Brew Day – American Pale Ale

I brewed up the American Pale Ale that I have been logging a journal about for the past week yesterday. On Friday night, I made some changes to the recipe, ironed out all my calculations, and got all my equipment out.

Some things went well, some things didn’t go well.

Before I started brewing, I dropped my hydrometer and it broke. I was really hoping this event wasn’t a bad omen.

I crushed my specialty grains and added them to my grain bag along with my base malt. I hit my mash temp of 152F and closed the cover. An hour later, my temp was 138…not really great.

I think with a 5 gallon cooler, I am going to have go all grain sooner than later.

The boil went well, the hop plugs hydrated quickly and looked beautiful.

I cooled my wort using the chiller, and I got an amazing cold break. I will chalk that up to 40F water coming out of the hose, a nice benefit to early spring brewing.

When I drained my wort into my fermenter, things went well until a rehydrated hop flower got stuck in my kettle’s outake valve. Without a strainer cleaned and sanitized, I had to improvise and poured as much of the wort as possible into the fermenter by tipping it over the top of it. I didn’t know if I should pour the hops into the fermenter, so I left a lot of them in the kettle along with a lot of the post-boil material.

I took a sample while the kettle was pouring so I could measure it at a later date. I poured in the yeast starter after I got the wort close to the optimal temperature range.

After the brew day, I went away to stay at my in-laws for Easter. When I came back today, the fermenter was alive with activity. I think I am going to relax and have a home brew.

Here are some photos:

Pic #1: Grain in the mash tun
Pic #2: A Glacier hop plug
Pic #3: Kettle boiling
Pic #4: Kettle boiling from the top
Pic #5: Wort Chilling
Pic #6: Wort sample for a OG reading later. Nice color.

Malt In The Mash Open Glacier Hops Plugs Boiling Pale Ale Wort
Boiling Pale Ale Wort from the top Wort Chilling Pale Ale Sample

Wanna see posts related to this brew day? Follow these links:

American Pale Ale Recipe

American Pale Ale Preparations

Checking On The Hops

Checking On The Grains

Comments

  1. To bad you broke your hydrometer. I am really interested to see what the mash efficiency is using the bag approach to mashing and sparging.

  2. I still have the sample in my fridge. I hope to buy a hydrometer this week. Once I get it, I will measure the gravity of the sample and I’ll post up the OG. My money is on 1.050.

  3. I am not too sure how stable that sample will really be. Even covered and cool there will be some evaporation, but probably not enough to make a large impact on the SG. My concern would be some spontaneous fermentation via wild yeast, or just some consumption of sugars by any bacteria that was in the tube to begin with.

    But its a good experiment to see if you can save it. Just be sure to adjust for temperature if you don’t let it come to the same temperature that your hydrometer has be calibrated at.

  4. Dude,

    I washed and sanitized the shiznit out of my tube. I had it in the fermenter in an iodophor solution. I drew the sample as the wort was pouring into my fermenter after chilling (around 72 degrees). I put the topper on it (which has a tight seal, it doesn’t leak when you lay it on its side), took a picture of it, and then threw it in the fridge.

    That sample is super stable!

  5. I have always said its important to sanitize your tube.

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