Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hop to it.

Update, June 16th - This was a big hit with the hophead friends. Unfortunately, just a few days (seriously, 4 of 'em) after tapping the keg, it turned. We drank our way through most of it, so it might just be the dregs that I'm tasting, but I'll be doing a leak check on my lines just to play it safe. I don't think I'll make this one again soon just because I have too many other great IPAs to crank out (Hello, Ruination clone...thanks, BYO!)
It's IPA time!

Batch #12
Columbus IPA (extract)
White Labs California Ale V Yeast
--9 lbs Ultralight (LME)
--1.5 lbs Crystal 15L
--2 oz Magnum 13.1%AA (60min)
--2 oz Columbus 12.2%AA (5min)
--2 oz Columbus 12.2%AA (2min)
--2 oz Columbus (dry-hopped)
--1 Whirlfloc tab (20min)
OG: 1.062
FG: 1.017
ABV: 6%
Calc. IBUs: ~95

Steep the grains for 30 minutes in ~4 gallons water, bring to 6 and boil. Wort chiller knocked it down to ~65 in 45 minutes. Dry-hopped more Columbus in secondary after 10 days primary (slow fermentation around 60F). Vanguard whole hops?

I lost a lot of volume on this one. In the fermenter it's maybe only 4 gallons. Off to a slow start - the heater was off because it's been nice out. One should know California better...nights in the high 40s to low 50s. The heater is back on to keep the fermentarium nice and warm at 65ish through the night.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blackberry Stout the Second

Update: So tasty. So very, very tasty. Roasty toasty malt flavor with just enough berry flavor for it to be recognizable but not overpowering. Will definitely go for round 3 on this one.
The old blackberry stout was such a hit after it aged for a couple months that I thought I'd try it again. This time, instead of spending nye $30 to have the berry puree shipped from Maryland (seriously, it's the one berry that MoreBeer doesn't supply), I spent about $10 at Trader Joe's for berries. The stout kit I used as a base last time has changed a little (hop shortage, anyone?), and we left out the gypsum, since that just made the beer chalky and is primarily for mash water adjustment, anyway. The main difficulty of the method I used was that I didn't have a sanitized strainer on hand to scoop my berries out of the wort. This meant that I clogged the spout on my bucket and had to pour from the bucket into a funnel. That actually went surprisingly well with an extra pair of hands to help. The only other issue was the berries clogged the funnel at the end of the pour, and I had to hop (as in a grain hopper, not as in hops) the funnel so the berries would fall through.

Batch #11
Blackberry Stout 2 (extract), Irish Ale Yeast (White Labs 004)
--7+ lbs Ultralight Malt Extract
--1 lb Crystal 40L
--8 oz Black Roasted
--4 oz Black Patent
--4 oz Chocolate Malt
--1 oz Glacier 6.0%AA (60min)
--1 oz Glacier 6.0%AA (1min)
--5 lbs Frozen Blackberries (~10min)
--1 Whirlfloc tab (20min)
OG: 1.054
FG: 1.013
ABV: 5.4%
Calc. IBUs: ~25

Steep grains 30 minutes in 4 gallons water at 160±10ºF, add water to 6 gallons, bring to boil. Add extract and 1 oz Glacier. At 20 minutes, toss in clarifier. At 10 minutes, dunk in chiller and berries. I'd recommend bringing the berries up to at least room temp first, as the cold berries set my boil back about 10 minutes. More hops at 1 minute. Chill. Ferment. Secondary after 1 week to get the beer off the berries. After bottle/keg, give it one month to condition, drink within four months.