Stupid is as Stupid Does . . . A SMaSH Beer

Using a decoction to fix screw-up # 2

Its brew day again; a mere 7 days since last time.  The saison is fermenting along fine, the sour barleywine is growing a pellicle, the hopsteader is gone, and the son of gnarly is almost out.  So my beer is either gone, is nearly gone, or is a long ways away from being done.  What is a brewer to do?  Brew another long-ageing beer!

OK, that’s dumb, but this beer is part of a group-brew with other members of the London Homebrewers Guild.  This time, we’re doing SMaSH beers – Single Malt and Single Hop.  It is exactly what it sounds like – you brew a beer using nothing but a base malt and a single hop.  In our case, we drew a malt and a hop out of a hat . . . I drew Munich malt & Citra hops.

I decided to brew a bastardized Munich Dunkel; instead of classical European hops there would be Citra; in place of classical lager yeasts there would be a steam-beer like yeast (WLP810, San Francisco).  This is a half-batch using a single-step mash; should have been an easy brew day.  I had tentatively named this “MC SMaSH”.  Yes, that’s corny as hell, but MC = Munich Citra, and I’ve been listening to a lot of my old beastie boys albums lately…

And then brew day arrived and everything began going wrong:

  1. Lost the cat (he suck out of the garage, and down the street).  In chasing him I thought I had over-heater the strike water,
  2. Started the mash, then realized my strike water was just over mash temp (66C), not strike temp (75C).  Undershot the desired 66.7C mash temp by nearly 10C.
  3. Decocted twice to get back upto mash temp; burnt the second decoction.
  4. Mash runoff gravity was poor – 1.028 instead of 1.041
  5. OG was 1.035, not 1.054
So, without further ado, let me present the aptly re-named “Stupid is as Stupid Does”.

MC SMaSH (Stupid is As Stupid Does)
Munich Dunkel
Type: All GrainDate: 13-05-01
Batch Size (fermenter): 12.00 lBrewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Size: 17.17 lEnd of Boil Volume 13.52 l
Boil Time: 60 min
3.00 kgMunich Malt (9.0 SRM)Grain1100.0 %
14.17 gCitra [12.00 %] – Boil 15.0 minHop217.7 IBUs
0.16 tspIrish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)Fining3
14.17 gCitra [12.00 %] – Boil 5.0 minHop47.1 IBUs
14.17 gCitra [12.00 %] – Boil 0.0 minHop50.0 IBUs
1.0 pkgGerman Lager (White Labs #WLP830) [35.49 ml]Yeast6
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SGMeasured Original Gravity: 1.035 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SGMeasured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.8 %Actual Alcohol by Vol: 3.5 %
Bitterness: 24.8 IBUsCalories: 427.1 kcal/l
Est Color: 10.6 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash OutTotal Grain Weight: 3.00 kg
Sparge Water: 12.35 lGrain Temperature: 17.0 C
Sparge Temperature: 75.6 CTun Temperature: 17.0 C

Mash Steps

NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Mash InAdd 8.07 l of water at 75.2 C66.7 C60 min

Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 12.35 l water at 75.6 C

Brewday Notes:

As mentioned above, a lot went wrong with this brew.  Undershot my mash temp, mash efficiency sucked (despite decoctions, which usually improve things), OG was low.  Pretty much everything went wrong.  But, it may still turn out OK – I hope…

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