Two regular dudes who happen to be huge fans of American craft beer.
Home brewing has been a bit of a love-hate relationship since I picked up the Spike Trio brewing system about 16 months ago. I have only brewed on it less than a handful of times due to multiple issues every time that I brew on the system. These issues have made me apprehensive to use the system.
A bunch of money sitting there collecting dust.
I have contemplated going back to the propane burner and Blichmann 15 gallon stainless steel kettle. But, the dust settled, and I know that I have to learn to use the Spike system or forever be the grunt of my wife’s jokes.
After the last mishap using the Spike system in which I continually have boil overs in spite of the electric heating element being set at 206*F and 50.0% power, I sent an email to Spike. The email probably read like a crazy man ready to jump off the ledge. I was.
Their feedback was to lower the percentage on the heating element to 30.0% – 40.0% range when using the heating condenser lid.
The email correspondence took place in August of 2020. Almost six months later I brewed up the courage to try again, with one caveat.
An injury to my right shoulder has limited by ability to lift for the past 3+ months. Rich said that he would do the grunt work and had never seen the system work. Heck, I never have seen the system work the way I want it to work.
Luckily there were no boil overs: setting the element to 35.0% power did the trick. But, the boil wasn’t as vigorous as I would have liked. My efficiency is way off. I need to push forward to get better!
Rich asked for a west coast IPA since there aren’t many of those being made. Therefore I was going to use 2-row, some table sugar, and American yeast with Citra and El Dorado hops. The hops, hmm, I had Galaxy and Cascade sitting around, why crack open full pounds, that’s a lot of work. Cascade is more of a west coast hop while Galaxy is somewhat interchangeable with Citra. And, I have surgery coming up. I needed something that didn’t need a bunch of attention as surgery approaches and would be in the keg prior to surgery. Mix and match: west coast IPA in the north-east process. All the hops were back loaded in two whirlpool additions while a nice five ounce dry hop when fermentation slowed.
The inspiration for “Happy Accidents” comes from Bob Ross, the painter, but I think it is very fitting for my learning curve with the Spike Trio system. I am not making mistakes but happy accidents. I just don’t think they are that happy when a boil over occurs and I have 3 hours of wort cleanup. Enjoy!
Brew Date: Sunday, February 06, 2022
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04 (2), not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.064
Finishing Gravity: 1.008
Color: 4.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 54.42%
Alcohol by Volume: 7.35%
Calories per ounce: 208.2 per 12 ounces
Primary Fermentation: @65*F
10.00 pounds American 2-Row
5.00 pounds Pilsner
1.00 pound Oats
2.50 ounces Galaxy @30 minutes whirlpool, @180*F
1.00 ounces Cascade @30 minutes whirlpool, @180*F
2.50 ounces Galaxy @10 minutes whirlpool, @160*F
1.00 ounces Cascade @10 minutes whirlpool, @160*F
1.00 ounces Galaxy @dry hop
4.00 ounces Cascade @dry hop
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls
Useless Fact: There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.