Time and beer alike can be fleeting, one minute it's there and then the next thing you know it's gone. This unavoidable fact of life creates a perpetual loop of sorts. The less time you have to brew, the less beer you have. The less beer you have, the more you need to brew, but alas, you still have no time... It can become quite a nasty cycle.
Because of the beer time continuum I will jump at any chance to shorten a brew day. Earlier this year at ANHC I was lucky enough to have a chat to BrewCult's Hendo about how quickly starch conversion actually happens with modern malts. He explained that you can achieve full conversion within 12 minutes of mashing in and that he frequently does a 20 minute mash himself. Naturally my ears pricked up at this idea and I decided there and then that I was going to have to try it myself.
I'm attempting to save time on brew day right? so why not shorten the boil as well? 20 minute boil it is!
20:20 Pale Ale
OG: 1.043 FG: 1.007
- Traditional ale malt (85%)
- Carapils (8.5%)
- Vienna (3.5%)
- Crystal 20 (3%)
- 20 min at 63°C
- Mash out at 76°C
Boil: (20 min)
- Columbus (pellets, 13.6%) FWH to 16 IBU
- Chinook (pellets, 12.3%) FHW to 14 IBU
- 2 grams per litre (combined) Vic Secret & Mosaic at flameout
- 4 grams per litre (combined) Vic Secret & Mosaic for 2 days
- Chill to 18°C and pitch a 1L starter of WLP001
- Rack onto dry hops in secondary at 1.007 for 2 days
- Chill to 4°C and add gelatin finings
- Rack to keg and force cabonate
The brew day was quick. The beer had reached FG in just 5 days, after crashing, fining and carbonating - in stark defiance of the beer-time continuum - I was serving this beer in just 10 days.
It pours a nice golden colour with a fluffy white head that laces really well all the way to the bottom of the glass. Despite the fast turn around the gelatin helped to get the beer crystal clear.
On the nose there's a lot of tropical fruit, particularly mango, along with hints of citrus and pine. This beer finished nice and dry which really elevates it's 30 IBU and makes for a refreshing bitter beer that's great in this hot weather.
Most importantly though, the beer is clean. I don't detect any DMS (cooked corn flavour) which could have been a potential issue with the short boil time. And the wort was plenty fermentable enough to finish nice and dry. I'd call that a success.
Have you experimented with shortened mash and boil times? I'd love to hear about it.