Monday, July 9, 2007

Matrimony Ale

There's not a better reason to brew a beer than for a grand occasion such as my sister's wedding. I am so happy for Lauren and Doug. I'm looking forward to celebrating with them on their wedding day. I'm also happy to brew up a batch of summer time pale ale for the occasion.

They are planning a morning ceremony and an early formal reception. After the reception our parents are hosting an after-party at their house. I will be brewing American Pale Ale for the after-party festivities.

It's going to be very bright, and hoppy. It will have a sweetness but will also have an attenuated dryness. Hop bitterness will come from Centennial. Hop flavors will come from a blend of Centennial and Cascade. Hop aroma will come from Cascade. A tasting at racking time will determine if this beer will get dry hops.

So we got around to brewing this beer yesterday morning. A record start time a little after 8AM. The advantage is we're done by yearly afternoon. The drawback is our lunchtime...Jimmy John Subs arrived right when we were in the heat of the boil. Usually Sarah brings subs home before the boil, and we get to take shifts eating and watching the boil.

One strange occurrence was a bi-polar mash Ph. Lately I've been getting low mash Ph's. So this time I decided to go let the mash go without any Gypsum. The night before I diluted Chicago water by half with distilled. About 10 minutes into the mash the litmus test displayed a high Ph around 5.8-6.2. Then I added a half teaspoon of gypsum and the Ph read very acidic. A little later it read again around 5.8. Added a little more and it read very acidic. Then it read around 5.6-5.8. Added another half teaspoon, and it read very acidic. Then again it read around 5.6-5.8. Surprisingly, the mash didn't lose much heat, but I decided to just leave it alone. Especially because the iodine conversion test was positive. After diluting the water in half with distilled, I also added .5 tsp of gypsum per gallon, to give the water enough calcium and sulfates for a good hop presence.

Lastly, we decided to stagger the hop additions for both kettles. I really don't like adding finishing hops to both kettles at the same time, because while one kettle is cooling the other one is still ridiculously hot. So those late addition and knockout hops are really becoming flavor hops. So staggering 20 minutes helps.

Amidst all the commotion in the kitchen, I totally forgot to take gravity readings, so there's no stats for this beer. I can only approximate the ABV to be about 4.8%, and the IBU's to be around 53.

Matrimony Ale
(an American pale ale)
6 gallons

9 lbs. American 2-Row
.75 lb. American Crystal 40L
.25 lb. British Crystal 60L
.25 lb. Belgian Biscuit Malt
.5 lb. CaraPils

1.13 oz. Centennial, 9.5%, pellets, 60min
.25 oz. Centennial, 9.5%, pellets, 20min
.5 oz. Cascade, 7.6%, whole, 20min
.75 oz. Cascade, 7.6%, whole, 5min
.75 oz. Cascade, 7.6%, whole, KO

Wyeast 1056 American Ale
Pitched about .3 quart slurry from the Hop Blend IPA

Fermentation got going in record time. It was fairly active within 3 hours, and started blowing off within 6 hours. I've got it in a cold water bath inside the 10 gallon mashtun. This morning the inside and outside liquid temperatures equalized right at about 68*F. I will slowly raise the temp towards the end of primary fermentation to get some final attenuation. The yeast was pitched at around 1:30PM, and these photos were taken just after 6:30PM. The fermented beverages in the boiler room are Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Hop Blend IPA, Ardennes Cranberry Wine, and this Matrimony Ale.


Brian said...

Ted, sounds like the makings of a fantastic APA, especially the use of centennial hops for bittering/mild flavoring and cascade for flavoring/aroma should be fantastic..and I bet the citrus notes coming off of both compliment your malt bill nicely which looks like it would be very clean tasting with just a malty hint with that 1lb of combined Crystal, am I correct in my assumption?

How long will this be able to sit in secondary (if your doing secondary) before it's off to the big event?

Also are you making lables for this by any chance?

Great post, looking forward to hearing more about it, and your cranberry wine!

Ted Danyluk said...

Hey Brian,

During racking of the previous Hop Blend IPA, I liked the taste of it so much, I pretty much kept the Crystal malt percentage the same. Just a little more C-40 and a little less C-60 for a lighter color. Also a little higher mash temp (which actually fell a little low from try to adjust the Ph), should bring out a little more sweetness.

So far it is smelling really good. At racking time, I will determine if it needs any dry hops, but I didn't want to add them to this batch...we'll see.

It will sit in secondary for about 2 weeks or until my next batch is ready for secondary...a wheat/fruit beer...probably raspberry...or blueberry. Stay tuned for my decision. We will celebrate on their wedding day coming August 18. Can't wait.

No labels for this one. Although my brother and I might draw up a cool poster to hang above the beer tub. There is a possibility that we will use a wax seal holding on ribbons round the the colors of the wedding.

I may write about the Cranberry Wine when it is all said and done. At this point it has a nice dry champaign aroma, taste and feel. I will definitely carbonate it to give it the effervescence it is calling for.

Travis said...


Congrat's on the new member to the family. It's always exciting to have a wedding.

If you get a chance, I would be into a post from you on monitoring mash though PH. I picked up some PH strips and I want to start treating my mash with hopes of improving my efficiency. I am hanging around at 58-64% every time and I am at the point now I want to start to do something about it.

It sounds like you have it down so any advice or a post about how you keep things in order with PH would be appreciated!

Congrats again and cheers to not drinking Bud Light at a wedding!


Orange Loren said...

Wow Teddy, I'm impressed. Matrimony Ale, sounds really cool. All I can add to this is that I hope to share the excellent italian espresso we use in Caffe Italiano for some tasty and pretty lattes at the after party too. I want to see if I can get that machine to work for me then and serve some good Europian lattes... if it doesn't work, I have a back up plan, but I still hope to impress with the new designs! It's going to be a really fun, long, and celabratory day. Thanks for making a really fun addition to the party. I know I can't wait to taste it!

Love you bro,

Ted Danyluk said...

Travis, I've only recently been playing around with Ph. It's a pretty tricky thing. And with this pale ale mash, the strips were cating bi-polar. I think I will get some of my questions answered through the AHA techtalk, and then get into writing a post about this topic.

Lauren, this is going to be the main beer for the wedding. But I will also have a few others that will just be ready then. So I was hoping to bring some of them too...especially if they turn out good.

Matrimony Ale
India Pale Ale
Blueberry Ale
Belgian Dark Ale
Belgian Pale Ale