Monday, November 30, 2009

The Best Ale in the Universe

I work at a Health Sciences Charter High School and when we started the school 3 years ago we said we wanted it to be the Best School in the Universe. It really is a great school but I won't get into that here. So for our Holiday party this year I thought it would be cool to brew a beer for the occasion. Two of my coworkers have gotten into homebrewing over the last year and we decided we would use our day off for Veteran's Day to brew this beer, but we wanted to make it connect to the school some how. My buddy Lucas said we should include some item from the school lunches and incorporate it into the beer, and so we decided upon the Pepperidge Farm Giant Graham Cracker Fish cookies .

Now to choose the base beer style. This job was taken on by me. I knew what I thought would be good, but I also know that many of our fellow teachers are not huge beer fans so I wanted to keep it balanced, somewhat sweet, not too hoppy and allow the cookies and their cinnamon to be accentuated. I decide that if I made a Souther Brown everyone would like it, but a low abv beer just doesn't seem to say celebration, so I went to an Imperial Southern Brown (still only 5.2% abv). I talked to Matt Navarre and Chuck Silva from Green Flash brewing about adding the cookies to the mash and they both agreed it wouldn't ruin the beer so I went for it. This beer was brewed with Myself, Tim, Chelsea and Jo (Lucas couldn't make it but we thank him for his creative input)

Here is the recipe for a 5 gallon batch:

Selected Style and BJCP Guidelines
11B-English Brown Ale-Southern English Brown Ale

Recipe Overview
Target Pre-Boil Gravity:1.050 SGActual Pre-Boil Gravity:-No Record-
Target OG:1.058 SGActual OG:-No Record-
Target FG:1.019 SGActual FG:-No Record-
Target ABV:5.2 %Actual ABV:0.0 %
Target IBU (using Tinseth):25.7 IBUActual IBU:40.4 IBU
Target Color (using Morey):31.4 SRMActual Color:31.4 SRM
Target Fermentation Temp:64 degFActual Fermentation Temp:64 degF

UK Pale Ale Malt9.00 lb80.0 %5.1In Mash/Steeped
US Caramel 80L Malt1.00 lb8.9 %15.1In Mash/Steeped
US Caramel 120L Malt0.50 lb4.4 %11.4In Mash/Steeped
US Chocolate Malt0.50 lb4.4 %33.1In Mash/Steeped
German Carafa II0.25 lb2.2 %20.3In Mash/Steeped
UK Golding5.5 %1.00 oz19.7Loose Pellet Hops60 Min From End
UK Golding5.5 %0.50 oz6.0Loose Pellet Hops20 Min From End
White Labs WLP002-English Ale
Mash Schedule
Mash Type:Full Mash
Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (68C/154F) w/Mash-Out
Step TypeTemperatureDuration
Rest at154 degF60
Raise to and Mash out at171 degF10


Mashed at 153F, using 3.5 gallons. Strike temp 166F. Sparge with 5 gallons. Add broken Giant grahams to mash after it has been strirred (hoping to avoid a stuck mash). 23 packs added (2 cookies per pack).

I brewed this with a bunch of coworkers and I forgot to get a OG reading so it is uncertain. When I took a FG reading last week I was just slightly over the target OG, so I figure I am in range. I also did not account for the gravity points that I would gain from the cookies. This was more for fun than anything else.

The beer will be kegged next week in preparation for the Holiday Party on the 18th!

I will let you know how it turns out and how people liked it.

No comments:

Post a Comment