Monday, January 28, 2008

Oatmeal Stout brewed, racked the IPA

This weekend was a busy one for the DRB. I started by racking the IPA. It's looking really good and tastes pretty awesome. I used my own unfiltered tap water for this batch. I've heard the argument go both ways on this issue, I may be taking a gamble doing it - but so far it tastes as it should, so I guess we'll see how things go.
I cleaned up after that, and then cleaned out both of the empty kegs, sanitizing and purged with co2. Next I started getting everything together for the evenings brew. Both Kevin and I were brewing stouts. Kevin is making a bourbon oaked stout (mmm!) and I made a pretty common oatmeal stout. There were so many grains I had to use two muslin bags to put them all in. Getting them out was a pain - I think I need to get some beer brewing tongs! I went with the liquid extract and had to add 8 oz of malto dextrin. This beer has an ounce of Willamette hops and an ounce of Cascade.. both smelled soooo good as i put them in.
I haven't decided yet if I'm going to bottle or keg this. I had planned on bottling an Imperial Stout I was going to get from the local homebrew shop, but they ran out before filling my bucket!.. so, I may just bottle a small amount of these, and keg the rest. I'll have to see how my keg situation is then.
I decided to try keeping this fermenter out in a room, that is relatively warmer than the closet. The IPA took a couple days to start fermenting, then did for two weeks! This one started the very next day and has been crazy active since. Keeping a steady temperature around 70 degrees. It's kind of cool having it sit in the kitchen (covered), I can hear the bubbling action from here.
One last thing - I've been reading about "cold clearing" a beer. I'm going to try putting my carboy of IPA out in the garage this week for it to clear through the weekend. It's going to be above freezing all week, into the 40's, so It should be just fine covered up out there. I'll keep a close eye on it. Not sure if it'll work any faster, but it's worth the experimentation I suppose.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

IPA - Two Hearted Clone

Monday, January 7th I brewed a Bells Two Hearted clone (in honor of the great hop shortage of 2008). One thing I've always heard about clones, is that they usually don't match up as good as one would think. This really wasn't my goal here, I just like Two Hearted, and the recipe was pretty basic, so I picked up the goods at Adventures in Homebrewing. The brew went pretty well, I used my new 25ft. wort chiller. Fermentation started probably Tuesday evening, maybe sooner. I'm going to rack this into a 5 gallon carboy and dry hop with 2 oz. of hop pellets (I think centennial). Maybe by next weekend or a bit later, it should be ready to keg.
IPA's are one of my favorite beers ever. I have a feeling I'll be doing more, so I thought I'd start off with something pretty basic.
I got my name on the list at Dundee Brewing for their Imperial Stout. Dundee brews some fantastic beers, so I'm really looking forward to this. I think I'm going to bottle the entire batch - I have a couple dozen or so Grolsch bottles I'll be filling them with, and letting them sit for St. Patricks day.
My neighbor has a light pilsner extract he'll be bottling up soon, and I think he's on the list for the Dundee Red. Right now, I'm not really sure what's on the horizon for my next batch - I'll probably wait and see how things go, and come up with an idea later on. The Porter in the DRB right now is fantastic - and my cherry wheat has been getting some rave reviews - I think the longer it sits, the better it is. Yay Beer! :)