Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oops, I forgot about 2010

It has been a long time since I update the few but faithful of you that read about my Adventures in Homebrew. Enough has been going on , but not so much I couldn't stop to take a few moments to let you know I'm still in the game. Interestingly enough I have garnered the attention of a few people of whom I am a great fan. The folks down at iBrewmaster.com dropped me a quick line, but I have been a bit too shy and humbled recently to respond. Thanks guys!

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First off, I didn't miss my anniversary. On September 1, 2009 I started this blog writing about my limited understanding of what beer is. One year after, September 1, 2010 I started a massive blog entry with several gigs of photos and videos painstakingly detailing my, albeit flawed, process. The entry became a huge albatross around my neck and eventually spanned into three separate posting outlining the equipment, the process, and then the aftermath - fermenting, bottling/kegging, and serving. None of the entries flowed into one another and the pictures I intended to use needed endless explanation which I found myself repeating over and over. It also made me look at my process and really see it's amateur status. Several of my beers had spoiled last summer and several more have still. I stopped writing partially from shame, but I never stopped brewing.

A quick catch up since last I posted:
To cure those aforementioned Summertime Blues I inherited a large closet freezer. Since I already have a Kegorator, I put it to use as a fermentor by setting it at 70 degrees with a Johnson Analog Refrigerator Thermostat and got back to brewing in August. I had just gotten back from a west coast vacation and in Pike's Place Market,Seattle I bought some Washington grown dried Apricots for the smash hit of the summer:

Rouge Wheat


Style: Witbier


Type: All GrainCalories: 195

Rating: 4.0Efficiency: 70 %

IBU's: 15.16Boil Size: 5.00 Gal

Color: 4.9 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Boil Time: 60 minutes




EstimatedActual

Brew Date: - 08/07/2010

OG: 1.059 1.060

FG: 1.018 1.015

ABV: 5.37 % 5.89 %

Serve Date: 09/18/2010 08/27/2010


Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F08/07/201008/07/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F08/14/201008/12/2010
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F08/28/201008/25/2010

Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
5.00 lbs 45.45 %
White Wheat Malt1.040 2.4
5.00 lbs 45.45 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel1.037 3.0
1.00 lbs 9.09 %
Wheat, Flaked1.035 1.6

Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs 15.16
Hallertauer60 mins 4.80

Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.00 pkgSafbrew WB-06Fermentis (null)

Additions
AmountNameTimeStage
8.00 oz Apricots 60 mins Boil
1.00 lb Honey 60 mins Boil

Mash Profile

Medium Body Temperature60 min @ 154.0°F
Add 14.00 qt water & heat to 154.0°F over 15 mins


Notes
Preboil OG: 1.055

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I made a beer for my twin friend's, Jeb and Josh's, birthday. We kegged most of it but I saved three bottles of what has become a Herrmann Brewery staple:

Rye Pale Ale


Style: English IPA


Type: All GrainCalories: 173

Rating: 0.0Efficiency: 70 %

IBU's: 70.24Boil Size: 7.50 Gal

Color: 15.6 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Boil Time: 60 minutes




EstimatedActual

Brew Date: - 08/31/2010

OG: 1.053 1.042

FG: 1.013 1.012

ABV: 5.24 % 3.93 %

Serve Date: 10/12/2010 09/11/2010


Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F08/31/201008/31/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F09/07/201009/05/2010
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F09/21/201009/09/2010

Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
1.00 lbs 9.09 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L1.033120.0
8.00 lbs 72.73 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) UK1.036 3.0
2.00 lbs 18.18 %
Rye Malt1.029 4.7

Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs 15.67
Amarillo Gold15 mins 8.50
1.00 ozs

Cascade14 days 5.50
1.00 ozs 48.28
Simcoe60 mins13.00
1.00 ozs 6.30
Amarillo Gold05 mins 8.50

Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.00 pkgDry English AleWhite Labs 0007

Additions
(none)

Mash Profile
(none)

Notes
Preboil OG 1.032

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Granted I did a poor job mashing and the ABV suffered for it, but I have since improved the recipe and my efficiency. I am using more water now to better pull off sugars - 4 gallons to mash and 6.5 - 7 gallons to sparge - and I then boiling for 90minutes to reduce to 5 gallon. At this point I was quickly running out of supplies, but before I reupped at the brewstore I wanted to finish off what little supplies I had left. The resulting beer was quite akin to the India Brown Ale I had crafted once before, but that beer went sour on account of a moist summer and problems with my cooler while this one flourished and came out quite delicious.

