Get Ready for the 2015 AHA Big Brew!

Beer Fest MovieEvery year for National Homebrew Day, the American Homebrewers Association organizes a “Big Brew.” The idea is that homebrewers across the country – and even around the world – celebrate homebrewing by all brewing on the same day. In 2014, it’s estimated that over 8,000 homebrewers from 49 states and 14 countries brewed some 17,550 gallons of beer!

Find a Big Brew Event Near You
Register Your Own Big Brew Event

Each year, the AHA selects a handful of recipes for the Big Brew, just to increase the sense of community among homebrewers. This year, the recipes come from Gordon Strong, President of the BJCP. The recipes are soon to be published in Gordon’s new book, Modern Homebrew Recipes.

 

Columbus Pale Ale
(5-gallon batch, all-grain)

Specs 
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.8%
IBUs: 43
SRM: 6

Ingredients
8.5 lb. Pale two-row malt
8 oz. Munich malt
4 oz. Wheat malt
8 oz. CaraVienne® malt
4 oz. 20° L Crystal malt
4 oz. Victory malt
8 oz. Orange blossom honey (added during the boil)
0.5 oz. Columbus whole hops at 60 min
0.5 oz. Columbus whole hops at 15 minShop Barley Grains
0.5 oz. Columbus whole hops at 5 min
1 oz. Columbus whole hops at flameout
1.5 oz. Centennial whole hops, dry-hopped for 9 days
Wyeast: 1272 American Ale II or Safale US-05

Directions: Mash crushed grains in about 4 gallons of clean water at 152˚F. Hold for 60 minutes, then raise to 168˚F for mash out. Sparge to collect 6.5 gallons of wort. Boil for 75 minutes, adding hops according to schedule. Add the honey during the last 5 minutes of the boil. Chill and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Pitch at 68˚F and ferment at that temperature for 9 days, then transfer to a secondary fermenter and dry hop. After 9 days, bottle or keg.

Extract option: Replace the 2-row, Munich, and wheat malts with 7.5 lbs. light LME. Reduce boil time to one hour.

 

Old School Barleywine Shop Hops
(5-gallon batch, extract with grains)

Specs
OG: 1.109
FG: 1.033
ABV: 10%
IBUs: 95
SRM: 13

Ingredients 
13 lbs. Light LME
4 oz. Biscuit malt
8 oz. CaraVienne® malt
8 oz. Crystal 40˚L malt
4 oz. Crystal 60˚L malt
2 oz. Crystal 120˚L malt
2 oz. Special B malt
1 lb. orange blossom honey
1 oz. Cascade whole cone hops (first wort hops)
2 oz. Columbus hops at :60
1 oz. Centennial hops at :15
1 oz. Cascade hops at :5
1 oz. Columbus hops at :2
1 oz. Cascade hops at :0
1 oz. Centennial hops at :0
2 oz. Cascade hops, dry-hopped for nine days
1 oz. Centennial hops, dry hopped for nine days
Wyeast: 1272 American Ale II or Safale US-05

Directions: Steep the specialty grains (in a grain bag) and the 1 oz. of Cascade first wort hops in two gallons of 160˚F water for 30 minutes. Remove the grain bag, allowing the wort to drip back into the pot. Mix in malt extract and bring to a boil. Boil for 75 minutes, adding hops according to schedule. Add the honey during the last 5 minutes of the boi. At the end of the boil, strain the wort into a sanitized fermenter with about 2.5 gallons of pre-boiled, pre-chilled water. Top off to make 5 gallons. Pitch yeast and ferment at 68˚F for nine days, then transfer to a secondary fermenter for dry hopping. After nine days, keg or bottle.

All-Grain option: Replace the LME with 12 lbs. two-row pale malt and 6 lbs. Maris Otter malt. Mash these grains at 152˚F for 90 minutes, then mix in the specialty grains listed above during the vorlauf and sparge. Collect 6.5 gallons of wort in the brew kettle and proceed with recipe above.

 

Killer Kolsch
(5-gallon batch, all-grain) 

Specs 
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.011
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 16
SRM: 3

Ingredients
8.5 lb. Pilsner malt
3.1 oz. Vienna malt
3.1 oz. CaraVienne® malt
0.3 oz. Liberty hops (first wort hops)
1 oz. Hallertauer hops at 30 min
0.3 oz. Crystal hops at 5 min
Wyeast 2565: Kolsch yeast

Directions: Implement a step mash as follows: 10 minutes at 131˚F, 45 minutes at 145˚F, 20 minutes at 158˚F, 10 minutes at 168˚F for mash out. Sparge to collect 6.5 gallons of wort. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops according to schedule. Chill and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Pitch yeast at 58˚F and ferment allowing temperature to rise to 68˚F after 4 days. Lager for two months at 40˚F, then bottle or keg.

Extract option: Replace the pilsner malt and 0.8 oz. each of the Vienna and Caravienne malts with 6.5 lbs. pilsen LME. Reduce the 30-minute hop addition to 0.8 oz.

All of the recipes can be found in their original form, both extract and all-grain, here, along with more information about Big Brew 2015.

We’ll be homebrewing for the Big Brew – will you?

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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

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