18 April 2009

AHS American Red Ale

This is my fifth batch of homebrew, although I haven't tasted my fourth batch yet (maybe tomorrow; I'm pretty patient). My first partial mash, using a kit from Austin Homebrew.

American Red Ale
5 lbs. Munich LME
1.5 lbs. Munich malt
1.5 lbs. 2-row
0.5 lbs. Cara-Munich
0.25 lbs. Special B
1 oz. Cascade (7.5%) each at 60, 15, 5. 
Windsor yeast

The grains smelled like Grape Nuts flakes.

The AHS instructions specified using a stockpot (and large grain bag) for the partial mash, but I used a 4-gallon cooler (and grain bag).  I figured this would hold the heat better, but (a) I forgot to pour hot water into the cooler ahead of time to raise the internal temperature, and (b) the grains and strike water (two gallons) barely filled half the cooler. So I lost more heat than I think I should have, finishing the 45 minute mash rest just below 150 degrees. But I don't know if that's a big problem with a mini-mash. My OG was 1.057 instead of the expected 1.053, but I don't trust my gravity readings that closely. 

The whole thing has smelled strongly of Cascades from the first day until bottling day (today). That's the "American" part, but I wonder if AHS adjusts its recipes for AA, with 7.5% is on the high side for Cascades. Windsor yeast is known to leave a fairly high FG, which is part of the reason this isn't an APA, I guess. The yeast was slow to get going, which worried me a bit. Last known gravity was 1.020 (expected 1.014), but my hydrometer broke so I didn't get a bottling day measurement.

Four weeks in primary, no secondary, and now it will be three weeks in the bottle before I crack one. I do like this mini-mash procedure and look forward to using it more, probably with more grains and less extract. Possibly I could try an all-grain half batch, but my weak electric stove limits my ability to boil too much wort.


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