Everything Else IPA


Style: American IPA


Type: All GrainCalories: 211

Rating: 0.0Efficiency: 70 %

IBU's: 92.26Boil Size: 6.50 Gal

Color: 27.4 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Boil Time: 90 minutes




EstimatedActual

Brew Date: - 09/18/2010

OG: 1.064 1.062

FG: 1.019 1.014

ABV: 5.90 % 6.29 %

Serve Date: 10/17/2010 10/21/2010


Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F09/18/201009/18/2010
Secondary14 days @ 40.0°F09/25/201010/03/2010
Bottle/Keg2 days @ 40.0°F10/17/201010/15/2010

Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
7.00 lbs 56.00 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US1.036 2.0
1.00 lbs 8.00 %
Biscuit Malt1.036 23.0
1.00 lbs 8.00 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L1.033120.0
1.00 lbs 8.00 %
Rye Malt1.029 4.7
1.00 lbs 8.00 %
Cara-Pils/Dextrine1.033 2.0
1.00 lbs 8.00 %
Turbinado1.044 10.0
0.50 lbs 4.00 %
Chocolate Malt1.028350.0

Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs 40.33
Simcoe60 mins13.00
1.00 ozs 35.41
Nugget40 mins13.00
1.00 ozs 10.34
Williamette20 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs 6.19
Cascade10 mins 5.50

Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.00 pkgSafale S- 05Fermentis (null)

Additions
(none)

Mash Profile

Protein Rest10 min @ 122.0°F
Decot 8.00 qt mash & heat to 125.0°F

Full Body Infusion In60 min @ 158.0°F
Add 8.00 qt water @ 212.0°F


Notes


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Things were going well in my little shed in the back yard and with the holidays fast approaching I made another Herrmann holiday tradition for bottling and another for kegging:

Punkin' Porter


Style: Brown Porter


Type: All GrainCalories: 234

Rating: 0.0Efficiency: 70 %

IBU's: 23.06Boil Size: 7.00 Gal

Color: 30.4 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Boil Time: 90 minutes




EstimatedActual

Brew Date: - 10/03/2010

OG: 1.071 1.072

FG: 1.021 1.014

ABV: 6.55 % 7.60 %

Serve Date: 10/30/2010 11/25/2010


Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F10/03/201010/03/2010
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F10/10/201010/09/2010

Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
2.00 ozs 0.93 %
Black (Patent) Malt1.025500.0
10.00 lbs 74.77 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US1.036 2.0
0.50 lbs 3.74 %
Caramunich Malt1.033 56.0
0.50 lbs 3.74 %
Chocolate Malt1.034350.0
0.25 lbs 1.87 %
Rye Malt1.029 4.7
0.50 lbs 3.74 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L1.033120.0
8.00 ozs 3.74 %
Molasses1.036 80.0
1.00 lbs 7.48 %
Dark Dry Extract1.044 17.5

Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs 9.45
Cascade20 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs 13.61
Hallertauer60 mins 4.80

Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgSafale S-04Fermentis (null)

Additions
AmountNameTimeStage
1.00 tsp Allspice 05 mins Boil
1.25 tsp Cinnamon Powder 05 mins Boil
1.25 tsp Cloves, Ground 05 mins Boil
1.25 tsp Nutmeg 05 mins Boil
2.00 tsp Vanilla 15 mins Boil
0.25 oz Ginger Root 05 mins Boil

Mash Profile

Full Body Infusion In45 min @ 158.0°F
Add 16.00 qt water @ 170.0°F


Notes
Roast one small cooking pumpkin with innards removed for 45 min, scoop out meat and add to grain. Mash for 90 min. Add 1 tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and any other seasoning at flameout.

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Amber Clone


Style: American Amber Ale


Type: All GrainCalories: 198

Rating: 0.0Efficiency: 70 %

IBU's: 25.50Boil Size: 6.50 Gal

Color: 14.0 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Boil Time: 90 minutes




EstimatedActual

Brew Date: - 10/10/2010

OG: 1.060 1.060

FG: 1.018 1.012

ABV: 5.50 % 6.29 %

Serve Date: 10/30/2010 11/06/2010


Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F10/10/201010/10/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F10/17/201010/18/2010
Bottle/Keg2 days @ 74.0°F11/01/201010/28/2010

Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
10.00 lbs 83.33 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US1.036 2.0
1.00 lbs 8.33 %
Biscuit Malt1.036 23.0
0.50 lbs 4.17 %
Caramunich Malt1.033 56.0
0.50 lbs 4.17 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L1.033120.0

Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
0.66 ozs 6.95
Williamette20 mins 5.50
0.34 ozs 1.18
Williamette05 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs 17.37
Cascade60 mins 5.50

Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.00 pkgSafale S- 05Fermentis (null)

Additions
(none)

Mash Profile

Protein Rest10 min @ 122.0°F
Decot 8.00 qt mash & heat to 140.0°F

Medium Body Infusion In60 min @ 154.0°F
Add 8.00 qt water @ 166.0°F

Medium Body Infusion Out10 min @ 168.0°F
Add 4.00 qt water @ 196.0°F


Notes
Preboil 7+ gallons 1.040

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Both of these were to be consumed for my birthday celebration, which in 2010 was Thanksgiving day itself. We jumped the gun with the Amber, so I made another Rye Pale Ale to consume instead, then turned my attention to the coming Christmas celebration.

