Wednesday, July 22, 2009

El Hefe & Inventory time

Well, I'm kicking back in the DRB enjoying the newest beer on tap I'm calling "El Hefe" in honor of the guitarist in one of my favorite bands NOFX. The beer came out to a pleasant 6.4% ABV. The smell is very faint, but I'm picking up slight citrus, banana and spice from the hops. The taste is pretty light. A faint hop taste, but a very refreshing and light citrus spice. I was expecting more out of this, I've read hefes can have a stronger citrus, or banana presence, and I've actually had some that tasted like this, but, everything is pretty faint in this beer. Don't get me wrong though, this beer tastes great. The german hops are definitely present in the background, and the malts from the two-row really come out. I can see this as a nice refreshing session beer as we play cornhole in the back yard. I've never been much of a fruit person in my beer, but for kicks I'm going to set out some oranges or lemons for this beer when I have friends over. It might give it that extra citrus perk that I'm looking for.

I've been mulling through recipes the past week, trying to decide what to make next. Well, let me correct that - what to make after this Belgian Wit I'm making for my sister. Basic Belgian Wit - I compared most of the all grain recipes, all are pretty much the same - half 2-row, half wheat, oz. of hops, coriander, orange peel, wit yeast.. BUT, after that beer, I need to find something to make. Here's what I have left:

I'll probably still have a lot of Wheat and 2-Row left after this Wit, as base grains.

12 lb. of German Pilsner
7 1/2 lb. Cara Munich
1 1/2 lb. Special B
1 lb. Rye
3 lb. Crystal 40
9 lb. Munich
2 1/2 lb. Aromatic
2 lb. Crystal 10
1/4 lb. Crystal 20
2 1/2 lb. Maris Otter
1 1/2 lb. Caravienna
1/2 lb. Biscuit

If I only had a ton of hops laying around! Any ideas on what to make with any of this? Nice to just have them on hand. I haven't had to buy specialty grains in quite a while, I just dip into my stash. I'll come up with something I'm sure. It's not too late to make another summertime session beer before I make a couple biggies for winter!
*Thought I would also add, the 36th Anniversary IPA turned out awesome and was a big hit. Everyone drank it up, and I came home that night with an empty keg. Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hefeweizen and other brew work

I decided at the last minute this week, to do a week night brew session. I've been leery of doing one, since I assumed it would take me all night. I set up some things last night and was pretty prepared. I managed to get everything done in just about 4 hours. I was sweating and the bugs were driving me nuts, but I got done before dark, so that's a good thing.

Hefeweizen (Rye)
- Still haven't decided what to call this beer. It's semi in BJCP range for the style, a tad bit over on the IBU's, perfect on the SRM's and, we'll see on the ABV's.. I got the recipe from Jamil's book, but changed it up a bit with the hops.


6 lb. American 2-row
3 lb. German Wheat
3.75 lb. Rye


1 oz. Hallertau (60 min.)
.70 oz. (0 min.)

WLP 320 (reusing yeast from my American Wheat - raspberry)

Brew went well, target OG was 1.068, I ended at 1.059 - so I think this kind of puts it back into style range - 1.068 is a bit too high for this style. Regardless, it went smooth and I'm using a blow-off tube for this one - just to be on the safe side!

Other brew work tonight: I racked my wheat onto 5 lbs. of raspberry puree. The wheat by itself came out to 5.5% ABV. I'm going to do another reading after about 10 days when I keg it, but this is about what I was shooting for. The wheat before the raspberry tasted pretty good. Very clean and a nice clear looking beer.
I also racked the 36th anniversary IPA tonight. This beer came to a 6.3% ABV and looks and tastes excellent. This is going to be a nice light IPA, perfect for a party. I'm pretty excited this turned out so well, I've never made a batch of beer specifically for a party, so I'm happy this tastes and looks so great.

All that in 4 hours! I'm getting pretty good at staying one step ahead of everything while I brew. I guess tonight proves I can brew during a week night! Honestly, it helps when I don't turn brewing into a party (which is fun sometimes!) and only have a beer or two while I brew. Makes things go much faster/smoother when I keep focused.

Last week I also kegged the second batch of the Gumball Head clone. I'm going to take it easy on this keg and try to enjoy it for another month. I'd like to have it on tap at the same time I have the Raspberry Wheat, and maybe even the hefe. Be a nice line up of beers to choose from @ The DRB. :)

The rest of my week is booked up solid, but I realized I do have some time Saturday morning. If I can get my wife to stop at Adventures in Homebrewing for me, I'm going to make a Belgian Wit for my sister. She's been bugging me to make another one since last year, so, this one will be dedicated to her. I'll post the recipe if nothing else comes up and I can squeeze in a brew session.