With my hops harvest complete and the end of summer rapidly approaching, I thought that a Harvest Ale would be an appropriate use of my first year hops. looking at the amount that I have and the beer style I wanted to use them in I knew I’d get real close with just MY hops. However, since my Galena hops were less than spectacular this year, I did use some Galena that I purchased in bulk, but only as a 5 minute addition.
I was thinking of an IPA but making it in the 7% range. In order to do that I used 2lbs of an invert sugar syrup (similar to Lyle’s Golden Syrup) which isn’t unheard of in English Ales and is an easy way to boost the ABV. For bittering I used the Galena hops I grew as my FWH hops and then used the Ultra at 10 minutes and cascade (along with purchased Galena) at 5 minutes. For dry hopping I plan on using an ounce of my Cascade hops.
The brew day was this past Sunday and went a little something like this:
Weigh out the grains.
9lbs 2 row Pale Malt
1lb Crystal 60L
Then crush them in my Barley Crusher. Since I use the BIAB (Brew In A Bag) method of mashing I can crush extremely fine. This allows for a brewhouse efficiency of 75-80%.
I measured out the water I would need for my batch of beer using the following formula. Batch size + absorption + boil off +Trub loss = water needed. To determine absorption amount I used grain weight * .065 = absorption. To put all that into number it would look like this. 10.5 * .065 = .68 gallons absorbed by grain. My batch would be 5.5 gallons, I know my boil off for a 60 minute boil is 1.25 gallons and I normally lose .25 gallons to trub. So 5.5+.68+1.25+.25 = 7.68 gallons. I rounded it up to 7.75 gallons of water and lit the burner. I heated the water up to 157F and killed the heat. At this point I placed my CustomBIAB grain bag into the kettle and stirred in my grains. After stirring for a couple minute to make sure there were no dough balls (dry clumps of grain) I checked the temps. I was right on my target of 152F so I placed the lid on and wrapped it up in my trusty sleeping bag for 90 minutes.
After the mash was over I pulled the grain bag out via my rope and pulley (not needed but does free up my hands to do other things) and let it drain. At this time I added my FWH hops (0.8 ounces of Home Grown Galena). Now since I don’t sparge with BIAB and FWH (First Wort Hopping) normally takes place while the sparge is occurring, I simulate it by letting the grain bag drain for 20 minutes. I know that the wort looks real cloudy in the pic, but that’s OK. All the cloudy parts will be left behind after the hot break and cold break occur.
After the simulated sparge time is over, I spin the bag to compress the grains and squeeze the hell out of it. This doesn’t extract tannins so forget that piece of misinformation. Squeezing lets me recover as much of the sweet wort as possible. Now I normally take the grains and dump them for the deer to eat, this time I took them to my wife so she could make dog treats for our Rottweiler, Ella. Next it was time to light the fire and get things to a boil.
The boil was uneventful (YAY) and at 15 minutes left I added my immersion chiller and a whirlfloc tablet. With 10 minutes remaining I added 1 ounce of Home Grown Ultra hops. With 5 minutes left the 1 ounce of Home Grown Cascade hops and 1 ounce of purchased Galen hops went into the boil. Next was flame out and chilling time!
Of course while brewing beer this I did have to drink a little home brew as it is tradition. My choice this time around was some of my Pond Skipper Brown Ale. After everything was chilled to pitching temps I transferred the clear wort from the kettle to the carboy and pitch my yeast. This time around I used SafAle S-04 English Ale yeast. The hydrometer Sample was right at 1.068 and will hopefully ferment down to 1.010. That would give me a 7.4% IPA that will have in the neighborhood of 44IBU. Of course since this is using my home grown hops I have no way of knowing the exact AA% for the hops so the IBU is just an estimate. Once the fermentation is done I’ll dry hop with another ounce of my Cascade hops for a week then keg it up. ( yes the hydrometer sample tasted AWESOME)
I’ll try to remember to post a review of my Harvest Ale and even a couple pics of it when it’s ready to drink. Until then……