This weekend we bottled up our Rainy Day IPA. It’s a very sessionable at 4.0% ABV and not too hard on the palate at 42 IBU. This is Brian’s recipe and was based on a few clone recipes of Founder’s All Day IPA. The recipe included Maris Otter, Caramel and Rye malt along with Simcoe, Amarillo and Centennial hops. Based on the samples we tried at bottling this should be a great beer.
We brewed this one on 12/28/13, our last beer of 2013. The weather didn’t want to cooperate with us and it was cold and rainy and windy, all around crappy. We had to set up a tent/awning to keep the rain out of our boil kettle and heaters cranking to keep us from freezing to death, OK… maybe 40°F wouldn’t freeze us to death but we live in the South so anything below 50° is freezing as far as we’re concerned. Considering how nature was being such a mother the brew day went pretty well overall.
We also got to try out some new gear for this brew day. We replaced the braided hose in our MLT with a bazooka screen and we got a pH meter that we used for the first time. I won’t go into a bunch about pH meters as there’s plenty of reading out there if you choose, but we purchased the Oakton Eco Testr pH 2 and we have been happy with it so far. It has an overall 4 star review and the price was $47.43 when we ordered it. After we use it a bit more I’ll probably do a more detailed ‘review’ of it.
There are pros and cons to adding new gear to your brewhouse. Improvements are always nice but anything you add to the equipment will change the results of your brew, hopefully for the better, but you still have to adjust for the changes made. As an example, the bazooka screen flowed much quicker when we were lautering and sparging, we had to keep an eye on the flow and adjust so we didn’t move too quickly, I think this may have cost us a couple points of gravity but we know now for next time. Using the pH meter I found the pH of our water out of the tap is 8.8, normal range is 7.0 – 8.5 so it’s a bit on the hard side. I haven’t looked yet to see if I need to make any tweaks there however the mash pH was 5.4 so we fell within the acceptable range.
Everything else went smoothly. We kept this in primary at 62°F for 2 weeks the dry-hopped for a week, cold-crashing it the last couple days before bottling. I’m really stoked to try this one and with the lower ABV it should be ready fairly quickly. Maybe I’ll get lucky and it will rain here in a couple weeks so I can try it out in its intended environment.
Here’s a little data porn for those that like this stuff. I chart out the fermentation temps and then mark the low and high points during primary fermentation and any anomalies. We use an STC-1000 temp controller on our fermentation chamber and, as you can see on the chart, it kept us within +/- 0.52°F for the whole two week fermentation. That’s pretty solid control.
Click the chart to view that sucker full size.