Our first all-grain brew is now fermenting!

It is with great pleasure to announce the successful completion of  the club’s first all-grain brew – a 3.4 gallon batch of Oak Tree (an American Amber Ale), made on a cold and rainy NorCal day while simultaneously watching the NFL AFC and NFC championship games.

Apartment Beer Sculpture

Brett Favre may have failed in the last few minutes of the game against the Saints, but the club persevered through some mash tun plumbing problems (thanks, Bob!), a fast and slightly ineffective sparge and some misleading hydrometer readings. The end result was a wort that was smaller than expected (3.4 G vs. 3.75 G) and lower starting OG (1.052 vs. 1.059). If all goes well with the fermentation, the bottled beer should be ~5% ABV.  The color is right on for the style (reddish brown or amber).

All the new all-grain equipment worked out quite well and concerns about heating and chilling the larger wort quantities did not turn out to be that big of a problem. For future brews, we plan on milling the grain a little finer and continuous sparge for a longer period of time. Even with the inefficiencies, we still hit 68% mash extraction – not bad for a first attempt.

We used only 7lbs. of our first 50lb. 2-Row Pale Malt bulk grain purchase, so plenty more brews are intended soon.

Gary Wright

Born and raised in Southern California, moved to Northern California 25 years ago and now consider myself a NorCal "native".

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