To continue from my last post...so far the nut brown is not that great, a little too heavy and almost like a porter. The Irish Red turned out really good, still a little heavy but good flavor. But neither are quite our favorite style.
Nut Brown 4.8% Alcohol
Irish Red 5.1% Alcohol
I made a 90 minute IPA last weekend and found out what 90 minute means...90 minute boil instead of the more typical 60 minutes. Here's what makes an IPA taste so strong and bitter...about 5x more hops than a lot of beers. Hops come as whole hops, in smaller pieces, or in pellets and my brew shop only has them in pellet form. This is a blend of 3 types.
Also this IPA recipe called for about twice as much barley as the other beers I've made, about 15 pounds! Ready for mashing...when 152 degree water is added for an hour. This is after it has gone through a mill to crush every grain to get full flavor.
After mashing, I drained it into the boil pot, and then sparged (refill the mash tun with hot water, aka ice chest full of barley) to collect 7 gallons of wort...beer before yeast is added. Then boil for 90 minutes adding hops every 7.5 minutes. I took a hydrometer reading of 1080 after cooling the wort. Then into the fermenter and after 3 days, the reading is 1015. So the difference is 65, divided by 7.46, which is 8.7% alky-hol. Those little yeast bastards totally ate the shit out of that sugar (which makes CO2 and alcohol as byproducts). Probably because I used two packs of yeast...200 billion yeast cells. Next time I will try a yeast starter which you can make at home, instead of spending an extra $8 on yeast.
Next step: rack (syphon) to a secondary fermentor to get the beer off the yeast at the bottom of the fermentor, then keg, carbonate, chill and get drunk off 2 glasses. Only about 315 calories per 12 oz glass! That's some nice alcohol content....let's see how it turns out. I tried it off the fermenter and it's good and bitter. Becca says fruity too. I think that's from the yeast strain from the recipe..."fruity esters."
Tomorrow I'm brewing up a hefeweizen from a Paulaner clone...basically 5.25 lbs german wheat malt, 4.75 lbs 2 row pale malt, and bavarian yeast. It should finally be a lighter more drinkable beer than my first three attempts...something for the ladies..er, my wife. Time to drink somethin'. It's Friday night.