Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Batches 020, 021, and 022 or How I've Learned to Stop Worrying and Brew

Well, it's been a busy last few days in terms of brewing.  I'll do my best to keep this somewhat short.

Batch 020: Smoked Porter
Late last week we got some nice smoked malt in from Briess at work and I had to try it out.  So I went with a smoked porter since that is a fairly nice platform for the smoke malt without brewing a rauchbier.  Sunday night I started this brew.  I did jack the gravity up a bit to make things more interesting.  If you have never smelled smoke malt it is an amazing experience.  I love that smell, but did learn one valuable lesson while brewing this.  Never brew smoke beers inside.  The smell is great, but not when that is the only thing that you can smell during the 3 hours it takes to brew and the next 2 hours to cycle the air out of your house.  By the end of the brew I was getting a bit of a headache from the pure intensity of the smell.  I did have a nice brew day and aside from being high on my OG and short on my volume (which both were fixed with an extra qt of water to top off).


Batch 021: Skeeter Pee
Ok this one was just for fun.  I have seen this recipe around for a while and decided it was easy enough to throw together that I should try it.  If you haven't heard of this, it is a lemon wine.  A bit different from hard lemonade, but the same idea.  There is a nice website about it at I did drop the sugar for fermenting a little bit to make it a bit lighter.  This was placed in a 1 gallon jug with some Cote de Blanc wine yeast and within 24 hours I had to rig up a blowoff tube to prevent my airlock from clogging.  I'm interested to see how this one turns out.

Batch 022: The Bumble Bee
 If the name of this brew sounds a little familiar that is because it is.  This is a rebrew of Batch 013, The Killer Bee.  That beer went over so well that I wanted to play with it some more.  First major change is that I am step feeding the honey into the beer as opposed to throwing it in all at the beginning.  I am giving the beer from brewday Tuesday until Saturday night to ferment just the malt and then mixing in the 1.5 lbs of orange blossom honey.  The other change I did in this was swapping out the Citra hops for NZ Galaxy.  Just playing around with flavors to see what blends well with the honey.  Hopefully this comes out as well as the last, but only time will tell.


Until next time, add some comments below and Cheers!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Batch 019: Ignorance

So this week I brewed up a beer that was closely based on the beer that made me realize what flavors could actually be in beer.  This beer was my "lightbulb" moment as far as beer goes.  I had drank some craft beers before trying this, but everything else paled in comparison.  That beer was Arrogant Bastard.  The beer was this amazing red color, with a malty chewiness to it and a giant hop punch to keep things in check. (not to mention the name was really fun to order at the local hookah bar)

So I went with a version of the Can You Brew It? recipe for this with a few tweeks for my system.  91% Pale Ale malt and 9% Special B are the only malts used and only Chinook as a hop.  And to be honest this is my first time using Chinook, I have known that I love that hop for a long time, but have always gone with other hops for some reason.

I did have one hang up during brew day that is a step in the wrong direction for me.  I hit my Pre-boil Gravity dead on, but came up short on my original gravity and realized when I moved the wort to the fermenter that I had way too much wort, meaning my boil off rate wasn't as high as I was expecting.  My thought is that since it was a 90 min boil as opposed to my normal 60 min boils, the stove's burner could not keep as vigorous of a boil for the extra volume to compensate for the extra boil time.  I'm not entirely sure that actually makes sense or its just a self said justification for a screw up.  Anyway, now I have about 1.5 gallons of Arrogant Bastard "lite" that I am sure I will be happy with anyway.

I keep looking at berliner weisses, but refuse to touch them.  My 5 gallons of sour from last year will be getting some fun things thrown at it soon, and I am planning my next batch of sours.  Going to try to brew up 3 of them this summer so that I have stuff going in the sour pipeline at all times.  First to brew is a Flander's Red, then a Lambic or two, maybe a Gueze, maybe not.

Enough day dreaming,  until next time.


P.S. Any comments, just hit the button below.