I teach a slightly modified version of a the full boil method with steeping grains. The modified part is that we placed our bag of steeping grains in the boil kettle just as we began heating the water. Thus allowing the grains to leach their flavors and colors into solution during the water temperature rise from 65f. (my tap water temp.) to 170f. At 170f. we pulled the grain bag and continued the temperature rise to boiling. I have not found a good reason to use the typical technique of bringing the water to a temperature of 150f. and then placing the grains in the hot water for a twenty to thirty minute rest. My purpose here is to steep the grains in order to extract color and flavor and I am not concerned with the sugar potential. Consequently, I have found that I can accomplished the results I desire faster using this method.
I prefer dry malt extract when I brew extract type beers and in this batch it consisted of 6lbs. of the light version of DME. I find that it is easier to work with and provides a slightly lighter color wort than the light liquid extract. We also used a 20% addition of cane sugar. With malt extract beers, I have found that a 15% to 20% amount of very fermentable sugar is needed to ferment down to the preferred attenuation or dryness that I like in my beers. For those concerned about the supposed 'cider' flavors that are associated with the addition of cane, beet or corn sugar, don't worry. It doesn't have that flavor impact, in fact I did a test on this concern awhile back and you can read about it here.
For hopping, we used a couple of standards that I normally have in the freezer with the exception of the final or one minute hop additions which was a new one for me called Galaxy. This high alpha acid hop has a great flavor and aroma component that I suggest you try in any West coast style ale.
The brew went along well with only a minor boil over but we got that under control and took time to sample some homebrews from my kegerator. As the boil progressed we covered a number of homebrew subjects that are important to the beginner starting with the vocabulary and ending with some of the basics of malting.
The brew session ended successfully as we achieved our desired original gravity and pitched two packages of US05 yeast into the chilled wort. The students stated they got a lot out of the class and looked forward to tasting their beer in a few weeks.
I pulled a sample from the keg today and for an extract brew this is a pretty impressive beer. Nice fruity malt backbone with a great citrus and apricot hop character and balanced bitterness. It's difficult to tell this is brewed with extract and I think the students will be very happy with the results when they open their bottle conditioned samples that they took home.
The following is the recipe we brewed and I would encourage you to brew your own, with extract even!
Brew Class IPA
Full boil method -
In 7 gals. water steep:
8 oz. 2-row
8 oz. Munich #35
8 oz. Crystal #15
When water reaches 170f. turn off heat, remove steeping grains and stir in:
6 lbs. Dry Malt Extract (light)
1.5 lbs. cane sugar
Bring to boil for 60 minutes.
Bittering - 60min 1.25 oz Chinook @ 11aa
Finings - 15min. Irish Moss
Flavor - 10min. 1 oz. Cascade @ 5.5 aa
Aroma - 1 min. 2 oz. Galaxy @ 13 aa
Chill to 65f. , aerate and pitch 2 packages of US05 ale yeast.
Ferment to completion, keg and enjoy.