Brew Day: Sibling Rivalry Pale Ale

After a way too long hiatus, I finally got back to brewing. Life and work kept me from having an open weekend to brew for awhile, so I snatched at the chance to finally get back to it.

This is the first time I’ve made my own recipe so I’m equal parts excited and nervous as to how it will turn out. To read more about the Sibling Rivalry recipe, click HERE.

I originally classified it as an American Pale Ale, but I was convinced to get German Vienna malt instead of American so I elected to just go with Pale Ale.

So why Sibling Rivalry? Because of the two types of hops, and I have a brewing assistant today. My sister joined in to help me out with a few things and learn a bit of science.

So I started off in the morning by heating up my six gallons of brewing liquor. Got that up to about 175 and then let it sit in my mash tun for 15 minutes to preheat it a bit. When I added the grain, the temp was still a bit too high so I added roughly half a gallon of cool water to bring it down to right around my target of 150 degrees.

So I let the grains do their thing for an hour and began heating up my strike water about halfway through that process. It got to boiling a little earlier than I planned, but the mash was cooler than I wanted to start so I threw the water in anyway.

After the mash finished, I did the usual vorlauf and draining of the liquid off the grain. Once I drained all I could with gravity, I tried something new. I grabbed a second pot and took my bag of grain and let us hang over so the last bits of liquid would drain off. In the end, I was able to get about 7 gallons of wort into my boiling pot, much more than previous batches.

I also learned my previous gravity readings were off by quite a bit because I have been misreading my hydrometer. Apparently calibrating for 70 degrees instead of 60 can really change your results. According to my pre-boil reading, I was sitting right above 75% efficiency, about 5% to 10% higher than previous batches.

The boil got rolling nice and easy and I added my mix of Cascade and Centennial hops for an hour of boiling. Dropped in a whirlfloc tablet and the chiller with 15 minutes left, then did some more waiting.

Finish the boil and go about the usual chilling process. Once I got the wort around 85 degrees I racked it into the fermenter. Because of the extra wort I was able to extract from the grain this time around I ended up with nearly 6 gallons in the fermenter. I let it cool a bit more in there before pouring in the liquid yeast and let those little guys go to work on the sugars.

My post-boil/racking reading on the hydrometer came out to 1.048, slightly lower than my target of 1.052 but not bad. I also ended up with about 75% efficiency on this brew as well.

So overall, a great Saturday. Looking forward to being able to try this one out.




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