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!

Citra-Rillo IPA (AHA Big Brew Day Batch)

Edit: adding to this post that, this is by far one of the very best beers I've ever made. Save this recipe, it's freaking amazing! Great citrus burst of hops with a refreshing low malt finish. WOW. (6.30.10)

A couple posts back, I posted on an IPA I made for the new kids arrival. During the process of making that beer, I screwed up a bit. I had wrote down the wrong grain bill and ended up replacing honey malt grains for Munich. Once I figured out what I did, I re-ground grains for that batch, and set the honey malt grains aside thinking I'd give the bag of grains away or toss them.

After a lot of research, everyone (of course) told me to "Relax, have a homebrew and brew it anyway.." Since I didn't have anything else prepared for Big Brew Day, I decided on using these grains for an IPA. I've been loving the Citra hops lately, so I picked some up along with some Amarrillo's and brewed this IPA on the lawn of Harbor Inn & Ale. For those of you that weren't there, this beer was chilled and carboy'd in about 15 minutes, as I had received "THE" phone call that my wife was in labor!

Citra-Rillo India Pale Ale

11 lb. 2-Row
2 lb. Honey Malt
.50 lb. C-40
.50 lb. Wheat

1 oz. Magnum 12.2% - 60 min.
1 oz. Citra 11.1% - 30 min.
1/2 oz. Amarillo 8.6% - 10 min.
1/2 oz. Citra 11.1% - 10 min.
1/2 oz. Amarillo 8.6 % - 5 min.
1/2 oz. Citra 11.1% - 5 min.
1 oz. Amarillo 8.6% - 0 min.
1/2 oz. Citra 11.1% - 0 min.
1 oz. Citra 11.1% - Dry Hopped
1 oz. Amarillo 8.6% - Dry Hopped

WLP001 - California Ale (starter)

OG: 1.060
FG: 1.008
ABV: 6.9%
IBU: 103.2

This beer is a hop bomb. I've kegged it but have only tasted it during transfer and as you can imagine, it tastes amazing. All the worrying I did about the honey malt making this too sweet - not even a problem. Looking forward to sitting down to a cold carbonated pint. Once some space in the fridge clears, I'll be putting this one on tap.. hopefully soon!!