So I went ahead brewing (31st March 2012) that ‘american IPA’ based upon the recipe in the last blog entry. Again I went with my partial mash method combined with some dry malt extract as I currently don’t have the facility for a full volume (~25 litre) boil or the required cooling for that matter.

The OG of the wort after boiling came out at 1.059 which is a little lower than planned because couldn’t boil a big enough volume so had to dilute down further than planned to hit the batch volume.

Photos: Left: Water was poured over the grains to simulate the sparge. Right: The hops were added to the boil using the same (washed) grain bag.

I mashed at with a single infusion at 65 degrees celcius and sparged at about 70 degrees. Instead of repeatedly dunking the bag this time I simulated a sparge by putting the grain bag into a colander which fits the diameter of the boiler. I was then about to pour hot water gently over the grains to dissolve the extracted sugars.

I cooled the boiled wort simply using a water bath in the sink and pitched a packet of hydrated dry yeast. The fermentation went pretty vigorously and after 3 days the krausen (yeast head) died down I added more hops to the fermenter (in the bag again that i’d tied a knot in). This is called dry hopping and it should give a great aroma to the beer.

Today I transferred the fermenting beer into a 2nd slightly smaller fermenter (made from a water cooler bottle) and added some finings to help clear the beer. I realise now I should have added some ‘Irish Moss’ (seaweed) finings to the boiler in order to help coagulate some of the proteins so I was worried the batch might come out cloudy. Hopefully the beer should clear up a bit in the secondary fermenter even if I have to add a little bit more yeast at bottling.

Photo above: The beer conditioning in the secondary fermenter. There is no heater in this one so it should cool to cellar temperature (about 10 degrees).