Homebrew Batch #20: Honey Basil Ale

After harvesting massive amounts of basil from our garden last week, I had the idea of making a beer utilizing some of my bounty.   Mrs. Dynamite turned about 16 basil plants into pesto, and I saved 1 stalk to use for the Honey Basil Ale that I cobbed together after reading everything I could find online about using basil in beer.  I uploaded everything to Hopville.  The grain bill looked like this:

Batch Size: 1.6 gallons

Mash: 60 minutes at 154 degrees:

2.25 lbs US 2 row Pale Malt

1lb Honey Malt

0.125 lbs Carapils

0.25 lbs Caramel/Crystal 20

Sparge with 1.25 gallons of 170 degree water.  Collect wort, bring to a boil, then add:

0.3 ounces East Kent Goldings

after 30 minutes: 0.15 ounces East Kent Goldings

after 55 minutes total (another 25 minutes): .05 ounces East Kent Goldings, 0.1 ounces Styrian Goldings (leftover from a prior batch)

also add 1.5 ounces of fresh basil.  I washed the basil, chopped it very roughly, and threw it in my nylon hops bag.

I left the basil in the wort for 20 minutes while it was cooling, and removed the bag of basil/hops before transferring to my 2 gallon plastic bucket and pitching:

Safale US-05 Yeast.

My OG came out to 1.055, which was ok, except for the minor problem of my horrendous mash efficiency.  I had already added an extra 1/4lb of 2 row pale malt, just because I know that I have terrible efficiency, and even with that minor addition I ended up with about 1.25 gallons of wort for what was supposed to be a 1.6 gallon batch.   In other words, I could have topped up to 1.6 gallons, but if I did, my OG would have been much much lower.   So I clearly need to work on my mash/sparge technique.

I plan to let this ferment for about 3 weeks, then bottle with 3.5T of honey as priming sugar.

-KD

 

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