Holiday Stout 2010


Style: American Stout


Type: All GrainCalories: 221

Rating: 0.0Efficiency: 70 %

IBU's: 38.74Boil Size: 7.00 Gal

Color: 40.8 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Boil Time: 60 minutes




EstimatedActual

Brew Date: - 11/07/2010

OG: 1.067 1.056

FG: 1.020 1.015

ABV: 6.16 % 5.37 %

Serve Date: 12/12/2010 12/31/2010

Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F11/07/201011/07/2010
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F11/13/201011/21/2010
Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
10.00 lbs 74.07 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US1.036 2.0
0.50 lbs 3.70 %
Black (Patent) Malt1.025500.0
1.00 lbs 7.41 %
Caramunich Malt1.033 56.0
1.00 lbs 7.41 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L1.034 80.0
0.50 lbs 3.70 %
Chocolate Malt1.028350.0
8.00 ozs 3.70 %
Molasses1.036 80.0
Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs 27.83
Northern Brewer60 mins 8.50
1.00 ozs 10.91
Williamette20 mins 5.50
Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgSafale S- 05Fermentis (null)
Additions
AmountNameTimeStage
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient 10 mins Boil
Mash Profile

Full Body Infusion In45 min @ 158.0°F
Add 8.00 qt water @ 170.0°F

Notes

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I aged this beer for a decent amount of time and manage to hold onto a few yet still for further aging. Unlike last year's, this stout was nothing special. It was good enough, but stouts aren't really my favorite.

It seems my little operation here goes through periods of flourish followed by a series of bumbling catastrophes. While some of the above beers aged well in their bottles, the next few bombed.

It's my fault once again in this case. With my new fermenting tool, the temperature regulated freezer, my yeast was erupting and actually cause quite a few spills within the chest of the freezer. I didn't clean it very well (or at all) and lost a 10 gallon batch of Brown ale followed by another iteration of the India Black Ale.

Brown holiday


Style: American Brown AleOG: 1.052

Type: Partial MashFG: 1.016

Rating: 0.0ABV: 4.72 %

Calories: 172IBU's: 38.12

Efficiency: 70 %Boil Size: 12.50 Gal

Color: 34.9 SRM Batch Size: 10.00 Gal


Boil Time: 60 minutes

Fermentation Steps
NameDays / Temp
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F
Secondary7 days @ 72.0°F
Bottle/Keg2 days @ 74.0°F
Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
3.33 lbs 20.50 %
Dark Liquid Extract1.036 17.5
3.33 lbs 20.50 %
Dark Liquid Extract1.036 17.5
3.33 lbs 20.50 %
Amber Liquid Extract1.036 12.5
1.00 lbs 6.16 %
Chocolate Malt1.034350.0
0.25 lbs 1.54 %
Black (Patent) Malt1.025500.0
1.00 lbs 6.16 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L1.034 80.0
1.00 lbs 6.16 %
Biscuit Malt1.036 23.0
1.00 lbs 6.16 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L1.033120.0
1.00 lbs 6.16 %
Caramunich Malt1.033 56.0
1.00 lbs 6.16 %
Molasses1.036 80.0
Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
2.00 ozs 28.85
Northern Brewer60 mins 8.50
2.00 ozs 9.27
Williamette15 mins 5.50
Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
2.00 pkgSafale S- 05Fermentis (null)
Additions
(none)
Mash Profile
(none)
Notes

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I wanted to make a big load of beer for the holidays, but didn't want to go through too much work, so I made a partial mash. I hadn't done anything other than all grain since I February of that year, and almost a year before that.

Anyway I paid for my laziness and I took my wife's scrubbing out the freezer - thanks honey - before I could get back on track. Since the obliged Holidays have past I can really focus on my favorite house brews. I recently mastered the ever elusive Istrouma Pale Ale and I'm going to stick to this recipe, and try to keep it at all times.

