Tuesday, March 18, 2014

#83: Oktoberfest

Started the 1 gallon recipe testing for Emma's recipe book today. Very smooth process, though not my normal process. New to me processes included using the oven for mashing, 2-step infusion mashing, and a different sparge technique (which worked great for this amount of grain, but wouldn't really work for me in a larger scale... basically using a metal strainer to suspend the grains, passing the wort through it multiple times between two vessels). I had a bit of a problem holding temps in the oven consistently, but it never really got far out of range. I did, however, have to pull the pot three times during the 90 minute mash to put it on the stovetop to bump the temps. Followed her processes, even when tempted to throw back to normal processes. 

Things learned:
- I was quickly reminded why I moved outside to the turkey fryer now. Slow to reach boils, testy wife due to aromas, etc.
- I really value my grain bags and/or wish I had a finer mesh strainer. Had to fish some grain out after the sparge. Also, I have an eight inch strainer, but would need to use a 12 inch strainer to do a larger batch.
- It was a really, really long brew day for only 1 gallon of wort

I had a fun time doing this little project, and I think it will be a fine brew. It was estimated 1.056 SG, and even though I overestimated the volumes (was maybe at 1.2 gallons or a bit less at the end), I hit 1.053, so I had good efficiency. I won't post the recipe here (as it doesn't belong to me... buy the book!), but it was a good mix of munich, vienna, and german pils, along with traditional hop varieties. The yeasties were happily forming a krausen at 52 degrees within hours of pitching.

While the book I'm testing for isn't due out until 2015, here's her first book: Amazon link


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