Header Image

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SNB can be CynicAle

I'm going to try something new with my brewing posts and include more pictures and a somewhat different layout.

Brew sheet, hops and
wireless thermometer
After a long break from brewing which lasted over 2 months I got back into the swing of things pretty fast.  My first two brews after the break where both StarRaptor, the first one I dumped while the second was during a brewday and very hot.  Between the heat, learning the new system and multitasking as a host I really didn't enjoy either one.  I've always enjoyed brewing so I needed to do another round more relaxed and laid back.  I therefore decided to invite my buddy Marshall over to hang out and assist me in brewing my first all grain batch on my new system.

For this inaugural brew I decided to try Northern Brewer's Surly Cynic Pro Kit.  The story behind how the kits were created and the process they went through is pretty cool as I learned while talking to Todd Haug but that's a story for a different time.  I decided to select this kit for a few reasons.  I wanted to try another one of the Pro Series Kits after the great results I had with the Furious kit and I wanted to do a saison, which Surly Cynic is, using the American Farmhouse Blend WLP670.  After how well BeanyTink's Farmstead Ale came out I was really wanting to use it again so I grabbed I vial while it was still available from Addison Homebrew Provisions specifically to use with this recipe.  As I'm pretty new to the world of all grain brewing so I wanted the first batch to  recipe.

75 minute mash at 150
I have to say the information included in Northern Brewer's all grain kits are completely different from their extract kits which as pretty much a step by step recipe.  The all grain instructions on the other hand were little more than an ingredient list.  While it did tell me the target mash temperature of 148 that was about it.  How much water to use,  water to grain ratio for the mash, water temperature targets, even expected efficiency were left out.  After a lot of research I came up with a 1.3 qt/lb grain ratio and let BeerSmith 2 tell me the rest.  I found the ability to play with the grain and mash tun temperatures pretty useful.

The name is a play on the name of the beer and is similar to the name I gave the Furious version which was SNB is Furious.

The brewday itself was not with out it's issues but overall went pretty smooth and was much more relaxed, it did help that the temperature was a lot cooler than previous days. 

1.3 qt/lb water to grain ratio
Marshall arrived near the end of my 75 minute mash with a growler of 2010 Stone Double Bastard with Chipotle Peppers, just in time to help me vorlof the wort till it was clear.  Later I tossed some sausage on the grill for lunch and used the heat of the boil to warm the tortillas. 

I only had three minor issues; I was slightly above mash temperature, under target efficiency and forgot the flame out hops.  I decide to toss the hops in the primary anyway.  

It felt nice to be back in the swing of enjoying brewing again.

For primary fermentation I started the beer at 68 and slowly raised it up a little each day over the first two weeks to 78.

Currently the beer is still in primary, as I want plenty of time on the yeast, sitting around 1.006.  This weekend I'll transfer to secondary and collect and wash the yeast.


Weighing the hops
SNB can be CynicAle
Farmhouse Style Saison
Type: All Grain Date: 9/5/2011
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal 
Brewer: Scott Bennett
Boil Size: 6.93 gal 
Asst Brewer: Marshall 
Boil Time: 60 min 
Equipment: Brew Pot (12.5 gal) and Igloo Cooler (10 Gal)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.%- ended up 66%

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.054 SG 
Measured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG 
Measured Final Gravity: 1.006 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.2 % 
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.8 %
Bitterness: 18.2 IBUs
Est Color: 6.0 SRM 

Lined up for deployment

8 lbs 12.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)
10.1 oz Simpsons Golden Naked Oats (10.0 SRM)
10.1 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM)
10.1 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)

0.25 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - First Wort 60.0 min 5.4 IBUs
0.25 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min 12.8 IBUs
1.75 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs- Dry Primary Hopped
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 min) Misc 
1.00 tbs 5.2 pH stabilizer

Marshall pouring me some
Double Bastard...
1.0 pkg American Farmhouse Blend (White Labs #WLP670)

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge 
Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs 10.2 oz 
Water to Grain: 1.3 qt/lb
Sparge Water: 5.13 gal 
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 13.30 qt of water at 159.1 F 148.0 F 75 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.54gal, 3.59gal) of 168.0 F water 

... in my Double Bastard glass

Marshall vorlofing the wort

More sparging
Still sparging

Warming the tortillas

The decanted starter tasted nice
Picked this trick up at a brewday
the day prior, big help when it's hot
Pealed the label off the bag and slapped it on the fermentor
Off to a nice start


  1. Welcome back to brewing. It seems like quite a few home-brewers (including me) have taken somewhat of a break recently. Mine was not quite as long as yours.

    I've done the fermenter-in-an-ice-bath-on-a-hot-day trick. My immersion chiller just did not do the job when the air temp was above 90. I made a pre-chiller to try, but have not had a chance to use it in really hot weather yet.

    What do you use in the bottom of the 10 gallon mash tun? False bottom? Some sort of manifold? Stainless steel braid? I've been using a modified brew-in-a-bag method inside a 10 gallon gott cooler, but I'm not sure I want to continue with that. It is sort of hard to figure out what to do with the bag while emptying the cooler.

    Anyway, good post.

    Oh ... by the way, I treated myself to a beer gun partially on your recommendation. I've only used it once so far, but I like it. Thanks.

  2. Eric, I'm using a false bottom, here is a picture of what it looks like --> http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6152/6169225759_9fbddee75f_b.jpg

    As you can see it is very shallow fitting below the output which in theory should help with my efficiency.

    You're going to love the BeerGun, I use it for bottling all the time and is especially helpful with high gravity beers


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...