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Quarter Life Crisis (archive)

 

For my 40th birthday, I got Jamil Zainasheff's and John Palmer's book Brewing Classic Styles from the SheppyBrew Beer Model.  My sister also got me some cool customized bottle caps.  So, I wanted to use both those gifts to brew a beer.  The name I thought of was quarter life crisis as now that I am 40, I figure my life is probably about 1/4 of the way through.  Of course, it would have to be a pretty big beer with lots of hoppyness, and I came across the recipe "West Coast Blaster", which is Jamil's interpretation of a "West Coast" American Amber ale.

I scaled the recipe down for my 2.4 gallon batches and tinkered with the ingredients based on what is easiest for me to find and my overall preferences.  I scaled back a bit on the hops because I am (after all) not having a mid-life crisis or anything.  I guess I'm just not really a west-coast kind of hop-head. 

But, this is well over the OG, ABV and hoppy bitterness of a normal American Amber Ale.  Actually, I am well pleased with this beer and plan to make it several times.



Quarter Life Crisis (AG) --- Batch 3

Style
American Amber Ale
Batch Size
5.00 gal
Type
All Grain
Boil Size   6.84 gal
Mash Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity
1.071 SG
Estimated FG
1.018 SG
Recipe Bitterness
53.5 IBU (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
6.85 %
BU : GU   0.758        
Recipe Color
19.2 SRM
Color
   
Measured OG:    1.072   Measured FG:    1.013
ADF:    82%   Measured ABV:    7.8%

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
10 lbs 12.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 77.45 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 7.20 %
12.0 oz Munich Malt - 10L (11.0 SRM) Grain 5.40 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 3.60 %
8.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 3.60 %
2.1 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 0.94 %
0.50 oz Columbus [14.20 %] (60 min) Hops 30.8 IBU
1.50 oz Centennial [9.20 %] (15 min) Hops 15.9 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.90 %] (15 min) Hops 6.8 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [7.80 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
1.00 oz Centennial [9.20 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
4.0 oz Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 1.80 %
1 Pkgs SafeAle American Ale (Fermentis #US-05) Yeast-Ale

Mash Profile

BIAB, Medium Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min BIAB Add 24.00 qt of water at 162.5 F 154.0 F

Sparge with 2.73 gal of 168.0 F water.
Recipe Notes
Started as West Coast Blaster from Brewing Classic Styles. Modified for my system and available ingredients. I also cut back on the hops a bunch. Jamil wanted me to put in twice as much flavor and aroma hops, but just seemed too much.
http://www.fermentis.com/FO/pdf/HB/EN/Safale_US-05_HB.pdf
Ferment 1 week ~64F followed by 1 week wherever the house temps take it.
Keg condition / force carbonate.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:
 6/5/2011
Strike Temp:  

Mash Temps:
 156 - 154

Pre-boil OG   1.058 (1.057)   Pre-boil Vol   7.25 (6.84 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency
 84%
Pitch Temp    65
Fermentation            
Day 1: Active by the time I got home from work. 62F.

Day 2: Changed water bottles in morning. Very active in afternoon. Temp at 65.

Day 3: Crazy fermentation 66 / 68. 
Day 4: Krausen coming into air lock. Added blow-off tube. 65F

Brewing Notes: 06/09/2011 esheppy
In the morning of the fourth day of fermentation, decided to add a blow-off tube. It is a good thing I did because when I came home, some had come out of the fermenter. Think it will start to go down now. 
06/11/2011
Took out the blow-off tube today and put the air-lock back in.Still lots of krausen, but I think the main fermentation is close to done. Will probably dry-hop tomorrow. delete
06/15/2011
Dry hopped with 1oz cascade and 1oz centennial. Just put them in "naked". Hope they don't just sink to bottom without giving the hop flavor and aroma. delete
06/21/2011
Took a gravity reading. Got 1.013, which makes the ABV around 7.7% and the ADF at 82%. Tasted the sample. It has a wonderful hoppy flavor and aroma with a great malty / caramel backbone. Should keg this up soon. 
06/23/2011 Kegged
Racked into keg. Pressurized to around 30psi and rocked the keg for awhile. Will let it "condition" for at least a week at room temp and then chill. 
07/07/2011
Tuesday night I tried to get some out of my keg. None came out. Eventually, I figured out that hop material is clogging my beer poppet. I guess I should not have dry-hopped naked. My plan is to rack the cold beer into another keg. Hopefully being cold will allow the hop material to drop to the bottom. Not sure if I'll buy a new keg or wait for Summer Lovin' to be emptied. Hopefully this ends up working. 
07/19/2011
The keg of Summer Lovin' died this weekend, so today I transferred from one keg to another. Letting new keg cool again before trying to serve from that keg. Did leave quite a bit behind in keg 1 and auto-siphoned that off to drink. Yummy. 
08/09/2011
The problem with drinking from a keg is that you don't know how much is left. I've been drinking this. I'm not sure it is as good as my last batch. I don't think the naked hops dry hop was a good idea. Still good. Just not sure it is as good. Plus, not sure some this high in alcohol should be this easy to pour and drink. Would like to bottle some of this from the keg and put something else in the keg. 
08/11/2011 Killed the Keg
Well, I filled a growler up to take camping this weekend and blew the keg. Boy, that didn't last long.

