Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Brewday: All Aromatic Oktoberfest

So this last weekend was the annual AHA Big Brew and I had a couple of my fellow homebrew club brewers over for a brewday. The idea behind the Big Brew is that clubs across the country all get together and brew the same recipes on the same weekend. I liked the idea of trying a 100% Munich beer, and my lager fridge had just cleared up, so I went for the Rocktoberfest recipe. But I decided at the last minute to use MFB (Malteries Franco-Belges) 'Special Aromatic' malt instead.

Special Aromatic is made in Belgium from French barley, using a special process that keeps the color light yet heightens the grain's maltiness. Rumor has it that it can convert itself, but I'd never seen anyone use 100% of it. So I figured I'd give it a try. It wasn't in BeerSmith's malt index so here's the details:

  • Potential: 1.038
  • Color: varies a bit from 4.5 to 5.5 SRM
  • Dry yield: 82%
  • Coarse/Fine difference: 1.5%
  • Moisture: 4%
  • Diastic Power: 32 Lintner
  • Protein: 11%
As for the recipe, I tweaked the Big Brew recipe a bit to accommodate my system and to get the best use of my hops.

6 gallon, All Grain
Est OG: 1.057. Act OG: 1.061 (so I added distilled water to dilute it a bit).
Est FG: 1.014. Act FG: probably 1.015
ABV: 5.6~5.75%
SRM: calculated to be 7, but kettle caramelization probably got it to 9 or so.
IBU: 20
  • 12 lbs MFB Special Aromatic (100%)
Mash in at 151. Special Aromatic has enough diastic power to convert itself. Barely. So it will probably take an hour or so to convert. Use iodine tests to check. Mash out at 168. Water modifications to the mash: 2 gm chalk, 2 gm calcium chloride, 2 gm epsom salt, 2 gm salt.

Now to make some dextrines. Take the first gallon of the runnings and bring to a boil in the kettle or a pot. Get a rolling boil going and go for 15 minutes before turning off the heat and resuming the sparge.

90 min boil. Used 2 oz Domestic Hallertau (leaf) at 4.7% AA.
  • 0.75 oz @ 90 min (first wort, basically)
  • 0.5 oz @ 60 min
  • 0.5 oz 20 min
  • 0.25 oz at flameout
Whirlfloc tab at 15 min. Mineral Additions to Boil: 4 gm chalk, 4 gm calc chloride, 4 gm epsom salt.

Yeast is Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager. Made a 1L starter on the stir plate, gave it two days then cold crashed. Decanted sulfury, nasty beer off the top, repitched into another starter for another day and a half or so. Cold crashed again, decanted again, before pitching. Fermenting at 47 to start, which is a bit cold. As it goes along I'll let it rise to 50-52. Then it will get 6 weeks, maybe two months of lagering. Beer has a really nice color and clarity so far.

Considering the chaos of the Big Brew, the brew went pretty well. Only problem is that as Spring marches onwards my ground water is heating up, so the wort only cooled down to 60 degrees. I gave it two hours in the fridge at 38 to settle the cold break and cool it down a bit more, then racked, aerated and pitched. Left the fridge at 40 overnight to help cool it even more. I really need to get a new Stopper Thermowell.


Grant said...

Where do you get your hands on special aromatic? I have never seen it at my local stores.

Russell Hews Everett said...

Hmm well here in Seattle I know that Bob's Homebrew carries it. Otherwise http://www.northcountrymalt.com/ carries it. Maybe you could get your LHS to special order it for you too.

Sorry for the late reply, new comment moderation settings didn't bother to tell me there were comments awaiting moderation. :/

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