Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Brew Day - Angel's Wing's (Helles Bock)

I'm a loner Dottie... a rebel
As an only child who is a bit of an introvert, I tend to pursue most of my hobbies and interests alone. Being an independent learner means that most of what I have learned about brewing when it comes to my own beer and to my work in the industry was the result of self-study. I passed my first BJCP Exam after a month of cramming. For my role with Muntons, I passed the Institute of Brewing and Distilling's Malting Certificate Exam the same way. 

Homebrewing evolved from something Jennie and I did together to a solitary activity. Once in awhile there will be something Jennie wants to brew and she will want to brew it with me, but that is more the exception than the rule. I haven't brewed with my cousin Andy since he and his wife Juli had their second child. Since then they moved out of state. 

This batch was the first one in awhile I brewed with someone else. I first met Nate at a beer tasting; Nate was friends with Kert, who is the buyer at my local bottle shop. When Nate started working at my local homebrew shop he actually recognized me with my mask on. Eventually he pinged me on social media wanting to brew. 

Nate suggested brewing a lager of some sort. I suggested a Helles Bock as it's one of the few styles I've never brewed. It is also a style I have had very few examples of. The recipe in Brewing Classic Styles was simple enough: a blend of Pilsner and Munich Malt, a 60 minute hop addition, and lager yeast.

I almost always keep Muntons Pilsner Malt in my brewery, and I started keeping Muntons Munich Malt after having to make too many changes to recipes that called for stewed malts like Vienna, Munich, or Melanoidin-type darker Munich malts.

Perfect crush after first pass thru the mill.

I told Nate to pick out the hops and yeast while I had the malt taken care of. When the Alpha Acid percentage on the Magnum hops Nate picked out were a little high at 14.7%, I made a last minute change to the recipe by adding 0.75 ounces at 60 minutes and the remaining 0.25 at 15 minutes.

Nate really likes Imperial Yeast and chose their Harvest strain. A fine choice for a malty style like a Helles Bock, it's attenuation is moderate in the 70-74% range. To make sure the beer didn't finish too heavy, I lowered the mash temperature from the recipe in the book. 

Nate and I mashing in
Beautiful wort, looks like apple juice.

Although not as big as Field of Immortals, we were shooting for this beer to be over 7%. I replicated my process from the Field of Immortals brew day fairly closely. Again the mash efficiency was high, and the starting gravity of the finished batch was high. So high in fact it falls out of the parameters of the style. Once I entered our hop additions into BeerSmith, our calculated hop bitterness was also high.

How I am going to do every batch.

Nate and I ended up with almost exactly 5.25 gallons going into the fermenter, which should lead to five gallons of finished beer. It might make sense to dilute the residual sugar, alcohol, and hop bitterness with one gallon of water. That would make the beer more to style and would give us more beer. From now on I am going to assume higher yields in all of my batches and plan accordingly. 

Pitching yeast in well-aerated wort.

It was fun to brew with another person and share knowledge. I'm sure we will collaborate again. Hopefully next time with Kert. 

Wort getting down to lager temps.

Recipe: Angels Wings
Brewer: Jason 
Asst Brewer: Nate 
Style: Helles Bock
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (0.0) 

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 7.49 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.99 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.067 SG
Estimated Color: 7.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 41.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 76.7 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt              Name                                             Type          #          %/IBU         Volume        
8.86 gal         Yellow Full (Under 6 SRM)                        Water         1          -             -             
2.37 g           Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash)                  Water Agent   2          -             -             
1.58 g           Calcium Chloride (Mash)                          Water Agent   3          -             -             
0.79 g           Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash)                        Water Agent   4          -             -             
0.50 tsp         Lactic Acid (Mash)                               Water Agent   5          -             -             
9 lbs            Pilsner Malt (Muntons) (1.9 SRM)                 Grain         6          65.5 %        0.70 gal      
4 lbs 12.0 oz    Munich Malt (Muntons) (8.1 SRM)                  Grain         7          34.5 %        0.37 gal      
0.50 tsp         Lactic Acid (Sparge)                             Water Agent   8          -             -             
0.75 oz          Magnum [14.70 %] - Boil 60.0 min                 Hop           9          35.8 IBUs     -             
0.25 oz          Magnum [14.70 %] - Boil 15.0 min                 Hop           10         5.9 IBUs      -             
0.00 tsp         Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)                      Fining        11         -             -             
1.0 pkg          Harvest (Imperial Yeast #L17)                    Yeast         12         -             -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 13 lbs 12.0 oz
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 17.99 qt of water at 163.9 F        150.0 F       60 min        

Sparge: Fly sparge with 4.74 gal water at 168.0 F
Original recipe needed 12 oz Acidulated Malt. Used Lactic Acid in Mash and Sparge instead. AA% on Magnum was high, so used 0.75 at 60 and 0.25 at 15 instead of 1.0 at 60 min.

Awesome mash, sparge and boil. Crush was perfect first time through mill. System is dialed in and will adjust profile accordingly. 
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