My First AG Adventure Yesterday - Caramel Pale Ale

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WVBeerBaron

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Hello everybody,

On a whim yesterday, I brewed my fist AG beer in an attempt to clean out the brew closet. I was scrambling for some additional sugar and was torn between brown sugar and making homemade caramel. I went with 1 lb table sugar caramelized. Here's the figures:

Caramel Pale Ale

MALT
6 ½ lbs Crisp English 2 row pale malt
1 lb table sugar (caramelized)
1 lb Bonlander Munich Malt
5 oz Carapils Malt

HOPS
.50 oz Magnum 60 min
.25 oz Centennial 15 min
.25 oz Palisade 15 min
1 tsp Irish moss

Preheat mash tun. 2 ½ gallons of 165 degree strike water with 1 tablespoon 5 star ph stabilizer. Single infusion mash 152 degree for 60 minutes. Batch sparge with 4 gallons of 163 degree for 10 minutes (my target temp was 168). Produced approx 5 ½ gallons wort.

Caramelize sugar on stove top until golden brown. Added caramel during the boil.

Used newly constructed wort chiller, cooled to 80 degrees within 10 min.

1 vile White Labs California Ale yeast.

OG - 1.053
Est. FG - 1.012
IBU - 30
Est. ABV 5.5
Calories - 165 per 12 oz

I may or may not dry hop.

From initial research to washing the last piece of equipment it took me 6 hours. Ahhhhh my first all-grain, sooo much fun.

Any thoughts or feedback is greatly appreciated :mug:
 

phatuna

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Hi WV, congrats on a successful day!

Sounds like things went very well and I do have a bit of feedback

I wondering how much final volume did you have going into your fermenter? Not sure what you boiled off during your boil, but starting w/ 5.5 gallons of pre-boil (I'm assuming the 5.5 gallons was pre-boil) wort seems a bit low but certainly depends on your system.

I shoot for 6.5 gallons pre-boil, then shoot for 5.5 gallons going into my primary.

For instance, on my setup I would have mashed 2.75 gallons and sparged w/ approx. 4.5 or 5 gallons to hit my 6.5 gallons pre-boil volume or something close to that. Then boiled down to 5.5.

Cheers and again, great job.
 
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WVBeerBaron

WVBeerBaron

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Hey Phatuna,

Thanks for the feedback, and yeah your right, I had 4.75 gallon go into the fermentor. I only use a 7.5 gallon pot to boil and I was concerned with gathering too much pre-boil wort. In total, I lost 5 quarts (2 to mash tun, 3 to evaporation).

The other thing I messed up is my sparge temp. I was shooting for 168 degrees but come in too low, ended up sparging with 162 degree water for 10 minutes.

I wonder about the caramel, will it be enough? too much?
 

phatuna

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Sorry, I don't have info for you on the Caramel, someone else will have to chime in.

I think that I read a post from BobbyM on this forum who did some research on sparge temps. I think that he said that 168 was optimal, but anything over 160 will do the trick.

You'll be fine there.

Loosing 5 quarts sounds about right. Just adjust that a bit on your next brew
 
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WVBeerBaron

WVBeerBaron

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Just saw the first bubbles rise from the airlock as I was leaving for work this morning. :D

Any optinions out there on the caramel I added or whether to dry hop or not?
 
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WVBeerBaron

WVBeerBaron

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Tranfered to the 2ndary yesterday. gravity = 1.014. dryhopped with 1/2 oz palisade and 1/4 oz chinook. will let sit for another week in 2ndary.
 
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WVBeerBaron

WVBeerBaron

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Something went wrong, it tastes strongly like bandaids, i can't drink it. I think it was because I used bleach to sanitize.
 

OLDBREW

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Did you pre boil your wort chiller, or soak it in vinegar prior to using it? We used to use clorox all the time for sanitizing before other solutions became available. If you rinsed real well, you shouldn't have problems using bleach. what was the dilution ratio bleach to water for your sanitizer?
 
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WVBeerBaron

WVBeerBaron

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i soaked the wort chiller in a bleach water solution. in the past i used about 3 ounces of bleach in 2-3 gallons of cold water. only recently have i learned this is wayyyy to much and that bleach can take up to a half hour to sanitized. i used to just dunk my equipment in it and rinse with hot water. i use one step now. this is the 1st beer i've had to pur out :(
 
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