American Rye

>> Sunday, August 05, 2012

Today I'm brewing an American Rye for next month's Light Hybrid Meeting. Compared to my last couple brews, there isn't anything too crazy going on here. I've used rye in other recipes, but this is the first time I've brewed an American Rye "to style". This style should be a refreshing beer with a bit more hop character than the German counterpart. The rye contributes a unique but pleasant spiciness and crispness. Like wheat, rye does not have a husk so it is a good idea to incorporate rice hulls into the mash to help avoid stuck sparges. This is especially important when brewing on a RIMS or HERMS system as the constant circulation can quickly result in a compacted grain bed if the flow is too high. So word to the wise, use rice hulls and circulate/sparge slowly. 

Here's the recipe as I made it today. 

4.5 # Briess Pale Malt
3.0 # Briess Rye Malt
1.5 # Briess White Wheat Malt
Rice Hulls (about 3/4 pound is what I used)
1.00 oz Amarillo (35 min)
0.66 oz Liberty (0 min)
0.66 oz Amarillo (0 min)
0.33 oz Amarillo (hopback)
1 Whirlfloc
Wyeast 2565 K├Âlsch yeast in a 1L starter

Mash at 150F for 75 min. 90 min boil. Start out fermentation at 60F then ramp up to 65F near the end of fermentation.

Brewing Notes
The brew day was fairly uneventful. I had one minor problem during the chill. The Amarillo hops where whole hops and they clogged the pickup tube a couple of times, so the chill took a little longer than expected.

Update 9/19/2012
I think I lost some of the hop character (flavor and aroma) because of the extended chilling time, but it still turned out well. The Light Hybrid style is not one I'd typically brew; I don't hate them, but most of the subcategories just aren't styles that I love. Anyway, this one placed first in my club meeting.  It seemed to have a slight astringency and finished dry.  The slight astringency may be confused with the spiciness from the rye malt.  

2 comments:

Anonymous 6:32 AM  

what were your liquid volumes? strike, pre and post boil?

rob@microbusbrewery.org 2:39 PM  

I almost always brew 5 gallon batches. I don't precisely measure my strike water volume but it's usually in the. 3-5 gallon range depending on the grain bill (small grain bill = closer to 3 gallons; bigger = closer to 5 gallons). I'd guesstimate I used no more than 4 gallons on this one. I usually do a 90 minute boil so I shoot for a pre-boil volume of about 6.75 gallons. I'll run off as much sparge water as necessary to reach 6.75 gallons (assuming gravity doesn't drop below 3 degrees Plato. After accounting for boil-off and loss to trub, I usually end up with about 5-5.25 gallons into the fermenter.

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