Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2008 Batch #7 Recipe: Rye Pale Ale

This beer was a first on two accounts: my first high gravity all-grain (high to me anyway) and my first RPA. yum.


For a 4.5 gallon batch (will it all fit in my mash tun, we shall see...):

  • 11.75lbs 2-row brewers (or pale)
  • 3.6 lbs rye malt
Heat 3.8 gallons H2O to 130 degrees. Add malt. Hold this protein rest for 30 minutes @ 120-124 degrees (NOTE: I totally screwed this up by heating the water to 150 degrees (duh!! I haven't brewed in months, give me a break!)). Add 1.9 gallons of 200 degree H2O keep mash closer to 150. mash until iodine tells you otherwise.

Sparge with 3.8 gallons of 170 degree H2O. Keep 4.9 gallons in the brewpot.


  • 1 oz Nothern Brewer (from the hopyard) at boil
  • 30 minutes .75 oz Cascade (from the hopyard)
  • 15 minutes .750z Cascade (from the hopyard)
  • 2 minutes .75 oz Cascade (from the hopyard)
  • OFF .25 oz Centennial (from the store)
  • dry hop .3 oz Centennial at transfer
Yeast: Safbrew S-33 started prior to brewing.

This beer has been fermenting for nearly a month; it started at 1.076 and is down to 1.o245. Its chugging along very slowly, but the yeast hasn't dropped out yet. When it does, I've acquired some oak "infusion spirals" from The Barrel Mill for further testing...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Swill by any other name...

Don't get me wrong, I occasionally indulge in mass-market beer. In fact, there are cans of High Life in my fridge right now. So, while I was at one of our local grocery stores the other day stocking up on can goods and newspapers to stuff in my cloths this winter (see: Hooverville) I noticed Budweiser's American Ale was on sale. Being curious, I thought I would try it. I'd read a few posts about it, so I wasn't expecting much. But, I thought I would try the beer brewed with "caramel malt and cascade hops." My official opinion: don't waste your money. You can't taste the hops (even though they claim to dry hop on the website) and there is only slightly more body than regular old Budweiser. It was nice to drink while installing my bamboo floor, but High Life would have done just as well (and its cheaper even when the ale is on sale). On the positive side, its a lovely color and I dig the label (except for the part where they claim to have invented a new style of beer, come on guys really) and it has a pry-off cap so I can at least reuse the bottles. They seem to be trying to market it to craft beer lovers since they are underwriting our local NPR station and we all know that NPR listeners only drink good beer. The website is actually pretty cool. For another review see what Brian at All Things Homebrewing has to say.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Where's Your Original Gravity?

Brad Sancho's is in Milan.  Michigan not Italy (you can tell, because its pronounced like its in the Midwest...)  Anyway, I had an opportunity to visit Original Gravity Brewing Company yesterday and talk with Brad about the brewery and watch as he finished up a batch of brew.  

Brad went directly from homebrewing with this homebrew system (a very nice setup I might add):

To this 7 barrel system:

Not bad, huh?  He still uses the homebrew system for small batches.   The brewery has an open layout and a relaxed atmosphere, and unless you are in the bathroom, you can see all the brewing equipment from every seat in the house.  I tried the Porter, Pale Ale and the Amber during my visit.  All of which were top notch, I went home with a growler of Amber.  It's a full bodied amber, slightly on the hoppy side (good for these fall days we've been having).  Like any good brewer (home or otherwise) he's always looking to make his beers better and experiment with new recipes.  A pumpkin brew is next on the small batch system.   OG has been open for 4 months now, so if you haven't had to chance to check it out I would recommend a visit.  Milan is only 15 minutes from Ann Arbor right off of US23.  Not to mention it's smoke free and kid friendly so bring the whole family!  For another blog perspective, check out this post from Michigan Beer Buzz.