Brew Day: Rye Amber

Here Goes Nothing

Faced with prospect of a free sunny evening I decided to give my new brew-in-a-bag (BIAB) setup a proper try.

Huge mesh bag: check.

10 gallon kettle: check.

10.5 pounds of insanely good-smelling grain: check.

Not only was it my first BIAB attempt, but also my first real foray into all-grain brewing.

Sure, I’d tried last week to pound out some sort of Imperial Black IPA, but I wildly missed the mark on water volume and gravity and ended up with 1.5 gallons of a 2.5 gallon recipe. I’m not entirely sure what’s lurking in that carboy right now, but it hasn’t crawled out yet so all signs point to……beer?

Here I brewed a rye amber ale called Moneypenny Rye. I originally wrote and brewed it a few months back as an extract recipe with pretty great results. Rye, biscuity, and it served perfectly as the other half of a boilermaker. For today’s brew day, I converted it to all-grain.

The Mash

Rye Amber MashI had heard a recommendation to mash for longer when doing BIAB as the method tends to be less efficient, so I let it sit for 70 minutes. Luckily, the kettle was in the sun for most of it so the temperature held at a perfect 153°F the entire time. I was planning to do a 20 minute mash-out, but of course…

I ran out of propane.

The Boil

Rye Amber BoilBack from the store with a fresh tank, I started the boil. I didn’t get the gravity I wanted out of the mash, so I bumped it up with a pound of DME which did the trick. After that it was all hops, irish moss, etc…nothing too crazy. The only issue I had was that I undershot my boil off rate, so I ended up with 6 gallons of wort rather than the 5 I wanted.

Overall, I’d say it went reasonably well. I definitely know for next time:

  1. To have a backup propane tank on hand.
  2. My boil off rate is way lower than I thought, which is awesome.