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CCHBS News for June 2004

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  1. June Recipe Specials
  2. All-Grain Class for June - Step Mashes
  3. Our Lowest Price Kits Are Now Even Lower
  4. Take Advantage of Bulk Pricing and Save
  5. Spotlight on Technique - Step Mashing

June Recipe Specials

The Pacific Gravity style of the month for August is Belgian ales. To help you prepare, we're putting 3 of our most popular Belgian ale recipes on sale - Evil Monk Pale Ale, Wit Men Can't Jump Belgian Wit and Dubbel Trouble Abbey Ale. To round things out, we're also including special pricing on our versatile Yellow Brick Road Wheat Beer recipe.

Evil Monk Pale Ale is our version of a Belgian Pale Ale. This style was originally inspired by English Pales, but with a uniquely Belgian interpretation. Ordinarily selling for $26, it's on sale for only $22.00.

Wit Men Can't Jump Belgian Wit may have a long name, but if you brew this beer you'll make short work of it. This style may be the perfect summer beer - light and refreshing, but with plenty of flavor. Try it for $22 during the month of June.

Dubbel Trouble Abbey Ale is a fine example of the style also known as Trappist Ale. These beers are rich, complex, strong ales. Originally brewed by monks, you don't have to take a vow of silence to brew one - but the taste may leave you speechless. A bargain at $30.

Yellow Brick Road Wheat Beer is our single most versatile recipe. Why? Because you can brew it using a German wheat beer yeast and make a Hefeweizen, or brew it with American Ale yeast and make an American style wheat beer. Finally, you can add some fruit or fruit extract and make a fruit beer. Consider the possibilities for $22.

All-Grain Class for June - Step Mashes

Mark your calendar for Sunday, June 13th at 10AM. That's when we'll be holding the third in our series of all-grain brewing classes. Taking part in these classes will qualify you to use the Pacific Gravity club brewing system so you can brew your own all-grain classes.

Our Lowest Price Kits Are Now Even Lower

We'd like to see more people brewing our Melrose Mild, Notting Hill Pub Bitter and Little Mac Scottish Light recipes, so we're lowering the prices on these kits. All of these beers are low gravity beers, of the type known as "session beers" in England. We prefer to call them the beers to drink if you're having more than a few. If you'd like to try one to find out why we like them, it will only cost $20!

Take Advantage of Bulk Pricing and Save

If you're brewing regularly you really should be taking advantage of our bulk cards. These cards let you have bulk pricing while we handle the storage for you! Ask about them the next time you're in the store.

Spotlight on Technique - Step Mashing

Next month, we'll have a spotlight just for extract brewers but for now let's take a look at step mashing all-grain batches. Even brewers who never plan to make anything besides pale ales should understand step mashing because it gives them the option of including a mash out, the step that stops the conversion process.

To be precise, today we're talking about multi-step mashes with infusion temperature raises. What this means is that the mash temperature is changed by adding hot water. There are other ways to accomplish a temperature raise, of course, the easiest being direct application of heat. But since most brewers use a converted cooler as a mash/lauter tun, the addition of hot water is the practical approach. A third way to raise the temperature of a mash is to use a decoction, but that will have to be the subject of another discussion.

If you're going to conduct a step mash, you're going to have to do some math. Sorry, but there's no other way about it. The formula you need to use for a step raise is: Wa = (T2 - T1)(.2G + Wm)/(Tw - T2) where Wa = The amount of boiling water added (in quarts); T1 = The initial temperature (°F) of the mash; T2 = The target temperature (°F) of the mash; G= The weight of grain (in pounds); Wm = The total amount of water in the mash (in quarts); and Tw = The actual temperature (°F) of the infusion water. Don't worry, it's easier than it looks.

How does it work? Let's say you're mashing 20 lbs. of grain at 154 degrees, having mashed in with 20 quarts of water. Now you want to raise your mash temperature to 168 degrees. Plugging the values into the formula we get: Wa= (168-154)(.2*20+20)/(208-168). With a little help from a calculator, we get a value of 8.4, or just over 2 gallons of boiling water for our step raise. Why boiling water? Two reasons: 1) The higher the temperature, the less water you have to add, and 2) You don't have to watch the temperature constantly, just let it come to a boil.

There's a lot more you can learn about multi-step infusion mashes, and the best place to start learning is How to Brew by John Palmer. The formula we used above comes directly from his book and we thank him for making it available.

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