Saturday, December 12, 2009

Repeat Batch - Wee Beastye Wee Heavye

Started with more than enough water, but my boil was less vigorous than it should have been (think I need a new burner sadly).  Anyway, ended up with quite a bit - pushing the 6 gallon size and lower gravity.

OG: 1.068 (low)
FG: 1.020
ABV: 6.27 (a little low)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

All grain ugh...

So I have had a problem lately with some bitter and washed out tastes in my all grain beers.  Going to take some to the NTHBA Christmas party this evening and see if I can get some assistance figuring it out (I am sure I can get assistance TRYING to figure it out, i.e. consuming it).

I think perhaps the issue is sparge water that is too hot extracting some tannins from the grains.  Didn't have the problem with the IPA or with the California Common...But the others have all shared this issue.

Switching to extract until I can get some of this figured out.


Monday, November 9, 2009

2010 Planning

January - Sweet Stout
January - Irish Red
February - American Brown Ale
March - Belgian Dark Strong Ale - Extract

April - Cherry Beer
May - American Barleywine
June -Imperial IPA
July - Scottish 80/-
October - Jalapeno Pale Ale
November - Holiday Beer
December - Russian Imperial Stout

Batch 13 (b) - St. Nick's Secret Spiced Ale

Time to make Christmas beer, but switching it up a little since I had 3 lbs of pale LME to use, and I wanted to move the honey to the very end.... here goes:

1 lb Briess Dextrin Carapils
1 lb Briess Crystal 60L
0.12 lb Paul's Black Patent Malt
Steep 30 min at 150 degrees.

3 lb Pale LME (60 min)
3.6 lb Amber LME (60 min)

2.0 oz. Cascade 7.5% (45 min)

1.0 tsp Irish Moss (10 min)
0.12 oz Sweet Orange Peel (10 min)

2.0 tsp Cinnamon (powdered) (10 min)
1.5 tsp Cloves (ground) (10 min)
0.25 tsp Ginger (powdered) (10 min)
0.25 tsp Allspice (powdered) (10 min)
3.0 tsp Vanilla Extract (10 min)

Remove from heat to stir in honey. Bring to boil and add Hallertauer.
1.5 lb Wildflower Honey (5 min)
1.0 oz. German Hallertauer 3.5% (5 min)

London Ale Yeast (Wyeast SmackPack #1028)

OG: 1.070 est.
FG: 1.018
ABV: 6.825% est.

Repeat Batch - Texas Firewater Jalapeno Pale

Since this was so popular, I decided to crank out another batch on November 1 for a little fire in mid December.

OG: 1.040

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Batch 7 (b): III Tripel

14 lb. Belgian Pilsner
0.25 lb. Belgian aromatic
0.5 lb. Dextrine malt (Cara-Pils)
155 degrees for 1 hour

2 lb. Belgian candi sugar
1 tsp Irish Moss (10 min)
4 oz Malto Dextrine

1 oz. Amarillo (8.6% AA, 60 min.)
0.5 oz. Styrian Goldings (1.9% AA, 10 min.)

Pitch With:
2 packs Wyeast 3787 Trappist

OG: 1.072
FG: 1.008
ABV: 8.4%

Friday, August 21, 2009

Batch 22: Blackpool Brown and British

New style for me with the English Brown Ale - Northern Variety.... And YAY - thanks to some tips from other NTHBA members.... my extraction rate got up into the 70s% with this one. Which will probably make it slightly more alcoholic - oh well.

9 lb. Paul's British Pale Malt
1 lb. Paul's British Crystal 55-65L
0.5 lb Briess American Victory Malt
0.25 lb Paul's British Chocolate Malt

0.5 oz US Goldings (no Kent Goldings available) 4.5% - 60 minutes
0.5 oz US Goldings (no Kent Goldings available) 4.5% - 30 minutes
1 oz Fuggles 4.7% - 15 minutes (leaf hops! odd)

Pitch with White Labs British Ale Yeast WLP005

Pre-boil: 1.038 (hooray)
OG: 1.050

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Batch 21: Doh Ray Mead

15 lbs honey.
4.5 gallons water
don't boil.

Pitched with white wine yeast. Added Yeast Energizer and Yeast Nutrient per instructions.

OG: 1.110
FG: 1.004
ABV: 13.9%

Bottled 1/30/2010 - 20 wine bottles, 6 beer bottles for competition.

Batch 20: Neuen Hund Alt Bier

9.5 lb. German Munich
1.5 lb. Belgian CaraMunich
.05 lb. American black patent

0.5 oz. Spalt Select (2.0% AA, 60 min.)
1 oz. GR Tradition (6.2% AA, 60 min.)
0.5 oz. Spalt Select (aroma)

Pre-Boil: 1.022
OG: 1.040
FG: 1.010
ABV: 3.94%
Brew Day: 8/8/09
Bottled: 9/11/09

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Batch 8(b) IPA IPA

Again with the lower gravity than desired. Here comes the all grain version of my IPA.