Istrouma Pale Ale


Style: American IPA


Type: All GrainCalories: 204

Rating: 0.0Efficiency: 70 %

IBU's: 84.48Boil Size: 7.50 Gal

Color: 12.7 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Boil Time: 90 minutes




EstimatedActual

Brew Date: - 12/12/2010

OG: 1.062 1.052

FG: 1.019 1.010

ABV: 5.63 % 5.50 %

Serve Date: 01/07/2011 01/17/2011

Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F12/12/201012/12/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F12/19/201012/22/2010
Bottle/Keg2 days @ 74.0°F01/05/201101/05/2011
Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
10.00 lbs 80.00 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US1.036 2.0
0.50 lbs 4.00 %
Rye Malt1.029 4.7
1.00 lbs 8.00 %
Biscuit Malt1.036 23.0
0.50 lbs 4.00 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L1.034 80.0
0.50 lbs 4.00 %
Caramunich Malt1.033 56.0
Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs 3.72
Cascade05 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs 11.31
Cascade20 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs 44.13
Simcoe60 mins13.00
1.00 ozs 25.33
Amarillo Gold40 mins 8.50
0.50 ozs

Simcoe14 days13.00
Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgSafale S- 05Fermentis (null)
Additions
AmountNameTimeStage
0.50 tsp Irish Moss 15 mins Boil
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient 15 mins Boil
Mash Profile

Protein Rest20 min @ 130.0°F
Decot 8.00 qt mash & heat to 150.0°F

Medium Body Infusion In60 min @ 154.0°F
Add 8.00 qt water @ 212.0°F

Notes
Preboil: 1.040
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I am going to flip-flop week-to-week with this and my Rye Pale Ale recipe which I made just last week according to this batch recipe I made just before the new year.

Rye Pale Ale


Style: American Wheat or Rye Beer


Type: All GrainCalories: 208

Rating: 0.0Efficiency: 70 %

IBU's: 60.28Boil Size: 7.50 Gal

Color: 10.5 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Boil Time: 90 minutes




EstimatedActual

Brew Date: - 12/30/2010

OG: 1.063 1.062

FG: 1.019 1.010

ABV: 5.76 % 6.81 %

Serve Date: 01/15/2011 01/15/2011

Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F12/30/201012/30/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F01/06/201101/10/2011
Bottle/Keg2 days @ 74.0°F01/24/201101/13/2011
Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentage
NameGravityColor
10.00 lbs 76.92 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US1.036 2.0
2.00 lbs 15.38 %
Rye Malt1.029 4.7
1.00 lbs 7.69 %
Caramunich Malt1.033 56.0
Hops
AmountIBU's
NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs 10.34
Cascade20 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs 3.40
Cascade05 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs 26.37
Amarillo Gold60 mins 8.50
0.50 ozs 20.17
Simcoe60 mins13.00
Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgSafale S-04Fermentis (null)
Additions
AmountNameTimeStage
0.50 tsp Irish Moss 15 mins Boil
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient 15 mins Boil
Mash Profile

Light Body Infusion In40 min @ 150.0°F
Add 6.50 qt ( 0.50 qt/lb ) water @ 200.0°F

Protein Rest30 min @ 120.0°F
Decot 2.00 qt mash & heat to 140.0°F

Notes
Pre-boil: 1.030
Added 1 lb raw sugar.
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If I can keep these two beers flowing I'll be a happy man. I also figure that in between the first and second week of aging these beers in secondary fermentation I can brew a specialty batch and quick bottle it right after primary fermentation. In fact I plan to d this tomorrow by brewing the Rouge Wheat again and this time use Louisiana Grapefruit from my friend's front yard. Barring anymore sanitation catastrophes, 2011 should be a good year.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues

Things are falling apart. For a time everything was going so well. After the brew-a-thon mentioned in the last post two months ago, I've not had want for beer. I had plenty. I tore into the Amber quickly. Fortunately I made 10 gallons of it and partitioned them into two separate vessels so I could age one a tad more and enjoy them a tad longer. I had such a surplus that I bottle-conditioned Andrea's Almond Amber Ale, which had been aging for nigh two months. The Black IPA spoiled on me. I don't know what went wrong and that troubles me more than anything. I tasted it and got a headache, sure enough a few weeks later a white filmed developed at the top, sure sign of spoilage. The brewing of the IPA went better than expected. I followed a Dogfish Head technique and continually added hops the full 60 minutes of the boil - one ounce at start of boil and a handful every five minutes or so - bringing the total to four. It is currently sitting in more whole leaf Cascade hops as I write this.

I took a vacation. Three weeks along the West Coast. We met some friends in L.A. and we all drove north to San Fransisco. Parting ways, my wife and I flew to Portland and hopped (no pun intended) a train to Seattle before flying home. It was wonderful. I ate some great food and drank some amazing beers. But this blog is not about what I did on my summer vacation. This blog is about my homebrew and that was no vacation.

