Here's the methods and recipe I used in brewing an Imperial Pale Ale. Mr. Tomato, this bud's for you! Go forth and flocculate!
Hop Variety Alternatives
Recent hop shortages have led me to experiment with hops. My local homebrew shop introduced me to Columbus hop. I bought 3 oz. with an Alpha Acid level of %12.2. I will us this hop for bittering, finishing and for aroma.
Commercial breweries use different methods than I will outline here, however, I will make an excellent and fresh beer. The most notable difference in methods, would be that commercial breweries will make a tea or "Wort" from all-grain. Whereas I will use a partial grain recipe. The grain I am using will contribute color and a grain-flavor, but it is likely that I would not be able to extract sugars from this grain. The sugars will come from 2 pounds dry amber malt and 6.6 pounds of Amber malt extract, which is a malted grain that has been lautered and cooked down to an extract which yields excellent quality homebrews. Commercial breweries add the extra step of starting with all grains for economical reasons and their ability to obtain specific style characteristics.
Help in designing this recipe came from: Extreme Brewing
Here's a list of ingredients:
1 lb. of crushed Crystal 120L Malt
2 lbs. Dried Amber Malt
6.6 lbs. of Amber Malt Extract
3 oz. Columbus Hops
5 oz. of priming sugar
Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Ale Yeast
1. The first step is to bring 3 gallons of tap water up to 170 degrees, while putting 2 gallons of spring water in the freezer (for later use, to help cool the wort.)
2. Next step, open a bottle of beer, pour into a glass and relax, in this case I have smuggled a six pack of Yazoo Dos Perros over the Cumberland Plateau.
3. With water in brew kettle reaching 170 degrees, place crush Crystal Malt into grain bag and soak for 30 minutes with heat off. After 30 minutes remove grain bag and bring wort to boil.
4. Meanwhile, you should be sanitizing the fermenter and other tools needed (long handle spoon, hydrometer, thermometer.)
5. Upon wort reaching boil, remove from heat and add dry malt. Return to boil.
6. After 15 minutes, begin adding hops to kettle. Add 2 oz. Columbus hops and set timer for 45 minutes.
7. At timer, add 1 oz. Columbus hop. Add Amber Malt Extract. (I added an additional 1 pound of local honey to boost the final gravity) Stir. Set timer for 10 minutes.
8. At timer, add 1 oz. Columbus hop. Set timer for 5 minutes.
9. Cool wort rapidly to 70 degrees.
10. Measure specific gravity.
11. Pitch yeast.
12. Ferment 7 days.
13. Bottle in 22oz. Bombers.
14. Age 4 weeks in cool basement.
15. Drink at joyous occasions often.
Starting Gravity: 1.064
Target Final Gravity: 1.016
Final Target ABV: 6.1
In related news, thanks to the guys at Harpers Bikeshop for taking care of a homey on a busy Saturday! Here's the completed 18" Purple Unit.
Brew update: Sunday morning 4-6-08 a.m., heading out to ride and checked the airlock, fermentation has taken off rapidly!