16 lb. American 2-row
6 lb. Dextrine malt (Cara-Pils)
2 lb. American crystal 40L

2 oz. Cascade (7.5% AA, 60 min.)
1 oz. Amarillo Gold (8% AA, 15 min.)
1 oz. Cascade (aroma)

Pitch with SafAle dry yeast... can't remember the #...
Brew Day: 7/19/2009
OG around 1.074
FG: 1.014
ABVish: 7.875%

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Batch 19 - How Many Blondes Does It Take... Blonde Ale

9.5 lb. Great Western American 2-row
1.5 lb. Weyermann's Light Munich
1 lb. Briess Dextrine malt (Cara-Pils)

Mash 1 hr at 154 degrees.

0.75 oz. GR Perle (9.30%) - 45 minutes
1 oz. Cascade (8.5%) - 3 minutes/aroma


Friday, May 22, 2009

Batch 6(b) - Witless 2

All grain version - need some help with mash efficiency on the wheat...

5.0 lb Dingmann's Belgian Pilsner
2.5 lb Weyermann's Light Wheat Malt
2.5 lb Briess unmalted wheat
0.25 lb Rice Hulls
0.5 lb Dingmann's Belgian Aromatic Malt
0.25 lb Flaked Oats

Add 1 tsp alpha amylase enzyme.

Mash at 158 degrees 1 hour.

Only got about 50-55% efficiency on this one :(

60 minutes:
1 oz. US Goldings (4.5% AA)

15 minutes
1/2 oz US Goldings (4.5% AA)
1/4 oz bitter orange peel
3/4 tsp Coriander seeds lightly crushed
pinch cumin powder

2 minutes
1/2 oz Czech Saaz (3.5% AA)
1/2 oz bitter orange peel
1/2 tsp Coriander seeds lightly crushed
very small pinch cumin

OG: 1.038
FG: 1.011
ABV: 3.54%

Unfortunately got a LOT of oxidation with this one so there are some not awesome flavors in there...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Batch 18 - Ye Old Bay Serpent California Common

My first all grain batch of brew! Here is the recipe along with a picture of the mash and the wort lautering into the brew kettle. Yay.... (and it's a new brew category - 7B California Common!).

Grain Bill:
9.5 lb. Great Western American 2-row
2 lb. Light Munich malt
.10 lb. Briess Victory
.5 lb. Briess Crystal 60L
.25 lb. Briess Crystal 120L
.25 lb. Dextrine malt (Cara-Pils)

Single infusion mash - mash temp 155 degrees for 1 hour.

Batch sparged. Got about 60% efficiency.

1.25 oz. Northern Brewer (7% AA, 60 min.)
0.5 oz. Northern Brewer (7% AA, 20 min.)
0.25 oz. Northern Brewer (7% AA, 5 min.)

Pitched with Wyeast California Lager #2112

OG: 1.043
FG: 1.008

The Mash


Wort Collection

Switching to All Grain

So I have made some equipment modifications and purchases and have now switched over to all grain brewing. I'll post some pictures with my California Common recipe (next).

Major changes include:
Addition of ball valve & spigot to brew kettle
Addition of screw-in thermometer to brew kettle
Purchase of Igloo cooler-based mash lauter tun.
Purchase of a counterflow wort chiller.

And.... all grain is really not that hard! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Planning the rest of the year

Lots of batches left to brew this year, but here's my plan...with some ambitious extras in there - two batches per month is pretty high for me - adding a third in August may be insane.

May - Belgian Wit
May - Either a California Steam/Dusseldorf Altbier
June - Blonde Ale
July - Imperial India Pale Ale
July/August - Mead
August - Dusseldorf Altbier
August - Brown Ale
October - Tripel
November - Jalapeno
October - Belgian Dark Strong? (move to next year)
October - Cherry Beer 20 (move to next year)
November - Christmas Beer
November - Wee Heavy (extract)
December - Porter

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Untested Categories

This is a placeholder post for all the BJCP categories that I have not yet tried. Hopefully having this post will help me to plan styles that I want to make and to try to enter various different categories.

01A. Lite American Lager
01C. Premium American Lager
01D. Munich Helles
01E. Dortmunder Export
02A. German Pilsner (Pils)
02B. Bohemian Pilsner
02C. Classic American Pilsner
03B. Oktoberfest
04A. Dark American Lager
04B. Munich Dunkel
04C. Schwarzbier (Black Beer)
05A. Maibock/Helles Bock
05B. Traditional Bock
05C. Doppelbock
05D. Eisbock
06D. American Wheat or Rye Beer
07A. Northern German Altbier
08A. Standard/Ordinary Bitter
08B. Special/Best/Premium Bitter
08C. Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)
09A. Scottish Light 60/-
09B. Scottish Heavy 70/-
09C. Scottish Export 80/-
10B. American Amber Ale
11A. Mild
11B. Southern English Brown
12A. Brown Porter
12B. Robust Porter
13C. Oatmeal Stout
13D. Foreign Extra Stout
13E. American Stout
13F. Russian Imperial Stout
15A. Weizen/Weissbier
15C. Weizenbock
15D. Roggenbier (German Rye Beer)
16B. Belgian Pale Ale
16C. Saison
16D. Bière de Garde
16E. Belgian Specialty
17A. Berliner Weisse
17B. Flanders Red Ale
17C. Flanders Brown Ale/Oud Bruin
17D. Straight (Unblended) Lambic
17E. Gueuze
17F. Fruit Lambic
18A. Belgian Blond Ale
18B. Belgian Dubbel
18D. Belgian Golden Strong Ale
19A. Old Ale
19B. English Barleywine
19C. American Barleywine
22A. Classic Rauchbier
22B. Other Smoked Beer
22C. Wood-Aged Beer

