Oct 21, 2008

"37"


37 / 37 Jr. Big American Brown / Brown

37 Target Gravity = 1.095
37 O.G. = 1.090 (see below)
8.1% ABV

37 Jr. Target Gravity = at least 1.042 (before addition of Piloncillo)
37 Jr. O.G. = 1.056
4.7% ABV

It is that time of year again, the time to brew a double batch -- one being a strong beer to ferment and age in the cold weather, and then be bottled in the spring. The second runnings of this batch, "37 Jr." will be an expirement with wet hops. Both beers will be best classified as American Browns, though the Jr. may not be as hoppy, depending on how the wet hops (which are first year hops) work out.

I was fortunate enough to receive my Beer Advocate Magazine (II, IX) the same day I was to design this one since it had an article about Parti Gyle, which is the process of running off two beers from the same grain. The equasions in the article were most helpful in the predictions of gravities of both beers, something I thought was guesswork. The recipe below is for 10 gallons: four preboil gallons of "37", and six preboil gallons of "37 Jr.".

"37 Jr." is also an experiment with wet hops, which also happen to be a first year crop. If "jr." ends up being very sweet without much hop balance, we will know the rest of the wet hops in my freezer are shit. I do not think this is going to happen, though. The wet nugget hops smelled oily, earthy, and kinda funky.

Malt Bill (both beers):

16 lbs Marris Otter
3.6 lbs Biscuit Malt
3.6 lbs Crystal Malt (50L)
1.6 lbs Chocolate Malt

Hops (37):

1 oz Millenium (15% AA) 60 minutes
2 oz Mt Hood (6% AA) 15 minutes
1 oz Mt Hood (6% AA) End

Hops (37 Jr.):

1 oz Mt Hood (6% AA) 90 minutes
6.5 oz wet Nugget (?% AA) 15 minutes

Adjuncts (37 Jr.)

1 lb Piloncillo in boil

8 gallons strike water at 168 degrees hoping for a 154 degree mash. I used the equation from last time.
6.13 gallons sparge water

Brewday Notes:

32 Minutes into the mash: temp was around 150 with variations depending on where in the mash I stuck the thermometer. I stirred it a good one and closed the lid.
Later: I realize that opening the lid and checking temperatures every thirty minutes or so is just a source of unneeded stress.


Reflections on Brewday:

Mathematics were never my first love -- more a necessary evil. I imagine it was my faulty math that let to the first beer to measure at a gravity of 1.120. I suppose this was not a bad problem to have, but I think the yeast would not have been able to tolerate alcohol above 10%. It was a good thing I had about three quarts of purified water left over to add to the wort. After that addition, the gravity was down to 1.090. I suppose I will check my math to see if that is where I went wrong. Maybe I will even post it if I get bored enough. I may have also ran off a little more slowly than what would fit my 75% efficiency calculation. All in all I cannot complain. The pari-gyle equation allowed me to get a second beer with a gravity of 1.056, which is much better than the "jr." I got last time I did this.

Notes:
10.28.08 -- Issues, issues, issues. Issue #1: when using a blow-off tube, do not stick the free end into another empty carboy. The gas has to go somewhere. Fired off like a cannon and the counter presser squirted about 3/4 a gallon of wort all over the orange room. (Wives are generally supportive of the brewing arts until wort gets on the curtains). Issue #2: temps in the house are dipping below 60, and with the American Ale Yeast's (Wyeast 1272) optimum temperature being 60-72, I am experiencing very slow activity in the big beer.
11.7.08 -- Measured gravities: 37 = 1.030; Jr. = 1.022. I think 37 could be ready to rack into secondaries if I know it will continue to ferment since it has only attenuated 66% with an expected attenuation of 72 - 76%. I think I will leave Jr. in the primary until I am ready to keg, but that will be at least a few days more since it has only attenuated 61%.
11.14.08 -- Jr. reading at 1.020, which is still too high to keg. I am surprised it has not dropped more than this. 37 is reading at 1.034, which is high too. Both are around 63% attenuated, so I will wait and hope they both continue to drop.
11.21.08 --Falling temperatures coupled with a poor placement of the carboys (away from curtains) seem to have contributed to a stuck fermentation. After adding a starter made with dry American Ale yeast and placing it in a water bath heated with an aquarium heater and circulated with a water pump, big 37 is up and bubbling again. This is a relief since most of the resources are sunk into the bigger of the beers. Jr. does not seem to be doing much of anything, even with the addition of Champagne yeast. He will likely be kegged this weekend, if not today. I will keep my fingers crossed that the shaking I did to rouse the yeast does not result in oxidation issues. (later) Kegged Jr. Will update later.
11.23.08 -- 37 is reading at 1.031 right now, so it is still fermenting, albeit slowly. If it can get down to around 1.025, I will be very pleased since that will be nearly 72% attenuated. I tasted the sample and it already has a nice flavor, but still very sweet.
11.28.08 -- Down to 1.030. I am going to raise the temperature a little in hopes to have this done by next week so I can start on a new batch.
12.2.02 -- 1.029. Seems to be falling a point every five days. If I can get it down to 1.027, it will be 70% attenuated and 8.25% ABV. I will be happy with that. The hard thing will be the decision to bottle it or keg it.
12.17.08 -- "37 Jr." has been kegged for a couple weeks now, and the oxidized flavor was certainly present. It was not overwhelming, but I knew it was there. Today I said screw it, and dumped 2 oz of Challenger hop pellets into the keg along with the four or so ounces of cherrywood chips I have been soaking in 100 proof Southern Comfort. The keg will stay at room temperature for a while, and then we will see. "37" is reading at 1.028 right now, so it is getting kegged. The ABV will be close to 8.1%, which is an estimation since I added extra yeast / starters which could have changed the gravity.
"37"
1.3.09 -- Some good, some bad. "37" is a very respectable beer. It is a deep dark brown (black) with caramel nutty aromas. The taste has notes of oak and vanilla, though neither were used in the recipe. Certainly a sipper at a little more than 8% ABV. When I bottle my Quad, I will also bottle a couple of these to store away for a while. "37 Jr." is just fucked. I never got to know how the dry hopping / chip addition worked since the chips seemed to have clogged the keg. I cannot get anything out of it. I did smell the tell-tale oxidized scent, so I think I will dump it. My first keg dump ever.
video


1.06.09 -- Jr. got dumped out.
3.2.09 -- Bottled two "37"s from the keg and hid them somewhere I may not find them again for a couple of years.
3.10.09 -- Put the rest of the 37 in bottles.

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