Wednesday, September 22, 2010

pumpkin ale transfer & oatmeal stout brew day

Let me get you caught up to speed on what's been brewing. First off I decided to add a list of what's been bottled and what I have fermenting on the right. As you can see the 4C IPA has been bottled and is almost ready. I learned after the last batch to allow at least two weeks for bottle conditioning to avoid under-carbonation. Based on that, the IPA will be ready next Tuesday. I can't guarantee I won't sneak one before then :)

The Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale has been transferred to the secondary last Tuesday. The hydrometer reading was a consistent 1.013 for a couple days, so it was time to transfer... and the samples have been pretty tasty. This recipe calls for a spiced tea to be added at the time of transfer consisting of 1C hot water combined with 1.5 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice. Here's a couple shots:

Safety first! The milk crate makes things so much easier. Remember those handles aren't meant to support the weight of a full carboy. Also take note of the surplus growing in the closet for Rocktober :)

Checking the gravity before transferring. Since the baster wouldn't reach I attached a cleaned and sanitized piece of rubber hosing. It works like a charm.

Right between 1.012 and 1.014

Transferring is boring...better have a homebrew.

Steeping the Pumpkin Pie Spice for around 15 minutes at 90F. This was added slowly while transferring.

En route to it's new home. Many reported they ended up with a gallon less than usual since the trub is so thick. I already lost about a half gallon. This just means I'll have to brew some more if it turns out the way I'm hoping.

With the pumpkin ale back to the closet for secondary fermentation I decided to get another brew going and inadvertently found myself making my first partial mash recipe. A partial mash recipe calls for an additional step where wort is produced from grain. This isn't an all grain recipe because it still calls for both liquid and dry malt extract. It's like the training wheels for all grain.

I decided to make an oatmeal stout. It seemed hard to find an extract recipe primarily because the oats must be mashed to get the most flavor. Mmm.... chewy oaty goodness. Luckily I stumbled across some great suggestions for doing a partial mash without any additional equipment other than extra pots. Here's some instructions from Northern Brewer that is similar to my proces.

Oatmeal Stout Ingredients:
  • 0.25 lb Munton's Black Malt (470-560 L)
  • 0.75 lb Breiss Chocolate Malt
  • 1 lb Two-Row Brewer's Maltt
  • 1 lb Flaked Oats
  • 6.6 lb Munton's Light LME
  • 2/3 c Light DME
  • 1 oz Fuggles hops 4.4% (60 min)
  • 0.25 oz Kent Goldings hops 4.2% (60 min)
  • 1 oz Willamette hops 4.9% (20 min)
  • Irish Moss (10 min)
  • Wyeast 1056 American Ale smack pack

My ghetto mashing setup. Nothing too fancy...

After steeping the grains in a muslin bag around 155F for 20 minutes, I wrapped the pot containing the grains in a towel. This was put in the oven on low for an hour. The idea is to keep the water/grist combo at a constant temperature for an hour. I checked the thermometer regularly and it looked dead on.

After mashing. I used 5L of water as the instructions suggested. It looked and smelled amazing!

This was the final step in the partial mash. As the grains mashed I heated up another 5L of water to 170F. The temperature of the wort was also raised to 170F. While holding the grains above the wort I slowly poured the 5L of water through the grains 3 cups at a time. This is called sparging, which ends the conversion of sugars. That bag got heavy fast as it's probably over 10 lbs.

From there it was business as usual: Add DME and LME and let 'er boil for 60 minutes, adding the hops when scheduled. I did notice a much more distinct hot break and wish I grabbed a picture. This could be due to the change in process. Overall I hope to gain much more distinct flavor characters. From this point there's no turning back. No more extract only for me...

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