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Club Shop Brew of 2/21/2016

So we set our mind on a hoppy American Amber. Initially at least. It turns out that it was too big to be called that, Imperial Red would be more accurate. However, the BJCP nor the Maltose Falcons style guidelines have such a style, it would fall in the American Strong Ale according to BJCP and Double IPA under Maltose Falcons definitions.

On with the story!

The folks started arriving at the shop at 8am. Once inside, we lost considerable time finding…. The light switch! It’s in a place totally not obvious. Tom came to the rescue and we finally got going with weighing and milling the grain.

It took us a while to find the malted rye, and the shop was short on crystal 60L. We substituted for the Scottish 55L. Originally we were planning on using Chinook for bittering, however David convinced us that we should go with a more flavor neutral hop such as Warrior.

We mashed in around 9am. It was a loooong mash. First we did a rest at 145F for 45 minutes, then raised to 155F for 30 minutes, and mashed at 168F for 10 minutes. Sparging took even longer, something like 2 hours!

After a 75 minutes boil we whirlpooled for 15 minutes. Overall, we used nearly 2 pounds of hops! All that hop material ended up in a nicely formed cone at the bottom of the kettle. To cool the wort down, we used a 30 plates counterflow wort chiller that Bernard brought. This thing is a beast! By sending tap water into it and by maintaining a low wort rate, we were able to cool down to 64F. Coming out of the wort chiller, the wort passed through an oxygen stone built into a connector. This makes aerating super easy!

We were pleased to discover that we beat the expected OG by 2 points! Took 3 measurements (2 with two different hydrometers and one with a refractometer) and averaged them, for a final score of 1.082. Finally we pitched starters of Wyeast #1056 American Ale. We could have used more though.

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