Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Blight Batch #2 (Farmhouse Ale) -- Brew Day

SWMBO out of town = double-brew weekend.

I've been wanting to do a re-brew of my house Farmhouse Ale ever since it scored a 39 in the NHC and advanced to the Philly min-BOS.  It was my first competition, so I wasn't expecting much, but now I'm greedy and am pissed that it didn't advance.  Maybe next year.

For this re-brew, I'm again piggybacking off a fellow Philly home brewer after he blogged about his experience with The Yeast Bay's Wallonian Farmhouse Ale yeast strain.  Given the problems that I had with the DuPont strain last time, I'm very much willing to try out a new strain.  I'm also adding a few pounds of rye malt to add a bit of a more rounded, spicy taste.

Additionally, I've raised the mash temperature a bit to compensate for the much better attenuation of the Wallonian Farmhouse strain.  I've been playing around with my water chemistry a bit, and I'm putting the sulfate levels a bit more balanced in this one, in the 80ppm range, hoping to come out with a nice flavorful beer that isn't overwhelmed with the bitter hop punch.

I'm also using my newer whirlpool hopping approach whereby I add a small amount of the 3oz of whirlpool hops at flameout and stir this for a few minutes.  Then I drop in my immersion chiller and start the cooling process while adding a few hop pellets every 30 seconds or so until the wort drops below 180f.  Once this threshold is reached, I add the remaining whirlpool hops (around 2oz on this batch) and stir this pretty vigorously for around 3-5 minutes and then proceed to chill down to pitching temps.

Recently, for my brews that trend to the hoppier side, I've been relying on my flameout/steeping additions for the majority of my IBUs.  I've found a small amount of Magnum as a first wort hop adds a nice round bitterness that nicely complements the softer IBUs from the flameout additions.

Wake up -- it's brew day.
The Blight v.2 (Farmhouse Ale)
5.5 gal batch -- 90 minute boil
Est OG: 1.054
Est FG: 1.004
Est ABV: 6.6%
IBU: 33
SRM: 4.3

9lb Pilsner Malt
2lb Rye Malt
1lb Flaked Wheat
1lb Candi Sugar Syrup, Clear (add to end of boil)
0.5lb Carafoam

0.2oz Magnum @ FWH (10 IBU)
0.5oz Calypso @ 5 min (4 IBU)
0.5oz Citra @ 5 min (4 IBU)
0.5oz Mosaic @ 5 min (4 IBU)
1oz Calypso @ Steep 10 min (4 IBU)
1oz Citra @ Steep 10 min (4 IBU)
1oz Mosaic @ Steep 10 min (4 IBU)
2oz Calypso @ Dry-Hop 4 days
2oz Citra @ Dry-Hop 4 days
2oz Mosaic @ Dry-Hop 4 days

1250ml starter of Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse

Mash @ 150f for 90 min

5/4/2014 -- Brewed by myself.  Initial mash temp at 151f, figured that should be fine to drop through 150ish through the 90 minute mash.  Added gypsum and lactic to get sulfates and pH into range.  pH came in a touch high again mid-mash so I added another bit of lactic to get it to 5.3.  Gathered 8 gal of 1.041 wort for a 76% efficiency -- quite a bit better than I'd been experiencing lately.  Who knows, maybe its the crush.  Boil proceeded as normal.  Conducted whirlpool hopping as indicated above.  Gathered 5.5gal of 1.053 wort.  Fermentation in approx. 3 hours -- one of the fastest I've ever had.

5/21/2014 -- Dry hops added.

5/24/2014 -- Bottled.  FG of 1.004 is just totally stupid.  Amazing attenuation on this strain.  Tasted great.  Primed with 4.8oz corn sugar for 2.75vol carbonation.

7/6/2014 -- Some tasting notes.  Not too bad, but not what I was hoping for...


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