Jul 162012

It looks like I, the man behind the curtain (I may or may not also run the “official” emperialbrewing account) get to start off the “non-official” feature stories. What better way to start than with a brew-day run-down? This afternoon, my wife and I brewed up an all-grain batch of Time Lord with a couple differences when compared to the Pre-Release 0.8.0 recipe.

First off, in a bid for consistency, and ease of sourcing grain, I replaced the 11 lbs of pale malt in the current version of the recipe with 11 lbs of 2-row. It’s not a huge change, but given the fact that most Emperial Brewing beers use 2-row for their base malt, it makes sense to try to make Time Lord a bit more consistent with the other recipes. It also helps me prepare for ramping up my brew schedule in the next couple months by allowing me to buy bags of 2-row, so I don’t have to make as many trips to my lhbs (Stomp Them Grapes). According to Beer Alchemy, this change nets an extra tenth of a percentage in ABV (putting it at 7.1% ABV). However, all said and done, I am doubting the change to 2-row will have much of an effect. I suppose we’ll find out, but my guess is it will taste roughly the same as always.

The other change I made was to use whole-leaf hops. This isn’t a change I see being submitted for incorporation, because pellet hops tend to be easier to come by and easier to handle, but it makes for a nice change of pace. I don’t have any Time Lord on hand that was brewed with pellet hops, so I won’t be able to compare the results easily, but we’ll see what happens. I imagine I’ll get a bit more aroma during the dry hopping with the whole-leaf hops.

Aside from that, the recipe stayed the same. Previous batches of Time Lord were brewed with “rough” temperature control (fans and wet towels), so it will be nice to see how my fermentation fridge influences the final product. 66° F is a hard fermentation temp to maintain without a fridge, so I have to imagine the fridge will be a good thing.

Speaking of temperatures, it was in the 90s here in Denver, which made for an interesting—and sweaty—brew day. There’s nothing quite like sitting right next to a roaring propane burner when the temperature outside is already too damn high. Things went off without a hitch, and we hit our targets almost precisely (mash temp dropped a bit, and I had to bring it back up), so I’m counting this one as a success. It was a bit dry out, so we had a little higher than normal boil off, but oh well.

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