(*PH Strips, iodine, lactic acid and wort aeration bits and bobs, if you must know…)
I thought I deserved a pale ale style with a ton of exciting hops – and why not have those exciting hops delivered by way of an entire 100g pack of Summit pellets…for use as late additions only.?
Mmmm, it’s going to be hop-tastic.
Here’s the recipe, which you might notice looks a bit light in the way of pale malt, and that’s because I’m a bloody idiot and didn’t weigh it out properly – ending up with 2.5Kg of Maris Otter in the grist, when I should actually have had 3.5Kg.
But I did have a spare pack of Thai palm sugar, and 400g of that brought the gravity back into line…and as a bonus, it should dry the body out a little to make the finished beer even more hop-forward.
The mash was a typical Braumeister sort of affair: 38C dough-in, 66C maltose rest and a 76C mash-out: for 0 Mins, 80 Mins and 10 Mins respectively.
But remember: for this brew I had toys, so here’s some additional fun information:
- Filtered mash and sparge water: circa 6.2 PH
- The mash at 0 Mins (Dough-in): circa 6.1 PH with an iodine test that turned blue – indicating unconverted starch in the mash…unsurprisingly.
- The mash at 10 Mins: (Start of maltose rest) 5.9-6.0 PH with an iodine test that still showed blue
- The mash at 45 Mins: 5.4/5.5 ph and a clear light-brownish iodine test – showing starch conversion was complete, but the refractometer only showed a gravity of 1038, which is the point where I did the maths and realised that I’d cocked up my weighing out of the grain…and that’s when I started weighing out the palm sugar.
But all the starch converted within 45 minutes? Really? There was still a solid 35 minutes left of the 66C mash rest. I double-checked and it really had all converted.
In theory I could have bailed out of the 66C mash rest there and then – and gone straight to mash out at 76C, but the wort was still cloudy, so I just left it to re-circulate and do it’s thing.
Maybe next time, if the wort is clear and all the starch is converted, I’ll bail out early and save myself over half-an-hour and a good old chunk of electricity.
The PH testing also goes to show that I can make pale beers without any additional water treatment: if a piddly bit of Munich malt and some wheat malt are sufficient to drop the mash PH to anywhere between 5.8 and 5.4, I’m a happy man.
The rest of the brew went off OK. I added the dissolved palm sugar during the boil and got a gravity reading of 1048 – which is good enough for me, with a bit of luck we’ll be looking at a finished ABV of 4.5 – 4.8%
Just before pitching the US-05 yeast, I aerated the wort for a minute at what looked like a slow simmer.
The beer is busily tanking away in a carboy in the shower-room that’s stood in a bucket of water to keep it to around 20C
…a bucket of water that leaked last night all over the spare bedroom carpet , which was enormously welcome when we were all trying to get out of the door this morning…this beer had better be good.
PS: It’ll be getting a dose of 30g of Summit pellets for dry-hop on Monday (at 6 days), and I might even keg-hop it with some whole-leaf summit in a hop sock as I need that sort of hoppiness in my life.!