Monday, April 20, 2009

Red Rye

I've been doing quite a bit of experimentation with my beers since going to all grain brewing, but I've been hoping to do some more work on some older recipes. Specifically, I had been thinking about having a sort of Haus Bier. Something that I've always got a few bottles of, that's good, that if people stop by, I know I can bust this out, and it'll be a crowd pleaser. My Rye Ale last year was definitely a candidate. It was really smooth, not too assertive, so it would work for beer nerds and BMC fans alike.

Red Rye-

Two row pale malt- 5 lbs
Rye Malt- 3 lbs
Crystal Malt 60L- 8 ounces
Black Patent- 3 ounces
Rice hulls- 1 pound

Willammette- 1 oz- 60 minutes
Noble hop mix- ?oz- a few minutes

Wyeast 1056 American Ale- pitched on to the yeast cake from the yet to be named Pale Ale from the week before

98/125/151/157- hot water infusions- the 157 was supposed to be a mash out, but I just ran out of room in my cooler. 5 gallons is definitely undersized. I may need to upgrade this year.

Gravity- target/actual/final/ABV

This is pretty much the same recipe as last year, plus a little Crystal malt and some Patent for color (this seems to be the year of Black Patent color additions). As far as the hops go, I feel like when I'm brewing something like a Rye, I want the malt to really be showcased, and the hops should be in the background. The Willammette addition should give it a complementary bitterness. The Noble hop melange is a mix of Mt Hood and Crystal that I had only very small amounts of, so I was looking to get rid of them. I was a little frustrated by the mash problems I had earlier, so they were really more of an afterthought.

Needless to say failing to hit my mash out temp turned the mash into a five gallon cooler full of cement. I vorlaufed, started the runoff, and I don't think I got to half a gallon before the mash just set completely. It was back to transferring the mash to a bucket, so it turned into a long and tremendously messy brew day. The rice hulls didn't do a damn bit of good as far as I could tell, and I think the 98 degree rest was far to thick to do any good. Anyway. While this beer is going to be a good one, the thought of brewing it every four to six weeks as a Haus Bier is just a little more work than I think I could take. I may try a different iteration later this year with flaked rye instead. I'll have to research what sort of differences that would make.

Pitching on to the yeast cake was explosive. So explosive, in fact, that in the week it took me to get around the writing this, it's already done with primary fermentation. I racked it yesterday.


HolzBrew said...

When you pitched on top of the yeast cake, how fast did the fermentation start if you remember? The only time I did back to back brew where I pitched on a yest cake, there was activity in the bubbler in about 2 hours.

It blew my mind.

Kevin LaVoy said...

Yeah, practically anytime I pitch on to a yeast cake, the bubbling starts in the airlock in less than an hour. I used to never need a blowoff tube, and now I use one every time I use this technique.