Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tommy Hawk APA

So, you may remember the whole thing with Whisky Wife Wheat that I wrote about a couple weeks ago.  Long story short:
  • I took a poll on what I should brew (WWW, TommyHawk APA, or Stone Soup IDA)
  • TommyHawk came in with the most votes.  WWW came in with the least amount of votes.
  • My wife voted for WWW.
  • Because I am whipped, I made WWW, despite the fact that it got the least number of votes.
This weekend, WWW was ready to bottle.  This freed up two Mr. Beer fermentors.  I got a new wort chiller for my birthday last weekend.  The weather was supposed to be beautiful.  I even got a shipment from Northern Brewer which would included my first 5-gallon carboy (although in the end, I decided to save its maiden brew session for next weekend).  The beer I had at dinner on my birthday was the New Belgium seasonal Mighty Arrow APA (which is what originally inspired the Tommy Hawk recipe).  All these factors could only combine to mean 1 thing:  time to brew a batch of TommyHawk APA.  Friday afternoon, I stopped by The Brew Hut to get the ingredients for this weekend's brew.

Bottled up WWW this weekend.  39 12 oz bottles; 1 22 oz bomber; 2 1 liter bottles; 1 2 liter growler.

I feel a little dishonest calling this an APA.  It is sort of in that gray area of being a hoppy / high alcohol APA, or a lower-end American IPA.  Technically, though, I think IPA would be a better description of what it truly is.  If you are ever drinking one and feel cheated by the name, feel free to ask for your money back.  I will gladly give you double what you paid for it.

Regardless (notice that I didn't say irregardless), Tommy Hawk is a nice hoppy beer.  It also has the best art-work of any of my labels.  My oldest son drew that Blackhawks logo for me.  He was only 6 at the time.  He's a much more talented artist than his father.

This is my first all-grain batch of Tommy Hawk.  It is also the first large (large compared to my usual batch size. regular compared to most brewers) batch of this beer.  My plan this time is to split the batch into two Mr. Beer fermentors.  I'll dry-hop one half and leave the other without.  A nice little experiment to see what the dry hopping actually adds.

I started the brew day before going to church.   Right when I left, I measured the temperature at 154 (exactly what I wanted).  Weirdly enough, it was at 160 when I got home 2.5 hours later.  So, my mash was probably hotter than I wanted.  Oh well.

I measured my SG from the start of the boil at 1.055 in about 7 gallons of water.  I was expecting 1.048 going into the boil.  Beer Smith tells me my mash efficiency at this point was a bit over 95%.  I know that can't be right.  I guess I must have measured something wrong.  Did I grab too much 2-row on Friday?  Don't know.

The wort chiller that my wife got me for my birthday worked fantastic. The wort went from boiling to about 80 in 10 minutes and was in the low 60's after about 20 minutes.  That is much better than the ice bath.  I am glad my wife was nice enough to get me one.

I ended up diluting the wort quite a bit at the end of the boil.  Even so, my OG ended up much higher than I intended.  I guess the good news is that I seem to be getting bigger beers than I intend rather than smaller ones, and that can't be a bad thing.

The weather was sunny and mid-60's but we still have quite a bit of snow.  The boys and I built a snowman after my brewing day was over.  Yes, Tyler is dressed in PJ's and snow boots.  Connor is a bit more reasonably dressed.  Isn't Colorado weather fun?

Anyway, it ended up to be another successful brew day.


  1. I think Tyler's clothes are completely weather appropriate. Mid-60's? You might see one of mine out in something similar when the temp reaches 45.

  2. Pajamas and snow boots are never weather appropriate. Respectable parents don't let their kids outside in pajamas. Period.

  3. I have never brewed my own beer but after seeing your site I think I'll give it a try

  4. If you do, let me know how it turns out HTMHC.