RecipeOn the evening of Superbowl weekend a few news sites and a blog reported that the Obama's were serving homebrew at their White House Superbowl party.
This week there was a more in-depth post about the White House Honey ale, which is very interesting, but was still missing something pretty important, the recipe. All that they mention is that there was a pound of White House Honey from the Kitchen Garden. All that really can be assumed is that they use all domestic ingredients, which is typical for the White House kitchen.
For my brew, I did not go all domestic, mainly because I'm still on my Maris Otter kick. So here's what I ended up with:
Recipe: White House Inspired Honey Ale
Style: 6B-Light Hybrid Beer-Blonde Ale
Wort Volume Before Boil: 17.40 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 12.50 US gals
Volume Transferred: 11.50 US gals
Water Added: 0.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 11.50 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 10.20 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.030 SG
Expected OG: 1.049 SG
Expected FG: 1.011 SG
Expected ABV: 5.0 %
Expected ABW: 4.0 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 16.5
Expected Color: 4.3 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 76.8 %
Mash Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Duration: 90.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 64 degF
UK Pale Malt - Maris Otter 17lb 8oz (83.3 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Carapils Malt 1lb 0oz (4.8 %) In Mash/Steeped
Sugar - Honey 2lb 8oz (11.9 %) Start Of Boil
US Willamette (4.5 % alpha) 2.00 oz Loose Whole Hops used 60 Min From End
Czech Saaz (3.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Whole Hops used 15 Min From End
US Willamette (4.5 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Whole Hops used At turn off
Yeast: Wyeast 1332-Northwest Ale
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (66C/151F) w/Mash Out
Step: Rest at 151 degF for 60 mins
Step: Raise to and Mash out at 165 degF for 10 mins
I was looking to go with Golden Promise for the base malt, but my LHBS did not have it, and MO is pretty close anyway. If they would have had GP, I would have tossed in some Heather as well and gone the full Scottish route (maybe next time!)
This batch should be on the Malty/Sweet side of things with just a bit of Spicy/Floral flavors from the hops, which should blend nicely with the honey. Using Wyeast 1332 "Northwest Ale" (also known as Hale's Ales' house yeast!) in this batch will give some nice citrus character as well.
New AdditionsSome new equipment additions to this brew day: the small Costco table (seen above), and a Liquid Malt Extract shipping container (check your LHBS to see if they have some extras you can buy!). The malt container is about 15gal (the top mark on the side is 12gal, extrapolating from that the whole container is just about 15gal), which is perfect for fermenting a 10gal batch.
The hardest part of the day was cleaning out this sucker for the first time, there was a nice layer of Bavarian Wheat malt coating the entire inside, which took a lot of hot water and oxyclean to rinse out.
ProcessToday's process was very straight forward. The big thing today was that I calibrated my main thermometer, which I found out was running 3°F too low; that would make the beer drier and more crisp, but I'm going for more of the Honey/Sweet flavor for this batch, so I wanted to be able to keep my mash up towards the top end of the range (154-156°F). For the first 40mins it was at 155-156°F, and then the last 30mins it was at about 151-152°F, so I think that will be a good balance.
Of course there was using the new fermenter, which will make things a bit more organized in the long-run.
Finally, I have to admit that I was horrible at taking notes and measurements this time around. I do know that I broke 90% efficiency on my mash, and this time I am sure I did it right and that I did not over-extract on the sparge. In fact, I still could have extracted one more batch-sparge and pushed it probably over 92%, but I was already running very "heavy", so I diluted down a bit more to keep the beer sane. Going back and changing the assumed efficiency for the batch in Beer Alchemy I was able to nail down almost my exact numbers with 88% efficiency. I did get a good reading pre-boil, which was 1036. My OG value I forgot to write down or note, but I seem to remember it being about 1055, which matches exactly with the tweaked BeerAlchemy recipe.
Lesson learned from this batch: I need to start trusting my efficiency calculations, and I can start saving a few bucks on grain by assuming higher efficiencies in my recipes. I'm not going to jump right to 90%, probably 82.5% next time around and see where we end up.
UPDATE [10:00am, 3/6]: I peeked in the fermenter this morning and was greeted with Kraussen, so my little yeasties are happily doing their job already. I guess the only problem with fermenting in this container is not being able to marvel at those little buggers working, but I think it's a worth-while trade-off. I do need to track down a stopper that fits in one of the holes so that I can put in a proper air-lock. For now I'll just cross my fingers and keep the holes covered (but not stoppered tight!).