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Salt of the Earth APA #2

April 17, 2013

Updated 4/29/13

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Several months ago, I brewed an American Pale Ale that I named Salt of the Earth.  I thought that was a clever name.  I also wrote about it here.

That was a delicious beer.  The keg only lasted me about 2 weeks, because I was so excited to share it that I took growlers just about everywhere I went.  I loved it, it was everything I wanted it to be.

Fast forward six months or so and spring is coming around.  I’ve brewed a lot of different styles in those few months and I’m anxious to have another APA on tap.  I decided to rebrew Salt of the Earth, but I’ve had several beers in the past few months that have … realigned what I want out of it, slightly.

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Whirlpooling (with lots of flavorful hops)

This iteration, which is really a different beer altogether, will be lighter in color, drier, more bitter and will have a somewhat different range of hop flavors.  SotE #2 will be very dank/earthy/piney in the nose, yet very fruit forward in flavor.  I also wanted more of a biscuity/grainy flavor from the malt, and less caramel malt presence.  Think Pilsner.

To achieve that target, I opted to revert from my standard 2-row to a Pilsner malt.  I’m also in the custom of using a fair proportion of American Crystal Malt (usually 20 40 or 60 L) – in this brew I only used a few ounces, primarily for color.

Finally, I went with a more modest water profile.  I sought to decrease the calcium and sulfate and increase the chloride.  My hope is that this will provide a softer mouthfeel and a less lingering bitterness.

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Here’s the recipe:

Salt of the Earth #2
10-A American Pale Ale
Brewed: 4/14/13

Size: 6.16 gal
Efficiency: 83% (measured)
Attenuation: 79% (estimated)
Original Gravity: 1.051 (measured)
Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (estimated)

Color: 8.36
Alcohol: 5.26%
IBU: 54.9

Water (all in ppm):

Ca: 56  Mg: 14  Na: 14  SO₄: 64  Cl: 46  HCO₃: 39

Ingredients:

  • 10 lb Pilsen Malt
  • 4 oz Caramel 20°L
  • 2 oz Caramel 40°L
  • 5 mL HopShot – Boiled 65 min
  • 0.75 oz Simcoe (13.0% AA) – boiled 20 minutes
  • 0.75 oz Amarillo (8.5% AA) – boiled 10 minutes
  • 1.25 oz Simcoe – ‘whirlpool’
  • 0.75 oz Amarillo – ‘whirlpool’
  • 2 oz Chinook (13.0% AA) – dry hop (opted not to add.  see below)
  • 0.5 oz Centennial (10.0% AA) – dry hop
  • 2 oz Columbus (16.1% AA) – dry hop
  • 2L Starter WLP007 “Dry English”

Schedule:

  • Mash @ 150F (1.33 qt/lb)
  • Mash out @ 170F
  • Batch sparge – water alkalinity adjusted

Listening:

Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
Wilco – The Whole Love

Notes:

  • 4/14/13: brewed on a Sunday, by myself
  • Had really good efficiency, but my mash pH was initially way off (low at 4.6) for some reason.  I guess this is why I check.  I had it corrected to 5.3 within 6-7 minutes of dough-in.
  • Efficiency was actually a little too good.  Wound up having to add 1.75 quarts of water to dilute down to OG.  Filtered, pH adjusted, boiled, chilled before adding.
  • Chilled to 64, pitched big starter of WLP007 and left at 65 ambient to ferment.
  • 4/16: Fermentation crept up to about 68, which I was concerned was a little high.  Got it into a swamp cooler and down to 66.  With the temperature outside creeping up, I’m going to need to bite the bullet and build or buy a real fermentation temp control system.
  • 4/23: Fermentation done (and quick).  FG 1.010 +/- 1.  Racked into a sanitized, purged secondary with 2 oz Columbus and .5 oz Centennial.  Will pull after ~3 days and add 2 oz Chinook.  After that – rack>keg>drink!  This’ll be a quick turnaround.
  • WLP007 (the yeast) is crazy when it comes to flocculation.  Really thick, compact yeast cake at the bottom.  Saved a bunch for future batches.
  • I checked the beer tonight and opted not to add the 2 oz of Chinook (dry hop) that I had planned on.  The beer is right where I want it.  No sense taking it in another direction with more, different hops.  I’ll give it a few more days to condition, but it’ll be in a keg by week end.
  • 4/28: racked into a sanitized keg purged with CO2.  Had enough extra to also fill 6 bottles.  Chilled to 45, put under pressure to carbonate.
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