Monday, July 01, 2013

Brewing Gnasty the Gnome ESB

Remember Gnasty the Gnome?

As I've shared with you, I am terrified of Gnomes, but Gnasty is helping me get over my fear. We enjoy the same sorts of beers and of course we both love watching the Chicago Blackhawks. We even brew together. I still don't quite trust him. I am sure that his ultimate plan is to attack me in my sleep, but we have become friends.

As I mentioned back in January, Gnasty and I were going to design a home-brew recipe together. You might have noticed that some time ago we did that and already posted the recipe "Gnasty the Gnome ESB" on the SheppyBrew website.

If you didn't notice, you probably need to start following SheppyBrew Brewery on Facebook. Go ahead and "like" us. It is completely worth it.

Gnasty the Gnome ESB is a Category 8 English Pale Ale, subscategory C Extra Special Bitter. It is, in fact, the Category 8 representative of my initiative to make sure I've brewed everyone BJCP style category (see SheppyBrew Styles).

Sunday, we finally went ahead and brewed Gnasty the Gnome ESB.

One thing Gnasty convinced me to do was "burtanize" my mash and sparge water a little bit. Denver water is much softer than Burton upon Trent, so we added some minerals to get our water closer to that of traditional English IPAs. I've used water additions before, but this is the most by far that I've ever added. I ended up adding half to the mash water and half to the sparge water.

The mash itself went well. It was a bit low after first adding the grains, but I added a little hot water and it ended up right at the desired 152. The mash went on through church and I sparged when I got home.

The pre-boil volume was a bit low, but the gravity was high as well. I added some water to get to my volume.

The boil went as planned. 

And cool-down was pretty typical. I got it into the high 70's, then racked to my little carboy and let it sit in my gott cooler full of ice water for awhile. When it was below 60, I racked into my bigger carboy and pitched my yeast starter.

The beer was sitting in the basement at 64 degrees by early afternoon.

I will be fermenting this beer in the mid-60's for a couple days and then let the temperature rise into the 68 to 72 range for a couple of weeks. I should be kegging it around July 16 and I plan on dry-hopping cold in the keg for a few days.

I will probably be drinking this by August.

Can't wait.

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