Brewing Burnout

This past summer I experienced something that I never thought I would experience – I did not feel like brewing anymore.

Let’s back up a bit – once the weather warmed up in the spring, I started off brewing 40L batches of brew fairly regularly, stockpiling beer for various upcoming events and some for personal consumption. Fruit beers, wheat beers, cream ales – I think what really happened was that I got away from brewing what I wanted, and started trying to please everyone else, brewing good beer, but lacking some character that I was looking for. By the end of an 8 hour double 80L brew day on July 2, I felt spent and for the first time, brewing felt more like a chore than the fun hobby it was supposed to be. A brewing hiatus was in order.

After a summer away from brewing, I started to get that itch to brew again. Big Spruce had announced their brewing competition, listing three separate styles to choose from, or brew all three – Red IPA, Altbier and a Czech Dark Lager. All three styles were new to me, but each intrigued me enough to decide to get the three of them ready. I brewed 20L of each over a 6 week period, enjoying the process each time. I was happy with two of the three beer, but decided to enter all three anyway – good thing since the beer I wasn’t particularly happy with pleased the judges the most!

I have figured out that the key to my brewing is making small batches of something that I want for myself – sounds selfish, but I do share what I have. Friends and family know where I am and are always welcome to drop by for a pint or a bottle to take away. English bitters, pale ales, IPA’s, Kolsch and Altbier are planned, with an experimental IPA in the works for the upcoming Garrison homebrew competition.

Happy Brewing!

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The Fallen Pale Ale

Over the past year or so, I’ve found my taste in beer has changed. Where I used to prefer the English Pale Ales, I now find myself leaning toward its hoppier cousin, American Pale Ale. Welcome The Fallen Pale Ale. A simple combination of 2-row, melanoiden and crystal malts coupled with generous amounts of both Amarillo® and Simcoe® hops.

Brew day was an enjoyable experience, with outdoor temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius. Mash temperature was slightly lower than my target, but at 148.5 F it was still acceptable.  I did realize that it’s time to re-calibrate my refractometer – readings were 4 to 5 points higher than expected. A hydrometer sample confirmed I was only 2 points high.  Looking forward to tasting this brew in a few weeks.

 
Recipe: #75 The Fallen Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Batch Size (fermenter): 40.00 l 
Estimated OG: 1.048 SG
Measured OG:  1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 6.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 45.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 82.1 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------

7.60 kg  Pale Malt (2 Row)      - 89.8 % 
0.43 kg  Caramel/Crystal Malt   -  5.1 % 
0.43 kg  Melanoiden Malt        -  5.1 % 
25.00 g  Simcoe [11.80 %]       - Boil 60.0 min
15.00 g  Amarillo Gold [8.30 %] - Boil 15.0 min
15.00 g  Simcoe [11.80 %]       - Boil 15.0 min
25.00 g  Amarillo Gold [8.30 %] - Boil  5.0 min 
25.00 g  Simcoe [11.80 %]       - Boil  5.0 min 
50.00 g  Amarillo Gold [8.30 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 
50.00 g  Simcoe [11.80 %]       - Steep/Whirlpool

5.00 g   Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins)

Mash 149.0 F 75 min 
Batch Sparge, 168.0 F
NOTES:
Made a slurry with the yeast nutrient and some warm water - 
made it easier to incorporate. Pitched re-hydrated US-05 yeast 
into 68.0 F wort.