Monday, August 10, 2009

Makin' it up

My beers recently have had one common thread running through the recipe: the brew store didn't have have what I was looking for, so I made it up there in front of the sacks of grain, reusing the yeast, and whatever hops happen to be left over in the freezer. This week's beer was supposed to be a stout, but the brew store I visited in Lansing, Michigan had everything I needed and more except for roasted barley. I haven't been brewing a long time, but everything I've read about stout is that without roasted barley, you have something that would be called something other than stout.

I've done a lot of pale ales this summer, mostly because it's pretty easy to come up with a recipe on the spot, but I feel like it's something I'm getting decent at. And again, of all I've read, beer nerds say that if you can't brew a good pale ale, you aren't yet brewing good beer. So, while standing there at the Red Salamander (again, good beer store, minus the roasted barley), I decided on another pale ale.

Pappy Pale Ale

2 Row Pale Malt- 7 pounds
20L Crystal- 8 ounces
80L Crystal- 8 ounces
Roasted Barley- 8 ounces

Nugget- .5 ounces- 60 minutes
Nugget- 1 ounce- 15 minutes
Nugget- .5 ounces- Knockout

Yeast Sludge from the previous two batches

Mash Schedule-
149/167- hot water infusions

Gravity- Target/Actual/Final/ABV

The highlight of this brew day was undoubtedly getting to brew with my dad. This is, after all LaVoy Boys Brewing, and this was the first opportunity that there have been multiple LaVoy's at a brewing session. In principal my dad was treating it as a chance to see a more experienced brewer brew, and I was treating it as a chance to show off a little, but really we both wanted to brew up some beer as father and son. It was miserably hot (90 in the shade, probably closer to 105 next to the burner), but it was probably my funnest brew session ever.

The beer itself: straight up pale ale. Two row. Two types of Crystal malt (because as Randy Mosher says: when one malt would be good, two would be better), and a decent amount of the leftover roasted barley. Nugget hops are pretty high alpha acid, so I think a subtle roastiness will give it a nice backbone.

I have no idea if my readings were accurate at all, as my dad pointed out that I took the sample with the crud from the yeast cake, so I was probably closer to the 1.046 that I had targeted than I thought.

Next up, I'm going to do a couple of Saisons, as I've been itching to brew one. I think I'll probably order a lot of my stuff online to be sure I can do what I want. Then will be the yearly sour beers, one with fruit. Then some darker ales. I can't wait.

1 comment:

The Michigonians said...

It was great watching you brew. I think your dad liked it better than me. I saw some easier ways that you do things that I am sure on his agenda for purchasing. Ah, another trip to the brew store OR even the hardware store. Thanks for the fun day. Even though we roasted and probably will never be allowed back into your home (between the air going out and the transformer blowing up in the back alley) we were glad to be there with you, Kerry and your friends as well as the loveable pets. Love you both - Mom :-}