I’ve done very little brewing with rye; this is a fairly common ingredient in commercial (and home) brews, but I rarely use it in my own recipes. A search of my blog found only two instances, in fact (a pilsner and an oaked ale)! Why not explore the ingredient a bit, then?
The December 2017 issue of BYO magazine had a clone recipe for Shoreline Brewery’s Red Rye Ale that looked pretty tasty. I liked that it incorporated several varieties of rye malt, and I also liked that it wasn’t just another rye IPA (although that style also is in my future). I made some minor modifications for my on-hand hops, and also substituted in Weyermann CaraRye for non-Weyermann crystal rye, which I couldn’t find readily (it was supposed to be equal amounts of CaraRye and crystal rye).
In the past, I’ve noticed that my higher gravity mashes, as well as mashes with a percentage of flaked grains, tend to come in a bit lower on mash efficiency. So, I assumed 70% for efficiency (instead of my usual 75% or so), and managed to come pretty close.
My goal with this brew is to have a medium body, malty brew that will serve well during the winter months. The brew session was fairly uneventful, helped along by a generous portion of rice hulls to prevent a stuck sparge. My only minor disappointment was that I ended up a shade below my target gravity (1.068 vs. 1.072). Because I am hitting my preboil volumes and gravities fairly well, I think I just need to improve the vigor of my boil.
I also tested out my oxygen wand setup; I had a bit of a disappointment recently with a stuck fermentation on a high gravity brew, so wanted to avoid that in this batch, which was supposed to clock in slightly above 1.070 for starting gravity.
The name, if you couldn’t guess, is a pun on “overdrive”, so named because of the hefty dose of rye malts. The “V” at the end is because I used California Ale V yeast.
- 7.5 lbs. 2-row California Select brewer’s malt (Great Western)
- 4 lbs. Golden Promise malt (Simpsons)
- 2 lbs. rye malt (Briess)
- 1 lb. CaraRye malt (Weyermann)
- 0.75 lb. flaked rye (Briess)
- 2 oz. Carafa Special II malt (Weyermann)
- 2 oz. chocolate rye malt (Weyermann)
- 4 oz. rice hulls
- 4 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1.25 oz. Perle hop pellets (4.5% alpha), 30 minute boil
- 0.75 oz. Perle hop pellets (4.5% alpha), 2 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
- 0.5 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient, 10 minute boil
- 1 pkg. California Ale V yeast (WLP051, White Labs), prepared in starter
- Infusion mash to hit target of 152°. Batch sparge.
- Claremont tap water, with addition of 2 g CaCal and 10 mL phosphoric acid (75%) to strike water.
- 1.072 s.g., 1.018 f.g., 78 IBU, 16 SRM, 7.1% abv
- The night before brewing, I made a 1.5L starter for the yeast.
- I mashed in with 5.5 gallons of water at 164°, to hit a mash temperature of 153°. After 60 minutes, I vorlaufed, drained the mash tun and added 3.5 gallons of water at 185°. After resting for 10 minutes, I vorlaufed the drained the mash tun again.
- In total, I collected 6.8 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.057, for 69% efficiency.
- I brought the mixture to a boil, and boiled for 60 minutes while adding hops and other additions at the appropriate times.
- After 60 minutes, I chilled to 75° or so, transferred to the fermenter, and oxygenated for 1 minute.
- I brewed this on 4 December 2017. The wort had a starting gravity of 1.066; this was a bit below my target, so I should probably boil a bit more vigorously on the next batch to drop gravity appropriately.
- I started fermentation at 68°, and let it drop to ambient in the cooler (66°) after six days. Then, I raised the temperature to 70°, where it rested for a week before kegging.
- I kegged the beer on 17 December 2017. It had a final gravity of 1.015. Thus, I have an estimated abv of 6.7%. The beer has a really nice and rich rye taste; it’s going to be an awesome winter beer once is carbonated and on tap!