While I was touring the coast, with an average temperature of 72 degrees F, my carboys were sitting in a dark closet where the average temperature just outside was in the triple digits. I cannot imagine how hot it got inside but I'd save 85 is a conservative estimate. Once Andrew Godley of the Parish Brew Company gave me a piece of advise that I knew to be true, but never took to heart. Temperature Control is the most important factor in fermentation, he said. I paraphrase of course, I was pretty drunk on IPA at the time, but I am feeling the effects of my folly.

Temperature control costs money. I have little. As I've stated in the past most of my equipment has been donated including the initial kit. I told myself the off temperatures would add "local color to my beer," but it has only added funk. Andrew had a vast array of chest freezers. I have one but it's being used as a keg-orator and generally is colder than desired. I did some lagering in there once, but only once. Most of my brews are ales. Ales ideally ferment at low 70's or upper 60's range, say 68-72 degrees F. We're lucky to get those temperatures in the winter here in South Louisiana. I can see why the Northwest is an ideal climate for brewing with 72 all year long, I loved it there.

So when I returned from my vacation I had less than a gallon of Amber Ale left in the keg-orator, a batch of spoiled Black IPA I have yet to clean out, a carboy of IPA still dry hopping one month after the initial transfer, and five gallons of bottled Almond Amber Ale all roasted in the Louisiana heat. The last of the 10 gallon Amber was safe in the keg-orator, but it didn't last a day after my homecoming. I consoled myself with a six-pack of Almond Ale and a few loose 22's, and for the first time since I can remember I drank a beer that was absolutely undrinkable.

Let me amend that; I've never drank one of my beers that was undrinkable. If other people give me their beer and I think it nasty, I'll quaff it quietly or politely leave it unfinished, but for the first time it was one of my beers that tasted like feet. Again I don't know what went wrong. Everything tasted fine during the transfers so it was an error in bottling or the damned heat. I don't need to sugarcoat it to myself or spare my own feelings - this beer is terrible. I tried everyone of the six-pack and two of the 22's hoping that the flavor was a fluke of the individual bottles, but no. Each and everyone I had to pour out. Right now I find myself with a five gallon excess of marinade beer, a position usually reserved for High Life, and a slug bait*.

I sit in my air-conditioned home afraid of the heat. I've stopped by a few brew stores for ingredients and even bought Washington grown dried figs during my travels, all to make a fresh batch of Rouge Huit, but I cannot bring myself to brew. It is brutal not only on human life, but on yeast cultures**. I'm not worried about sweating in the heat, but at these temperatures the yeast will produce funky flavors rather than mellow bready goodness. As I write this the spoiled black IPA rests in a carboy right behind me. There's no need to clean it out as there are no other batches to take its place. I have everything ready to transfer the IPA, the last of my homebrew, into a keg for consumption. But if the Almond Amber funked-up in a bottle, what's to stop the IPA from spoiling in its carboy. I'll know when I muster the courage to try it.

But all hope is not lost. I've got some new toys to help beat the heat. My dad gave me a cylindrical refrigerator, one that you might see Powerade being kept cool in at a convenience store. A carboy won't fit in it, but my food-grade plastic bucket - converted for lagering - might. In addition my mother-in-law is getting rid of a standup freezer. If I attach a temperature regulator to it and reinforce the shelving I can keep it at 68 degrees F constantly and store up to four carboys at a time. It'll take a little investment on my part and the time and energy to import the equipment from Lafayette, but it might be just what I need for the Summer Time Blues.

* Handy tip: If your garden is plagued with slugs, take a can lid or other semi-shallow basin, fill it with beer and leave it in the garden. The slugs will be attracted to it and drown in it.

** Historical Fact: Before refrigeration, refreshing summer beer was brewed in the winter and fermented in cool cellars for the yeast esters to develop those mellow tastes, and winter beers were brewed in the summer for the yeast to impart those heavy funky warm flavors. This of course takes a lot of foresight, planning, and temperance.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Craft Beer Week Celebration

Monday May 17 is the start of American Craft Brew week. It took me by surprise this year as it does every year. Luckily I've been active enough to have a batch or two ready to celebrate with.

Apparently Homebrewers are suppose to start things off for this celebration early. The first weekend in May is National Homebrew Day. It occurred this year on May 1 and the American Homebrew Association, in association with the coordinators of American Craft Beer Week, have declared a Big Brew Day Recipe. This year's recipe is the American Craft Beer Wheat. I love a good pun.

Unfortunately, I am only finding out about this now as I research for this post. Fortunately I did make a beer on the first and it was none other than the smash hit of the summer and Baton Rouge's favorite wit beer The Rouge Huit! Really, I brewed it on the second, but the fact that it too is a wheat beer is a happy coincidence.

