Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mashing and Kegging

We did our first mash about a week ago. The ladybrewer wanted to try the whole process as she's felt like she hasn't done much actual brewing since we started. Which is true. I was hogging all the kitchen work and she helped mainly on the bottling and drinking end. She also picked up a "mini-mash" kit, which meant a couple small pieces of equipment, and a couple hours additional time. The partial mash still uses mostly extract, but you get a more complex flavor by mashing a few pounds of barley. The recipe is the MoreBeer Malty Brown Ale (Kit300), and smells great during the brewing.

We also took a few minutes out of our holiday schedule of drinking beer and watching Ghostbusters to bottle the dunkelweizen. The stats have been updated in that post. The color looks right, and the apple cider smell is there. I estimated the ABV at about 5.4%, but I think I may be wrong, since I've been doing the FG measurement after adding the primer, which should add about 40ppg. With 4 oz of sugar, that works out to 10 gravity points, so maybe it's closer to a 6.7%.

The blackberry stout has aged very well. The finish is no longer very chalky and the blackberry is a little more pronounced. We've stepped up our operation a bit with an additional primary fermenter so we have a couple batches going at once, and Santa dropped off a keg and CO2 system for a lucky brewer. =)

Batch #5
Malty Brown Ale (mini-mash kit), East Coast Ale Yeast (White Labs P008?)
--7 lbs Ultralight Malt Extract (liquid)
--1.75 lbs 2-Row malt
--1 lb Munich malt
--8 oz Caravienne malt
--8 oz Aromatic malt
--8 oz Carapils malt
--8 oz Crystal 60L malt
--4 oz Chocolate malt
--1 oz Northern Brewer 6.8%AA (60min)
--1 oz Kent Goldings 4.9%AA (10min)
--1 oz Kent Goldings 4.9%AA (1min)
--1 tsp gypsum in mash water
--1 Whirlfloc tablet in wort
OG: 1.070
FG: 1.024
ABV: ~6.0%
Calc. IBUs: 21.1

Update: Stuck at 1.026 SG. Transferred to secondary, added champagne yeast and 3g fermaid K nutrient on 1/15/07. After 2 days, SG has still not dropped.

Next up: St Patrick's Day brews - irish stout and a red.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Blackberry Stout tasting.
It was brewing day here on Matadero, so I've been busy. I really wanted to do a recipe that was entirely my own, and decided to try making a Bavarian dunkelweizen. If you've never had the style, I can strongly recommend both the Franziskaner and Weihenstephaner. It's a german wheat beer with more emphasis on the malt that I think makes it more drinkable than your average hefeweizen. My numbers missed the style parameters by a few gravity points and several IBU, but I'm optimistic. I also decided to try using filtered (Brita...took forever, buy at the store next time) water instead of tap. It was also my first time using a dry malt extract, which has a hot break that liquid extract doesn't. I picked out two caramel malts for color and sweetness, as well as a roasted malt to push the color closer to a dunkel. Hop selection was a bit limited, so I list below both what I used and what I wrote into the recipe. This difference in hops accounts for the added bitterness.

Batch #4
Dunkelweizen (extract), Hefeweizen Ale Yeast (White Labs P300)
--3 lbs Wheat Malt Extract (dry)
--4 lbs Ultralight Malt Extract (liquid)
--8 oz Crystal 40L
--8 oz Crystal 80L
--2 oz Roasted Barley [4oz Rostmalz]*
--1 oz Palisade 9.7%AA (60min) [1 oz Tettnang 3-6%AA, 60min]*
--1 oz Santium 5.8%AA (5min) [1 oz Fuggles 3.5-5.5%AA, 5min]*
OG: 1.057
FG: 1.016 after 21 days in primary. No secondary.
ABV: ~5.4%
Calc. IBUs: 29.4 [14.6]*

[]* Intended recipe, substitutions made based on availability.