24B. Semi-Sweet Mead
24C. Sweet Mead
25B. Pyment
25C. Other Fruit Melomel
26A. Metheglin
26B. Braggot
26C. Open Category Mead

27B. English Cider
27C. French Cider
27D. Common Perry
27E. Traditional Perry
28A. New England Cider
28B. Fruit Cider
28C. Applewine
28D. Other Specialty Cider/Perry

Happy Brewing.

Label Changes

As I have started paying attention to what I would need to know to enter beers in competitions, I have also started identifying the beer styles with the BJCP guidelines. As such, I am relabeling my recipes to match their identifying BJCP style, and adding sub-styles in parentheses where applicable (like Belgian Trappist-style under 16E Belgian Specialty Beer). I had to put zero in front of the single digit styles so they would sort properly. I am also going to try to reduce the extra useless labels I have in an effort to streamline ability to find things.... We shall see.

Batch 5 (b) - Kolsch take 2

So the last Kolsch was delicious, but had some coloring issues and I have never been a fan of dry yeast (I prefer smackpacks) - so here's another take on the same recipe using pilsner dry malt extract to get a lighter color:

1.5 lb Weyermann's Pilsner Malt
0.5 lb Weyermann's Carafoam

4 lb Briess Pilsner DME

1.5 oz GR Spalt Select (60 minutes)

pitch with Wyeast 1007 German Ale smackpack

OG 1.o44
FG 1.012
ABV 4.2%

Now I just need to convert it to all -grain once the rest of my equipment arrives...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Repeat Batch - Wee Beastye Wee Heavye

Brewed another batch for some competition. Flat after several weeks in bottles... hmmm.

Competition Notes:
Big Batch Brew Bash (2009)
FIRST HONORABLE MENTION!!! (4th place of 90)
Notes to follow.

Celtic Brew-off (2009)
3rd PLACE! 45.5/50

Overall Notes: Very Nice, slight aging oxidation.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Batch 17 - Sionnach Rua Irish Red

6.0 lb Pale LME
0.60 lb Paul's British Crystal 50L
0.25 lb Briess Crystal 10L
0.25 lb Paul's Roasted Barley

1.5 oz Golding 4.5% - 60 minutes
0.5 oz Golding 4.5% - 15 minutes
1 tsp Irish Moss - 15 minutes

Pitch with Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale (smackpack)

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.012

Competition Notes:
Bluebonnet Brew-off (2009)
Category: 11 Scottish and Irish Ale - first round 41.8/50 second round 29/50
Got high marks in the first round, not sure why the big drop off
Category: 42 New Entrants - first round 32 - didn't make second round cut
Overall Notes: Might be a little too hoppy - could use more roasted barley to pop up the color, the first round judges thought it was excellent, but the overall feel of the second round was that the caramel notes were too low, and that it was slightly undercarbonated. Also some haze and weak head noted - hopefully would improve with aging.

Celtic Brew-off (2009)
Category: 9D Irish Red Ale - first round 41/50
Overall Notes: Clean, nice style, good color, good use of hops.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Batch 16 - Simple Shamrock Irish Stout

Tried to get a fairly straightforward Irish Stout recipe going. Here goes:

0.75 lb Paul's Roasted Barley
0.75 lb Paul's Black Patent Malt
1.0 lb Briess Crystal 40L
8.25 lb Pale LME

1.0 ounce Northern Brewer Hops (45 min)

Pitch with Wyeast Irish Ale #1084 (smack pack)

OG: 1.0728
FG: 1.020
ABV: 6.93%
Foreign Extra Stout

Competition Notes:
Bluebonnet Brew-off (2009)
Category: 21 Strong Stout - first round 34/50, second round 31/50
Generally determined to be a good beer but not a Foreign Export Stout in flavor
Category: 42 New Entrants - first round 40.5/50, second round 25.5/50
Judged more as a sweet stout
Overall Notes: Low Hop aroma, some roasty aroma, probably could use more roastiness in the aroma somehow. Color and appearance perfect generally across board -clear, dark, ruby highlights. Sweet and mild chocolate flavor, not assertively roasty - Caramel, Toasty, Dark Fruit, Earthy Hop Flavor is mild, with Dried Fruit esters. Generally recommended that the recipe be entered as a sweet stout, or beefed up in roastiness and alcohol for a Foreign Extra Stout.