While at times I’ve been very driven to reduce the duration of my brew days, I’ve never been terribly concerned with the speed of everything that comes after. With building yeast starters, oxygenating my wort, fermenting in a conical fermentor, and carefully controlling the temperature of that fermentor, it stands to reason that I could turn around a beer fairly quickly… or my yeast could rather. I brewed an American Pale Ale September 5th, the first beer with my new conical, and I’d figured I’d give it a shot for a 14 day turn around, “from grain to glass” as they say. Turns out it wasn’t that difficult at all, and while I may end up tweaking the recipe of this APA a bit, the yeast certainly held up their end of the bargain.
Here’s a timeline:
- September 5th: brewed the wort (recipe below), chilled to ~75F with counterflow chiller
- September 6th: wort temperature of 66F reached in fermentation chamber; yeast pitched
- September 6th: first visible signs of fermentation
- September 7th: dump trub from conical fermentor
- September 9th: raise fermentation temperature to 70F
- September 13th: signs of fermentation considerably reduced, dump yeast from conical fermentor
- September 13th: take gravity sample (1.011) and dry hop
- September 14th: visible signs of fermentation stopped
- September 15th: begin cold crash
- September 16th: add finings (gelatin)
- September 18th: take final gravity sample (1.010), transfer to serving kegs, and force carbonate
- September 19th: serve and enjoy!
Could I have done this a bit quicker? I think could have. Had I bumped the fermentation temperature to 75F rather than 70F, and did so a day earlier, that could have easily cut it down by 1-2 days. If the style did not require a dry hop, that could have cut off another 2 days. And if I did not want to clear the beer, that would be another 2 days. It’s easy to see how somebody could turn around a Hefeweizen in about a week… maybe something for me to try next summer.
As for this beer… it’s a clear deep golden colour with a messy and persistent bright white head. It’s somewhat dry, and the yeast is quite neutral (San Diego Super Yeast), allowing the hops to really stand out. The flavour and aroma hops are cascade and simcoe, and the beer is bittered with columbus. The cascade hops are immediately obvious, there’s a huge grapefruit character to the beer. The piney-ness of the simcoe hops are there only after you get past that blast of grapefruit. The bitterness from the columbus is clean and spicy – really nice! In future versions of this beer I may aim for slightly more malt character and I will play around with the hop combination a bit. Maybe I’ll include mosaic in place of/in addition to some of the cascade. As it is though, a respectable APA!
|Batch Size||Boil Time||IBU||SRM||Est. OG||Est. FG||ABV|
|11 gal||60 min||40.8 IBUs||6.5 SRM||1.051||1.009||5.5 %|
|Pale Malt (2 Row) US||14 lbs||73.68|
|Munich Malt||3 lbs||15.79|
|Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L||1 lbs||5.26|
|Columbus (Tomahawk)||1 oz||60 min||Boil||Pellet||15.6|
|Cascade||1 oz||10 min||Boil||Pellet||7.1|
|Simcoe||1 oz||10 min||Boil||Pellet||13.8|
|Cascade||1 oz||0 min||Boil||Pellet||7.1|
|Simcoe||1 oz||0 min||Boil||Pellet||13.8|
|Cascade||1 oz||3 days||Dry Hop||Pellet||7.1|
|Simcoe||1 oz||3 days||Dry Hop||Pellet||13.8|
|Whirlfloc Tablet||2.00 Items||15 min||Boil||Fining|
|San Diego Super Yeast (WLP090)||White Labs||80%||65°F - 68°F|
|Mash In||151°F||60 min|