I’m a big fan of the Mosaic varietal. Given its popularity with craft brewers (and their consumers2), this should come as no surprise. If anything, you’re probably eye-rolling me at how cliche it is to do a Mosaic single-hop. But no need to feel defensive. Mosaic is great, and I had some on-hand. So I let it rip.
And (for me) the best part: with the 10 gallon Spike kettle in full effect, it was time for my Prosody Project recipe to graduate to its all-grain version.
The day before brew day, I got my house yeast strain into a starter and spinning on the stir plate3; I also got the brewing liquor into the kettle and adjusted. Then, bright and early the day of, I got the flame going. I mashed in at 154.3°F, wrapped the kettle in the Reflectix “battle armor”, and tried to hold it steady for 75 minutes.4 My mash pH reading came in at 5.21.5 After pulling the bag and doing the squeezing, I had about 5.9 gallons of wort at 1.049.
I got the wort to boiling, and followed along with my hopping schedule — ½ oz. at 60 minutes, ¼ oz. at 45, another ¼ oz. at 5, and then 1 oz. for a 15 minute whirlpool/steep after chilling to 170°F. After chilling the rest of the way down to 65°F, I had 5.5 gallons in the kettle at 1.056.
Almost exactly 5 gallons went into the carboy. From there, I aerated the wort as best I could with ye olde méthode d’agitation and pitched my yeast from the starter.
The carboy went into the fermentation chamber and I set the temperature controller to 67±1°F. I had bubbling in the blow-off bucket five hours later. By +19 it was ripping and roiling away.
I happily let it do its thing, eventually ramping up the controller to 70±1°F around +93 hours.
After about a week, the gravity had appeared to stabilize at 1.015. I proceeded to dry hop, bumping up to five days from my usual three.
When I pulled the dry hops, I took another gravity reading as a sanity check. To my surprise, it had come down further — finishing at 1.012. I thought that perhaps I had mis-read my thermometer, but given that the previous two versions of this beer had finished at 1.011… maybe that really was where it had finished. To verify, I took another sample, made sure it was thoroughly de-gassed, double-checked its temperature, and ran the calibration and offset numbers for the hydrometer again. Indeed: 1.012.
I cold-crashed, fined with gelatin, and proceeded to prime with corn sugar and bottle this batch: 47 × 12 oz. bottles. (Oh, and I harvested my house strain while I was at it.)
I know we’re always biased toward our own creations but… Mmm. I’m enjoying the hell out of this one.
AROMA. Moderately strong hop aroma leads — tropical (pineapple, mango) and citrus (clementine, lemon-zest) are dominant characteristics. Malt aroma moderate and slightly of light bread and cracker. Some esters but low and supportive citrus. No DMS. No diacetyl.
APPEARANCE. Pale gold color. Excellent clarity. Tall white foamy head stood greater than 2 minutes and never fully collapsed.
FLAVOR. Hop-forward and leads with tropical (pineapple) and citrus (lime, clementine) notes — both moderate to strong and persisting throughout. Malt most pronounced mid-palate; moderate light bread and cracker with mild Maillard products. Mild ester with citrus quality. Assertive bitterness in the finish. Dry finish. Clean fermentation character.
MOUTHFEEL. Medium body. Moderate to high carbonation. No significant alcohol warming. No apparent creamy aspect. Perhaps a low astringency but not distracting. Lively.
OVERALL IMPRESSION. Solid example of an American Pale Ale. Hoppy and refreshing.
Changes for next time? Three things come to mind as “maybes”.
First, I’m on the fence about whether it’s the right level of hoppy or not. I’d like it to be ever-so-slightly more intense in the aroma. I suspect that bumping up the dry hop charge by an ounce or two might help there. Another thing would be to look into methods to reduce any O₂ pick-up even further.
Second, I’m wondering if I can give the malt backbone just a little more character here. I don’t think it’s flat or one-dimensional, and it is supposed to be on the neutral side — but it… seems like it’s missing something. Granted, this was my first time making a Prosody Project beer as all-grain, so it’s entirely possible such a tweak is going to find its way into the formulation anyway. Perhaps bumping up the Munich malt slightly?
