SG ended up at 1.011.

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ceeaton

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Down to about 1/3 of a keg left, I think. As I drink it I notice the Willamette dry hops really starting to kick in, though I only added 1/2 oz or so. I should be pouring a growler worth and moving it inside to warm up, the current temperature is really helping to hide the malt and accentuate the hops. Very good, though it needs to be clearer. Upon further review I think I've been letting my sparge water temperature get too high, they should never exceed 175*F or it will help complex proteins at the top of the lauter grain bed go into solution and end up in the finished beer. Too complex for yeast to use so they just hang out as a nice haze, even isinglass clarifiers don't seem to be able to help them settle out.

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