Thursday, December 30, 2010

So long 2010!

So, I've been using this to log all of the beers I brew, and as you'll see, I've been slacking on documenting. I keep great records in my brew program, but finding time to do a blog post has been rough. So, here's a pile of them all lumped into one blog post (I just brewed 3 more batches today, so I figure it's time to catch up!)

8.6.10 - Double IPA
1076 OG - This was a hop bomb. It also was when I realized I had a bad batch of Cascades from Hops Direct. The beer was drank, and tasted ok, but it had this burnt hop taste to it, overly bitter. The odd thing is, the other beers I used those same cascades in tasted similar. Will try this one again in the future - was nice having a big IPA sipper on tap.

8.27.10 - Oktoberfest Ale
1064 OG - Yes, you heard it right. An Oktoberfest Ale - and probably one of the most popular beers on tap in the DRB in 2010. I'll definitely be making this one again. Fan-freaking tastic. Pilsner, Vienna, Munich and a few other grains make up this beer. Small bittering hop at 60 min., and fermented with Saf 04.

9.15.10 - Pumpkin Pie Ale
1055 OG - Same recipe as last year only I used canned pumpkin in the mash. Did that make a difference? No. Spices are what come through in this beer. Won 2nd place in the Muskrat Mashers Pumpkin Fest competition - the winner was a clovey based pumpkin ale, which was fantastic. Next year.... add some cloves? .. Tried Saf 04 this year also, will probably go back to 05 or something different next year. Seemed to have lost some of the sweet character I felt it should have..

10.11.10 - Thanksgiving Porter
1058 OG - Same recipe as last years only I dialed it down a bit on the grains. Last years came out a bit too high, this years was perfect, very drinkable. In fact I'm enjoying one right now. :)

10.11.10 - Halloween IPA
1055 OG - Same recipe out of Jamil's book (Hopiness is an IPA) - Great recipe. I made this for a party and couldn't end up making the party so I brought the whole keg out to the campfire, along with the TV, invited some friends over and we watched UM lose a football game... but damn, the beer was great!

11.4.10 - American Stout
1068OG - Same recipe as my "West Coast Stout" .. only, I don't know, better this year. I brewed this early to take to the UM vs. MSU outdoor hockey game. It was a hit. Way less "hoppy" than last year.. Last year I brewed it a few weeks before drinking and the hops didn't have time to settle out. This time it sat for over a month and tasted great. So good I had one for breakfast this morning.

11.4.10 - Amarillo Pale Ale
1051OG - This was a simple yet awesome pale ale that I made for the UM vs. OSU football game party. It was a hit, very tasty and very easy to brew. In fact, I'm brewing the same recipe now, but with Citra hops in place of Amarillo's. 9.50 lb. 2-row, 1 lb. C-20. Nugget hops at 60, then a 1 minute, turn off and dh.

12.30.10 - Citra Pale Ale
1042OG - Again, same as the Amarillo Pale, just mixed up the hop additions. Did 1.5 oz of nugget at 60, an ounce at 10, an ounce at 5, an ounce at knock out and will DH an ounce. Should be awesome - anything citra hops touches is awesome.

12.30.10 - Southern English Brown Ale
1044OG - Recipe straight out of Jamil's Brewing Classic Styles. Come to find out, I did a Southern English Brown before, only I used a different recipe. This one I'm a little concerned about the color, it seems really dark but smells awesome. Saf 04 yeast.

12.30.10 - Belgian Wit
1043OG - I'm excited about this one. I brew Belgian Wits often, as they're always a crowd pleaser, only this time I"m using T-58 SafBrew yeast. I've never used it but have heard great things about it. I'm looking forward to seeing how it does, I'm really looking forward to the fermentation, I read some reviews saying it goes crazy... Gotta love a yeast eating sugar party!

Ok folks, that concludes my posts for 2010. If you want more info on any of these recipes, just shoot me an email or leave a comment. If I get time, I'll go through and actually post the recipes with each, but with two kids under 2, getting on a computer for personal usage is tough!

