Homegrown Suds Ale #2......we could call it China Red, Clifford the Big Red Ale, Amulet Imperial Amber, Forest Floor Ale....who knows, I never actually coined the beer properly, but it did turn out pretty well. With refinement and experience, I will re-visit this custom recipe and see how to improve.
Batch #2 was a bit over my head, but not anything I couldn't handle. I just had never Mini-Mashed before, (halfway between extract brewing and doing all grain batch). I had a vague idea what I wanted for this beer to be, I just wasn't sure if the end result would mirror my plan. The amazing thing, it turned out just as I hoped it would!!
My hopes were for an Ale that was big, malty and smooth, with a healthy mouthful of hops in it. I wanted my hop profile to be earthy, woody, minty, spicy and somewhat floral, but still leaving room for a substantial malt framework.
I did my first mini-mash, and it went pretty smooth. With nearly four pounds of grain; 2-Row Pale Malt, Chocolate Malt, Crystal 120, and Cara-red/C30, I mashed at approximately 150 degrees, and managed to pull out the sugars I needed, something like +20 gravity points with my hydrometer reading. I am not far enough along to know my efficiency, or my malt character dependent on my mash temperatures.....but that will come in due time. The rest of the sugars came from 7 pounds of Amber and Pale Malt extract. I was going for a big beer and I got it, getting about 7.5% ABV.
Hops used were Northern Brewer as a bittering hop, Perle and Willamette Hops for flavor, and Cascade -Willamette mix, for flavor and aroma at flame-out, as well as a Dry Hop in secondary.
Bottle conditioning required more time for this batch, at three weeks, it still had a green flavor. But weeks four and on it was ready to drink, and was enjoyed. I am sure with more aging #2 will get even better, fortunately or unfortunately, I drank them all and gave plenty away. I guess I will have to brew more Beer!!!!!!