Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Try at the Crouch Vale

The first Crouch Vale was good, but a bit flabby. The hops were there but muddy. It was suggested that my extra-hard City of Lakeville water might be part of the problem, so I tries the same recipe again but with 50% spring water (practically devoid of anything) and 50% tap water. The tap water is always run through an activated carbon filter to remove any chloramines. Using the 50-50 water mix also required that I do some water chemistry changes.

This turned out to be my last time brewing outside too. It was a Saturday night and by the end, it was down around 40F. I think that contributed to the major problem that I had - my mash temps were low. Having the mash tun sitting on a cold concrete slab doesn't help. I think also that my mash tun is only 1/3 full with these low gravity beers, so I'll be looking for a 5-gal Igloo to do these small beers.

I plan to reuse the yeast to do the Lees Stout the was recently mentioned over at Barclay Perkins, so I made a 1 liter starter of London III. Not exactly the same yeast as before, but the yeast choice was more to have the correct yeast for the Lees Stout. It took a good 8 days for the beer to ferment out, then I racked it two weeks after brew day. The hydro sample was down to 1.014 and the hops were really present, much more so than the last 'flabby/muddy' version. It was a little hazier than I expected, but it is now cold aging at 34F with the Lawnmower Beer, Ofest, and Schwarz.

Here's the spreadsheet with all the details from the brewing session.

Crouch Vale Brewers Gold
  • Gravity (OG)  1.038
  • 30 IBU
  • 6 gal  into the primary
  • 8lb Halcyon
  • Mash @ 151F for 60min (actually more like 147F)
  • Boil for 90min
  • 3.5oz Brewers Gold - 7.9% @ 15min
  • Wyeast 1318 London III - Ferment at 63F (or so, basement ambient)

Day 0 (30 October 2010)

1749 :: Flame on @ 1749 - 2.5 gal to boil (50-50 H2O).
1804 :: Want 164F strike water (ProMash).
1805 :: Strike water @ 120F so far (low flame).
1810 :: Strike H2O @ 146F.
1817 :: 170F, flame off. Drain tun of preheat h2o.
1825 :: UNDERSHOT! reheating h2o...
1850 :: Mash in.
1900 :: Mash @ 155F, added 2 c cold h2o, temp dropped to 140F! Boiling some h2o to add back (3 qts).

  • Mash tun on cold concrete floor?
  • Time to start brewing inside again?
  • Need to calculate Mash Tun Thermal Mass.

1924 :: Back @ 151F.
1945 :: Swapped out bayou classic for freebie burner from Dean - heats much faster. Need to get the Bayou Classic burner replaced.
2002 :: Sparge water spiked and @ 151F.
2012 :: Sparge @ 171F.
2036 :: Sparge completed, wort on to boil.
2049 :: Boil.
2204 :: 3.5oz bullion in, whirlfloc, IC.
2219 :: Flame off & 15' hop stand.
2234 :: Chill.
2244 :: Whirlpool.
2259 :: Drain.

Day 2 
0630 :: Aerate the wort @ 0.125 lpm for 1 minute. Pitch in the yeast.

Day 14
1600 :: Gravity is 1.014. Nice hop presence, still has the nice malt profile as well.

Day 18
2100 :: Racked it to another keg because Kris needs it. Still at 1.014, but at the lagering temp of 34F, the hydro sample is lacking the assertive hop bit that I saw at the previous 63F sample.