Monday, March 14, 2011

We're Back!

We brewed this past Saturday for the first time since early last year. The occasion for the resurrection of the Beer Brothers? My brother's wedding in May. The idea is to brew something close to Surly Furious, an awesome IPA with a copper hue, huge grapefruit hop flavor and strong malty backbone, and one of the bride and groom's favorites. This was the test batch for the brew I'm planning on bringing to the event, since I want to assure that the flavor is dialed-in enough for Dustin and Bethany's big day. I found the recipe on the Northern Brewer message boards. So, after cleaning up all our lonely, forgotten equipment, Ron and I got started firing up the kettle.

Here's the recipe we used for a single mash infusion (5 gallons):

9.75 lbs 2-Row Pale Malt
1.5 lbs Caramunich I
0.25 lbs Caramel 60
0.5 oz Warrior hops (boil)
0.5 oz Magnum hops (boil)
1.6 oz Amarillo hops (boil)
1.6 oz Simcoe hops (boil)
1 oz Amarillo (dry hop)
2 oz Simcoe (dry hop)
Wyeast 1335 British Ale II

Optimally, we would have used Golden Promise and Crystal 55, which are closer to what Surly reportedly uses for the brew, but we were unable to score any at our local homebrew source. Depending on the results of this test batch, we may have to order some off the interwebs to make it more authentic.

After consulting my trusty copy of Charlie Papazian's Complete Joy Of Homebrewing to get a crash course refresher in the all-grain process (it's been awhile, and we had trouble remembering all the steps), we broke out the old DIY mash tun for sparging the grains.

The heavy amount of hops made this the hoppiest beer we've brewed to date, as well as the first attempt at an IPA. All whole leaf Amarillo hops made for a difficult straining exercise when we were transferring the wort to the carboy.

And here's the result of the day's work. After a week and a half's worth of dry hopping, we'll probably rack to the secondary or throw this guy into glass for a little bottle conditioning. Right now, it's bubbling away happily and filling the room with the sweet smell of hops.

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