Bubba Juice Homebrew

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I brew the beer I drink..

Assistant brewer for a day.

On Saturday I helped out a fellow Tucsonan and HBT member brew a couple batches. We used my 10 gallon Rubber maid cooler as the mash tun, since he typically uses his 10g Blichmann  Boilmaker as his MLT and Boil kettle. The logistics of brewing two beers on the same day in a limited time frame, and limited equipment took it’s toll. I’m glad I wasn’t doing it alone!

Our first brew was a spin off of Saccharomyces’ Belgian Pale Ale. We mashed for about 45 minutes, then started recirculating with a march pump for about 15 minutes. This got the wort crystal clear. We then had to wait for the strike water and sparge water to heat up before getting the wort in the kettle. Even though we had a pump, we still ended up doing heavy lifting since it was just faster. This batch ended up at 76% efficiency, just above the 75% target. I had a hard time believing this since the grains were milled at the local homebrew shop (which gave me 68% efficiency on my first AG brew), but Aaron said he adjusted the mill to 0.030 inches. The crush looks similar to that of what I get from a friends Barley Crusher set at the default 0.039 inches. I think the mill over at Brew Your Own Brew is a little worn.

The second brew was an attempt to clone Red Chair NWPA from Deschutes. I must say this is one tasty beer. Very hop forward with a great Cascade nose and tons of hop flavor with a great malt characteristic. You can really tell they did a lot of late boil hop additions. This mash was a less than optimal. I had to leave about 30 minutes into the mash. We quickly recirculated for 5 minutes then fly sparged, collecting the wort in another container.  I heard that this batch ended up at 1.043 OG which is 55% efficiency. I guess that goes to show that a longer mash yields higher efficiency.

My Thermapen was a hit on this brewday. It displayed accurate temps at blazing speed. I highly recommend it. Here’s how to a Thermapen for 10% off. kingarthurflour.com always seems to have a 10% off coupon that you can find at retailmenot.com. It made such an impact that Aaron ordered one there on the spot.

Overall a very enjoyable experience and not as stressful as when you’re the brewer! I would gladly be an assistant brewer again.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone brew day.

Yesterday, I brewed a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone recipe that I compiled after looking around at the other recipes I found online. The very simple grain bill and clean fermenting yeast should bring out the flavor and aroma of the hops.  I also used the First Wort Hop method with this beer. Employing this technique should further improve upon the hop aroma and flavor, as well as extracting a few more IBUs.

The brew day was far from easy. A fellow Homebrew Talk member gave me a new burner stand to stabilize my new keggle. The only problem with that was that the paint caught on fire and left of horrible fumes, smoke and smell. I spent several hours sanding away as much paint as I could off the bottom of my kettle and from the burner stand. I didn’t get to start brewing until about 4pm. I didn’t even bother with taking any pictures of my new brew space either. I was just frustrated with the whole situation and just wanted to get it done. I finished cleaning everything up around 10:30 pm.

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