On January 2, I brewed my first batch of the new year. The first batch of Elkland Amber Ale was brewed to share with my family over the holidays, but after making its debut at on Thanksgiving Day, it didn’t make it to New Year’s Day and I decided to brew up another batch.
The first batch was brewed as nine gallons, but four gallons of it was fermented as Brettland Amber Ale, with Brettanomyces Lambicus. I used the same grain bill this time but got better efficiency on my mash and decided to up the batch size mid brew day. Luckily, I bought a full pound of Cascade hops, as opposed to exactly what the recipe called for so I was able to scale the hop additions up.
Ideally, this would be a twelve gallon batch, to match the gravity of the original batch, but unfortunately, my kettle couldn’t accommodate that. In fact, my ten gallon kettle couldn’t accommodate the ten gallon batch I brewed. I filled it as full as I possibly could without boiling over and kept the rest in a smaller kettle to boil on the stovetop. I continued adding more of the mini batch as the boil went on. I continued adding more even during the chill, racking a small amount out into each of two carboys as it got close to the appropriate temperature. Then I continued the chill, as the temperature in the kettle rose with this last minute addition.
At the end of the brew day, I ended up with two six gallon carboys filled to five gallons. I added another gallon of filtered, boiled and chilled water to each carboy on Sunday, January 11 after checking the gravity. The gravity in both carboys reached 1.01, the same level as the first batch. The samples tasted good, but the higher strength and added hoppiness were obvious. It should have been at about 5.6% ABV and if my math is correct, should be back at the 4.7% and 20 IBUs of the first batch with the added water.
I have done high gravity brewing before but the plan for this beer has been to bottle straight from primary after about two weeks. Adding water in high gravity brewing is something I normally do right before bottling, in a secondary fermenter or bottling bucket.
Adding the water in primary will likely kick up the settled yeast, but I really don’t want to rack the beer. So I added the water after active fermentation and then waited another few days for things to settle down again. I bottled the beer on January 14.
This time, I ended up with close to five cases of Elkland Amber Ale, which I’m hoping will last through several family events starting with the Super Bowl. After that, there is some down time between big family get-togethers, but in the Spring, things really ramp up. If I can resist it until then, the beer will be making appearances at Easter, Memorial Day (the big one), a number of cook outs, and maybe even Independence Day. Then again, I could always brew another batch before then.
Elkland Amber Ale
Style: American Adjunct Amber Ale
IBU’s: 23.95 (before water added)/ 20 final
Batch Size: 10.00 Gal (before water added)/12 final
Brew Date: 01/02/2015
ABV: 5.63% (before water added)/4.7% final
Serve Date: 01/30/2015
Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name
9.00 lbs 47.37 % Pale Malt (2 Row) US
4.00 lbs 21.05 % Pale Malt (6 Row) US
4.00 lbs 21.05 % Corn, Flaked
2.00 lbs 10.53 % Briess Caramel 80L
Amount IBU’s Name Time AA %
1.00 ozs 13.34 Cascade 60 mins 7.10
1.00 ozs 6.62 Cascade 15 mins 7.10
1.50 ozs 3.99 Cascade 5 mins 7.10
2.00 pkg Safale US-05 Fermentis US-05