Saturday, February 21, 2009

For intellectuals

Update: Averaged 34.5 in the first round of the National competition (didn't pass to 2nd round,...tough category). I agree with the comments, and will make this again with some minor changes.

It's overdue.

Batch #32
Rumination DIPA
--15lbs Scot. Golden Promise
--1lbs Crystal 15L
--36AAU Columbus 12%AA, pellets (60min)
--8AAU Centennial 8%AA, pellets (10min)
--8AAU Centennial 8%AA, pellets (0min, steeped for 5)
--2oz Centennial, dry hop
--WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast, 2L starter
OG: 1.071
FG: 1.020
ABV: ~6.7%
IBU: ~110

Mash in to 149F with 5gal (1.25qt/lb) for 60min. Mash out at 170F for 10min. Sparge water 180F, 1 gallon. Collected 6.25gallons of 1.067 wort for an efficiency of 71%. I added 1 tsp gypsum (calcium sulfate) in the mash water for two reasons: my water is really soft and the mash needs calcium, and sulfate accentuates bitterness.

I split the finishing hops from last time into two additions to add some complexity. And I have the right hops this time. And rumor has it, the right yeast. My gravity is a little lower than I expected for just over 5.25gal of finished wort...I probably overestimated the temperature correction when I calculated the mash gravity.

Dry hopped in keg while carbonating. FG is a little high, but it's crawling, so whatever. My stir plate broke (I dropped it), so the yeast population was lower than it should have been. Still tasty.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beer Week Continues

Hit up the Toronado last night for "Meet Rob Tod of Allagash". I didn't actually meet him, or even figure out if he was still there at 8pm, but I did have Curieux and Interlude on tap at happy hour prices. Nice work! The selection was Four, Curieux, White, Black, Triple, Hugh Malone, Interlude, and about four more I hadn't seen. Very cool. Oh, and Pliny the Younger was on tap here, too.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Still alive! Got up to Hayward a little before 1, grabbed some glasses and tickets and went wild:

Russian River - Pliny the YOUNGER
Sierra Nevada - Hop Secret 393
Stone - Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
Pizza Port - Hop 15
Deschutes - Hop Henge Experimental IPA
Lagunitas - Hop Stoopid
Seabright - Hopnoxious (Hopnotic?)
Green Flash - IIPA
Russian River - Pliny the YOUNGER

Also tasted:
Sierra Nevada - Firkin Chico IPA
Triple Rock - IIMAXX IIPA
Speakeasy - Double Daddy
Magnolia - Promised Land IIPA
Dogfish Head - 120min IPA
Stone - Ruination

Probably some other stuff in there, too. It gets hard to keep track of when the least alcoholic sample is 7%. I started and finished with my favorite, but other highlights for me included the Hop Stoopid, Hop 15, and Stone, which was dark and earthy, but bitter. I'd have more to say on each one, but Pliny destroyed my taste buds and everything was suddenly only "good" or "not as good".

Secret bonus beer: an as of yesterday unreleased bottling of Russian River sour and delicious. Great job, Vinnie!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wry Rye

By request from a fan of the beers (...but no one's actually paid me yet...), a witbier. With rye, because...why not?

Batch #31
Wry Wit
--5lbs Belgian Pils
--5lbs Flaked Wheat
--1lbs Flaked Rye
--5AAU Vanguard 4.4%AA, pellets (60min)
--1/2 oz Sweet Dried Orange Peel (5min)
--1/2 tsp coriander powder (5min)
--WLP400 Edinburgh Ale yeast, 1L starter
OG: 1.050
FG: 1.010ish
ABV: 5% or so
IBU: 20ish

Mash-in at 104F in 7qts water, rest for 20min (lots of unmalted wheat!). Added ~7.5qts water to raise temp to 152F, rest for 40min. That was the plan. For whatever reason, the saccharification rest wouldn't maintain temp. So it ran low at around 148 in the middle of the mash for about 50min. I extracted a total of 6.5gal wort at 1.045 (batch sparge...drained, added 3.5gallons, drained,...ended up adding one more gallon to get to volume) with sparge water at about 170. No mash-out. Works out to around 73% efficiency. Woohoo!. Thanks, 1/2tsp of gypsum in the mash water...and acid rest, I suppose. Again, too many variables to really tell. My next batch should be all malt, so I'll skip the rest at 104 and go straight to the final rest temp. That should make it easier to determine the role of the gypsum. Pitched the yeast around 2pm or so, saw a bubble come through the airlock around 8 or 9pm. Nice kräusen the next morning.