Brew Day – Session IPA – 7/21/18

I’m a huge fan of Founder’s All-Day IPA. I call it my go-to golf beer. It’s a nice session IPA that is big on flavor. I can drink them during a round of golf and not get stupid. I came to the realization that I want more low to mid range ABV beers on tap, and I’ll make the bigger beers in small batches and bottle them. I don’t like a double digit ABV beer sitting in a 5 gallon keg. That takes a while to burn though. Conor’s Conference Championship Imperial Stout with Jim Beam Vanilla Bourbon was on tap for about 8 months. So, I’ll probably do small batches via BIAB method, and bottle them, and use the larger operation for my kegging beers. I’ve already identified about 60 different recipes that I want to experiment with in smaller batches. So, guess I’ll be busy for a bit!

I’ve also been taking a good hard look at my brewing operation, and really want to focus on creating more efficiency. This time around, I spent a little $$$ upgrading some fittings to cams and quick releases. This was TOTALLY worth the time and money. I’m going to keep doing this. Next upgrades in the coming months are:

  • Add whirlpool/recirculation port to the brew kettle
  • Add brew house pump to facilitate liquid transfer and whirlpooling
  • Purchase water test kit to manipulate water PH
  • Convert all hoses/fittings to cam/quick release
  • Buy a wort aeration tool to put on the end of a drill (in lieu of using oxygen from a tank)

I also made a very small but clever upgrade to my water supply. Usually I just run my garden hose and switch out between running through the water filter and the garden hose nozzle. This is very labor intensive as you need to go turn off the spigot each time. I decided to get a 3-port manifold for the end of the hose. Now I have a separate hose for each function, and I can turn off the water on the manifold instead of at the spigot. Saved a TON of time and water.

The Recipe (all grain):

  • 5 lbs Marris Otter
  • 1 lb Crystal 20
  • 1 lb Munich
  • 1 lb Vienna
  • 1 lb flaked oats (this was an oops – I was only supposed to do .5 lb, so we’ll see what happens)
  • 1 oz simcoe hops @ 60 min
  • 1 oz simcoe hops @ 5 min
  • 2 oz amarillo hops @ flameout
  • Whirlfloc @ 10 min
  • Yeast – Fermentis S-04, rehydrated


Brew notes (I’m not going to regurgitate all of the steps – just the ones that are important):

  • Single step mash – strike water @ 162 degrees F for 75 minutes
  • Had to sparge twice due to not hitting pre-boil gravity
    • Note – this is the 2nd batch where I’m not hitting my pre-boil gravity – I need to work on this.
      • Note – I’m going to start watching my water chemistry (PH) and also asking my local brew shop to double mill my grains.
  • Had to run through heat exchanger 3 times to get to pitching temp
    • Recirculated “ice” water via a sump pump – will need to have more ice on hand next time. Ideally only want to run through once


Target numbers:

  • 5 gallons
  • OG – 1.043, FG – 1.010
  • IBU – 50.6, ABV – 4.2%

This will be kegged once it reaches its final gravity.

Bought ingredients at my local homebrew store (Bacchus & Barleycorn).


Brew day notes:

  • Date: 7/21
  • Weather: Relatively clear, not too hot
  • Total time (including cleaning): 6.5 hours – sparging twice and 3 runs through the heat exchanger messed up my time
  • Brew day beer of choice:
    • Conor’s Conference Championship Imperial Stout with Jim Beam Vanilla
      • Been trying to kick this keg to make room for today’s home brew. SUCCESS – kicked!
    • Founder’s All-Day IPA
  • Brew day music of choice: Otherwise
    • Pretty decent rock band!
  • Actual OG: 1.036
    • Going to research more mashing/sparging techniques and clean up my act.
    • The ABV will be a slight miss, but hoping the taste of the beer is still decent. We’ll see.
  • Final OG: TBD
  • Final ABV: TBD
  • What went well:
    • New dip tube on boil kettle was great. New quick release fittings were great.
    • Finally got my plastic conical fermenter to stop leaking. The secret – use a crap load of teflon tape, leak test, re-apply more teflon tape, leak test, and you should be good.
    • New hop screen (to replace old hop spider) was a great investment. So much use beyond just filtering hops. I used it as a filter when I transferred my sweet wort to the brew kettle (from the mash tun). Will use it when I keg as well.
  • What went bad:
    • Ran out of ice water
    • Mash/sparge not efficient
    • Spilled grains all over garage floor when cleaning mash tun.
  • Hardware notes:
    • I WANT A PUMP!

If any readers have recommendations for brew pumps (I know that the Rip Tide is probably the best, but if you have positive feedback on the “Wort Hog,” “Chugger,” or the “March” pumps, please let me know. Also, if you have any feedback on improving mash efficiency, I’d love to hear it. I think my 10-gallon Igloo and false bottom are pretty decent hardware. So, I’m looking for more “technique” suggestions – not necessarily hardware. Stuff I’ll be doing for the next batch:

  1. Ask supply store to double mill the grains
  2. Measure water PH


Have you ever brewed this style beer before? Please let us know about your brewing experiences. If you enjoyed this post, please like and share. Thanks!


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