Lastly, I’ve gotten a little paranoid about astringency in my beers. It is feedback that I have gotten a couple of times and I’m now struggling to pinpoint the source. Most of the reading that I’ve done on the subject points to sparge water that is too hot (or an out-of-band pH) as the culprit; but as a BIAB brewer, sparge water isn’t a factor here. Other possibilities include my mash pH (certainly a contender) or over-hopping (unlikely; if anything I’ve gotten more conservative with my hopping rates). While I didn’t detect a significantly astringent quality in this beer, I’m open to the possibility that I’m being too forgiving of myself (though I’m trying not to be). Regardless, this is an area where I’m applying my research skills.
In the meantime, I’ll have no problem drinking (and sharing) this beer. Now I just need to figure out which hop varietal gets the next highlight in my Prosody Project.
The all-grain (BIAB) recipe for Prosody (Mosaic) is as follows:
Starting with the Champlain Water District profile as a base, and targeting the Pale Ale profile (Bru’n Water spreadsheet):
- 1.60 g/gal Gypsum
- 0.20 g/gal Calcium Chloride
- 0.35 g/gal Epsom Salt
- 0.20 mL/gal lactic acid (88%)
- 6 lb. 2 oz. Briess Pale Ale malt
- 3 lb. 14 oz. Briess 2-row malt
- 12 oz. BestMalz Munich Dark
- 4 oz. Briess white wheat malt
- ½ oz. Mosaic (60 min.)
- ¼ oz. Mosaic (45 min.)
- ¼ oz. Mosaic (5 min.)
- 1 oz. Mosaic (15 min. steep/whirlpool at 170°F)
- 2 oz. Mosaic (dry hop 5 days)
Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale — 300 mL of (83 days old) slurry, re-activated in 1250 mL starter.
- Collect 26.17 qt. water and heat to 161.2°F. Mash in; hold at 152.1°F for 75 minutes. No mash out.
- Remove filter bag from water. Squeeze filter bag to extract as much liquid as possible for wort. No sparge. Pre-boil volume should be approx. 5.7 gallons.
- Bring to a boil. Boil for 60 minutes; follow hop schedule as described above.
- Cool to 170°F as rapidly as possible. Add 1 oz. Mosaic and whirlpool/steep for 15 minutes. After steeping, chill to pitching temperatures as rapidly as possible. Post-boil volume should be approx. 5.2 gallons.
- Aerate wort; pitch 1332 yeast from starter.
- Start fermentation at 67±1°F.
Beyond Brew Day
- Allow fermentation to complete (approx. 2 weeks) at approx. 67±1°F. As fermentation slows, ramp up to 70±1°F to encourage complete attenuation.
- Add 2 oz. Mosaic for dry hopping. Let stand 5 days.
- Use corn sugar to prime on bottling day. Rack beer into bottling bucket and bottle.
- Allow at least 2 weeks to carbonate.
Prosody (Mosaic), a single-hop American pale ale by Tilde Gravitywerks
The Prosody Project
|Hop Varietal||Brew Date|
- I was so very tempted to use the “left over” Galaxy for the APA project and/but/so… I had a certain ribbon-winner that needed reprising. [↩]
- Consumers like me. [↩]
- Similar to when I made the Motueka version of this, I calculated the age of the house strain with the grim awareness that it was… 83 days since it had been harvested. But, also like when I brewed the Motueka version, I was going to try it anyway. [↩]
- Quick aside about a dumb mistake I made. With approximately 20 minutes left to go in the mash, I attempted to raise the temperature (it having slipped about 4°F) through direct heat. My dumb mistake was that I forgot to pull the Reflectix insulation off of the kettle. While it didn’t go up in flames, there was a little bit of… contracting and distortion of the material down low. So yeah, let that be a lesson to all of us. [↩]
- Here’s a bit of trivia about my pH readings. Historically, I have measured the pH of the mash itself at mash temperature by just sticking the probe right in there. This time, I pulled a small sample and put it into the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool it down. I took the pH reading while the sample was 76.6°F. Why the change? The last couple of times that I took readings at mash temperature, they seemed far too low. Like in the neighborhood 4.95 low. Did my pH meter have ATC? I wasn’t sure. Did I need a new probe on the pH meter? Probably! An in-depth discussion of my meditations on pH is something that we can save for another day; this was some necessary context-setting though. [↩]