This beer is delicious. I already have ingredients to make it again. Soon. It’s almost out.
Previously I made it without crystal 120, but that malt adds great body and plum/raisin maltiness. While it is full-bodied the beer is not heavy. Traditional British hops give it a earthy, muddied bitterness leading into a spicy rye and Hallertau kick. The finish is peppery, slightly sweet and just a little thick on the tongue. I want more.
I really appreciate the ability to do multi-step mashes my new system gives me. For this beer I rested 20 mins at 150° F and 40 mins at 163° F which developed that full body while lending enough fermentables to the wort. The gravity settled at 1.017.
As difficult as it is, an extra few weeks conditioning will do wonders. When I tapped it the dried fruit flavors had not developed, however near the end of the keg they come through and really make the beer stellar. I recommend leaving it alone for eight weeks after taking it out of primary. 8 weeks, I thought I waited long enough for this one….
Last September, a day after Hurricane Ike demolished Galveston, I brewed a great rye beer I called Rye of the Hurricane. It was about 20% rye, 5% munich and 75% pale bittered with Mt Hood & Hallertauer hops. The beer came out with a great dry earthy bitterness from the rye and Mt Hood. Five gallons of that beer lasted seven weeks; these day’s I’m lucky to get two weeks out of a keg.
Rye of the Hurricane II will be a very different beer. I increased the ratio of munich malt, and added crystal 120 to the grainbill. To balance the more intense malt flavors that the crystal adds I also stepped up the hopping schedule. Have a look. (Pictures here.)
- 15 lbs Pale 2-row (Rahr)
- 4 lbs Rye malt
- 2 lbs Munich
- 2 lbs Crystal 120L
Doughed in with 9 gallons of spring water to hit 150° F. Rested 20 minutes. Direct-fire heat to 163° F for another 40 minutes. Sparge with 170° F water to collect 10 gallons sweet wort.
- 2 oz 5.2% AA Mt Hood pellets first-wort hop
- 1 oz 4.8% AA Kent Goldings pellets 30 mins
- 1 oz 3.9% AA Hallertau pellets 10 mins
- 1 oz 3.9% AA Hallertau pellets 5 mins
Wyeast 1318 London Ale Yeast III; Fermenting at 70° F.
The reason this beer is only 9 gallons is because I changed my strike water volume and forgot to compensate with extra sparge water. I wanted a thin mash – about 2 qts/lb to really pack this beer with malty goodness, but upon getting 11 gallons of strike water in my new mash tun I could see that adding in 23 pounds of grain would possibly overflow the vessel. I should have added the two missing gallons to the sparge to collect 11-ish gallons of sweet wort at completion of the mash.
The wort tasted awesome, simply fantastic. It’s taking all my power not to keg & tap the beer this week – 9 days through fermentation. I hope I have the will to let it sit for another nine days, but I’m out of homebrew at the time. The bitter I made as a yeast starter for Gnarly Barleywine started out “meh” because I tapped it way too early. It became a nice beer near the end of the keg. I will keep that lesson in mind while I drink some commercial beer.
On ITAFtHD I made a brown ale from AHS. Readers will know that I really messed that one up using RO water. I came out with 15 gallons when I expected only 10 – meaning that the beers were weak. Beer #2 was a slow starter, taking two days and some krasuen from beer #1 to get going. I kegged the beers today.
Number 2 was totally spoiled. Might get it through my head now to slow down the rate at which I pass the beer through the CFC. I suspect I pitched my starter into hot wort, killing the yeast. In the end, I came out with the same volume I was expecting (10 gallons) but the wrong strength. Evil Brown #1 ought to be ready for Thanksgiving when we have company over to celebrate.
Final Gravity: 5% brix.
I also ran out of the totally delicious Rye of the Hurricane today. Gonna make that one again. The beer came out with a great dry earthy bitterness from the rye malt and Mt Hood hops. It needed a little more body so I think I will increase the ratio of Munich to pale malts.
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:
- 7.75 kg Pale malt
- 2.0 kg Rye Malt
- 1.0 kg Light Dry Malt Extract
- 0.5 kg Munich Malt
- 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.