Gritty McDuff

It is that time again.  Beer stockpiles have dropped low enough that action had to be taken.  The Firehouse Amber Ale was great, but now it is almost gone.  Both the Belgian Tripel and my barleywine still exist in large enough quantities, but both just seem a little heavy to be drinking this time of year.  The mead is also in good supply, but, well, that’s mead not beer.  I am wanting for more beer.

That is where Gritty McDuff comes in.  The beer that I started a week ago Sunday is called Gritty McDuff’s Best Brown Ale.  It looks like a good one.  Really, how could I argue with someone named Gritty McDuff?

I followed the mini-mash method with this beer.  That means instead of lots of malt extract I used lots of grain and a little malt extract.  I think it worked better this time.  Instead of keeping the mash on the stove I put it in the oven.  Since the oven does not actually have a setting for 150 degrees, I heated it to 170 then turned it off.  The mash was already at 150 which allowed it to stay pretty much at the right temperature for the assigned 90 minutes.  For reasons I don’t understand grains will produce the right sugars if kept within a couple degrees of 150.  More than that destroys the enzymes, less than that doesn’t kick off the right chemical reaction.

Here is the recipe that I followed.  This was actually very close to the one in the book, with only a couple small exceptions.  My end result may actually approximate the Best Brown Ale of Gritty McDuff legend.

2.25 lb. Brittish 2-row Pale Malt
6 oz US 60 L Crystal Malt
4 oz Belgian Cara-Munich Malt
3 oz US Chocolate Malt

4 lb. M&F Extra Light Dry Malt Extract
6 oz Malto Dextrin
1 oz. Northern Brewer (6.9 HBU)

1/2 oz Willamette (flavor hop)
1/4 oz  East Kent Goldings (flavor hop)
1 tsp Irish Moss

1/2 oz Willamettte (aroma hop)
1/4 oz East Kent Goldings (aroma hop)

Wyeast 1098 British Ale

1 1/4 cup Extra Light Dry Malt Extract

This creation should be ready to drink in another six weeks.  Tomorrow I will transfer to the secondary fermenter.  Three weeks after that I will bottle it.  The potenial alcohol reading before fermentation was 5.1.

7 thoughts on “Gritty McDuff”

  1. I hope you get this in time!!! It isn’t about beer, sorry. I have found a new guilty pleasure on TV. It’s Hu$tle on AMC. It’s a great British show. It’s about Con Artists and the tricks they play. It’s a fictional drama, great characters. I never knew how it was going to end and stayed up late to catch it. It’s much better than MI-5. It starts tonight at 9pm CST and lasts for an hour and 15.

    Website below

    By the way, hi, hope things are going well.

  2. Well, I was thinking I’d give Connor a couple bottles for his birthday.. I guess kids this age aren’t allowed to have honey, though, so you may need to drink that for him.

  3. You know, if you start letting people try your mead, everyone is going to want some, and then where will you be? Incidentally, if you’re handing out free samples, I certainly wouldn’t mind… ;)

  4. I’m not really sure who is hosting this year. I promise I will bring some mead, though. At current rates of consumption there should be plenty left.

  5. I seem to recollect trying The Abbott at Thanksgiving Last year, and it was good.

    If it’s not too presumptuous, I would love to try some mead. I realize it’s a little far off, but I’m thinking about it now, and it’s not really off topic, is it?

    Do we even know who is hosting this year? I’m out of the loop.

  6. The mead turned out really good. It tastes a lot like cloves, cinnaman, and honey, but is not nearly as sweet as honey. My only issue with it is its apparently low alcohol content. I may have to tweak the recipe next time in order to fix that.

    It is also possible that it ferments very slowly and has not yet finished. In that case it may get stronger as time progresses. I may also end up exploding some bottles if too much fermenting happens.

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