Saturday, May 22, 2010

Let's try that again...

Update 7/8 - Bottled with 3oz table sugar and a fresh dose of Saflager dry yeast.
Update 6/6 - Kegged, started lagering ~45°F

Making the St Pat's black lager again. This time for somebody else. So, once again...I won't get much of it. I might try to sneak a gallon in bottles for drinking and competition, since it seemed to be very popular a couple months back. I also get to try out my submersible pump for chilling today. The idea is that instead of dumping gallons and gallons of chilling water, I recirculate it over a block of ice and save some water, with the possible added benefit of dropping my wort a few more degrees into the lager zone (Kenny Loggins called, but it was a wrong number).

For this version, I've fixed the Chocolate/carafa proportion (last time I was emptying some inventory), and had to make a substitution for the perle hops. I also opted to try out Papazian's yeast, which is supposed to be good for both ales and lagers. I figured it would be a good idea in case I can't quite get the lower temps in my fermentation space (although the weather has been mild, so it might not be an issue).

Batch #60
--8lbs Pils
--2lb Munich
--0.5lb Chocolate
--0.5lb Carafa II
--0.5lb Crystal 40L
--0.5lb Melanoidin
--4AAU Vanguard (60min)
--4AAU Willamette(45min)
--2AAU each Van. and Wil. (20min)
--0.5oz each Van. and Wil. (0min)
--Whirlfloc (10min)
--WLP862 Cry Havoc, two-stage starter - 1L, 1.5L
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.016
ABV: 5.2%
IBU: ~25-30

Mash in with 17 qts - all grains except chocolate and carafa - at 154F, hold for 30m. Stir in dark grains, mash temp falls a bit, hold for 30m. Batch sparge with 17 qts. Boil for 75m (pils malt!). Chill to 50F, pitch yeast, and ferment to 55F. Bring to room temp for a day or two diacetyl rest, rack off yeast and ramp temp down to ~34F for lagering.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

They don't allow you to have bees in here.

Update 8/2
Bottled lager yeast portion, final gravity 1.001.
Update 7/8
Bottled mead yeast portion. Racked lager yeast portion, started lagering.
Update 7/3
Water: 0.4+ Brix (I need a tiny screwdriver to calibrate properly)
Mead yeast: 5.5 Brix; (~13%abv) Dry, floral and perfume - almost medicinal.
Lager yeast: 8.4 Brix; (~11%abv) Sulfur aroma, slightly harsh. Might benefit from lagering.
Both have a nice hint of the source honey.

More mead! This one's going to be a little lighter in alcohol.

Mead Batch #02
Wildflower Mead (5 gallons)
-12lbs Wildflower honey
-1/4tsp Fermaid K
Split yeast: WLP720 Sweet Mead yeast (1L starter), Fermentis Saflager W-34/70 (11.5g)
OG: ~1.082 (19.5°Brix) <--yep, bought a refractometer.
FG: 0.997 (WLP720), 1.001 (W-34/70)
ABV: ~11% (WLP720), 10.6% (W-34/70)

Boiled 4 gallons water with yeast nutrient, let it cool just a bit, and mixed in (almost) 12 lbs honey to reach (almost) 5 gallons. I spilled some on the way, which is why my shoe smells so good. Chilled and split the must into two 3-gallon carboys. Fermenting the WLP720 around 70F and the W-34/70 at 50F.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hop Watch 2010

About a month ago I planted a Chinook rhizome in a 24 gallon pot. It sprouted two weeks ago, and I'm just now getting around to posting pictures.

Instead of making a new post every time the plant grows a little, I've made a new gadget so the latest picture and link to the slideshow will live off to the right, just below the status of my fermenters and taps. [Hint: it's the part with the picture]

Now that I've taken the two seconds to learn how to set that up, I'll start posting pictures of the beers, any awards they earn, and probably shots from some events, too.