Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oktoberfest Style Ale

So I decided maybe it was time to finally put up another post. Sorry about the long lay-off, no excuses I've just been ignoring the blog.

I received a home brew recipe kit from my brother as a Christmas gift and back in February I decided to brew it. The kit was for an Oktoberfest style ale. Normally an Oktoberfest beer is a lager made with lots of Munich or Vienna malt, but since this was an extract kit, and those two malts can't be steeped, it came with pale malt extract, some Crystal malt, and instead of a lager yeast, some Danstar Nottingham ale yeast.

The aroma hop is Vanguard which is an American cousin of the German noble hop, Hallertau. So basically, an amber ale that's finished with German hops. I threw in an extra ½ ounce of Goldings that I had left over from my first batch to help account for the age of all the hops (they were all from the 2008 harvest).

Tasting notes: It pours a clear, bright copper color with a chunky, off-white head. The aroma comes across as a light caramel flavor with a bit of a herbal hop aroma fairly weak overall.

Flavor is more of the same, a little bread and caramel with an herbal dryness from the hops. Carbonation is a lot better in this batch compared to my first. Mouth feel is moderate and crisp. Just enough bitterness to balance everything out and make it very drinkable.

When I first started sampling this batch I thought I had some diacetyl problems that might have been caused by using only one pack of, possibly old, yeast. Over time the buttery flavors seem to have worked their way out. Lesson learned. In my next batch I use 2 packs of yeast and get better results.

Recipe & Brew Notes:
Original Gravity: 1.055
Final Gravity: 1.017
Pre-boil Gravity: 1.027 (estimated)
IBU: 24-25
Boil: 60 minutes
Pre-boil Volume: 4 gallons
Final Volume: 5 gallons

Muttons Pale LME 6.6 lbs.

Steeping Grains:
Crystal 60˚, 8 oz.
Crystal 20˚, 4 oz.

Goldings 4.7%, 60 min. 0.5 oz.
Willamette 4.6%, 60 min. 1.0 oz.
Vanguard 4.4%, 5 min 1.0 oz.

Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast, 1 packet

Spring water from Welpman Spring in Morgan County, MO

Brewed on 02/05/2009 by myself.

Steeped grains for 30 min. at 150˚ in one gallon of water. While the grains were steeping I heated 3 gallons of water up to about 170˚ in the boil kettle. When the steep was finished I took the bag out and dunked it around in the boil water for about 5 minutes.

Added the steep water and one can of extract, turned heat up. Boiled for 60 minutes, added the hops (all pellets) at the intervals listed above. At flame out I added the other can of extract.

Cooled wort with immersion chiller to about 70˚, transferred to carboy, filled to 5 gallons and shook to mix. Took a hydrometer reading 1.054 + .0012 adjustment for 70˚ = 1.055 original gravity.

Let wort sit in carboy for about an hour, pitched packet of yeast straight in at 2:12pm, temp is about 66˚. Placed carboy in basement by the washer.

02/28/2009 – Bottling day. Filled 20 12 oz bottles and 13 22 oz bottles.

1 comment:

  1. Looking good, man! I would recommend a simple yeast starter instead of two packs/vials.

    Keep brewing! You're well on your way.

    Push Eject