Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Happy 2016!

New Year's Eve has never been a particularly important day in our household. Even in the pre-restless natives days we never really celebrated. This year, our trusty assistant declared a new New Year's Eve tradition at the farmhouse: we shall brew to close out the calendar year; which allows us to celebrate the new year with a new beer. Also, it's our hope that you hate the word "new" by the time you get to the bottom of this post. 

Name: Out with the Old
Original Gravity: 1.062
Final Gravity: 1.022
Primary Fermentation: 4 days
Secondary Fermentation: 74 days

Age 14 days

3.3 lbs CBW Pale Ale Malt Extract

3.0 lbs Munich Malt
1.0 lbs Crystal Malt
1.0 lbs Wheat Malt
1.0 lbs LD Carlson Maltodextrin
0.5 lbs Chocolate Malt
1 1/8 cup Muntons Plain Light Malt Extract
Abbey Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs)
1.0 oz UK Fuggle Hops (4.2% alpha)
1.0 oz Cascade Hops (5.5% alpha)

Pour the grains into 4 gallons of cold water. Mash at 148 degrees F for 15 minutes. Raise the temperature to 160 degrees F and hold for 45 minutes.* Sparge grains to produce 6.5 gallons of wort. Bring wort to boil and add 0.5 ounces of UK Fuggle and 0.5 ounces of Cascade hops. Boil for 15 minutes and add malt extracts. Boil an additional 10 minutes and add remaining Fuggle hops. Allow boil for an additional 5 minutes and add remaining Cascade hops. Remove from heat. Cool, transfer to primary fermenter, and pitch yeast at room temperature (for us 70 degrees).

Results: This beer turned out quite well, in part due to greater attention to detail than some of our more recent brews. Despite the spike in temperature*, the brew is a solid abbey ale. Flavor is sweet and malty with just the slightest bitterness on the back end. Color is very dark caramel; medium carbonation. If there is a negative it's that we expected a richer, more complex product. This may come with more aging. Regardless, we are very pleased with the results.

*At approximately 28 minutes remaining the temperature spiked to 170 degrees F. Heat reduced to lowest setting. At 22 minutes remaining heat turned off. Ended this phase with approximately seven minutes remaining (45 minutes reduced to 38 minutes). Obviously, this was not part of the original recipe.

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