Friday, June 29, 2012

The Cardinal Puff Puff Puff will (or will not) post his third and final recipe of the day

Oops.  I realized that I didn't actually circle back and post the third recipe from the giant brewday last week.

No worries - it was a 10 Gallon Southbound and Brown Ale batch.  I've made it a ton.  So, you can get the recipe links here.

At this point, the beer is a week old and all the furious bubble bubble pop has settled down.  I'm going to let everything settle another week and then I'll bottle SOMETHING and rack the other three to secondaries in succession (yeah, I'll probably bottle half of the brown ale, since I've got 10 gallons).

Anyway, consider this your circleback

Happy brewing!

Friday, June 22, 2012


OK I have never done hard cider before, but that was enough reason to try.  So here's what I did - and keep in mind I got lots of the ideas from the Making Homemade Hard Cider site.

I upped the scale from them, though.

I couldn't find enough of the right kind of juice, and thought blending might give me an interesting approach, so that's what I did.

In a clean and sanitized fermenter, here goes (in this order):
1 can Albertson's frozen Apple Juice Concentrate
just under 2 gallons (4 bottles) Simply Apple pure pressed apple juice (no water or preservatives)
2 gallons Albertson's Unfiltered Apple Juice (no preservatives)

5 tsp Yeast Nutrient (because yeast needs nutrients)
2.5 tsp Pectin Enzyme (for clarity)

1 gallon Musselman's Pasteurized Apple Juice (no preservatives)

1 pkg Lalvin EC-1118 yeast (wine yeast)

Then I'll wait a few weeks, rack it to a secondary, and then after some settlilng, it will be time to bottle.


Black IPA, Black not Pale, CDA, something of the sort

First brew of the triple brew day is... an extract-based dark/black IPA (also known as Cascadian Dark Ale for those that can't fit Black and Pale into their same beer description).

First time making one of these, but I wanted to try one, and needed to make an extract brew while the other was mashing.  So here goes - also of note, coming out of the boil, it looked more "dark brown" than "black" but I think most of that (after some settling in the hydrometer test jar) was hops and it will be pretty darn black.

Batch TEST - Black Not Pale
Recipe Specifications
Brew Date: 6/22/2012
Recipe Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Recipe Boil Size: 8.84 gal
Estimated Pre-boil OG: 1.054
Estimated OG: 1.079 SG
Estimated Color: 25.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 77.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: - %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Actual OG: 1.060 SG
Actual FG: 1.018 SG
Actual ABV: 5.48 %
Water Additions
Prepare 8.84 gal Water for Brewing
Grain Bill
Steep Grains at 165.0 F
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 7.48 %
0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.87 %
0.13 lb Black (Patent) Malt (Paul's) (500.0 SRM) Grain 0.93 %
Hop Schedule/Boil Additions
Boil Ingredients
Boil Amount Item Type
60 min 12.00 lb Amber Liquid Extract (12.5 SRM) Extract
60 min 1.00 oz Cascade [6.40 %] (60 min) Hops
60 min 1.00 oz Warrior [16.70 %] (60 min) Hops
20 min 0.50 oz Cascade [6.40 %] (20 min) Hops
5 min 0.50 oz Cascade [6.40 %] (5 min) Hops

Ingredients for Fermentation
Amount Item Type % or IBU
2 Pkgs Safale US (LeSaffre #05) Yeast-Ale
Mash Schedule: None
Total Grain Weight: 10.00 lb
Steep grains as desired (30-60 minutes)

Brewed low with about 3 gallons water after marking fill line on carboy
Generated with a custom BeerSmith template created by Cameron Mathews

Brewing to Capacity

So I have reached a sad state of affairs.  I'm out of homebrew.  Well, not completely out, but with only about 4 bottles mixed between stout and that "turned out too dark brown Irish Red" -  functionally, I'm out.  I DO have another five gallons of the Irish "Brown" in a carboy ready for bottling, but nary a drop to drink.  Oh, and while my mead from a few years ago has aged quite nicely, it is not a session beverage in the slightest.

