Monday, October 11, 2010

QLC All Grain Brew

New Direct TV Dish
This past weekend, I brewed an all-grain version of my Quarter Life Crisis Hoppy Red Ale. It is sort of difficult to name a favorite beer. I "love" all of my beers. But at least right now, this is my favorite. Its a deep-red colored beer with lots of nice caramel malts, but it is very hoppy as well. It is hard to find commercial beers in this "West Coast American Red" style of beer (at least here in Colorado). Luckily, I know how to brew my own.

Draining the Wort

I did the mash while the Direct TV technician installed our Dish and ran cabel to our TVs. I started the boil as he was cleaning up. My pre-boil gravity was right on. Today was windy, and a couple times my flame blew out, so I had to babysit the boil more more than usual. I kept the flame a bit higher, which resulted in a more vigorous boil than usual. After I set a couple of our patio chairs on their sides as wind breaks, the flame never went out. I might have to start doing my winter brews in the garage to get out of the wind. 

Start of Boil

I had to make some recipe adjustments "on the fly" today, because when I finalized my recipe, I thought I had more columbus hops than I actually had.  Somehow, I also overstated my AA on the cascade hops.  Luckily, I realized all this pretty early in the process, so I could make my changes to the recipe in plenty of time to make the recipe adjustments. 

Wind Screen

I used hop sacks in the boil this time. Somehow even so, there was hop gunk in the pot.  Not a big deal, but I'm not sure how my hops got free.

Hydrating the Yeast
My pitch was right at 62, which is exactly where I want it.  My OG was a little high.  I think I probably put more of the wort in than I should have, but I don't really care if my OG is a bit high.  The fermentation has been pretty active so far, although I have maintained a pretty low temperature (62).  I will not be surprised if I get an overflow.  In about a week, I'll add in my "dry hop" addition of cascade and centennial.

I am looking forward to trying this in about 4 to 6 weeks.  I'm hoping I can save a few of the batch I have in the fridge right now to compare the partial-mash to the all-grain.  Who knows if I will actually be able to do so.

The direct TV installation went well.  It is nice to have a DVR again to pause and fast-forward through commercials.  Now, I can watch my NHL games as well.  Of course, so far the Hawks have not won a game, but I'm sure that will change tonight.

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