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Monday, February 16, 2015

NXNW Duckabish - Amber: 2/16/2015

We all have that place we go for a go-to beer or two.  Mine is NXNW Restaurant & Brewery.  There are two locations in Austin Texas.  The original is up north and their newest location is out in south Austin where I live.  Surprisingly, I go to the North location much more than I do the south.   While my favorite beer is the Okanogan Black, most of my friends enjoy Duckabish.  I would call this an English Amber.  It's pretty light at 5%, very malt forward with a hint of that English yeast flavor and one of my favorite hops for English styles, UK East Kent Goldings.

I've been thinking about doing this recipe for quite some time just to share with friends and it makes for a nice go-to beer at the house when I'm looking for something a little easier on the night.   After an intense day at work, I decided to pull the trigger on on 11 gallon run.

I already had a head start on the recipe after asking my homebrew club (The Austin Zealots) for the recipe.  Seems we have a few members that are "friends of the brewery" in some way or another.  This is what I received in the way of guidance? 

86% pils malt
13.5% cara 20
.5% choc
Single step mash at 153° F
Hops: UK Golding for 75 min for 17 IBU
Yeast: English Ale
This is one of the few beers we filter, but with some extra conditioning it can go without.
Carbonate to 2.5 - 2.6  vol co2

After a few trips to the brewery for tastings, I translated this to the following recipe in  beersmith:

Recipe: Duckabish - Clone
Brewer: Brian Stevenson
Asst Brewer: 
Style: American Amber Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0) 

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 13.27 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.54 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 10.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 8.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 17.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.7 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                                          Type          #        %/IBU         
17 lbs 8.0 oz     Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)                  Grain         1        85.9 %        
2 lbs 12.0 oz     Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM)                     Grain         2        13.5 %        
2.0 oz                Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)                     Grain         3        0.6 %         
1.53 oz              Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 75.0  Hop           4        17.0 IBUs     
1.0 pkg              Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) Yeast         5        -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
75 mins @ 150.0 F

Total Grain Weight: 20 lbs 6.0 oz

The only difference between my actual brew day and the recipe above is that I couldn't find anyone with Belgian Pilsner so I was forced to use German.  I don't see a lot of difference between the two taste wise.  The only concern I had was DMS but I figured a 90 minute boil would eliminate most of that possibility in either.

Overall the brew day went pretty good.  I hit my OG right on the money at 1.050.  I did a double batch for this brew day which included a 5 gallon IPA that I call "Last Minute IPA" because I decided two days before to create my first IPA recipe from scratch.  I'll blog about that process as well shortly.

I'm going to be doing some firsts on this fermentation.  First time using the Sabco 15 gallon fermenter (pictured below) and the first time using my new (old) deep freeze as a fermentation chamber.  Should be fun getting the fermenter in and out but that's why I have a 230 lb, 6 ft tall 14 year old.  Well, not the only reason but he does come in handy on a brew day.   I'm going to be working on a hoist system at a later date and will probably have to put a collar on the freezer to fit more than 10 gallons at a time but I'm in no hurry to do that because I don't often brew more than 15 gallons on a given day.  10 in the deep freeze and 5 in a converted dorm fridge I've used for 5/6 gallon batches for ever.  

Below are some pictures and descriptions of the brew day.

I'll be updating this post as the beer ferments and as I taste the final product.  

Beer Name: NXNW Duckabish - Clone
Style: English Amber
Date Brewed: 2/16/2015
Batch Size: 11 Gallons
Recipe:  See above from BeerSmith
OG: 1.050
Tasting Notes: TBD
Mashed for about 15 minutes over schedule.  Just because I was preoccupied during the brew day.  I was also planning on doing two batches today so I had to play around with my system a bit to be able to do that.
Run off took about 50 minutes.  I used my second pump for the first time.  I am still having trouble getting my pumps to run slow enough that I don't have to watch them but fast enough they don't just stop for no reason.  That happened a couple times during my sparge.  I had to run off a little faster that I'd like at time just to keep the pump going.  All in all everything went OK in terms of the sparge and run off. 
Filled the boil kettle almost to the top.  Not a lot of room for the hot break which made me a little nervous but I was able to contain the boil and didn't have any boil overs.   I kept a spray bottle right next to the kettle just in case. 
About 13.25 gallons pre-boil volume.  
These were the hops of the day.  I was double batching it today so most of these were for an IPA I'm making.  We'll see how that turns out but the hop schedule for this amber was super easy.  A single addition at 75 minutes on a 90 minute boil.   
75 minutes in to the 90 minute boil and the first and only hop addition was added.  I do love the smell of most hops but Goldings have that Old school aroma.  Love it.

FYI: I did a 90 minute boil to eliminate or at least reduce the possibility of DMS since I was using Pilner malt.  
Had a snap a couple photos of the steam coming out of the kettle.  Was an unusually cold day in Austin.  Don't get to see this view much.  
Just another angle on the steam kettle. 
Target OG 1.050.  Measured OG 1.050.  That's always a great brew day when you're calculations are right.  Means I'm getting used to the system....or I'm really lucky. 
Out of the kettle, through the Therminator and into the Sabco 15 gallon fermenter.  As I said earlier, it was unusually cold in Austin so I had to play with the water flow to get to the right temp.  If I had ran what I started at, I was going to end up around 55 F.  That's way cold for Austin water.   I was able to play enough to get the final right at 72 F.  

UPDATE 3/1/2015:  kegged the batch today.  Fermentation went without a hitch really.  The final gravity was 1.010.  This make the beer clock in at 5.2% ABV.  Just a tad bit higher than I had intended but not much and not anything that will be noticiable.