It is this utter dearth of beverage that caused me pause to consider - how much could I possibly have at once?  Given that I only have five gallons in any state of progress, how much could I actually max out?  Turns out, the answer is about 50 gallons.  With 4 carboys, 2 kegs, and 8 cases of bottles, I do have room to produce and store a quarter of my limit at once (limit in the U.S. for those playing at home is 100 gallons a year for an individual of 200 gallons a year for a household with two or more individuals over the age of 21.  More adults does not increase the personal consumption limit above 200).  Now, were I to be maxed out, I would run into a consumption bottleneck rather than a production bottleneck, but that's a problem I could try to work through.

Since I'm not FULLY keg capable yet, we'll call my maximum capacity 40 gallons - which means with only 5 gallons I'm at a meager 12.5% of my available load.  With one day off of work (today), the question was, how do I pump so much into the front-end of the production line that I fill up more more more of that capacity to last me throughout the summer.  The answer?  A 20 gallon brewday.


A 20 gallon brewday.

Now, while I could theoretically start at 7:30 AM with boiling and mash in around 8:30 with the first of two 10 gallon batches, that just wouldn't be my lazy procrastinative style (yes, I think I made up procrastinative, but I like the way it rolls).  Rather, I didn't truly PLAN to brew until last night, meaning that I don't actually have any ingredients, which also limits my start time, since my Homebrew store of choice does not open until 10:00.  This leaves me with the dilemma that there is no way to do two 10 gallon all-grain batches by a reasonable time this evening.  So I made some plan adjustments.  The new plan is: one 5 gallon batch of something experimental (I'm trying a Black IPA or CDA or whatever you want to call it), that I will source primarily with extract.  Then one 10 gallon batch of a standard (we're doing the American Brown).  Then, for my last trick (after clearing a carboy by bottling), I will be attempting 5 gallons of hard cider (another test, using some tips from this site).

After all that, I'll have 5 gallons bottle conditioning and 20 gallons fermenting.  62.5% of my carrying capacity of 40 gallons.  Much much better.  One more 20 gallon (double 10g batch?) psycho-brewday in a month or two and I'd be loaded up for the rest of the year, most likely.

I'll be live tweeting my exciting day, along with posting updates and recipes here on the blog,  Hope you enjoy it.  Oh, and such a carefully constructed day requires carefully constructed timing.  So I have a strict down-to 15 minutes schedule.  Here it is:

Time General 10G Brown Ale 5G Black IPA Cider Red Bottling
7:30 AM Donuts & Water
7:45 AM Donuts & Water
8:00 AM Load Propane,Take Dogs
8:15 AM Get Propane
8:30 AM Measure Chemicals
8:45 AM Buy Apple Juice?
9:00 AM Get Equipment Out
9:15 AM Prep/Clean
9:30 AM Drive to HBHQ
9:45 AM Drive to HBHQ
10:00 AM HBHQ
10:15 AM HBHQ
10:30 AM HBHQ
10:45 AM HBHQ
11:00 AM Drive Home
11:15 AM Drive Home
11:30 AM Boil 8 G/Steep Grains
11:45 AM Boil 6.25 G Water for Mash In Boil 8 G/Steep Grains
12:00 PM Eat Boil 6.25 G Water for Mash In Boil 8 G/Steep Grains
12:15 PM Boil 6.25 G Water for Mash In Boil
12:30 PM Boil 6.25 G Water for Mash In Boil
12:45 PM Boil 10.5 G for Mash Out Boil
1:00 PM Mash Boil
1:15 PM Mash Transfer to Carboy
1:30 PM Mash Transfer to Carboy
1:45 PM Mash Transfer to Carboy
2:00 PM Sparge Transfer to Carboy
2:15 PM Sparge Pitch Yeast
2:30 PM Sparge
2:45 PM Sparge
3:00 PM Heat to Boil Sanitize Bottles
3:15 PM Heat to Boil Sanitize Bottles
3:30 PM Heat to Boil Sanitize Bottles
3:45 PM Heat to Boil Transfer to Bottling Bucket
4:00 PM Boil Transfer to Bottling Bucket
4:15 PM Boil Bottle
4:30 PM Boil Bottle
4:45 PM Boil Clean Carboy
5:00 PM Transfer to Carboys Fill & Pitch
5:15 PM Transfer to Carboys
5:30 PM Transfer to Carboys
5:45 PM Transfer to Carboys
6:00 PM
6:15 PM
6:30 PM
6:45 PM
7:00 PM
7:15 PM
7:30 PM
7:45 PM
8:45 PM
9:00 PM