After my first experimental all-grain batch, I decided to refine my technique further and attempt an IPA this time. The previous batch had issues with temperature control and poor mash efficiency. The former was resolved by insulating the cooler lid with spray-foam and preheating the cooler/tun with hot water, as well as waterproofing my thermometer leads with silicone tape. I attempted to resolve the second issue by double-milling the grain at the local homebrew store as well as by improving temperature control as noted. Temperature control was much improved, although my efficiency still isn’t where I want it to be (~57% mash efficiency). In any case, brewing science marches on.
- 9.5 lbs. pale malt (2 row US)
- 1 lb. Vienna malt
- 0.5 lb. cara-pils malt
- 0.5 lb. 40° crystal malt
- 0.5 lb. 20° crystal malt
- 3 oz. Cascade whole hops (bittering)
- 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (late addition aroma, 5 minutes before flame-out)
- 1 tsp. Irish moss (last 15 minutes of boil)
- 1 package of Safale American Yeast (US-05)
- 2 oz. Citra hops pellets (dry hop)
- Mash-in with 15.4 quarts of water at 173°. I stirred once, after 30 minutes. The mash temperature ended at 154° after 60 minutes. The mash ended up at about 75 minutes, due to the time required to heat the sparge water.
- I sparged with 0.62 gallons of water at 170°, stirred, and let it sit for 10 minutes. I collected 2.78 gallons before the tun ran out of liquid. I then sparged with 3.22 gallons of water at 170°, stirred, let it sit for 15 minutes, and decanted. This round collected 3.34 gallons.
- In total, I collected 6.12 gallons of wort, with a gravity of 1.040 at 60°. This equals a mash efficiency of 56.7% as calculated by BeerSmith.
- I heated the wort to boiling and added the 3 oz. of whole Cascade hops. At the 45 minute mark, I added the Irish moss. At the 55 minute mark, I tossed in the final Cascade addition.
- It took about 25 minutes to get the wort down to 70°, using the wort chiller. I then whirlpooled the wort and let it sit for 20 minutes before transferring to the fermenter.
- In the end, I had 4.75 gallons of wort with a starting gravity of 1.047 at 60° This is a bit lower than conventional style for an IPA, but I figure that is just par for the course as I figure out this new mode of brewing.
- I pitched the yeast, and left the beer to ferment at an ambient temperature of ~62°.
- Mash efficiency is still lower than I like; next time I might aim for hotter sparge water to mobilize more of the sugars, and I will probably adjust my grain bill to compensate for a lower efficiency. I’ll give it another try or two, but I am wondering if the crack I’m getting from the mill at the local homebrew supply is too coarse.