Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Batch 007: Ryezenbock

Another brew day come and gone.  Thanks to those of you who tuned in for the short time that I was streaming.  I had some issues with the sound and caught myself rambling to the camera about random things and figured that was enough.  Hopefully next time I will be a little better organized when it comes to that and will actually stream the whole thing.

Today I decided to brew something a little different.  I took the idea of  weizenbock and subbed the wheat for rye.  I figured if I would have any chance at doing this, it would be with a brew in a bag system so I went with it.  I was mainly just experimenting with how far rye can go.  I made an old ale last year that was 30% rye and it came out super thick and super sticky, but delicious.  I went over 60% this time.  Now I am not a huge fan of the banana and clove flavors that get put off by the hefeweizen yeast that is normally used to ferment these so I went with the more neutral American Hefe yeast from White Labs.

The beer.  I have already mentioned most of it, but I went with 2 pounds of rye malt and 1 pound of light Munich malt as my base with 4 ounces of Special B to give it some color and melanoidin flavors.  A quarter once of Palisade at 60 minutes will give it just enough hops to combat the sweetness from a 17 Plato beer.  The American Hefe yeast will ferment this out and hopefully leave me with a spicy yet fairly clean beer.

The process.  Over the last few weeks since I started brewing small batches I have found issues and then fixed them and was always ready to take on the next issue.  I knew that if I kept fixing any issues that were coming up I would be learning from my mistakes and making better beer in the long run.  I have learned how to keep my mash temps perfect on this system.  I doughed in with 7.5 quarts of water and hit my mash temp of 151F right on.  After an hour I was still at 151F.  I have solved my temp control issues.  Then I took a gravity reading to check my preboil gravity.  I came up with 13 Plato and spent the next few minutes testing and retesting my wort, sure that there must have been a mistake to come up so short.  I placed my mash back into the oven for another half hour thinking that there might not have been enough enzymes in the unusual grist to fully convert in only an hour.  After half an hour I check my gravity again and it was still at 13 Plato.  About this time I realized my mistake.  I had written my predicted original gravity in my predicted pre boil gravity field on my brew sheet.  I went to the computer and pulled up BeerSmith and everything matched up just fine.  Boiling, hopping, cooling, and pitching all went off without a hitch.  Kind of frustrating that I would let that mistake slip, but at least nothing was ruined and everything else went alright.

Today was also the 2 week mark for Batch 001 in bottles and I opened one this evening.  This beer is amazing.  It is everything I was looking for and I am very pleased with it.  I can't wait to take one or two to some other people and get their thoughts on it.

Next week, I am thinking a super session Scottish 60/-.  The week after that is my non-beer week.  I have to decide what I am going to make, but I have a few idea that will be fun.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any comments, questions, or just want to say hi comment below.



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