Here is my second attempt at brewing a from-scratch EPA. If you remember, my last batch ended up being terribly sweet after several months in the bottle. For this batch, I toned down the original gravity and also decreased the amount of hops. Here is my entry in my beer journal:
Leftover E.P.A. v2 12-5-08
Goal: To recreate the previous recipe while improving the hop character, decreasing the sweetness, and scaling the recipe to 5 gallons.
Malt- 1 lb medium crystal malt, 4 lb briess golden light DME, 3 lb briess wheat DME.
Hops- 4 oz. Cascade hops.
Yeast- Wyeast #3522 Belgian Ardennes.
Water- Bottled drinking water 5 gal.
Alcohol (v/v)- 6.3%
Bitterness- 36 IBU
Color- 8 SRM
Procedure: Steep specialty grains for 15 minutes while bringing water to a boil. When water comes to a boil, remove from heat and add DME. Return the water to a boil and add hops to following schedule: 2oz @ 60min, 1oz @ 30min, 1oz @0min. Cool the water to 70ºF and pour into sterilized carboy. Top off with drinking water, to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast and ferment at 70ºF.
From the original recipe I substituted in the Ardennes yeast, as it has a high fermentation temperature and similar properties. I used Cascade pellets instead of fresh hops, as fresh hops are out of season and woudl be much more expensive on this scale. Northern Brewer was also out of Light crystal malt, so I substituted 22ºL in place of the original 10ºL crystal. I recorded the following notes while brewing:
DISSOLVING DME SUCKS
Placed specialty grains in water @ 10:36, removed at 10:50
Boiling start @ 11:20, 30 min @ 11:50, 0 min @ 12:20
Copper Cooling coil worked very fast with almost room temp water!
O.G. after moving to carboy was 1.082. Lots of hop trub left in the wort. Will definitely need to transfer to secondary fermentor after 1.5 weeks or so. I should take a second O.G. reading after all the hops have had time to settle.
I never did take that second reading, but given the extent of fermentation in the primary, I would imagine that the O.G. was in fact exagerated due to suspended hop trub in the freshly transferred wort. Oh, I also forgot to mention that I bought a copper wort cooler, and it is awesome. I have never cooled wort so fast, even using banks of snow. I failed to read the tag on the chiller however that sugested I boil it before my first batch to ensure any oil or residue had been removed. I did place the coils in the wort 15 minutes before cooling to sterilize it, but that may have some affect on the final beer. I also forgot to add Irish moss, so the beer may be less cloudy than it’s predecessor, but still cloudier than neccessary.
Here is my entry from racking the beer into the secondary:
The beer was racked from primary to secondary on 1-3-08. The beer was in the primary for 28 days. A gravity reading at the time of racking was 1.020 at 70ºF. Correcting for temperature gives a gravity of 1.021. A sample of the beer was a very light golf color, still cloudy but less so than the previous batch. The aroma was a very floral hop scent. The taste was malty yet not too sweet, with a decent bitterness. There were no apparent defects at this time.
Hopefully I won’t notice any defects later either. I should mention, that althoug the beer was left in primary for 28 days, I could have racked it sooner. I actually intended on doing so, but was out of town for most of the two weeks preceeding New Years Eve.