Friday, August 3, 2012

Paying your debts forward

When I started brewing I had no idea what I was doing. I read a lot of "stuff", much of it contradictory (or simply wrong) and much of it I didn't understand. I started brewing, got over excited, made a beer with carob, and cinnamon, and anise (and 58% efficiency, because I REALLY didn't know what I was doing.) And basically made all the typical mistakes that a new, overly excited homebrewer makes.

But I learned, and I got better. And one of the major reasons for that is that I have a strong community of brewers in this country who welcome new brewers into their ranks and help them. There's a long list of people I can thank for my advancement this past year, including Dagan Bar-Ilan, who gave me access to his homebrew forum  even though I didn't quite "qualify", Noa'am Shalev, who spent several hours talking me through my first BIAB batches (before I had a mashtun), Shahar Klien, who gave me me first taste of liquid yeast (and a lot of good advice), Shahar Hertz, my "dealer" in homebrew goods until he closed shop, and many many others.

But there's one man that I credit more than anything with helping me become the brewer I am today, and that is Emanuel Zaidman, also known as E.Z. Much has been said about Emanuel over the years, mostly having to do with his, um, people skills. But two facts have never been in doubt: One, that he is an extremely competent brewer (and the long list of awards his beer has won would testify to that) and Two, that he is never stingy about sharing his information. Oh, he may yell at you for doing everything wrong. But he'll also spend hours patiently explaining how to do it right (in his opinion, at least.)

One thing I remember particularly about Emanuel is his first post to the brewing forum after last year's Longshot competition. He won first prize, I believe in the wheat beer category and, true to his promise from before the competition, he posted the winning recipe online. He got a fair amount of crap for that, and people were telling him that he should keep the recipe for himself so he can win the next year. But he said that it's the brewer that makes the beer, and that the purpose of the forum is to make us all better brewers. So he published the recipe. And you know what? Last night, at this year's Longshot, he took first for wheat again.

When I saw the recipe posted I remember thinking to myself that he was an idiot for posting it. But then I rethought about it, and I realized he was right, and that I hope one day I could be like that. Well, last night at Longshot, I won first prize as well, in the Light Ale category. After which I walked up to Emanuel and told him that I own half of this prize to him. And so, in the spirit of paying my debts, and with the belief that information makes better brewers of us all, it is my honor to share my winning recipe with the world at large. Enjoy:

Recipe: Left Hand of IPA
Brewer: Boaz
Asst Brewer: 
Style: American IPA
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 30.48 l
Post Boil Volume: 25.48 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 20.00 l   
Bottling Volume: 20.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.053 SG
Estimated Color: 6.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 64.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 89.4 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt         Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
2.70 kg     Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        56.0 %        
0.80 kg     Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM)              Grain         2        16.6 %        
0.80 kg     Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM)   Grain         3        16.6 %        
0.40 kg     Medium Caramel/Crystal Malt - 45L - Shac Grain         4        8.3 %         
0.12 kg     Carafoam (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM)           Grain         5        2.5 %         
30.00 g     Centennial [7.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min      Hop           6        29.2 IBUs     
0.50 tbsp   Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins)              Fining        7        -             
70.00 g     Hallertauer [3.20 %] - Boil 15.0 min     Hop           8        12.3 IBUs     
30.00 g     Perle [6.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min           Hop           9        9.9 IBUs      
30.00 g     Tettnang [3.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min        Hop           10       4.9 IBUs      
30.00 g     Amarillo Gold [4.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min    Hop           11       3.2 IBUs      
30.00 g     Cascade [4.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min          Hop           12       3.0 IBUs      
20.00 g     Styrian Goldings [4.40 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop           13       1.9 IBUs      
1.0 pkg     Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)  Yeast         14       -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.82 kg
Name              Description                                Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 15.82 l of water at 75.3 C              68.9 C        90 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge with 3 steps (0.36l, 10.48l, 10.48l) of 75.6 C water 
A couple of notes from the brewing notes:
- I have a small mash tun, so I couldn't add much water for mash-out, and obviously adding 360ml of water wasn't going to bring the mash to 77C, so instead I did a 2L THIN mash decoction to bring the temp up. You don't necessarily have to do this, it's just something that helps with batch sparging.
- Fermentation Temperature was 19C, for two weeks
- Preboil Gravity: 1.043 OG: 1.053. FG: 1.015
- Carbonation was 2.5 volumes
- I didn't forget the dry hop addition in the recipe. Believe it or not, this beer was not dry hoped. :)

See you all in Longshot 2013! (oh, and if anyone has pictures, share them on facebook, I was a little too busy to take any :) )

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