Happy New Year brewers! See you next year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

DRB Weizen

I wanted a plain ol' wheat beer for some end of summer sipping. This is a really basic recipe, and I used the dry wheat yeast for the first time, which I was impressed with. Great tasting beer, very light, refreshing, clove/banana flavors come through, but aren't too big. Easy, shmeasy, excellent beer.

6 lb. Pilsner
5.25 lb. Wheat

1.20 oz. Willamette - 4.8% - 60 min.

WB-O6 Safbrew

OG: 1.051
FG: 1.010
ABV: 5.4%

RobSlam - Imperial IPA

I've definitely been on a hop kick this year. I've pretty much had something hoppy on tap non stop in my garage. And with the 3 hour disappearance of the last keg of 60 minute IPA clone, I had already prepared another beer to replace it.
I'd been wanting to do an Imperial IPA for quite some time, and just never had a big enough hop selection on hand to do one. I had accumulated hops I traded for, hops from previous batches, etc., and finally had enough on hand to make a good beer.
The base grain for this recipe is straight out of Brewing Classic Styles. The hop addition, I borrowed from a Pliney the Elder clone. I used different hops, but was pretty aggressive in the styles I chose. Most I researched went well together, so I didn't go too crazy on mixing them up.
I kegged this last night and took a sip from the racking cane, and wow, it about hurt my tongue it was so hoppy. Today, I carbonated it, poured some off and tasted it again. A beautiful white froth head sat on the top of the glass the duration of my sampling. What a fantastic floral citrusy smell this beer has. And the taste is amazing. It reminded me of hopslam, with every sip I took (thus the name), although, that wasn't really what I was going for - but the reason I mention it, is hopslam is one of those double (imperial) IPA's that has an overwhelming hop presence to it, with a minimal malt background. I imagine this is going to settle into a nice beer, but I wouldn't mind if it stayed just how it is now! It's truly a fantastic beer, and one glass is about all you need for an evening. :)

RobSlam - Brewed August 6th, 2010 (no, it's not a Hopslam Clone)
Fermented @ 63-65 degrees
Dryhopped in the primary

15.00 lb - US 2-Row Malt
1/2 lb. Crystal 40
1 lb. Corn Sugar (flame out)

2 oz. US Nugget 13.0 % - 90 min.
1 oz. Chinook 11.5% - 90 min.
1 oz. Amarillo 8% - 90 min.
1 oz. Simcoe 12.4% - 45 min.
1 oz. Amarillo 8% - 30 min.
1 oz. Cascade 5.4% - 15 min.
1 oz. Cascade 5.4% - 10 min.
1 oz. Cascade 5.4% - 5 min.
1 oz. Nugget 13% - 0 min.
1 oz. Amarillo, 1/2 oz. Chinook, 1/2 Nugget - Dryhop

US-O5 SafAle

OG: 1.076
FG: 1.009
ABV: 9%

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Amarilla Thrilla!

Thought I would do a quick post to keep documented the brews I've done this summer. I made a 10 gallon batch of the Three Floyds Gumball Head clone again, and am pretty much through the second keg already. This beer is a great summer beer. For whatever reason, this seasons didn't seem as "hoppy" to me. Probably because I had an IPA on tap at the same time.
I did something a little odd this time. I didn't quite hit my volume and drained a bit too much into a carboy, so I added about a gallon of water to one of the carboys to dilute it some. The diluted batch ended up around 4.5% and actually came out quite light and tasty. I think if I do this one again, I'm going to add more hops so the Amarillo really shines through, and I might just try to make this a little lighter, as the light version this year was so well received.

Click here for the recipe - Three Floyds Gumbal Head Clone.

Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA clone

I don't drink DFH very often, but if I do, it's usually the 60 minute IPA. Not my favorite IPA, but it's definitely a great example of the style. I had always been intrigued by the labor intensive hop additions in this beer and wanted to try it for myself. I had to make my annual IPA for a friends bday party, so I opted for this clone.

