Also, I've been looking to find a recipe for this beer (Little Wolf), it's a good one. Do you mind sharing? Or have you posted it somewhere?
Glad to. A lot of my success in brewing is due to this site, and what I've learned here. Gotta give back.
I'm attaching my notes page from this recipe, but be forewarned: my process is very different from what almost anyone else uses, but you should be in the ballpark, if not the right section, row and seat number.
I do a variation of low-oxygen brewing, pre-boiling the strike water then chilling down to strike temp, using a mash cap, crushing grain just before dough-in, underletting, and trying to purge hoses with CO2 (that sorta works
), and using single-infusion, i.e., no sparging.
I use a RIMs to control my mash temps. I start at about 145 degrees for about 20 minutes, then bump it up to 155 degrees.
My starter is WL-001, but when I do a starter I use yeast nutrient as part of that starter and I will oxygenate the starter wort after chilling it down to where I pitch the yeast. When I pitch into the fermenter, the entire 1-liter starter goes in, and I try to time it so that I pitch about 15 hours after beginning the starter. That, IMO, helps the yeast get going faster.
[And BTW, it's not in the notes, but I oxygenated the wort in the fermenter prior to pitching.]
For strike water I used:
1 gallon of tap water which is fairly hard
7 gallons of RO water
1 crushed Campden tablet
2 ML of Lactic Acid.
The grain bill is
9# Maris Otter
1# Crystal C20
12 oz Quick Oats (for oatmeal).
For people who sparge, this is a lot of fermentables and would have to be cut down to maintain a mid-range ABV.
The hop bill is
60 min--4 ml Hop Shot (substitute a moderate bittering hop if you don't use those)
15 min--1 ounce each of Cascade and Citra
0 min--1 ounce of Citra
1 ounce Mosaic as a dry hop.
Also at 15 min--1 Whilfloc tablet
At yeast pitch into the fermenter, add 1 vial of ClarityFerm.
ZeroGravity said they used this as part of working on mouthfeel, not to make the beer gluten-free. So you get a low-gluten beer as part of the bargain.
Fermentation temperature was 67 degrees, bumped up to 71 at the end to give the yeast a chance to finish and maybe clean up after themselves..
You can see from the attached file the progress of the fermentation. I use a Tilt Hydrometer to keep track (measured by refractometer 1.056, tilt said 1.055).
Tilts are expensive, but once I started seeing how to use them, well, I consider it almost indispensible. My fermenter is a Spike CF10 (this is a 5-gallon batch), and I can close it up to do pressure fermenting. I will close it up with approximately 6-8 points of gravity remaining in the fermentation and let it naturally carbonate--and the Tilt is how I can tell when I'm there.
You can see from the notes that I dropped the 1 ounce of Mosaic 4 days after pitch. I use one of the no-oxygen dry hop dropping methods we developed here a couple years ago, so the pellets are purged of O2 before being dropped.
And then: crash it to about 36 degrees and then keg it.
NOTES: This turned out GREAT. I thought it rivaled the Little Wolf beer I had at Zero Gravity. All of it was educated guesses and hopes, as while Zero Gravity published their ingredients, they didn't say how much, what yeast, ferm temps, or dry hop schedule. So I improvised and I'm happy with the result.
I thought at the time that it might stand to be just a touch sweeter, so in a subsequent batch I added an extra 8 ounces of C20, and used flaked oats instead of Quick Oats. It *was* a touch sweeter, but guess what? Even though my neighbor liked it better, I did not. It was good as it was. The slightly sweeter version was still good, but future versions will revert.
Any questions about this, feel free to ask.