I'm down to just two kegs with something in them, and that's the last two beers I made. That's two out of ten kegs. What a waste! I've been procrastinating for too long now, so I went head and brewed one yesterday. And I'm brewing another two this Sunday. Usually I make two at a time, but there is only time do one brew during the weekdays.
This beer is an India Pale Ale with only American hops, so I guess it is fair to call it an American style IPA.
Mash-hopping is a technique that I have tried once before in a Rye IPA that had a delicious infusion of hops. I have reasons to believe that much of the hop flavours and aroma are there because of this unusual, but simple, technique. What I did was basically just throw the Warrior hops into the mash, and then stir them in. I did not add any bittering hops at 60 minutes as I believe that the mash hops do indeed cause some hop particles to end up in the wort and hence be isomerized in the boil making the beer more bitter. Not everybody agrees it seems, but we'll see how this one ends up.
My previous attempts at India Pale Ales have been quite a bit thinner and have been lacking much of the malt complexity that I've found in U.S. versions of the style. So, to make up for this I this time used quite a bit of amber malt and melanoidin malts (now that I have gotten hold of them) in addition to the caramel and crystal. The wort sure smelled nice, so I think this one might end up nice and complex.
The new mashtun did the job brilliantly. I love it. It is really nice to just open the ball value and drain the vessel that way. As an experiment I found that I should just do a single sparge to see if that worked well or not. The mashtun has a capacity of 49 liters, but remember that once the grist is in there there isn't that much room for sparge water anymore. The grains will also absorb about the same amount of water as its own weight. So, with 8 kilos of grains in there, 32 liters seems to be the maximum volume of wort that you can get out of it with just a single sparge. Also, I only got 60% mash efficiency this time, which is below average. I suspect that this was because I did just this single sparge. Next time I'll do two batch sparges.
The batch was brewed 2007-01-18.
All grain, batch sparge
28 EBC (Light brown)
56 IBU (a rough estimate because of the mash hops)
6000g Maris Otter pale malt
1000g Amber malt
400g Wheat malt
200g Crystal malt
200g Melanoidin malt
200g Dry light malt extract (to make up for the low efficiency)
66C, 60 min
76C, 10 min (mashout)
75g Warrior pellets 13.8%, mash hops (last 30 min of mash)
40g Chinook pellets 12.0%, 30 min
60g Amarillo pellets 8.4%, 15 min
80g Warrior pellets 13.8% 1 min
Safale US-56, dry yeast, best before 2007-12
OG: 1.065 FG: 1.016 (estimated)