Rye of the Hurricane

Yesterday the eye of hurricane Ike passed 85 kilometers westward of my house in Bryan, TX. It caused no damage to speak of here. Our neighbors lost a tree, but after Adrienne and I helped him cut it down we waited out the storm with some spicy barley soup and laptops. We did not lose power or water like Galveston and wish a speedy recovery to them.

Today was brew-day. I had a crisp rye ale lined up from Austin Homebrew Supply and a starter of Wyeast 1968 ready to go. AHS advertised this recipe being similar to Real Ale’s Full Moon Pale Rye, which I like. Bear Republic makes a great rye IPA and I would like to explore brewing with rye malt.


Had a few friends over to help share some (commercial) beer. The brew went by in a typical way. My efficiency is often quite low (50% today) so I topped off the recipe with a kilogram of dry malt extract. I got about 45 liters out of it which indicates that I sparge too much. OG was 12.8% brix with 41-ish IBUs. The recipe:

Fermentables:

  • 7.75 kg Pale malt
  • 2.0 kg Rye Malt
  • 1.0 kg Light Dry Malt Extract
  • 0.5 kg Munich Malt

Hops:

  • 110 g 5.3% AA Mt Hood (60 mins)
  • 55 g 1.5 % AA (!) Hallertauer (5 mins)

Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale yeast.

Mashed 2.5 liters of water per kg at 65° C for 60 minutes. Sparged with 37 liters water to collect 51 liters of sweet wort. Measured the gravity to be 7.8% Brix.

I boiled for 30 minutes before adding the Mt Hood trying to get my volume down and gravity up. The wort has a nice sweetness to it, but I do not taste much rye. Chilling the wort is still a problem as I can only get down to about 32° C. When I put together a stand for my equipment I will make space for a pre-chiller. However, the brew is now fermenting in the duck-in cooler I made.