|Home Brewing Recipes
Baker Street Ales Associate Brewer
the crossroads of the beer world
Don't have a lot of time to brew something? Well, I'm going to give you a
special recipe that should take only 15 minutes (really) for you to make a
most tasty pale ale. It's an extract recipe of course but it's suitable for
beginner and experienced brewers alike since I'm sure both wouldn't
mind spending less time working and more time drinking.
I can hear some of those old time brewers being more than a little
skeptical about this. I'm sure they're asking, “what about hop utilization?
Don’t I have to boil hops for a full hour to get the full bitterness out of
them?” Well, yes and no. For a standard addition of bittering hops, you
do have to boil for a full hour. Boiling hops for a shorter period of time
may result in a smaller amount of hop isomerization and utilization. The
solution -: add more hops!. If adding bittering hops for only fifteen
minutes in the boil will result in half the utilization of a 60-minute boil,
double the amount of hops you would normally add at the beginning of
an hour-long boil.
Adding a lot of hops late in the boil increases the hop flavor and aroma
in the beer. Some refer to it as “hop bursting.” So, adding double the
amount of bittering hops at fifteen minutes before the end of the boil
achieves two goals. First, it gives us the bittering we want. Second, it
preserves a lot of the fruity and citrusy flavors American Ale fans crave.
Any hops added later than the fifteen-minute mark will only increase the
effect of American hoppiness.
Speed Racer Pale Ale
6 lbs. Light Dry Malt Extract
1 lb. 60 L Crystal Malt
2 oz. Simcoe Pellets (or your favorite American hop) – 15 minutes
1 oz. Simcoe Pellets – 5 minutes
1 oz. Simcoe Pellets – Flameout
Safale US05 Yeast
Steep the crystal malt in a grain bag in the water as it is coming up to a boil. When
the temperature reaches 170F, take the bag out. Add the extract before the wort
comes to a boil to help avoid a boil over. When the wort begins to boil, add hop
additions at times above. Only boil wort for 15 minutes. Chill and pitch yeast.
One note: you will not need as much water as a typical one-hour boil, since you will
not be losing as much water to boil off.
And now for what has turned out to be (according to my mail) the most popular
part of my column - answering your questions. Here goes:
Q: My beer only took one day to ferment. Is something wrong?
BIf the weather is warm and with some strains of yeast (usually dry yeasts) it is not
uncommon for beers to ferment very quickly. Take a hydrometer reading and record
the value. Wait three days and take another. Compare the two readings. If they are
the same (and in the proper range), your beer is done fermenting.
Q: I checked and there's no sign of activity after a few days. What
should I do?
It's possible your yeast was dead. This happens a lot with yeasts packaged with
imported "canned kits" or you could have left too much sanitizer in the fermenter. Go
ahead and pitch another 10-14 grams of properly rehydrated dry yeast. Be sure to
aerate the wort again.
Q. My beer is over-carbonated. What happened?
Several things could have happened. You could have used too much priming sugar.
You might not have waited long enough and the beer was still fermenting when you
bottled. And you could have an infection that is fermenting things that beer yeast
doesn't. Or it could any combination of three.
Q: My beer has been in the bottle two weeks now and it's still flat. What's wrong?
IMost likely the beer has been kept too cold since bottling. The beer should be held
for a week or so at a temperature of at least 55oF. Move it to a warmer place.
Another problem may be that you didn't use enough (or any) priming sugar. The
usual amount is 1/2 to 3/4 cup in 5 gallons. Your caps may also be leaking. This
happens when you use "twist-off" bottles or when you boil the caps to sterilize them.
Boiling can destroy the integrity of the cap's seal.
That's it for this month. Hope to see you next time!
Good Brewing and Cheers!