Sunday, March 20, 2011

OCD IPA Update, and Cook's Light Brew Day

Today marks the two week anniversary of the OCD IPA brew day, so I was hoping to transfer it to my new carboy for the secondary fermentation and dry hopping. But, the little yeasties decided they weren't done converting all that sugar into alcohol yet, so I have to be patient. :(  Hopefully a few more days will do the trick.

On a much happier note, today is also the day I'm brewing another beer!  This time around, it's a beer that will hopefully be similar to a commercial light beer (but with a tad more flavor, perhaps).  It's technically called a cream ale, but I'm not allowed to tell people that (because that kinda sounds gross, according to Jennifer).  So for now, it's simply being referred to as "Cook's Light."

I decided to try this beer because it sounds like something most people could enjoy.  While I love really strong beers, it's always nice to have something light and refreshing on hand, too -- especially with the nicer weather on the way.  Hopefully this recipe will be a big enough hit I'll have to have it on hand all summer.

Compared to the double IPA I just made, this beer had minimal ingredients.  One pound of base malt, two pounds of flaked corn, and a half pound of flaked rice steeped for 30 minutes to make the tea, resulting in a very creamy-looking beer (maybe that's where it got its name)...


Draining the grains while bringing the wort up to a boil...


Here are the rest of the ingredients: 3 pounds of Munton's Plain Light malt, one ounce of German Hallertau hops, and one packet of Danstar's Munich dry yeast.


I only added about 1/3 of the dry malt at the beginning of the boil, along with 3/4 of the hops.  The rest of the hops were added with 15 minutes left in the boil (so 45 minutes in) when I added the Irish Moss.  This should give the beer just a hint of hop flavor, instead of just hop bitterness.  The Irish Moss is added to help with the clarity.


The rest of the malts were added with 5 minutes left.  Saving the majority of the malts until the end of the boil helps keep the beer lighter in color.  Look at all that foam!


Here's the wort while it's being cooled.  The color seems appropriate (remember, 3 gallons of plain water still need to be added).


I didn't get a picture of it, but after I added the water and stirred everything thoroughly, the gravity came out to be 1.045 -- just one point over our target range of 1.040-1.044.

Here are the little yeasties, in their dried-out, dormant state.


The package recommends re-hydrating the yeast to activate them so they're ready to go to work when they're pitched.  But since I've never done that, I decided to pitch them dry again and hope there's no problems.  Maybe next time I'll attempt making a starter.

Finally, here's my cleaned out brewer's closet.  It's the back of our coat closet, but it holds a pretty steady temperature and it's just the right amount of space for all of my stuff.  It looks even better having two beers fermenting at the same time -- OCD IPA on the left, Cook's Light on the right. :)

Hopefully by next weekend I'll put that fancy new carboy to work...

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