Recipe: Rauchbier

Is this the triumphant return of YBD? We shall see. One of our triumvirate has resumed – and re-suspended – his brewing activities with moves from Ann Arbor to Vail to New York. One has hardly slowed down his drinking or brewing the entire time he’s lived in Chicago – it’s the “blogging” part of our mission statement that has given him so much trouble. The final member – that would be me – inherited NAte’s brewing equipment, and just might be back in the game.

I will warn you straight off the top: this was my first time brewing in well over a year, and one of just a few times (the only one that comes to mind, but there may have been others) that I’ve brewed solo.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s just about guaranteed I messed many things up. On with the show.

Classic Rauchbier

6.5 gallon boil, 5.5 gallon batch

Grains
6 pounds smoked Briess malt
4 pounds American 2-row malt
2 pounds 80L crystal malt

Hops
1 oz. German Saphir (3.8% AA) – 65 mins.
1 oz. German Hersbrucker (3.1% AA) – 35 mins.

Yeast
White Labs WLP 820 Oktoberfest/Marzen yeast

I mashed for the first time in my newly-acquired 10-gal mash tun at 170ยบ for just over an hour. I crushed the non-smoked grains in the store, but didn’t realize until I got home that the smoked malt was not ground. Fortunately, a hand-operated grain mill was among the hand-me-downs from Nate. Unfortunately, I think I didn’t crush the grains finely enough.

My expected OG was 1.055 – my observed value was 1.032. As you may note, that’s a huge difference. I’m hoping that maybe the hydrometer was improperly calibrated (it was the first time I’d used it, after all, and I sure as hell didn’t check).

We shall see upon my return from work if the magic of fermentation has begun.

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