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Kat’s Paw

June 11, 2010

This past Sunday I got the awesome opportunity to brew at a professional brewery and help raise money for a great cause at the same time.  Our home brew club, The Stilly Mashers, got an opportunity to design and brew a beer to raise money for a lady named Cathryn who recently lost her arm in a farming accident.  Home brewers pay a lot of money to get an opportunity to brew and watch a professional brewer go through the whole process.  So, this was a unique and special opportunity.

Kat’s Paw is a modified Belgian blond ale (we joked it was a dirty blond).  Here’s the recipe broken down for a 5 gallon home brew batch and also the 300 gallon batched we actually brewed.

Ingredient 5 Gal 300 Gal
Pilsner (2 Row) 7.33 440 lbs
Aromatic Malt 0.92 55 lbs
Wheat Malt 0.92 55 lbs
Honey Malt 0.92 55 lbs
Cascade Whole Hops (6%) 0.85 51 oz
Amarillo Pellet Hops (8.5%) 0.5 30 oz
Amarillo Pellet Hops (8.5%) Dry Hopped 0.25 15 oz

Whole Cascade hops were added to the boil at the beginning (for 60 minutes) in several nylon hop bags.  30 Oz of Amarillo pellet hops were added for the last five minutes of the boil.

We did a single step infusion mash at a strike temp of 168.5 to reach 154 degrees.  We were able to keep the beer at 153-154 degrees for 60 minutes. IBU was right in the middle of the range for the style, about 21 IBU.   Starting gravity was 1.054 (top end of style) and it ended up 2 SRM higher than style (9 SRM).  Beer should end up around 5.6% ABV.

The only difficulty that we ran into was that we forgot to remove the hop bags before attempting to pump the wort into the fermentor.  Several of them became longed in the pump, causing it to make a terrible grinding noise.  We had to get a little creative to figure out how to get the bags out.  We ended up connecting an oxygen bottle to the underside of the boil pot and blowing the hop bags out into the wort.  Then Ron modified a boat oar that he uses to stir by placing several screws through the paddle.  he used this to locate and fish out the hop bags.  It took a lot of time but we eventually overcame.

Designing Kat’s Paw:

Grinding up the grain in the grain upstairs:

Then the beer was transfered into the mash tun.

Stirring in the grist:

Into the boil kettle:

Removing the left over grain from the mash tun:

Lots of hops!

Waiting for the boil.

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