Quarter Life Crisis Batch 2 --- cost $20.75

Style
American Amber Ale
Batch Size
2.40 gal
Type
Partial Mash
Boil Size   1.92 gal

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity
1.070 SG
Estimated FG
1.018 SG
Recipe Bitterness
55.5 IBU (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
6.80 %
BU : GU   0.793        
Recipe Color
17.1 SRM
Color
   
Measured OG:    1.072   Measured FG:    1.015
ADF:    79%   Measured ABV:    7.45%

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
3 lbs 8.0 oz Briess Pilsen Light LME (2.0 SRM) Extract 70.00 %
6.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 7.50 %
4.0 oz Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
4.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
4.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
3.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -155L (155.0 SRM) Grain 3.80 %
1.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.20 %
0.50 oz Nugget [12.20 %] (60 min) Hops 46.1 IBU
0.25 oz Centennial [9.20 %] (10 min) Hops 3.5 IBU
0.50 oz Cascade [7.80 %] (10 min) Hops 5.9 IBU
0.50 oz Cascade [7.80 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Centennial [9.20 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
0.25 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
2.0 oz Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 2.50 %
1 Pkgs SafeAle American Ale (Fermentis #US-05) Yeast-Ale

Mash Profile

Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 1.72 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F

Batch Sparge Round 1: Sparge with 0.75 gal of 168.0 F water
Batch Sparge Round 2: Sparge with 1.01 gal of 168.0 F water
Recipe Notes
Started as West Coast Blaster from Brewing Classic Styles. Modified for my system and available ingredients. I also cut back on the hops a bunch. Jamil wanted me to put in twice as much flavor and aroma hops, but just seemed too much.
http://www.fermentis.com/FO/pdf/HB/EN/Safale_US-05_HB.pdf
Ferment 1 week ~64F followed by 1 week wherever the house temps take it.
Batch prime with 2.25 oz table sugar boiled in 1 cup water. Comments 05/31/2010 Brewing Day esheppy
Brewed it up in Rutt. Mashed for a little over an hour and then let the wort sit while going on a bike ride. Took a pre-boil gravity reading of 1.082 (beer smith told me it should be 1.097). My OG ended up being 1.072, so I guess my volume was higher than expected. Left out a bunch of the cold break material. Pitched pretty much right at 60. Good brewing day.
06/01/2010
Fermentation going crazy. Temp at 67, so put in fresh ice bottle. Think this would probably be an overflow without the Fermcap, but don't really know for sure.
06/02/2010
Checked fermentation in the morning ... still going crazy and up to 70. Put in another ice bottle. Ambient temperature reading below 60. Does fermcap cause a hotter fermentation?
06/03/2010
Krausen still very high, but most of the activity seems to have stopped this morning. Moved from the cool cooler to one without water bottles in it to finish up. Will probably dry-hop once the krausen goes down just a bit.
06/06/2010 dry hop esheppy
Yesterday, I dried hops with .5 oz centenial and .5 oz cascade. That is .25 oz more than I had planned, but more dry-hops can't be a bad thing, right?
06/19/2010 Bottled esheppy
Bottled it up with 2.25oz sugar in 2 cups water. Very good attenuation. Got 19 12oz bottles and 2 liter bottles. Sample tasted real good.
06/22/2010
My first bottle bomb? Opened the carbing coolers to apply labels and the main one had about 12 oz of beer on the bottom. One of the bottles came apart at the bottom. Bummer. Tasted the beer from the cooler. Tasted nice and hoppy and red... but flat.
07/01/2010 esheppy
Compared one of batch 1 to Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Probably not a valid comparison, but QLC is the closest I've brewed to AB. And... there is no comparison. Mine is so much better, it is not even close. To me, AB is too bitter. Mine is perfect. Anyway, who is the Arrogant Bastard now?
07/06/2010
Moved all of batch 2 into the conditioning cooler.
07/20/2010 esheppy
Tried the LB of batch 2. More hop aroma and taste than I remember in batch one. This might be mostly because it is young. Wonderful beer.
07/23/2010 esheppy
The extra .25oz of dry hop seemed to have made a huge difference. Really like the extra hoppiness.
09/11/2010 esheppy
Had one. So yummy. Might be the perfect beer. The malty goodness with the hops is a wonderful combination.
10/09/2010 Brewing day esheppy
Brewed up the batch. Hit my pre-boil gravity pretty much right on. Pitched right at about 62. Everything went real well, although I had to adjust the recipe a bit on the fly because I did not have as many hops as I thought. Used hop sacks.
10/13/2010
Fermentation still going and still at 62. Got a little overflow a couple of days ago. Going to let temp rise now.
10/17/2010
Dry hopped. Rutt has been out of the cooler for a couple days now and will continue there until ready to bottle.
10/22/2010
Had one of the old batch while bottling up the AG. I cannot communicate enough how great this beer is. I really hope the AG is as good.
10/23/2010 Bottled esheppy
Bottled this up with 2.25oz sugar boiled in 2 cups water last night. Got 2 liter bottles, 18 12 oz bottles, and one pint bottle. Sample was good. Was considerably lighter in color than the partial-mash batch. Looking forward to trying this after carbonation.
02/19/2011 Drinking QLC esheppy
This beer ages well. The hoppiness might not be the same, but it is still there. Still love this beer.Need to brew up in the big fermentor.
04/10/2011 esheppy
Had one. Really ages well. Love this beer.
04/22/2011 esheppy
Have I mentioned lately that I love this beer? Yes, I think I have.