After this was done, I did a side by side comparison. I honestly would say that the two really don't match up. Maybe the bottle of DFH lost it's hop "pop" or something, but the comparison wasn't really close. Mine had a citrus hop burst right up front, with a bitter back end. The malts really didn't shine through. The DFH version had a huge malt up front with a bit of a bitterness at the end. This clone recipe sworn by in the brewing community, so who knows. Maybe the commercial example needs to be fresher for a better comparison. Either way, it's a kick ass IPA, one I'd definitely make again, maybe... The hop additions can get a little repetitious, and for someone like me that has a tough time paying attention longer than 5 minutes.... this brew took some serious concentration. What didn't help was two highschool buddies I hadn't seen in ages, showing up to drink beer in the middle of the brew session.. All was good, I kept setting the timer and kept adding the hops! Here's the recipe:

2-Row - 13 lb.
C-60 - 2 lb.

Amarillo, Nugget and Simcoe - .10 oz. each, added: 60, 55, 45, 35, 25, 15, 10, 5. 0 min. was a 1/2 oz of Amarillo.
Dry Hopped with: 1 oz. Amarillo, 1/2 oz. Simcoe


OG: 1.055
FG: 1.010
ABV: 6%

DRB Cream Ale

I was asked to make a beer for a work function and actually made this a month or so ago, in preparation for the mid-August party. I made 10 gallons of it and tested the first 5 gallons out at a friends party. 5 gallons were gone in about 3 hours. My test worked! I figured if I could make a craft beer, that wasn't dark, hoppy or thick, people that drink regular beer might dig it. This will especially hold true for the "Bud" drinkers I work with. I was quite impressed with the second round of this beer. The first I had served right off the yeast only 2 weeks after being brewed. It still had a bit of a freshness to it. This second round has a lighter flavor to it and looks beautiful. The head on it is light, white and bubbly. It's a very refreshing beer, oh and by the way, I made this before using all 2-row, I'd definitely suggesting the split with pilsner, it lightened it up quite a bit. Here's the recipe:

Cream Ale (10 gallons)

2-Row - 8 lb.
Pilsner - 8lb.
Flaked Rice - 1.70 lb. (mash)
Corn Sugar - .84 lb. (end of boil)

Willamette - 4.8AA - 1.60 oz. 60 min.
Willamette - 4.8AA - .80 oz. 1 mins.

SafAle US-05 - 2 packets

OG: 1.051
FG: 1.010
ABV: 5.4%

Monday, June 28, 2010

Smokin' Brown Ale

If I'm not brewing, I'm barbecuing (smoking meat using a smoker). I just love the smoked flavor that comes from the wood used in the smoking process. A while ago, I made a smoked porter, and although it was good, it didn't quite have the level of smokiness I desired.
While shopping at Titgemeiers a while back, I stumbled on some Briess Cherry Smoked malt. I picked up a few pounds for an eventual smoked beer. I finally constructed the recipe using a basic American Brown Ale. I took out some of the 2-Row and replaced it with 3lbs. of the smoked grain. Here's the recipe:

Smokin' Brown Ale

8 lb. 2-Row
3 lb. Briess Cherry Smoked Malt
.50 lb. C-40
.50 lb. Biscuit
.50 lb. Wheat
.25 lb. CaraMunich 60
.25 lb. Chocolate

1.10 oz. Goldings - 5.0% AA

Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale (starter from Fred)

OG: 1.059
FG: 1.007
ABV: 6.9%

The beer came out pretty good. It has a really nice level of smokiness to it, probably just a tad too much, but it's still very drinkable. If I were to make it in the future, I might cut back a pound of it for more of a subtle smoke flavor, this recipe is more of an in your face smoke smell and taste, but again, it's a really unique style and I've really been enjoying a pint here and there. From what I'm told, the smoke flavor level in my version is not even close to that of a German Rauchbier.. I've gotta try one of those someday..

One more thing to add, the yeast used in this beer came from Brad @ Original Gravity. He had a couple leftover packs of Wyeast. Fred on our club was gracious enough to build a 5 gallon starter which we all split up. Thanks everyone.

Oh yeah, pictured is my new smoker, which, has nothing to do with this batch of beer, I'm just proud of it. I do plan on smoking some grains with it in the future for another smoked recipe. I did however enjoy some smoked ribs from this smoker, with the smoked Brown Ale, and the match was perfect!