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Homegrown Amber 2009

Today I took a day off to brew a batch. DuPont, like many other companies, struggles to deal with the current economy, and has asked its employees to take a total of 10 days voluntary unpaid time off (VUTO) in 2009. September has been completely crazy, and before I knew it the end of the month snuck up on me and I needed to squeeze one in September, lest I have another month with 2 (which really hurts the paycheck, let me tell you).

sm20090924 002The batch of the day was 10 gallons of american amber ale brewed with all homegrown hops – 3oz of Nugget and 5oz of Zeus. I went with a very simple grain bill, 18lb of 2-row, 2lb of Crystal 60L, and 12oz of Pale Chocolate for color. The mash was very uneventful, and I collected the entire 13.5gallons in about 45 minutes with no stuck mash. I actually did this batch “old school” and left my fancy-schmancy grant, control box, and pump skid in the basement and the PC stayed off. It was a nice change of pace.

sm20090924 001The hop schedule was actually pretty typical, with an ounce of Zeus first wort hops (WOOT!), 1oz of Nugget for bittering at 60 min, another ounce of Zeus at 10 minutes, and slugs of 2oz Nugget and 3oz Zeus at 5 and 1 minutes, respectively.

Beginning to end it took about 6 hours, so it wasn’t taxing by any means. I am still not thrilled with how long cooling takes since the groundwater temperature is hovering around 72-74 degrees, but I expect in another month I’ll have my more typical 30 minute cycles.

My starting gravity is around 1.047, so I’m probably looking at a 4-4.5% beer, which suits me just fine. After the Harvest Ale I brewed with Brian that came out alot higher than intended (like 7.5% instead of 5.5-6%), this should be a relatively easy-drinker. I am also hoping it really lets the homegrown hops shine through.

Categories: Brew session
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