Friday, November 14, 2008

21st Century Schizoid Ale: 2008-09 Edition

I wasn't quite sure how to identify this second batch of 21st Century Schizoid Ale that AfroDan has brewed in less than six months. This is far from an official classification scheme, but since we'll probably want to brew it more than once a year, I decided that calling it our 2008-09 edition would be fitting.

We've decided that the defining quality of this particular brew is that it will always be somewhat experimental and, therefore, ever-evolving. We stuck with our unconventional practice from the first batch of using both ale and lager yeasts. We are looking for a higher alcohol content than last time, simply by letting it ferment longer, since we believe that our prior effort didn't quite reach its potential. We also thought that the first batch could have been a little hoppier, so we needed to step that effort up a notch further in order to offset the anticipated increase in alcoholic content.

The following is the recipe we used for a 4-gallon batch (brand names are italicized where applicable):

12 lbs. Pale Malt Extract (Alexander's)
8 oz. Crystal Malt (60L)
8 oz. Crystal Malt (20L)
2 oz. Pacific Jade Hops (12.9% alpha acid) - bittering
1 oz. East Kent Goldings Hops (4.8%) - bittering
1.5 oz. Glacier Hops (6.0%) - flavoring
1 oz. Glacier Hops (6.0%) - aroma
1.5 oz. German Ale/Kolsch Yeast (White Labs WLP029)
1.5 oz. San Francisco Lager Yeast (White Labs WLP810)
1 oz. Glacier Hops (6.0%) - dry hopping in fermenter

We heated 2 gallons of water in the brewpot, and steeped the grains (crystal malts) in a mueslin bag at 160-170 degrees for 20 minutes. We then removed the grains from the brewpot, added the pale malt extract and brought the pot to a boil. We added the bittering hops and boiled the wort for a total of 75 minutes, adding the flavoring hops for the final 15 minutes and the aroma hops for the final 5.

After chilling the wort, in a sink filled with ice, to just under 160 degrees, we strained it into the fermenter, which was already filled with almost 2 gallons of cold Poland Spring water, then added more water until it reached the 4-gallon level. We then let the wort cool to just under 80 degrees and added the ale yeast. We took an original specific gravity reading (1.093), and sealed the fermenter. Several hours later, I unsealed the fermenter and added the lager yeast.

The original gravity was a little lower than the first batch, which we measured at 1.098. This would indicate that this batch's potential alcoholic content is lower than the first's was, but as I said earlier, we hope that letting it ferment longer will allow it to reach an ABV of 10% or higher. This might be wishful thinking, as the last batch topped out at 8.5%, but it's certainly possible.

We plan to let this batch ferment almost four weeks before bottling. With about two weeks to go, we'll add the dry hops directly into the fermenter. After a couple weeks in the bottles, we should have a strong ale suitable for holiday consumption with family and friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment