Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Squatch Batch #2 (Appalachian Amber) -- Brew Day

I've really been wanting to perfect a "house" amber to have around as I'm a big fan of the style. As much as I enjoy super hoppy IPAs, sometimes a guy just needs a nice, caramel-noted, sufficiently hopped beer.

My last amber came out decent, although the chocolate malt that I used for color bled into the flavor a bit. Additionally, I think some of the more exotic hops were lost in that beer.  The darker flavors totally overwhelmed most of the zest that the Nelson brought to the table. This time around I changed the base beer to be more centered around three layers of caramel malts, both for flavoring and for color.  I'm hoping that the color derived from caramel malts will also create a great caramel/toffee flavor. I also dropped all of the exotic hops and just went with straight Centennial largely because I would rather save my rarer hops for beers that feature their qualities.

And as if two major changes aren't enough, I also went ahead and changed yeasts. I've been using WY1028 London Ale as my house yeast for a while now, but after reading around on some forums it seems people are very pleased with WY1968 ESB. Allegedly this is the yeast that Firestone Walker uses, so I can't complain too much about it.  It seems to be a whole hell of a lot more flocculent than 1028, as the starter had huge chunks of yeast flying around on the stirplate after the initial fermentation subsided.

The brew day went pretty normal save for a slight over acidification of the mash, but it wasn't so much that I tried to raise the pH at all. 

The Squatch Batch #2 (Appalachian
5.5 Gallon Batch -- 75 minute Boil
Est OG: 1.052
Est FG: 1.014
Est ABV: 5.03%
IBU: 33
SRM: 14

9.0lb Maris Otter
1.5lb Munich Malt
0.75lb Carastan Malt
0.50lb British Crystal 75L
0.50lb Caramel 120L

0.3oz Magnum @ FWH (13 IBU)
1.0oz Centennial @ 5 min (6 IBU)
1.0oz Centennial @ 2 min (3 IBU)
2.0oz Centennial @ Steep 10 min (11 IBU)
2.0oz Cita @ Dry Hop 4 Days
1.0oz Centennial @ Dry Hop 4 Days

1000ml starter of WY1968 London ESB Ale

Mash @ 152f for 60 minutes

6/4/2014 -- Brewed by myself.  Hit mash temp perfectly.  pH came in a little low at 5.1 after acid addition, but I just left it.  Gathered 7.75gal of wort for a 71% efficiency.  Boil went as normal.  Added steeping hops during cooling at around 180f.  Collected 5.5 gallons of wort at 1.052 gravity.  Fermentation began within 5 hours.

6/19/2014 -- Dry hopped as indicated.

6/24/2014 -- Bottled.  Final gravity clocked in at around 1.015-1.016 range, just a tad high.  Used 4.3oz of corn sugar to bottle prime to 2.4 vol.  Fantastic centennial aroma.  Slightly weird taste that I can't quite put my finger on...we'll see how that evolves.


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