I do plan on sharing my love of craft brew this joyous week, by crafting some brew! I always need help with my homebrewing - there is a lot of equipment to be lifted with a lot of very hot wort inside of it - but often there is no set time to when I will brew. I'll let a few friends know a few hours or days before I begin, and if no one shows up to help my wife is cosigned to the project. But this week is a big deal.

Here is a set week to share the joys and mysteries of brewing. I decided to send out an open invitation to all of my friends and curious connoisseurs. Often they will say "We need to brew sometime." Well let's make it this week. Find some time to make it out. I have the grain, I have the technology, we can craft it stronger, hoppier, better.

In the manner that is most befitting our generation's social interactions, I have created an event on Facebook. I don't want just anyone to show up at my backdoor so I invited a select few, but I extend invitations to third party friends-of-friends. After all more hands makes the work easier.

Sunday I plan on brewing a large amount. I know I'll have the help of my wife so I intend to make 10 gallons. I also plan to do two five gallon batches on Tuesday and Thursday. However, brewing 10 gallons is not only ambitious but utilitarian. I have only two primary fermentation vessels, two 6.5 gallon glass carboys, but recently my wife bought me a Brew Cube. Although plastic, it hold 13 gallons of liquid and so makes a formidable 10 gallon primary fermentation. She got it from the Austin Homebrew Store although I spotted another one at my local veterinarian. Seems it makes a formidable dog food storage unit as well, the only difference is mine has a hole for an airlock in the screw on lid.

To make the large quantity on Sunday I will be using some old equipment in a different way. My large Igloo mash tun busted and needs repair. In the meantime I want to use my stainless steel lauder tun on the burner itself to control the temperatures. The only problem is the false bottom is high and extra water will be needed in the mash, leaving less water to sparge and possibly less efficient sugar extraction.

So here's the agenda for the upcoming week. Sunday:

Amber Clone (10 gal)


Style: American Amber AleOG: 1.055

Type: All GrainFG: 1.016


ABV: 5.11 %

Calories: 181IBU's: 32.24

Efficiency: 70 %Boil Size: 10.00 Gal

Color: 13.1 SRM Batch Size: 10.00 Gal


Fermentation Steps
NameDays / Temp
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount

Name

1.00 lbs

Biscuit Malt

1.00 lbs

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L

1.00 lbs

Victory Malt

17.00 lbs

Pale Malt (2 Row) US

1.00 lbs

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L

1.00 lbs

Caramunich Malt


Hops
Amount

NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs

Northern Brewer60 mins 8.50
1.00 ozs

Cascade60 mins 5.50
0.67 ozs

Goldings, East Kent20 mins 5.00
0.67 ozs

Cascade20 mins 5.50
0.33 ozs

Goldings, East Kent10 mins 5.00
0.33 ozs

Cascade10 mins 5.50

Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
2.0 pkgSafale S- 05Fermentis

Additions
(none)

Mash Profile


Notes


www.iBrewMaster.comVersion: 2.630


Then on Tuesday, unless plans change, an old classic. This one made with a hint of Rye and a bolder hop profile:


Istrouma Pale Ale


Style: American IPAOG: 1.059

Type: All GrainFG: 1.018


ABV: 5.37 %

Calories: 195IBU's: 55.55

Efficiency: 70 %Boil Size: 6.50 Gal

Color: 11.3 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Fermentation Steps
NameDays / Temp
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount

Name

9.00 lbs

Pale Malt (2 Row) US

0.50 lbs

Cara-Pils/Dextrine

0.50 lbs

Rye Malt

0.50 lbs

Biscuit Malt

0.50 lbs

Victory Malt

0.50 lbs

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L

0.50 lbs

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L


Hops
Amount

NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs

Chinook60 mins13.00
1.00 ozs

Cascade5 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs

Cascade20 mins 5.50

Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgSafale S-04Fermentis

Additions
(none)

Mash Profile

Protein Rest20 min @ 130.0°F
Decot 8.00 qt mash & heat to 150.0°F

Light Body Infusion In75 min @ 150.0°F
Add 8.00 qt water @ 212.0°F


Notes


www.iBrewMaster.comVersion: 2.630



Then, on Thursday, necessity becomes the Mother of Invention, and because of a limited hop selection and I fuse two recipes to make:


India Brown Ale


Style: SchwarzbierOG: 1.064

Type: All GrainFG: 1.019


ABV: 5.90 %

Calories: 211IBU's: 63.77

Efficiency: 70 %Boil Size: 6.50 Gal

Color: 27.7 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


Fermentation Steps
NameDays / Temp
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount

