“The Stump” Red Ale

In honor of my faithful brewing assistant, Greeter, I created and brewed this recipe, which should turn out a nice deep red, just like her. As for the name, whenever I get home, she likes to race to the old stump in the backyard and tell me all about what crazy things are going on in the hole under it.

I tried a couple new things on this recipe. I changed my mash thickness from 1.25 l/g to 1.5 l/g, plus only did 1 infusion after draining the first wort. Until now I had been following Denny’s method (batch sparge) of first topping off the first batch to half of my expected volume before draining off first runnings. That means 2 infusions, 2 times heating water, vorlaufing etc. I’ve been doing this long enough I wanted to find some optimizations. So i decided to skip that “bring it to half the kettle volume” step. Saved me some time, and that plus the new mash thickness did not significantly alter my efficiency. So a win for me!

I also have been trying to learn to adjust my water profile. I added a little calcium chloride and baking soda to this one, then a little gypsum to the boil kettle for hop flavor. Recently I also purchased a pH meter and have been checking the pH of my water and mash. This time around i added a little lactic acid to the initial water and sparge water, to try to bring it down at least to between 6 and 7 before adding to the mash. I’ll have to do some basic water experiments with the acid additions, since I’ve been getting inconsistent results. My strike water i was able to get it down to only 7.1 before giving up – didn’t want to add too much acid as it can be noticeable at higher quantities. Then what i thought would be a similar ratio for the sparge water ended up at 5. Like I said, efficiency turned out fine, so I’m not worried about the beer, but it would be good to dial this in.

The rest of the gorgeous brew day went well. This batch is currently bubbling away in the basement. I got a nice low 61F fermentation temp most of the week, which for 1056 is supposed to add some nice soft fruity notes. I’ll update here after I keg it and sample some! Without further ado – the recipe follows.

“The Stump” Red Ale
Author: Chris Rueger
Date: 2/23/2014

Size: 6.16 gal @ 68 °F
Efficiency: 80.03%

Original Gravity: 1.067
Terminal Gravity: 1.017
Color: 17.21
Alcohol: 6.62%
Bitterness: 49.8

11.4 lb (78.3%) Maris Otter – added during mash
1.0 lb (6.9%) Crystal Malt 40°L – added during mash
1.0 lb (6.9%) Bonlander Munich Malt – added during mash
0.5 lb (3.4%) Victory® Malt – added during mash
0.5 lb (3.4%) Crystal 120 – added during mash
2.5 oz (1.1%) Pale Chocolate Malt – added during mash
0.66 oz (15.5%) Millenium (15.2%) – added during boil, boiled 60.0 m
0.75 oz (17.6%) Amarillo® (8.2%) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
0.86 oz (20.1%) Chinook (11.4%) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
1.0 oz (23.4%) Amarillo® (8.2%) – steeped after boil
1.0 oz (23.4%) Chinook (11.4%) – steeped after boil
1.0 ea WYeast 1056 American Ale™

Mash in – Target: 152.0 °F

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