Beer Batch #3: Grapefruit Honey Ale

While waiting for my 5 gallon batch of Old Speckled Hen Clone to ferment, I decided to brew up a 1 gallon batch of Brooklyn BrewShop’s Grapefruit Honey Ale.   Reader Yukon recommended the Brooklyn BrewShop’s Beer Making Book as a great down to earth resource that simplifies things and doesn’t intimidate the reader with technical specs like “keep the wort at 155.35464 degrees for 2400 seconds.”   They make it easy, and they have a wide variety of diverse beer recipes.  I strongly recommend their book.

So this recipe is as follows, for a 1 gallon batch (Ingredients in color):

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.   Scrub, dry and peel 1 grapefruit (I did two grapfruits, actually) and bake the peel on a baking sheet on the lower rack until dry – 15-20 minutes – or until the peel begins to brown.  (this took me more like 80 minutes – I had it in the oven basically the whole time I was mashing, and then during the boil too)

MASH:  2 quarts water, 1.35lbs English Pale malt, 0.1lb Victory malt, 0.1lb Caramel 10 malt, 0.1lb Caramel 20 malt, 0.15lb torrified wheat

mash for 60 minutes between 144 and 152 degrees.  I did this step in the same 2 gallon Igloo cooler that I partial-mashed my OldSpeckledHen Clone in, but this time I had an issue because there was much less liquid and mass in the cooler – it didn’t hold its temp as well, but I hope it got the job done.  In other words, I treated this mash just like I treated the partial mash in my previous recipe… Was this wrong?  Seems reasonable to me – I just didn’t execute it very well due to the smaller mass of grains.  I think I needed more water too – my mash was very very thick.

BrooklynBrewShop’s recipe says to keep it on the stove and maintain a temp of 150 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes.  I didn’t do this.  I did open and stir once, and swished the cooler around several times during the mash too.   I had the crushed grains loose in the cooler this time, not in a bag.

SPARGE:  heat 1 gallon of water to 170 degrees.  Strain the mash into a strainer (I used the paint strainer bag from last time), then pour sparge water over the grains.  Recirculate the wort through the grain once.   I also let the bag of grains soak / tea-bag in the wort for a minute or two.

BOIL:  heat wort, reduce heat to slow rolling boil when it begins to foam.  Add Columbus hops (0.1 ounce).   After 30 minutes, add 1/2 the Amarillo hops (I used Cascade, as my brewshop guy told me that Amarillo is out of stock through year end at least).   0.1 ounce of Cascade at this point in the boil.   After a total of 55 minutes, add the grapefruit peel (dried in the oven).   Add another 0.1 ounce of Amarillo (Cascade for me) hops at 59 minutes.   At 60 minutes, turn off the heat and add 0.2lbs of  clear Belgian Candi Sugar (I used the amber crystallized variety, not clear – which should make it darker and maybe a little more flavorful), and 1/4 cup honey (I used generic Hannaford’s brand).  Stir to dissolve.

Place pot in ice bath in the sink and cool to 70 degrees, pour into fermenting bucket (I poured through the paint strainer bag again), and pitch 1/2 packet of Safale s-04 yeast.   I actually didn’t have much trouble cooling this 1 gallon batch in a sink ice-bath.  I changed the ice once and it took less than 20 minutes.   Ferment 2 weeks, then bottle using 3T of honey as a priming sugar.

I checked the original gravity and came up with 1.052.   It’s actually somewhat of an issue to check gravity with a batch this small – it will put a serious dent in my output if I check the OG and then take two final gravity readings.   I’ll probably just take 1 final reading, and maybe even pour that sample into one of the bottles that I’m bottling into.

Stay tuned.

-KD

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