Name

2.00 ozs

Black (Patent) Malt

0.25 lbs

Chocolate Malt

0.50 lbs

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L

0.50 lbs

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L

1.00 lbs

Caramunich Malt

9.00 lbs

Pale Malt (2 Row) US

1.00 lbs

Molasses


Hops
Amount

NameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs

Chinook60 mins13.00
1.00 ozs

Cascade20 mins 5.50
1.00 ozs

Cascade10 mins 5.50

Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgSafale S- 05Fermentis (null)

Additions
(none)

Mash Profile
(none)

Notes
(null)

www.iBrewMaster.comVersion: 2.630


It combines the hops of an IPA with the malt and roasted characteristics of a Brown Ale, but you've probably already figured that out. I got the idea from some unique brews I've had. Dogfishhead makes one, and I even have a recipe for it from Sam Calagione's excellent book Extreme Brewing. Also, for the second time on this blog, Athens, GA's Terrapin gets a plug for their interpretation, Hop Karma Brown IPA.

There is one problem with this mass production of craft beer. I will quickly run out of room for it. If I follow my aging times as planned I will have beers that need to go into secondary vessels and no where to put them because the ones that came before it will need at least another week, but I hope my friends who celebrate with the crafting this week will enjoy imbibing the brew a bit early.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stepping It Up

Istrouma Pale Ale 3

Style: American Pale Ale
Type: All GrainCalories: 188


IBU's: 37.98Boil Size: 7.00 Gal
Color: 10.3 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal


EstimatedActual
Brew Date:-03/29/2010
OG:1.0571.042
FG:1.0171.008
ABV:5.24 %4.45 %
Serve Date:05/11/201005/01/2010

Fermentation Steps
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F
Est: 03/29/2010Act: 03/29/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F
Est: 04/05/2010Act: 04/10/2010
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F
Est: 04/24/2010Act: 04/20/2010

Grains & Adjuncts
9.00 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) US
0.50 lbsCara-Pils/Dextrine
1.00 lbsVictory Malt
1.00 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt - 40L

Hops
1.25 ozsCascade - 60 mins
1.00 ozsCascade - 20 mins
0.75 ozsCascade - 10 mins

Yeasts
1.0 pkgSafale S-04 - Fermentis (null)

Additions
0.50 tspIrish Moss - 15 mins / Boil
0.50 tspYeast Nutrient - 10 mins / Boil

Mash Profile

Protein Rest20 min @ 120.0°F
Add 12.00 qt water @ 130.0°F

Light Body Infusion In30 min @ 140.0°F
Add 3.80 qt ( 0.33 qt/lb ) water @ 200.0°F

Full Body Temperature30 min @ 160.0°F
Add 0.50 qt/lb water & heat to 160.0°F over 15 mins


Notes
Sparge with 5 gallons @ 170. Boil 90 minutes.

http://www.ibrewmaster.com/ Version: 2.620

This is what I ended up submitting to the homebrew competition. In the last incarnation I was happy with the hops profile, but the body was watery and the alcohol lacking. For this pale ale I had to replace the Chinook bittering hops with Cascade because I bought that in bulk, and I had limited supplies of Chinook.

I won't say too much about this brew because to tell you the truth I'm sick of Pale Ales. I've made three different Pale Ales for this competition and none of them have met my ideal standard. It must not have met the judges standards because I didn't win. Perhaps it's because I have limited supplies of specialty grain; perhaps my hops profile lacked imagination; Lord knows my mashing process needs work!

I made one more Pale Ale, thinking to submit it - a Rye Pale Ale. I've mentioned this recipe several times and didn't deviate from the recipe except I used exclusively Cascade once again. I didn't submit it, although my wife thinks if I did I would have won. I wanted to craft a real Pale Ale for this contest, because that was what the contest was about. Aaron, the store owner, told me he wasn't being too by-the-booky though, and that someone had submitted a Satsuma Pale Ale! The weekend after the competition my wife graduated and we drank all the Rye P A at her graduation party.

