Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rye Pale Ale #1 - 18 May

Brew Day - 18 May

Grains - 1lb total 
0.5 lb 2-row
0.35 lb crystal rye
0.15 lb Rahr red wheat

Partial mash method (approx 1 hr)

Using the partial mash method outlined above, I heated 1.5 qt of water to 168 deg F, placed it in the cooler, and added the grains in a mesh bag.  I ensured that the grains were covered, put the top on the cooler, and let it set for almost an hour.

Near the end of the hour, I removed a sample of the wort from the cooler...it was a bit dark, due to the rye, and had a nice aroma.  I heated 3 qts of water to 168 deg F in the brew pot, and removed the bag of grains to rinse and steep for 10 min.  The resulting wort in the cooler was just about exactly 1 qt; I added that to brew pot, plus an additional quart of water for a total of 5 qt.

0.5 lb Golden DME (@ 60 min)
1 lb Pilsen DME (@ 15 min)

4 g Cascade (@ 60 min, bittering)
7 g German Tettnang (@ 15 min)
7 g German Tettnang + 7 g Jarrylo (@ 0 min)

Cool wort to 80 deg F (ice bath), transfer to fermenter.  Aerate, pitch ~1/2 packet Safale US-05.

Malt and hops, ready to go
9 hrs after putting the beer in the fermenter

Addendum, 19 May: ~23 hrs in, gas is bubbling through the blow-off tube nicely...

Addendum, 1 Jun: Bottled today; got 9 bottles, but I broke on with a little too much effort on the capper.  As this one is a pale ale, I didn't dry hop it.  I'm trying to come up with a VMI-related name for this one...

Addendum, 15 Jun: Light floral nose when opening bottle.  Pours to an amber color, with a full, persistent golden head.  Very malt forward, with a spice palette and good mouth feel. Very good flavor.  Some of the head clings to the edges of the glass (lacing; indicates that the grains converted).  For future versions, I might drop the 1/2 lb of golden DME.

Addendum, 7 Aug:  Enjoyed another sample of this beer tonight.  Similar to my previous tasting notes for this beer, the beer was malt-forward, but this time I noted something a bit more caramel in the malt.  Still very good lacing from the beer.  Most of the darker color comes from the rye, clearly, but I'm not sure where the caramel flavor comes from; it could be a combination the flavor from the malt and the late hop additions.


  1. I'm new to brewing and I've done one small batch also. Question, do you add the DME because you can't extract enough sugars to hit your gravity from your mash? If so, could you just use more grains to get try and hit the right gravity?

  2. Oscar, sorry, I didn't see this post...I apologize for just now getting to it. I added the DME as I was doing a partial mash brew. I've tried the Northern Brewer kits that call for steeping specialty grains, but those recipes always seem to come out way too light (lacking in body) for my taste. 1 lb of grain would make way too light a beer by itself, so including the DME was meant to increase the overall body of the beer.

    HTH, and again, I apologize for the late reply.