Sunday, March 29, 2009

Van Den Heuv Ale

Next Saturday is supposed to be in the low 50s and mostly sunny... a PERFECT day for brewing. And that's exactly what I intend to do.

What I've got planned is an American Pale Ale or IPA which I will dub Van Den Heuv Ale in honor of Jon Vandenheuvel and his sister Sarah, my sister-in-law, who grew 100% of the hops that will be used in this batch at their greenhouses in Zeeland. Here's my recipe:

Van Den Heuv Ale
8lbs 2-Row
2lbs White Wheat
1lb Crystal 20L
1lb Victory

1.25oz East Kent Golding - First Wort
.5oz Centennial - First Wort
.1oz Cascade - First Wort
.5oz East Kent Golding - Aroma
.5oz Cascade - Aroma

I'm using grains that I've had for a while... in fact I'm using the grains that I bought for the recipe I published on August 1st last year. But I've added 2 more pounds of 2-row, and a pound each of Crystal 20L and Victory... my standard pale ale specialty grains. A pale ale with wheat malt isn't by any means "standard", but at the most it will make the beer a little cloudy and thicken up the body and possibly add a hint of sweetness, though I doubt it will be noticed under the Victory and Crystal 20L. If I get my normal 65% efficiency, I'll be looking at an Original Gravity of close to 14° Plato*, which is right at the top of the American Pale Ale range. If I manage to get 75% out of my mash tun, then I'll be looking at 16°, which puts me right at the bottom of the American IPA range. IBUs will be in the low 40s at either 65% or 75% efficiency, which is perfect since the top of the APA range is 45, and the bottom of the IPA range is 40. So... I'll choose my style after I measure my gravity ;-)

Well I'm really hoping I don't run into my old infection issues on this one... I've got a brand new never-used bucket, and I've got a nice long tub to sanitize in, long enough that I can get my whole racking cane submerged and can get a bucket to lie down in it sideways. Also, I've bought some latex gloves... at the Mt Pleasant Brewing Company (MPBC) we wear gloves any time we touch anything that is sanitized or that will come into contact with the beer after the boil or before sanitation.

And, no more kegging... I've actually gotten rid of my tap-fridge and kegging equipment. I figure if I'm going to be brewing on a professional basis I'm not going to need to brew everyday drinking beers very often, and most of the higher-gravity specialty beers I would rather bottle anyway. I'll be putting this beer in 24-12oz botles, and 12-22oz bottles. And I'll likely give a fair amount of it to Sarah and Jon... even if they don't drink it (I don't think overtly hoppy beers are their favorite), they might want to give some away to showcase their hops!

*Up at MPBC, gravities are all measured in Plato, so I'm trying to convert myself to the Plato scale. An easy conversion rule is that one degree plato = four points of "standard gravity", so my 14° Plato wort here would have a standard gravity of about 1.056.

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