Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Squatch (Appalachian Amber) -- Brew Day

I feel like as a homebrewer, I definitely go through a lot of fads.  To start, I tried to brew every different style under the sun.  If I went to a German restaurant recently, I'd brew a dunkel.  Had I been home visiting Chicago, I'd probably come back to Philly and want to brew a hopped-up wheat a la Three Floyd's Gumballhead.  Recently, I've decided to buck the whole "jack-of-all-trades" brewing style and just focus on brewing what I like to have consistently in my fridge.  For the past several months, this has been IPAs and Stouts/Porters.

Now that my palate has been thoroughly obliterated, I'm going to try taking it a little easier for this next brew. I've always been a fan of American Ambers in theory, but I've found many of them to essentially just be a red IPA.  In the spirit of "taking it a little easier", I'm planning to tone down the IBUs on this one.  Additionally, I'm planning to mash a bit higher to make a more full-bodied beer.  Hopefully with a more manageable IBU count this beer will be more tame than what I've been brewing lately.  The decent malt bill brings the IBU:SG ratio to 0.673.

The idea for this is a combination of my own Amber that I've done several iterations of and some different hopping additions inspired by the Bertus Brewery American Amber 3.0.  I've also decided to use London Ale, which has essentially become my house yeast (along with Super San Diego WLP090 to a lesser extent).

I ended up with around 75% mash efficiency, which was a little bit lower than the 80% that I was expecting.  I've been trying out new supply stores over the past month or so, so re-dialing in my efficiency has been a practice in trial-and-error.  Due to the lower efficiency, I added 7oz of DME once the boil began.

The Squatch (Appalachian Amber)
Est OG: 1056
Est FG: 1.014
Est ABV: 5.5%
IBU: ~38
SRM: 16

9lb Maris Otter
1.5lb Munich Malt
12oz Carastan Malt
8oz Caramel 120L
3.2oz Chocolate Malt

0.4oz Magnum @ 60min (26 IBU)
0.5oz Centennial @ 10min (5 IBU)
0.5oz Amarillo @ 10min (5 IBU)
1.0oz Centennial @ Flameout (5 IBU)
1.0oz Amarillo @ Flameout (4 IBU)
1.0oz Citra @ 5 Day Dry Hop
1.0oz Nelson Sauvin @ 5 Day Dry Hop

London Ale Yeast (WY1028)

Mash @ 154f for 60 min

3/15/2014 -- Brewed by myself.  Slightly lower efficiency than what I was planning, but I was probably a bit over zealous.  Ended up with 5.5gal of 1.054 into the carboy.  Fermentation began with 5 hours at 70-72f.

3/29/2014 -- Dry-hopped with 1oz each of Citra and Nelson Sauvin.

4/2/2014 -- Bottled.  Fingal gravity came out to 1.013.  A tad drier than recipe, but I was a little low on the OG so no worries here.  Primed with 4.1oz of corn sugar, shooting for 2.4vol.

I ended up washing the yeast from this one since WY1028 has become one of my favorite go-to's these days.  This was my first attempt at yeast washing and I was amazed at how easy it was.  We'll see how they perform in subsequent batches, but the harvesting part should definitely not discourage any trying it.

5/18/2014 -- Tasting notes.  Nice beer, maybe a touch high on the chocolate malt, but otherwise very nice.


Post a Comment