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.