Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recipe: Just Freshin' Up - Wet Hopped Red Ale

The hop harvest has come, and gone, leaving me with quite a bit of hops to do something with.  That something was the question.  I was torn on whether to brew a Wet Hop ale, or to dry them out and package them up for future use.  Seeing that my garage is overrun with wild yeast do to my sour program that inhabits most of that area and it being my brew house, I thought that drying my hops in the open air of that space might not be the best option since I may want to Dry Hop with my harvest at some point.  The spare room was taken by my dad who was up visiting, and the temps in Eugene are barely in the upper 70s so to dry them out properly I would need to run the heater.  This all seemed to point towards doing a Wet Hop beer.  I had been toying with the idea for awhile, and had a Red recipe worked up for it.

I was able to harvest 12.5oz of Chinook, 5.25oz Brewer’s Gold, 2.5oz AlphAroma, and 1.5oz of Shinsuwase.  I also have some Cascades that aren’t quite ready yet, as well as my Santiam, and a few Brewer’s Gold left to pick.  I packaged all of my 1.36# of hops together in a vacuum seal bag and put it in the freezer until they hit the brew.  I will pull them out just after knock out and get them into the batch, dropping the temp some, and getting as much of the aromatics into the beer as possible.

For the base, I wanted something with a great malt backbone for setting the hops against.  I went with Marris Otter for a little more of a malty, toasty base, a touch of Vienna for a little more malt complexity; MFB Kiln Amber will add some breadiness, add a sprinkle of Roast Malt for color and to help the finish dry out.  For the caramel malts, I decided to go with 2 CaraMunich malts instead of standard 2 row crystals.

5.4 gallons
1.067 OG
1.016 Fg
6.6% ABV
63 IBUs
15 SRM

11.0#  Marris Otter
1.0#  Vienna Malt
1.0#  CaraMunich 40L
0.4#  CaraMunich 120L
0.4#  MFB Kiln Amber
2.0oz Crisp Roast Barley 695L
0.25# Rice Hulls
45 Minutes @ 150*F
76% Extract Efficiency

60 Minute Boil:
60 mins - 1.5 oz Zeus 16.4AA%
WP @ 150 20 mins - 12.5oz Chinook (Wet) 
WP @ 150 20 mins - 5.25oz Brewer’s Gold (Wet) 
WP @ 150 20 mins - 2.5oz AlphAroma (Wet) 
WP @ 150 20 mins - 1.5oz Shinsuwase (Wet) 

WLP 001 Cal Ale - Slurry from Oakshire
Aerated 25 minutes
6 gallon Better Bottle
6 days @ 66
8 days @ 69

Gypsum 5/8 t (mash), 3/4 t (boil)
Epsom Salts 1/4 t (mash), 1/4 t (boil)
Calcium Chloride 1/2 t (mash), 1/2 t (boil)

Despite getting less Extract Efficiency (76% compared to 82%), I still hit my numbers spot on due to a lot less absorption from the hops.  Everyone says that Wet Hop ales will kill your efficiency and just suck up all the wort.  So far (last year as well), I just don't find it to be so, but I do squeeze the hop sacs dry before racking as well which helps.

Pitched @ 8:30pm, fermenting @ 5:45am.

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