Sunday, November 21, 2010

Basically, it's a 5 gallon yeast starter

Update 12/7 - Kegged. Sulfury, not picking up any esters or diacetyl.
Update 11/26 - This is a real pain. I can keep it around 58-60F in the fermentation cabinet, 50-55F outside during the day...but ambient is about 30-35F at outside at night. So, this one got a good day or so at 50 and is now hanging out at about 58. Next lager will probably just go in the garage.

Lager season is here. Time fir the inaugural pilsner. This one courtesy of the cool dudes at MoreBeer. Their recipe kit on the house for a competition flub.

Next lager in the queue: smoked märzen.

Batch #68
German(?) Pilsner
--9lb German Pils
--8oz CaraPils
--8oz Crystal 15L
--8AAU Northern Brewer 8% (60m)
--4AAU Saaz 4%(5m)
--4AAU Saaz 4%(1m)
--whirlfloc (5m)
--soft water, 1 tsp 5.2 stabilizer in mash
--Yeast (1 vial WLP830 in 1.25 L starter, pitched to additional 2L starter with 2 vials WLP800)
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.008
ABV: 5%
IBU: ~30

Mashed 90m at 148F. Collected 7.25 gallons wort. Boiled 90m. Fermenting ~55F.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Update 12/2 - kegged. darker than the original, more bitter. awesome.
Update 11/26 - dry hops added.

Liked this beer so much we drained the keg and put the recipe back in the brew queue. So here we are. Minor changes: bumped up the 30m Magnum to a full ounce, gave the Carafa II 15m instead of 5 in the mash to work its color magic, and tossed in some malted oats for a little more character. I don't think we can call this an IPA anymore... I suspect it will just have too much malt character, with the color landing squarely on 'amber'.

Batch #67
Lost Harvest, version 2
10.5 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb British 50-60L
1 lb White wheat malt
8 oz Golden naked oats
6 oz Victory
2 oz Carafa II (last 15m of mash only)
1 oz Magnum, 13.1%AA (60m)
1 oz Magnum, 13.1%AA (30m)
1 oz Centennial, 9.2%AA (20m)
0.5 oz Amarillo, 8.2%AA (10m)
0.5 oz Simcoe, 12.2%AA (10m)
0.5 oz Amarillo, 8.2%AA (5m)
0.5 oz Simcoe, 12.2%AA (5m)
1oz each Cen/Ama/Sim (dry)
1/4 tsp each epsom and gypsum in mash
Safale US-05, 11.5g dry
OG: 1.061
FG: 1.013
ABV: 6.3%
IBU: ~95

Single infusion, batch sparge. Infusion temp: 152F, settled to 150F. Mash 60m. Collect 7 gallons wort. Ferment at 68F.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beers, cars, beers

Last Saturday a couple of us ended up in Hayward, CA for the 5th Annual West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival at the Bistro. Long name. We got in about 11am, right on time, no lines! Forty bucks gets you 10 tastes and a (rather nice tulip) glass, $2 a sample after that. For those not familiar with barrel aged beers, one generally takes a good strong ale and puts it in a used or new barrel to concentrate the beer, oxidize it, and pick up flavors from the wood, which may or may not include whatever booze was the previous tenant of said barrel. In alphabetical order, the two of us managed to knock back a few ounces of the following monstrosities...

Ale Industries - Fysus (barleywine on Bourbon... a little brothy, if you ask me)
Avery - Rumpkin (my vote for People's Choice; 13.2% pumpkin ale on Goslings rum)
Drakes - Wyld Stallyns ("super-soured" imperial stout and ESB blend on port/merlot/Am. oak)
Drakes - Brett Butler (tripel aged in Pinot with some wild yeast)
Drakes - Kadath Decoded (80% imperial stout on French oak pinot and merlot, 20% barleywine in French oak grenache)
Fifty-Fifty - Imperial Eclipse 2010 (Four Roses Single Bbl 10yr)
Fifty-Fifty - Imperial Eclipse 2010 (Rittenhouse Rye)
Firestone Walker - 14 (Ted's vote, blend of Parabola, Xantus, and Velvet Merkin)
Firestone Walker (Nectar Ales) - Black Xantus (Heaven Hill Bourbon)
Glacier - Beam Stout (oatmeal stout on Jim Beam)
Glacier - Big Woody Barleywine (straight Virgin Czech Oak...winner 2009 and 2010 Toronado Barleywine Festival!)
Iron Springs - Oaked Winterscotch (straight medium toast american oak)
Lagunitas - Blend Saison (blend of saison 75% chard., 25% pinot, Brettanomyces and wild yeast souring)
Lagunitas - Imp. Stout w/ Raspberries (Heaven Hill Bourbon, Brettanomyces, raspberries)
Mad River - 2009 John Barleycorn (Brandy)
Port Brewing - Older Viscosity 2009 (Bourbon)
Stone - Old Guardian 2008 (aged on Cabernet/Merlot French and American oak)
Stone - 07.07.07 (2007 Vertical Epic release aged on Cab/Merlot in Fr. and Am. oak)
Valley Brewing - The End of Evil As We Know It (Collaborative Evil on Heaven Hill Bourbon)
Verhaeghe - Echt Kriekenbier (Vichtenaar Flanders red ale with cherries...delish!)

...grab some lunch at Buffalo Bill's down the street, complete with a (thankfully) small glass of their Imperial Pumpkin Ale (which was okay, but no Rumpkin, and I vastly prefer their standard strength version), and drive off around 2pm.

On the way home, our driver felt a pressing need to ogle some sparkling Italian-bred sports cars at the local Lotus lot. He did not buy one. Yet. Probably because they didn't have a baby blue Exige on hand.

Later... like, 6pm the same day, our hero finds himself back on the same damn horse. This time, at Ted's place for a 2006-present Stone Vertical Epic tasting. The 06.06.06 held up fairly well for not being properly cellared. The 07.07.07 was, disappointingly, not that different from the 07.07.07 at the festical. 08.08.08 was delightful. 09.09.09 is my favorite of those I've tasted and is still a delicious chocolate orange. 10.10.10 is the new kid, and really has some nice wine qualities.
Link for more info on Stone VE:

...and then I was tired. Very tired. I did make it to work on Sunday, but not until about 5pm.