 

Quarter Life Crisis Batch 1 --- cost $20.22
Style   American Amber Ale   Batch Size   2.40 gal
Type   Partial Mash   Boil Size   1.92 gal

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity   1.071 SG   Estimated FG   1.018 SG
Recipe Bitterness   55.4 IBU (Rager)   Alcohol by Volume   6.85 %
BU : GU   0.785        
Recipe Color   17.7 SRM  
Color
   
Measured OG   1.071   Measured FG:   1.018
ADF:   74.6%   Measured ABV:   7.10%

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
3 lbs 8.0 oz Briess Pilsen Light LME (2.0 SRM) Extract 67.50 %
6.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 7.79 %
4.0 oz Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 5.19 %
4.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 5.19 %
4.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 5.19 %
3.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -155L (155.0 SRM) Grain 3.95 %
2.0 oz Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM) Grain 2.60 %
0.50 oz Nugget [12.20 %] (60 min) Hops 47.0 IBU
0.25 oz Centennial [9.20 %] (10 min) Hops 3.5 IBU
0.50 oz Cascade [7.80 %] (10 min) Hops 6.0 IBU
0.50 oz Centennial [9.20 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.25 oz Cascade [7.80 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min) Misc  
0.25 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 min) Misc  
2.0 oz Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 2.60 %
1 Pkgs SafeAle American Ale (Fermentis #US-05) Yeast-Ale  

Mash Profile

Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 1.80 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F

Batch Sparge Round 1: Sparge with 0.73 gal of 168.0 F water
Batch Sparge Round 2: Sparge with 1.01 gal of 168.0 F water
  Recipe Notes
Started as West Coast Blaster from Brewing Classic Styles. Modified for my system and available ingredients. I also cut back on the hops a bunch. Jamil wanted me to put in twice as much flavor and aroma hops, but just seemed too much.
http://www.fermentis.com/FO/pdf/HB/EN/Safale_US-05_HB.pdf
Ferment 1 week ~64F followed by 1 week wherever the house temps take it.
Batch prime with 2.25 oz table sugar boiled in 1 cup water.
Date Note
02/11/2010 Thur Stopped by the LBHS over lunch to get these ingredients.  No Crystal 120, so went with 150 instead.  Also made the decision to dry hop.  10 minute addition of hops went into a hop bag.  Actually did most of the mash and "sparging" while reading to Connor which worked out well.  Pitched at 66, used blender to aerate, and put straight in conditioning cooler.  Measured 1.070 which adjusts to 1.071 for temp.
02/14/2010 Sun Really good fermentation so far.  Scooped out some kraussen today as it was starting to overflow.  Not sure it will be enough.  Temps have mostly been around 62, but rising today.  I'll probably not change the ice anymore and let it get up to 70 from here.
02/15/2010 Mon Thought maybe the temp was starting to fall a bit, so moved to the spare room.  Added in the dry hops.
02/17/2010 Wed Opened up the keg to see hop sack floating.  Probably should have sunk it, but not going to do that right now.  Have the space heater set up in the room to keep this warm while I set the rest of the house to around 55 so that the lager will be at a good temperature for its fermentation.
02/23/2010 Tues Tried a little sample.  Still very cloudy.  Not sure the hoppy taste is quite as intense as I was expecting.  Seems to be a good amber, though.
02/27/2010 Sat Bottled up with 2.25oz sugar in one cup water.  FG came out to 1.018, so I actually hit the expected OG and FG on this one (first time ever).  LB was full, but had a bunch of hop particles.  Sample tasted good, but not quite as intensely hoppy as I figured it would

Comments
03/14/2010
Moved into conditioning cooler.
03/19/2010
Had a QA taste. Very delicious. This is quite a hoppy beer, but I think maybe I would like to try this closer to Jamil's hop levels. It is a beautiful deep red color with great head. The caramel flavor comes through nicely, but there is no denying that the primary flavor contribution comes from hops. Interesting note: the trub really stayed together well at the bottom of the bottle.
03/28/2010
Tried it today with the beer for the picture. So good. Now, I don't know if I want to hop it up more. Might have to enter this into the discussion as to what is my favorite beer.
04/01/2010 esheppy
Had another. Yum! Put the rest of the bottles in the beer fridge. Going to have to attempt to keep this one in stock.
04/03/2010 esheppy
I am afraid that this beer is not going to last long at all. Am going to have to make sure I get this on the schedule soon.

 
Comments:
http://www.sheppybrew.com/recipes/recipe.aspx?id=74
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