Monday, March 12, 2012

Brew: An Actual Drinkable Batch

Finally, the third time is the charm.  Something I can actually give to people I like.  The other swills I created I sent to my enemy's.  They sent it back.

We'll call this one the Turling Castle Pale Ale.  I like that.  Imagine on the label a big picture of a castle with me at the top surrounded by...well, I digress.  I picked up a new toy for this batch.  Actually, I didn't "pick it up" so much as "borrow" it from my father-in-law.

This is where I should impress you by spewing out how many BTU's it runs.  I have no idea.  Let's just go with it gets really, really hot.  Hotter then the stove.  Cooler then the sun.  It's somewhere between those two.

Here we are brewing the wort.  I did have a little trouble being outside as a few week's back when this batch was made we had Santa Ana winds.  It seems we've had Santa Ana's all winter.  (For those of you wondering, Santa Ana winds occur when a high pressure system sits over Nevada/Arizona and a low pressure system is off our California coast.  The hot, dry desert air moves from the high pressure system to the low blowing it's way across Southern California.  One of the rare occasions it can actually be as hot, if not hotter, on the coast then here inland.)

Off to take the wort into the house to place it in the ice bath in the sink.  I don't have a cooler yet.  Baby steps.

I got my recipe from Palmer's How to Brew book and modified it slightly for what my brew shop carried. Here's the recipe and the process:

          3 lbs. Briess Golden Light Dried Malt
          3 lbs. Briess Sparkling Amber Dried Malt
          1 oz. Cascade hops (pellets)
          .5 oz. Columbus hops (pellets)
          California V Ale Yeast - liquid (1 vile)

In the pot placed three gallons bottled drinking water, brought to a boil and added the malt extracts.  Just pour them in while stirring.  Waited a couple of minutes for the hot break (the point where it's less likely the whole concoction will explode) and threw in the Columbus hops.

At minute 45 I added the Cascade hops and 5 teaspoons of yeast nutrient.  The yeast nutrient is optional.  Gives the little buggers a little more to munch on.

At minute 50, I added 1 tablet of Whirlfloc.  This is for clarity (I think, the guy at the brew shop was helping 5 people at one time, but I'm pretty sure that's what this is for).

At minute 60, we're done.  I then dunked placed the pot in the sink filled with ice to cool it.  Took 51 minutes to get it down to 75.  Then, I pitched the yeast in after putting it in the fermenting bucket along with another 2 gallons of bottled drinking water.

I wish I could have calculated the alcohol content, but I was so happy the house was still standing I forgot to get the original gravity (OG) reading.  The final gravity (FG) was 1.02, but that doesn't do us much good.

Anyway, the brew turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  I would put it right between a pale ale and an india pale ale.  I may go a little easier on the hops the next batch and see what happens.

Until, then, cheers!


  1. Good work. I'm hoping that picture is of it settling or you're drinking too early!

    I am awaiting a delivery of Nelson Sauvin hops for my next batch. They have a sort of tangy fruitiness followed by a dry and sour aftertaste. Lovely in a pale ale. I don't know their exact AA so I can't calculate recipe yet, but they should be here within days!!!

  2. Thanks, IG. It's a little deceiving as it's a frozen glass, so there is frost on the top. After pouring it starts out with a finger width sized head. It's a little more in the frosted glass.

    I'll be interested to find out how the Nelson Sauvin goes. I believe you mentioned that previously.

  3. Ah, wait until you get that copper coil chiller for your wort, you'll wonder how you ever survived without it ;) Congrats on your drinkable brew! Next step...grain!

  4. Thanks Curbstone. I am looking forward to a chiller, although frantically pouring ice into the sink while praying it doesn't overflow is really a lot of fun. And, I think I need a few more of the entry levels before I start with grain. Although, there is a great spot in the backyard for barley and hops...