Sunday, August 22, 2010

4C IPA - Brew Day

Yesterday morning I made a quick stop at Brew Your Own Bottle in Westmont and wanted to piece a recipe together instead of buying a kit. This homebrew shop opened a couple months ago, which coincided perfectly with my new found obsession. Brett, the owner, has been more than willing to help me out with all the questions I've had. I didn't have too much time with Jen waiting in the car and asked for his assistance. We put together a recipe, ground the grains, smacked the Wyeast pack and I was on my way to brew. What we came up with was a variation of an IPA recipe called 4C. The name is derived from the hop varieties used in the recipe. All of them begin with the letter C:


Steep specialty grains for 30 minutes @ 155F
  • 1 lb Victory
  • 1 lb Caramel 40L
60 Minute Boil
  • Add DME (Briess CBW Sparkling Amber 1 lb) and LME (Muntons Plain Amber 3.3 lb can x2)
Hop Schedule
  • 60 min: 1 oz Cascade
  • 45 min: 1 oz Columbus
  • 30 min: 0.5 oz Centennial
  • 15 min: 0.5 oz Centennial and Irish Moss
  • 5 min: 1 oz Citra

Things went much smoother yesterday because I learned to keep everything needed close by, cleaned and sanitized. To do this I decided to turn a brand new cooler into my "sanitation station." I placed all the cleaned tools, utensils and dishes I could possibly need in the cooler and filled it with sanitizing solution. It helps to keep some cleaning solution on hand too just in case you need to clean anything on the fly. Sounds simple, but it definitely makes things much easier. Running around while trying to keep an eye on your boiling wort can be dangerous... a disaster can strike in a matter of seconds if you're not attentive. Here's some action shots:

I'm all out of homebrew, so this was the beverage of choice. It's good, but definitely not as good as Sah'tea

My 'Sanitation Station' with everything ready to go

Steeping the already looks tasty :)

Your's truly getting ready to add some hops

Boiling away...

The cold break 10 minutes after I terminated the boil.

This was my first time trying a liquid yeast smack pack. Brett recommended Wyeast 1056 American Ale. The package was fully swelled within four hours of smacking.

I noticed that in the summer months the closet I've used for fermentation was above the recommended temperatures of the yeast. Fermentation temperatures are equally important to the overall flavor characteristics of beer. Because of this I decided to pay closer attention and incorporated a swamp cooler. This is essentially a rubber container filled with cold water and frozen water bottles to maintain a lower temperature. I used the same bucket to initially cool the wort so it was already cold when it was time to store in the closet. I've also taken a wet towel to drape over the carboy. So far the thermometer strip on the carboy has been between 62F and 64F, which is optimal for this yeast strain. Active fermentation is just beginning. Stay tuned...

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