Back to Brewing (Kinda)

Years ago, I was an avid homebrewer. Then I moved someplace hot, where it wasn’t really practical to brew, and when we moved back to Korea, one thing after another prevented me getting back to it. (At first, it was just money and having a new kid; then it was the shoddy electrical system in our apartment, and the fact I was focusing on writing and parenting.)

But finally I am brewing again… and, unsurprisingly, part of the motivation is my son: I proposed a trade to my friend, whose kids had outgrown their LEGOS—a batch of beer for the blocks—and my friend assented. 

After some back and forth, we settled on the idea of a split batch—half IPA, and half Pale Ale. So I got up early and got it going. 

I went with a parti-gyle method, splitting the runoff half and half, and not blending them at all, though I did add a little crystal and caraaroma malt to the mash and let it sit for an hour. (I’m not sure the electrical system in my current apartment can handle me running two immersion heaters, so I’m doing the boils sequentially.) As I type this, the IPA is boiling and the mash is sitting, almost ready to be vorlaufed and run off into the second brewpot, though I’m letting it sit extra long because space is at a premium on my balcony, where I’m doing this.  

The mash is simple: 

  • 5kg two-row Pale ale malt
  • 150g Crystal (90°)
  • 50g Caraaroma (140°)

For the second half of the mash, I added:

  • 350g Crystal (90°)
  • 50g Caraaroma (140°)

Pretty simple. Amazing how focused you get when your options are limited, huh?

I am not too sure about the efficiency I can get with this system: some of it is the same stuff I used to use back in the old days, back in my hands after passing through the homes of two other homebrewers—most recently my friends at Hidden Fish—but there are also some new elements that have eben added along the way, and, well, I’m a bit out of practice, too, so… well, I plan to compensate with some boiled cane sugar if I am too far below expected gravity, I guess, especially since dry malt extract isn’t currently available at the main homebrew shop in Korea. 

Each half-batch is supposed to be 11L, though again, I don’t know what I’ll lose to evaporation during the boil, and may need to add water and cane sugar to really get things right.

(UPDATE: Holy crap I lost a lot to evaporation. My OG on the IPA was probably way over the 1.060 I was able to measure, but I didn’t bother fishing out the other gravity meter because I ended up with a mere gallon of wort, which… that’s definitely going to need some boiled and cooled water added to it, and there’s no point measuring OG until I do that, right? I’ll try get on it sometime tonight or tomorrow.)

The IPA is single-hop, with just Cascade (6.2% A.A.), with the following hopping schedule:

  • 30g @ 60min
  • 10g @ 30 min
  • 15g @ 20 min
  • 15g @ 10 min
  • 20g @ 5 min

That leaves me 15g to play with if I want to try drop hopping it. We’ll see. 

The Pale Ale, made with the second runnings, will have a little cane sugar added (200grams, boiled and added after fermnetation starts) be hopped with one of my favorite hops, Citra (13.1% A.A.!) with the following schedule:

  • 5g @ 60min
  • 5g @ 30 min
  • 5g @ 10 min
  • 10g @ 5 min
  • 20g @ Whirlpool

As you can see, I’m a fan of late hopping.

I guess I’ll update when I see my results, or… maybe a GIF of a bubbling airlock or two might be nice to share!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *