Wednesday, August 17, 2011

American Black Ale (Simcoe)

This is part one of a three part experiment. As the title suggests this will be an ale featuring Simcoe with a bit of Cascade to add hop dept and fruit flavors. Cascade made the perfect choice because it is the classic hop in American beers; it seemed like a logical choice for this American style. When I formulated this recipe I looked around the Internet and settled on Carafa 3 special to darken the beer and add a distinct roasted aroma. Additionally I included chocolate malt to add roasted notes and victory to add biscuit flavors. I plan to dry hop this beer for about 5 days and bottle it a week in advance of my next trip to STL. 

This was my first and probably one of my last experiences with an ice bath. Some point soon I am going to build a second wort immersion chiller especially for small batches. The ice bath chilled my beer but 7 pounds of ice was no match for even a gallon of beer. The 25 foot immersion chiller we used in Chicago cooled our porter in less than 10 minutes to less than 70 degrees. I just need to engineer it to fit into 2 inches of water. 

I am a fan of hop bursting, I first read about this technique when I read Jamil Zainacheff’s article from zymurgy. The idea is that you use the majority of your hops in greater quantities in the last 20 minutes to increase your flavor and aroma while keeping the bitterness reasonable. In my somewhat limited experience with the technique I have yielded great flavor, good aroma, and not a lot of bitterness. To contrast we made a pale ale with warrior @ 60, citra and centennial in smaller amounts as usual, @ 40IBU; we also made an all citra IPA with a small 60 minute citra addition and 6 oz in the last 15 minutes, flameout and dry hop for 70IBU. The pale ale had more apparent bitterness. I put this technique to use with 50 IBUs coming from hops in the last 15 minutes.

I mentioned my experiment in the first paragraph; I plan to brew this three times, and each time I’ll supplement Cascade with another strong American hop. The next two versions will be centennial and nugget. I picked these hops because of the flavors, huge pine, huge citrus, and huge earth/spice.

The Recipe
Type: All Grain Date: 8/16/2011
Batch Size (fermenter): 1.00 gal     Boil Size: 1.14 gal: 
Boil Time: 60 min     Equipment: Brew Pot (2 Gallon)
End of Boil Volume 1.00 gal     Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %

2 lbs 2.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) 79.0 %
4.0 oz Carafa III Special (525.0 SRM) 9.3 %
2.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) 4.6 %
1.5 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) 3.5 %
1.5 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) 3.5 %
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)

Mash Profile: BIAB, 60 minutes @ 152, mash out @ 168 for 10 minutes

Bittering Hops:
0.10 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min 20.4 IBUs

Flavor Hops:
0.30 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min 12.9 IBUs
0.20 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min 20.3 IBUs

Aroma Hops:
0.20 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min 3.4 IBUs
0.30 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min 12.2 IBUs
0.20 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs
0.30 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs

Dry Hops:
0.20 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
0.20 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs

OG: 1.069
FG: 1.014
SRM: 51.8
IBU: 69.2

Brewing Notes: I am always suprised how much hop trub is left over after brewing with whole hops. I need to remember to use a slotted spoon when I am brewing. I also will be thinking about using pellet hops in the boil, I might use some or all of the pellets in the boil and then dry hop with whole hops.

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