Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why don't you just make a regular beer dude?! - DRB American Lager

I get this question every so often from friends who really aren't huge craft beer fans. Not very often, because most of my friends are pretty open minded and are willing to try anything. But, you get a few that just want a straight up "beer"... Since I now have a temperature controlled lager freezer (I'll do a post on it at some point soon).., I can now ferment at any temperature I need to. I decided to do an American Lager just about the time the Maibock was finishing up. This beer is pretty much your basic beer, I hate to say it, but, well, like a Budweiser.
Now, before you think it's going to taste or even be comparable to a Bud, let me explain how I "DRB'd" it.. :)

The recipe is pretty much a 2-row and corn flake based beer, with a lager yeast. I ended up making the beer just a little bit bigger than your basic "beer".. I'm shooting for around a high 6%. Definitely not your off the shelf beer, but it should have a real neutral flavor to it. Maybe I should call this an "Imperial Bud?!" .. Anyhow, here's the recipe:

American Lager

11.60 lb US 2-Row Malt
1.00 lb US Flaked Corn/Maize

1 oz. Magnum 12.1 % - 60 min. (90 minute mash, 90 minute boil)

Yeast: WLP840 - American Lager

OG: 1.068
FG: 1.009
ABV: 7.9%

- A little high for an American Lager, but it tastes pretty good. In the lager freezer it went tonight (in a secondary carboy) where it will sit for a month. I'll keg it and let that settle for a while before tapping. I would have kegged it right away, but I'm out of kegs... a great problem to have! :)

*Edit to add: I kegged this beer finally (May 6, 2010) and am amazed at how clear it is. It's looking like a coors light or something like that. Very light, and no real noticeable off tastes. I was afraid there would be a corn taste, but its really very basic and will be a dangerous one with it being so high. The gravity dropped a bit more since lagering. Very good, I'll be enjoying a pint of it tonight.

Belgian Pale Ale 2010

I made a Belgian Pale Ale last year and really loved it. It's basically a Pilsner grain based beer, lightly hopped, with a nice Belgian yeast flavor to it. I put together a different recipe this year. I think I do like last years better, but wow this is good. A pretty well balanced beer with just the right amount of hops and that familiar Belgian sweet fruity taste to it that I love so much this time of year. I ended up saving the yeast from this, and will be using it again to possibly make the same beer or make a variation of the same recipe.

Belgian Pale Ale 2010
11.20 lb German Pilsner Malt
0.75 lb US Caramel Munich 60L Malt
0.25 lb Belgian Biscuit Malt

1.33 oz. - Kent Golding 4.5% - 60 min
.30 oz. - Kent Golding 4.5% - 0 min (turn off)

Wyeast 3255 Belgian Ardennes

OG: 1.068
FG: 1.009
ABV: 7.9%

Again, I can't say enough about this beer. Love it. I have a feeling this beer will go pretty quick, though I'm going to try to pace myself with it. The DRB is a bit low on beers right now, so this one has to last a little while!!

DRB Scottish Export 80/-

I really try to blog my beers before they are gone, but this one was kind of a surprising exception. I made this beer, along with the West Coast Stout for St. Pat's day. The last 3 St. Pats days, I made a Scottish, an Amber and a Red.. I decided this year I'd go back to a Scottish Ale, only this would be my first all grain.. (yes, I understand Scottish Ale's aren't exactly St. Pat style beers.. but come on, it's kind of close!)...

After this beer was finished, I was a bit disappointed. I tasted the West Coast Stout first, and really enjoyed the big hop presence it had. Then, tasting the Scottish Ale, it was a real big malt bomb.

Come the Sunday before St. Pats, after the Detroit Parade, some friends stopped by and guess what beer went first? Within a few hours, 5 gallons of the Scottish Ale had disappeared. Rave reviews! I think I'll be making this one again next year.

Scottish Export 80/-

9.50 lb UK Pale Ale Malt
0.75 lb US Caramel 40L Malt
0.50 lb US Munich 10L Malt
0.50 lb Canadian Honey Malt (Gambrinus)
0.50 lb German Wheat Malt
0.25 lb US Caramel 90L Malt
0.19 lb US Chocolate Malt

1.3 oz. Kent Golding - 60 min.

Yeast - SafAle05 (dry)

OG: 1.055
FG: 1.009
ABV: 6.1%

Oh yeah, and the picture of the dogs? Who knows. I was downtown Detroit after running a 5k and visiting Slows BBQ for a pint or two, and thought the dogs were picture worth.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Maibock 2010

Did a Maibock on Friday (02.26.10). Check out the crazy fermentation in this.

18 lb. Pilsner, 8 lb. Munich. 1 oz. Magnum @ 60 min. 90 min. boil. Yeast: WLP 833. Ferment for at least 4 weeks. Diacetyl rest for a couple of days, then into the lager for a month. Hope to be tapping this one around May 1st.