Friday, December 28, 2012

Batch 010: Tattoo'd Graffiti

One long overdue post tonight. I brewed up my latest batch on Christmas night.  I had a couple of hours free and decided there was no better time. I went with a hop aggressive American Wheat in the vain of Three Floyd's Gumballhead. 

The recipe.  This beer is one pound of pale malt, 1 pound of white wheat malt, and 4 oz of cara-vienne.  The 50/50 base of wheat and barley will give me a nice wheat forward beer.  As for the hops I threw citra and amarillo at it like they were candy.   A dose of citra for bittering than then a blend of the two at 10 and flameout with 2 dry hops in store for this when it hits secondary.

The process.  This beer went off with no problems, hit my preboil gravity dead on and began the boil.  Those hops make everything smell amazing.  I was a bit shy on the OG which means I didn't boil off as much as I had anticipated, but that is another thing for me to work on.  Since beginning I have moved my beers from 1 gallon to 1.1 gallon to account for trub loss, but after this I am thinking that it should be close to 1.25 gallons.  Maybe for the next batch I will try that

As for the next batch, it's going to be a little different.  I am going to challenge myself and make a type of beer for someone that I haven't tried to make before.  That should be a fun brew day.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Busy Holidays and Bottlings

The last week or two has been crazy in terms of my schedule with holiday shopping and other things going on.  I didn't have time to brew this week, but did slip in bottling 3 batches.  I bottled my English Barleywine(Batch 006), the American Ryzenbock(Batch 007), and the Scottish 60/-(Batch 008).  Coming in at 12.3%, 6.8%, and 2.1% respectively I should have plenty of options in the coming weeks.  I also switched away from the carbonation tablets that I was using early since I was having issues with bottles carbonating.  I went back to the tried and true method of batch priming.  Everything tasted good going in, let's see how they are in a few weeks.  I should also be able to brew again Christmas afternoon, just have to decide what.

Until next time,


Friday, December 14, 2012

Batch 009: Berry Cyser

Sorry for the delay in this post, but I threw this together very quickly Wednesday morning and went out for a long day of Christmas shopping and yesterday I went on an impromptu road trip.

This recipe came together when I was packing together some honey at work and decided it would be a good idea to use some of the honey I was working with.  So I bought 2 pounds of orange blossom honey.  I didn't think that would give me enough sugars so I decided on a cyser.  I mixed the honey with one gallon of apple juice.  After a disappointing lack of fruit flavor in the blackberry cider I upped the fruit in this recipe.  Having went with 12 ounces in the cider and only having a slight berry flavor I triple it.  I put 24 ounces of blackberries and 12 ounces of blueberries in a bag and threw them into the primary.  After primary I will taste it and decide whether or not I will be putting fruit into the secondary.  Everything was mixed up with some pectic enzyme, yeast energizer and a packet of Lavlin K1-V1116.  It came out with an original gravity of 25.2 Plato, so this will be a nice 13% ABV when it finishes out.  I may end up carbonating this, but I am not sure, we'll see what it tastes like when it is done.

Sorry this post was late, short, and pictureless.  Back to brewing beer next week though.

So, as always.....Until next week, cheers!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Batch 008: The Wee One

Today I decided to brew something a little lighter than my previous batches.  I looked in my closet and realized that almost everything I had brewed was high gravity and knew this would be a good time to brew a nice session beer.  I am aiming to make this as low in alcohol as possible while still having it seem like beer.  So I went with a Scottish 60/-.

The beer. This beer is low in alcohol, but not in flavor.  There are two schools of thought when it comes to making Scottish ales.  You can carmalize your first runnings to give you more flavor or you can use specialty malts.  I went with the specialty malts.  Doing BIAB doesn't give you the option of just taking your first runnings without a few extra steps thrown in.  So I went with a small amount of Maris Otter as a base with a bit of light Munich, crystal 40L, and chocolate malt.  A small bit of Kent Goldings at the beginning of the boil will balance out the residual sugars.

The process.  Today's brew session went very well.  I mashed in at 158 and hit my strike temp perfectly.  While mashing I managed to rack my bochet into secondary and bottle my cider.  I added some acid blend to the cider and over did it a bit unfortunately.  Some of the cider was bottled still and I carbed others.  I also tried out two different carbonation levels.  So I can see what works best with the ciders.  My mash temp held through the mash and the boil and cooling went off without a hitch.  Nothing really out of the plan happened.  I did try something new today and that was straining my cooled wort through a sanitized fine mesh bag while putting it into the fermenter to reduce the amount of trub in primary.  It amazed me how much material the bag caught.  For only .2oz of hops there was about a tennis ball sized amount of break material that was filtered out.  Hopefully this helps with a small soapy flavor in my of my beers.

The stream.  I did stream again today, with only two small hiccups.  The first being that I wasn't connected to my wifi for the first hour and had to restart the stream after I switched that on.  The second when I dropped the phone I was using as my camera and had to put it back together.  Luckily the people watching were understanding.  There were a few people watching a chatting with me while I was brewing.  This made things a lot more enjoyable.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love to talk about beer and love answering peoples questions about it.  I walked people through a bit of my process and answered some basic questions.  Thanks to everyone that tuned in and asked questions.  I hope I will be able to do this most weeks I brew.  I love being able to help people make beer while I am making beer.  Plus, it forces me to step up my game a bit if people are watching and asking questions I should be able to answer them.

Once again, thank you to those who watched the stream. I should be making a cider next week, but I am not entirely sure yet.  Until next time....



Streaming Batch 008

Just started streaming again. Doing a Scottish 60/- today along with racking a mead and bottling a cider.  Check it out if you are bored.