Saturday, October 1, 2011

First brew of fall

Ahhh... fall at last! This has been a particularly brutal summer here in Houston. A month of temperatures in the 100's, and little to no rain to speak of for most of the year. A "cool" front moved through on Friday night - I never thought mid-to-upper 80's would feel so good! Especially nice was that it went into the 50's last night. So we opened all the windows in the house. Nothing like waking up on a crisp fall day. Almost enough to make me forget I still live in Houston...

So, I thought I'd take advantage of the weather and have a brew day. My wife and I were thinking that a nice idea for Christmas presents this year might be a mix-pack of homebrews I've been working on. So far, we've got the Wicked Widow Pumpkin Porter, a Chocolate Coffee Breakfast Stout, an Oatmeal Stout, and possibly the Lagunitas IPA (if there's any left!). So, I was thinking it might be nice to round out with a pale ale, and/or another IPA. I'd really like another crack at my favorite IPA recipie, the DFH 60min IPA clone. As luck would have it, Simcoe is back in stock at my LHBS! Unfortunately, they didn't have any Nottingham yeast, so Ray sold me some Safale US-05 (American Ale) dry yeast, which he said was probably the closest thing. I've been trying to do starters now for all my beers, but the conventional wisdom on these dry yeasts are that you don't need to make a starter for them, unless it's a pretty high starting gravity (like 1.060 or 1.070). The DFH 60min IPA has a starting gravity of 1.072, which means I probably should do some sort of starter. So, I had an idea - why not make a smaller beer (something with an OG in the 1.040 - 1.050 range) and then pitch the IPA on top of that yeast cake when the small beer is done? That will save me the cost of a second pack of yeast, plus I've always wanted to try re-using yeast. Now I just have to decide whether I want to simply pitch the 2nd beer right onto the yeast cake, or "wash" the yeast, which is a process of separating the yeast from the trub and "canning" it for later use. I've got a couple weeks to think about it...

So, that brings us to today. I've settled on an IPA recipe I found on Homebrewtalk that uses US-05 yeast. The whole hop bill is Cascade, so that should be fun - I'll get a really good idea of what the Cascade flavor profile is like. Right now, I'm sitting in my open garage. It's about 80 degrees (wouldn't even need to have my fan blowing on me if it weren't for the mosquitoes...). I've got a glass of Rogue Dead Guy in my hand, and my grains are mashing with about 12 minutes left on the timer. Life is good...

Yooper's Pale Ale
All Grain
Batch size: 5 gal
Estimated O.G.: 1.058
Estimated color: 12 SRM
Estimated IBU: 43.6
Efficiency: 65%

5 lbs 13.9oz Pale Malt, Marris Otter (3.0 SRM)
3 lbs 8.5oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
1 lb 14.1oz Munich Malt (20 SRM)
7.5oz Caramel/Crystal Malt (60 SRM)
7.5oz Caramel/Crystal Malt (20 SRM)
0.85 oz Cascade Hops (60 min)
0.64 oz Cascade Hops (30 min)
0.85 oz Cascade Hops (10 min)
0.43 oz Cascade Hops (5 min)
0.5 oz Cascade Hops (0 min)
1.0 oz Cascade Hops (dry hop 7 days)
0.5 tsp Irish Moss (15 min)
Safale US-05 American Ale Yeast