Monday, May 19, 2008

Rye Ale

This past Saturday saw the latest stop of the Simple Recipes 08 tour. This one was a Rye Ale.

The recipe:

2 row pale ale- 6 pounds
Rye malt- 3 pounds

Sterling- 1 oz.- 60 minutes
Vanguard- 1/2 oz.- 15 minutes
Vanguard- 1/2 oz.- 5 minutes

White Labs East Coast Ale- This was yeast that I had saved after I transferred my Stonebridge Ale. I made a 600 ml starter Friday night, and pitched the whole thing into finished wort.

125/152/170- all hot water infusions

I would say that for the most part, I've gotten most of the technical aspects of brewing all grain down pat. I don't even need a checklist to remember all the crap I need to do. The exception to this is my lautering process. My stuck sparge issues have been well documented on this blog, and this weekend was no exception. The rye malt would explain some of it, as it has no husk, but I still ended up having to start the process over again. One of the main points about the lautering process is to try and not expose the grain to oxygen to prevent off flavors. I'd imagine I'll have a few on this beer. I think the problem boils down to how quickly I'm draining. The general rule is no more than 1 quart per minute, or you compact the grain bed. I'm pretty sure that's what happened here. Next time, I'll have to sit there with a measuring cup and a stopwatch while I'm vorlaufing.

I'm still excited to see how this one turns out. I had Founders Red Rye Ale a few times recently at Handlebar, and it became one of my favorites right out of the gate. This isn't a clone per se, as it's just pale malt and rye (it should end up yellow as opposed to red), but that was the inspiration behind using the rye anyway. I'm also interested to see what comes of the Sterling and Vanguard hops, as these are, I believe, somewhat new varieties.

As far as other recent beers go, I'm totally fired up about the Saison. The temperature of the ferment never really got above 72, but I pitched a good amount of yeast, and that coupled with the lower sacch rest temperature made it end up at about 85% attenuation, which was basically how I planned it. The sample I tried when I racked it was very tasty. It was kind of peppery/spicy with no hint of sourness from the Sauer Malt. I cannot wait to get that bottled and drinkable. I kind of got the feeling that I had my first good recipe that I can really start refining.



Ted Danyluk said...

I'm happy to hear about your success. I've always wanted to brew a pale rye ale like this one. The hopping you got going on looks good. I really like both of those hops. As you can see, I use Sterling in a big way for some pale ales recently. Also, rice hulls stirred in with the mash out infusion should really help lautering these mashes.

I have a 50% red rye ale on my list of beers this year. I'd love to here about (and perhaps taste) this golden version you got going. The Saison sounds tasty too.

The Bearded Brewer said...

I'll be curious to hear about the Rye as well, not something I've brewed with, but something I have a lot of interest in using. Sounds like the Saison is coming along nicely, peppery is good in a saison.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys. One of the issues using a significant proportion of rye or oats is the beta-glucan content. b-glucan is a gummy carbohydrate that increases viscosity in lautering and can literally gum it up and cause stuck mashes. I've had success overcoming this by introducing a 30 minute b-glucan rest at 40 degC (about 98F). I use rye flour (no husks!) up to about 20% without a problem.