Sunday, September 20, 2015

Anything but

-- Soaked ~1oz med+ American oak cubes in a chardonnay (after first rinsing the charcoal and particulate off with the same), for about 1 week. Added to the beer on 2/21. Very thin pellicle is present. Beautiful flavors :)

This isn't really a Temptation clone. But it started out as the idea of a Temptation clone.

Batch #93
Wine Barrel Aged Sour Blonde

5 lbs Belgian Pilsner malt
5 lbs American White Wheat malt
1 lb German Acidulated malt
1 oz El Dorado, 15.8%aa, 15 min

Water: 6 gallons RO with 1/3 tsp each gypsom, epsom, and calcium carbonate, 3/4 tsp calcium chloride, and a pinch of table salt. Added 2 gallons spring water. Overall, soft "light colored and malty" profile.
Yeast: Belgian Sour Mix I, WLP655 , 1 L starter

OG: 1.052
IBU: ~25

Mash-in to 155F in 17 qts water for 1 hour. Batch sparge to extract 7 gallons wort. Kettle sour overnight (mine formed a pellicle already?!). Boil for 75 min. Chilled, yeast and bugs pitched, nice warm day got things rolling fast.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

B. bruxellensis

In illa Brettanomyces nos fides.

Batch #92
Brett IPA

9 lbs 5 oz 2-row malt (yes, boring, I know, but I really thought I had some munich or caramel around)
1 oz El Dorado, 15.8%aa, 30 min
1 oz El Dorado, 15.8%aa, 10 min
1 oz El Dorado, 15.8%aa, 2 min
1 oz Cascade, flameout
1 oz Cascade, dry
1 oz Citra, dry

Water: RO with 8g gypsum, 1g epsom, 2g calcium chloride, and 1g sodium chloride.
Yeast: Brettanomyces bruxellensis, WLP650, 1L starter (~10days growth)

OG: 1.049
IBU: ~75

Mash-in to 150F in 14 qts water for 1 hour. Batch sparge to extract 7 gallons wort. Boil for 75 min.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


This turned out really well, and will definitely be a regular summer brew for me now!

I've decided it's time, and I am now a brewer of sour beers. This is thanks in part to another homebrewer who's wanted to get a berliner weisse going for a while. We went off to the LHBS to pick up ingredients, and I threw a Brettanomyces bruxellensis culture into my cart. So, anyway, interesting things to come, but for now, a split-batch experiment.

Batch #91
Berliner Weisse

6 lbs German Pilsner malt
6 lbs White Wheat malt
5 oz Melanoidin malt

Water: RO with various salts to get a decent profile for slightly bitter, light color beers. (I lost my notes, but ~50ppm calcium, and ~50ppm each chloride and sulfate from a mix of gypsum, epsom, salt, chalk, and calcium chloride)

Mash in with 10qts and acid rest at ~100F until next infusion is ready.
Drink beer instead of checking notes, adding too much hot water, thereby skipping right past a protein rest to hit a good saccharification rest at about 156F. Remember to look at a clock.

Later, batch sparge. Top up with cold water to 10 gallons, mix well, and split into two 5 gallon containers. Refractometer reading was 9 Brix. Here's the fun part.

My 5 gallons of wort went back into the now empty insulated mash tun with about 4 oz of the original unmashed grist. I intend to check on it over the next couple days and boil when the wort is sufficiently soured from naturally occurring lactobacilli. I plan on about 5 IBU coming from a tiny addition of saaz. Maybe use up the rest of the citra from the last batch as an aroma component. [Update: ~75min boil, no citra, 5 gallons in the carboy after pitching my share of the yeast starter. The two days of "kettle" souring in the mash tun gave a moderate tartness that I suspect will be much more pronounced after the sugars are consumed.]

My co-brewer took his portion home, and will pitch a lactobacillus culture, and probably also not keep notes on what he did. We'll get together in about a month to compare results.

Primary fermentation is slated to use the White Labs Saison II yeast blend.

OG: 1.036
FG: 1.006
ABV: 3.9%
IBU: ~5

Bottled 7/5/15

Monday, May 25, 2015

Chocolate mead

2/13/16 - SG 0.997. Good, but very dry, a little bitter. Needs sweet. Added 5oz buckwheat honey with another 2oz cocoa powder (yes, more bitter...but hopefully also more cocoa aroma) in a little under a pint of water. See you in a few months...

Chocolate mead
2.5 gallon batch

~8lbs clover honey
8 oz cocoa powder

Spring water, no modifications, no boil

Lalvin 71B-1122 wine yeast

OG: 1.120

Dumped in the honey, shook up the cocoa with water, stirred and stirred and stirred. Go Ferm added with yeast, Fermaid K in a few days. Watch for it this winter at the earliest.


Taking advantage of a couple extra pairs of hands and brewing something light for summer.

Batch #90
Summer wheat beer
5 gallons
8 lbs California 2-row malt
2 lb Flaked Wheat
1 lb Flaked Oats
1 oz Cascade 5.8%aa (60 min)
1 oz Cascade (2 min)
1 oz Citra (2 min)

White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001), 1 L starter

Water: RO with 12 g chalk, ~2 g gypsum, 2.5g epsom, 0.5g CaCl2, and 0.5g NaCl (noticing that I may have shorted myself on one of the chloride salts...)

OG: 1.055
FG: 1.010
ABV: ~6%
IBU: ~30

Mash in to 152F, batch sparge, boil 1 hr.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Breakfast stout?

Oatmeal stout time :) Does it count as a breakfast stout if it has oatmeal, and the flavor of coffee and chocolate without the adulterating presence of either?

Batch #89
Oatmeal stout
5 gallons
8 lbs California 2-row malt
1 lb Flaked Barley
1 lb Flaked Oats
14 oz Black Roasted Barley
3.5 oz Chocolate Roast Malt
3.5 oz Coffee Roast Malt
0.25 oz El Dorado 15.3%aa (60 min)
1 oz Willamette 4.8%aa (20 min)
White Labs Irish Ale Yeast (WLP004), 1.5L starter
Water: RO with 12 g chalk, ~2 g sodium chloride (assuming the chalk also has some gypsum in it...we'll see. I really need to get my water chemistry stocks together)
OG: 1.055
IBU: ~30
Mash in with 16 qts water to 152F. Rest/stir for 1 hour. Batch sparge to collect 6.5 gallons (I came in slightly under 6.5 gal at 11.8P). Boil 1 hour, chill, pitch yeast. I ended up with 5 gallons in the fermenter after transfer losses.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Another hopulent red...

Red + Green = Delicious

Batch #88 
(for 3.5 gallons)
7 lbs California 2-row malt
0.5 lb British 50-60L
0.25 lb British 70-80L
0.25 lb British 135-165L
2 oz Black Roasted Barley
0.5 oz Chocolate Roast Malt
0.5 oz Coffee Roast Malt
0.5  oz El Dorado 15%aa (60 min)
0.5  oz El Dorado 15%aa (20 min)
1 oz Falconer's Flight 15%aa (2 min)
1 oz Cascade 5.8%aa (2 min)
1 oz Falconer's Flight 15%aa (dry hop)
White Labs Irish Ale Yeast (WLP004), no starter :(
Water: RO with 1.5 tsp gypsum, 0.5 tsp epsom; 0.25 tsp sodium chloride
OG: 1.058
FG: 1.008
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: ~75-80
Mashed in with 10 qts to 145F (apparently) and held 90 min. Batch sparged with 14 qts to extract  5 gallons. Boiled 60min, chilled, pitched yeast.