20 January 2016

Adventures in All-Grain: Episode 2 - Amarillo Otter

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So this was technically my first batch of all-grain, though I did 2 batches at once, this was started about 30min before the other. These brewing entries will mostly be a place for me to keep my notes but hopefully someone else finds them handy or interesting...or at least entertaining.

Since this was my first foray into all-grain, I decided, I'd go with a SMASH (single malt and single hop) to keep it simple and start to understand the unique properties of different grains and hops. So off I went to my local home brew supplier.

Since I don't have the space and equipment for lagering, I decided an ale of some sort would be best. So I picked up some safale US-05, 4lb of Maris Otter malt, a pack of amarillo hops, and a pack of citra hops.

For this SMASH I used 2lb Maris Otter, .5oz total of amarillo, and half the pack of US-05.

Using Beersmith,  I tweaked the recipe until I had it in the realm of an American Pale Ale. What follows is my brew day of the "Amarillo Otter." (See what I did there?)

  • I started with about 1.25 gal of water figuring for absorption and evaporation (I was a bit off, but more on that later*) and got it up to 162° F. 
  • Mashed 2lb of malt for 60 minutes. Instead of turning off the heating element, i set it to low. Oops. Temp got a little high on me (180°F) but got it back down to 160°F
  • Pulled the grains and set them on a strainer to drain over the pot. Kicked the burner to max. *Checked the wort level and it was low so I thought I would do a make shift sparge.
  • Nuked some distilled water to 160° and rinsed the grains slowly while bringing the wort to a boil and the level up to 1.5 gal.
  • Boil achieved and started the timer for 60 minutes. Time for hops!
    • 50 min: 0.20 oz Amarillo
    • 20 min: 0.20 oz Amarillo
    • 05 min: 0.10 oz Amarillo
  • After 60 min it was into the ice bath to cool down to 70° F
  • Into the fermenter with half a pack of US-05 and into the closet (which is a steady 66° this time of year)

Some notes. While the style matches an APA (according to beersmith) the color is barely in the realm. I think that's due to it being a SMASH as maris otter isn't a very dark malt. I'm doing a single stage of fermentation so it won't be super clear but hopefully it turns out well.

Started to see activity in the fermenter after a few hours and by the next morning it was bubbling nicely. Will have to come back with some tasting notes in the future.

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