This last Saturday was brew day for my Dead Ringer IPA. The Dead Ringer IPA is actually a clone of the renowned Bell's Two Hearted Ale.
The grain bill was 11 lbs of 2-row Rahr base malt, combined with 1 lb of Caramel 40L for color. I love grinding my own barley.
The milled grains. Smells so good.
Being the biochemistry nerd that I am, water chemistry is very important to the final flavor of beer. Denver has really good water so generally you will always brew a good beer without changing the chemistry. However since the birth place of IPAs is the UK I like to mimic the Burton on Trent water chemistry. A bit of calcium carbonate and a gram of table salt gets us close enough.
I did a single infusion mash at about 152F with a 171F mash out. Took some adjustment to hit the temp I wanted. Different temperature ranges during mashing determine the amount of fermentable sugars in the wort. Lower temperatures normally result in a more fermentable mash, higher temperatures normally result in a maltier tasting wort.
No brew day is complete without an inspirational selection.
My favorite word in brewing "Vorlauf" which is german for "run ahead". It's a technique for setting the grain bed to give you a clear drain from your mash.
And the crown jewel of any IPA....hops!!! a few ounces here and there of centennial.
After a 60 minute boil with several hop additions (4 oz total). It's time to chill with the wort chiller and some ice bags. The faster you chill the lower the probability of contamination.
After the wort chill I poor the wort through a screen to filter out all the hops. After that I siphon into the primary carboy. This helps remove a portion of the trub.
Taking care of the yeast. Beyond the yeast starter there are a couple of other things you can do to make them happy. The first is yeast nutrient which adds all the appropriate minerals and nutrients to help yeast have all the building blocks for proper reproduction. The second is oxygen which especially at Denver's altitude is crucial for happy healthy yeasties.
And now it's time for the yeast to get to work. Eating carbs and sugars, excreting alcohol, and farting C02. Aaaah beer!!
See you in a week when I transfer to the secondary and dry hop this deliciousness.