Brewing an Ale today ...

Discussion in 'Beer & Ale' started by bombo80, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. bombo80

    bombo80 Smoke Blower

    Well, I'm not smoking anything today, but I have decided to brew a batch of beer. I have been brewing beer for almost 20 years now. I have graduated to doing all grain batches, and usually kegging them. With my vast collection of brewing books, I use them mostly for guides as to what I can throw together and make a beer. Sometimes though, I will take an follow a recipe just to see how it will turn out.

    I have quite a selection of grains to choose from, as well as hops. Today I have decided to make my own version of a dark, American Ale. Here is the recipe I have come up with for today:

    10# 6-row malted barley
    .75# Belgian Biscuit Malt
    .5# 80*L Caramel Malt
    .3# Chocolate Malt
    3 oz. Nugget hops
    1.5 oz Cascade hops
    Whitebread Ale Yeast

    I'm going for a bit stronger, hoppy beer, with hopefully a nice aroma. The Nugget hops I grow in my backyard. I also have several other hop plants growing too.

    I like to brew all grain batches, especially in the winter, because I don't really have to much else going on, now that all the hunting seasons have closed. It is also a good way to burn up an entire day, without being a couch potato. Not that there is anything wrong with that.[​IMG]

    So, for those who like to see pictures, here ya go ......

  2. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yea I miss brewing. I remember the one and only time a friend and me tried a all grain version of loenbrough ( I forgot even how to spell it ) I had grown the hops which went crazy in the back yard. Well the recipe called for gypsum as the clarifying agent, and I think it went in later but anyway we needed to hang the grain bag so I put a hook in the kitchen ceiling and hung the bag over the primary to drip. Sure enough it wasn't in the stud to good and kurplunk. That sticky mess was all over we both said well I guess we added the gypsum.
  3. Good stuff!

    This is something I’m dying to try this myself – I mean, I’ve been drinking it long enough!

    Good luck with the batch Bombo. Is this something that will be ready relatively quickly or is there a waiting period involved like wine? What’s the secret to a tasty dark stout?

    Take care,

  4. bombo80

    bombo80 Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys,

    It is along the same lines, as a wine. Primary fermentation takes about a week, generally. Then it gets siphoned into the secondary, where it will stay until it clarifies. Periodic checking of the specific gravity will give a good indication when the fermentation has completed. This isn't always necessary, because the fermentation will finish before it clarifies anyway. This can take anywhere from a week to several months, depending on the type of beer being made. Since this is an Ale, I can just keep it in the cool basement, just not sitting directly on the concrete floor. Ale yeast is a top fermenting yeast, and likes temps in the 50* - 60* range. Lagers like it cold - 35ish.

    After the Ale has cleared up, it gets siphoned out of the secondary, and a small portion (quart) is heated up and corn sugar is dissolved into it. This is then added back to the beer as a priming agent, prior to bottling. In essence, it is put in so the remaining yeast still in the beer, will have more food to create CO2, to pressurize the bottles, and carbonate it at the same time. Too much sugar, and bottles start to explode. Ales are usually not very carbonated anyway, so it won't take too much. Usually a cup is enough for a 5 gallon batch of Ale.

    Once it is bottled, it then must mature before it is ready to drink. This can take, again, anywhere from a couple weeks, to several months. With an Ale, I will try a bottle after a week, then judge it once a week from then on until I feel it's good to go.

    Later guys,

  5. bob marsh

    bob marsh Fire Starter

    Hi Bombo,

    I brew a bit along with winemaking but haven't done any in awhile - But I have a question: A friend of mine who built a small automated brewery ( I saw an avatar on the forums that looks just like it - maybe there's a fellow Brewminator out there) and he said that Hops are scarce this year - Have you had trouble finding quality Hops?

  6. payson

    payson Meat Mopper

    Hops are indeed scarce. The prices have skyrocketed. From what I understand it's become far more profitable to grow biofuel crops coupled with a large hop-warehouse fire. Additionally, the higher alpha acid hops are proportionally more profitable than the middle of the road alphas; consequently, hops like Cascades will or may become the hardest hit.
  7. bob g

    bob g Fire Starter

    Brewer and BBQ'r here too. Nice looking recipe.

    Here's some beer pics.
    A Rye IPA

    And a Hefeweizen. This one was called "The Monkey's Naner". I fermented it warm and got HUGE banana smell and taste.

    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with the both hobbies!

  8. redbrinkman1955

    redbrinkman1955 Smoking Fanatic

    Bet that tasted good,Myself I just got ito to making beer The easy way My wife bought me a Mr. Beer (I know Its not Brewing But had to start somewhere) My first batch wasn't too Bad a Canadian Draft see Pic,
    also doing a Honey Mead,and Jamaican Run had to do a batch of Cream soda for the Grandkids.
    Good luck and Good Brewing
  9. payson

    payson Meat Mopper

    Just brewed a 10 gallon all grain batch of old ale. Going to add bourbon soaked oak after primary fermentation. Original gravity was dead on, 1.080. A big and hopefully soon to be tasty beer!

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