Friday 3 November 2023

Stone & Wood - Pacific Ale (Version 2) - BrewZilla Brew Day

Here's a quick recap/run down on our second attempt at brewing the Stone & Wood Pacific Ale. Check out our revised (version 2) recipe that we used for this brew.

We remember our first attempt was pretty good, but definitely had a slight harsh/astringent note to it, we suspect from not adjusting the pH in our sparge water at the time. We've come a fair way since then in terms of process and brewing knowledge so we're hoping this one will be an improvement, and perhaps a little closer to replicating the original Stone & Wood Pacific Ale.

Like all of our brew days we started out with adjusting our water chemistry - reducing the pH to get within the desired 5.2-5.6 range for our mash and sparge water, as well as adding calcium sulfate (gypsum) and magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) to get the mineral composition where we like it.

After preparing and heating our mash water, we added our grain. Since there's a relatively large amount of wheat in this grain bill, it's a very good idea to add some rice hulls to aid with water flow through the grain bed when recirculating.

We let the grain bed rest/settle for 10 minutes after mashing in and then look a pH reading to find we were (just) in the 5.2-5.6 range.

We began recirculating - for the first time using our new Sergeant Sparge Head which negated the need for messing with a long recirculation hose and top plate on the BrewZilla - it worked great.

For this recipe we've opted for a 30 minute boil, but don't have any hop additions until 10 minutes left in the boil. The Pacific Ale is famous for featuring only Australian galaxy hops, so we weighed them out once the boil began in preparation.

At the conclusion of the boil we chilled the wort down to 80°C using our stainless immersion chiller and added our flame out addition. Once the flame out addition time had elapsed we continued to chill down to pitching temperature.

We're finding the immersion chiller a little slow once the wort temperature reaches around 40°C, so we'll be looking into upgrading to a counterflow chiller in the meantime to hopefully improve our chill time.

Once chilled we transferred to our Apollo Titan fermenter, pitched our US-05 yeast and waited for fermentation to begin.

We also took a gravity reading using our digital refractometer and floating hydrometer which both gave a reading of around 1.049 - one gravity point higher than we expected.

Fermentation was underway within 24 hours, and reached a final gravity of 1.009 within 4 days. We then performed a soft crash by dropping the temperature to 12°C and added our 100g dry hop of Galaxy hops.

Check out the Stone & Wood - Pacific Ale (Version 2) - Tasting Results/Review to see how it turned out!

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