Sunday, July 11, 2010

SR4: At least it's hoppier

So I need to dial back on the amber malt.
One of the main things I wanted to do with SR4 was lighten the color. As you can see, though, it looks exactly like SR3 (SR3 is on the left, SR4 is on the right). In fact, when I asked my wife to pick between them based on color, she thought SR3 was the lighter one.
Well, shit.
I reduced the toast on the crystal malt to try and lighten the color some for SR4, but obviously that wasn't enough. For the next batch, SR5, I'll swap a couple pounds of amber malt for a couple pounds of plain, or light, malt. I'll also go back to the darker toast on the crystal malt. Now that I know it doesn't really effect the color of the beer (at least not much), I'll go with the darker toast because I prefer the flavor.
The dry hopping worked better this time and I like the flavor of the beer a bit better. For this batch, I dry hopped three ounces of whole Cascade hops for two weeks. The result is obvious. Close your eyes and stick your nose in the glass and you can smell the difference between SR3 and SR4. However, it could be better.
Listening to an old Brew Strong show the other day, I learned that I've been dry hopping too early. Rather than adding the hops at the start of primary fermentation, I should be adding them toward the end of primary fermentation. Apparently, I can also be even more aggressive with my hopping. Three ounces for a five gallon batch is about the minimum I should be using. So for SR5, I'll be dry hopping with at least five ounces of whole hops after about 10 days.
So SR4 isn't a bad batch, it's just not as polished as I wanted it to be. Hopefully with SR5, I'll be able to work out the color and dry hop kinks, slap a name on the beer and move on to the next recipe.

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