So I am done with Pale Ales! For the first time in my life I think I've had enough Hops. The competition was also the store's new location GRAND OPENING! I got several 1oz for $1 loose leaf hops, a couple of pounds of this and that in the way of specialty grains - Oh and another 50lb Sack of Grain for $35! That means I'll be good to brew for the rest of the summer. Speaking of; the best way to get past a hops hangover is with the smash hit of the Summer:


Rouge Huit

Style: Witbier
Type: All Grain
OG: 1.042

FG: 1.012

Color: 4.6 SRM


EstimatedActual
Brew Date:-05/02/2010
OG:1.0541.042
FG:1.0161.012
ABV:4.98 %3.93 %
Serve Date:06/12/2010/ /

Fermentation Steps
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F
Est: 05/02/2010Act: 05/02/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F
Est: 05/09/2010Act: 05/08/2010
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F
Est: 05/22/2010Act: -

Grains & Adjuncts
5.00 lbsWhite Wheat Malt
4.00 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) Bel
1.00 lbsWheat, Flaked

Hops
0.00 ozsTettnang - 60 mins

Yeasts
1.0 pkgSafbrew WB-06 - Fermentis (null)

Additions
8.00 oz
1.00 oz
Apricots - 60 mins / Boil
Coriander - Flamout

Mash Profile

Light Body Infusion In75 min @ 150.0°F
Add 12.50 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 162.0°F


Notes


http://www.ibrewmaster.com/ Version: 2.620


Unfortunately I forgot the honey. It's not that I didn't remember to buy some; it completely slipped my mind to add it. Because of that, it will be low alcohol, but no biggie.

Did you notice the new iBrewMaster app outlines Mash Profiles now? Pretty neat, huh? Did you notice that this batch was a single infusion? Yeah I am done with step mashing. I am just unable to control the temperature the way I need to for it. For this simple recipe I infused with 170°F water, and let it be, but still my sweetwater came out with low sugars - 1.020 O.G. with an estimated 1.052.

I couldn't figure it out. The past few batches, ever since I started Step Mashing, have been weak. I assumed it was a temperature control issues but for this Rouge Huit I used the tried and true method I've always used - Single Infusion, and still it faltered. I almost wept I walked away from my test tube and hydrometer in defeat. When I returned a few minutes later my hydrometer measured 1.000!

I really started to loose it. Not only did my beer sugars suck, but the were also decaying at an alarming rate! My wife - with the cooler head - investigated further. Turns out my hydrometer was cracked and leaking wort inside itself. So it bobbed lower due to flooding. Turns out there was nothing terribly wrong with my mash, my measuring device was just defective. I pulled out an extra I had lying around because I never gave it to the friend who asked me to pick it up - sorry Caleb.

I don't know how far back this malfunction goes, but it could explain my mash woes ever since I started Step Mashing. With a new found confidence I tried once again to Step It Up. With the new grains I got from the Brewstock sale and at my wife's requests I combined two of my favorite recipes; the Amber Clone and Andrea's Almond Brow Ale to craft:

Andrea's Almond Amber Ale

Style: American Amber Ale
Type: All Grain
OG: 1.045ABV: 5 %
FG: 1.012IBU's: 42.18
Efficiency: 70 %
Color: 15.7 SRM Batch Size: 5.50 Gal

Fermentation Steps
Primary7 days @ 70.0°F
Secondary14 days @ 70.0°F
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 70.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
1.00 lbsCaramunich Malt
0.50 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt - 40L
0.50 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
0.50 lbsBiscuit Malt
8.00 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) UK
0.50 lbsVictory Malt

Hops
1.00 ozsNorthern Brewer - 60 mins
0.67 ozsWilliamette - 20 mins
0.33 ozsWilliamette - 10 mins

Yeasts
1.0 pkgSafale S- 05 - Fermentis (null)

Additions
1.00 lbAlmonds - 60 mins / Mash

Mash Profile

Protein Rest15 min @ 130.0°F
Decot 8.00 qt mash & heat to 150.0°F

Light Body Infusion In60 min @ 150.0°F
Add 8.00 qt water @ 200.0°F


Notes
Sparge with 5.5 gal at 170°F

http://www.ibrewmaster.com/ Version: 2.620

I am very pleased with the turn out. By using my propane burner instead of my range oven I was able to bring the second addition of water to 200°F much more quickly, resulting in a shorter protein rest and a faster beginning to the 60 minute sugar rest. Also I hit the money with my temperature. Using my igloo cooler I held it at exactly 50°F for a solid hour.

There were two minor problems. I used too much sparge water so my yield was about 5.5 gallons and the almonds kept getting my lauter tun stuck. I used pre-roasted almonds this time so I am slightly worried about the oil levels, which have been known to cause a loss of head retention. Also, as I said, the almonds kept sticking in the false bottom so that when I cleared it almond chucks would fall into the brew kettle. I am afraid that boiling these slivers might impart some of those oils too.

I plan on doing another Amber soon, sans Almonds, and to keep cranking out the Rouge Huit. I am about done with Pale Ales, save the Rye Pale Ale. You see I can't find a Rye Pale Ale in Baton Rouge. Austin, Texas's Real Ale makes a damn fine one as well as Athens, Georgia's Terrapin. So in the typical American fashion what can't be bought, must be crafted on one's own.