Okay – I got that out of the way.
A while back, I read an article in BYO about creating Single Malt and Single Hop beers (called SMaSH beers). This is a way for a brewer to really isolate the nuances of the ingredients. For this first (of many) experiments, I’m making a beer with just 2 row maris otter and centennial hops. Once that is out of the fermenter, I’ll repeat the recipe, but sub in either a 2nd hop, or maybe a specialty grain (like caramel 20) – just to compare the two beers side by side. It should be a fun next couple of months as I make these smaller batches and really get to know my ingredients.
As an aside – doing these smaller batches is kind of fun. I can do the entire exercise right in the kitchen while I’m watching my kid play in the living room. That is in contrast to when I’d have to have my local mom watch him while brewing a bigger batch in the garage (I don’t want him out in the garage for hours on end with me – kid is too young).
And finally, I’m really digging the BIAB set up. Its such a cleaner way to homebrew. I actually got a larger brew bag for my 10 gallon mash tun. I thought it would be silly at first, but then I read in some forums that people started doing it to make clean up easier, and they LOVED IT. They wonder why they weren’t doing it all along. So, for my next large batch (I have a Burton style ale cued up), I’ll be experimenting with a brew bag for my 10 gallon mash tun.
The Recipe (all grain):
Brew notes (I’m not going to regurgitate all of the steps – just the ones that are important):
- Single step mash @ 158 F
- Hop additions at 60, 45, 30, 15, 0
- Rehydrate yeast towards end of boil (30 minutes stir plate, balance of time at rest)
- Pre boil SG: 1.032
- 1.15 gallons
- OG – 1.068, FG – 1.020
This will be bottled once it reaches its final gravity.
Bought ingredients at my local homebrew store (Bacchus & Barleycorn).
Brew day notes:
- Date: 8/18
- Stove top BIAB set up (used nylon paint straining bag)
- Total time (including cleaning): 4.5 hours
- Everything went nearly perfect!
- Brew day beer of choice:
- N/A – was baby sitting, so drank some Yogi Ginkgo Clarity tea – the stuff is awesome
- Brew day music of choice: N/A – had season 2 of Two and a Half Men going in the background
- Actual OG: 1.039 – OVER THE TARGET – exceeded brewhouse efficiency!
- Final OG: TBD
- Final ABV: TBD
- What went well: pretty much everything but my post boil gravity. I need to be a little more vigilant in measuring my liquid volumes after the mash. I need to add some gradient marks or a measuring stick to my stovetop equipment.
- What went bad: Nothing really – just going to work on measuring liquid volumes and improving my post-boil efficiency.
- Hardware notes: need to adapt equipment for measuring post mash volumes. I’m questioning the accuracy of my thermometers. I calibrated using the ice water method, but when the bimetallic stem thermometer said my water was at 162 degrees F, and I used a digital bluetooth thermometer to monitor the mash, the temp shot up to 170+ degrees F. I need to figure that out. Can’t have my strike water over 170 degrees F – that will hinder conversion. Oh, and, I love my new grain mill!!!!!
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!