Archive for July, 2013

Brewed: Hoppy Wheat

Sunday, July 28th, 2013
While leaf citra hops.

While leaf citra hops.

I brewed Hoppy Wheat for the first time in April of this year. That first brewing went well but I screwed up bottling. I under-carbbed. I was supposed to add 4.5 ounces of priming sugar but for some reason I wrote down in my notes and used .45 ounces. I never gave that beer a chance.

The day that I brewed this beer was only a day after I brewed Alpha Acid Aspirations – Eagle. Since Eagle uses a heaping helping of Amarillo, I changed the hop in Hoppy Wheat to Citra. I have almost two pounds of the hop and I didn't want to be “stuck” with 10 gallons of Amarillo centered beer. I like variety.

Outside of the hop change from Amarillo to Citra, nothing different between the two recipes or brew days. Enjoy!

Updates:

  • 2013-08-10: dry hopped with 2.00 ounces Amarillo, 0.50 ounces Citra
  • 2013-08-18: bottled with 4.0 ounces of priming sugar, 2 cups of water. Yielded 26, 22 ounce, 2, 16 ounce. Gravity at 1.009
  • 2013-08-30: tasted, hops are old

Useless Fact: During the chariot scene in “Ben Hur,” a small red car can be seen in the distance.

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Brewed: Alpha Acid Aspirations – Eagle

Saturday, July 27th, 2013
Citra first wort hopping.

Citra leaf first wort hopping.

It has been a while since I made one of my Alpha Acid Aspirations beers. Seven months to be exact. I have only made Blast and Chunk. The thought up front was a double Inida pale ale for each letter of the alphabet. I have recipes for ‘A’ and ‘D’ but haven’t brewed them (‘F’ is done as well). Looking back at those recipes, I like them both. What is the matter with me?

Eagle becomes the third beer in the series. The grist is very simple but I wanted to give the beer a bit more good ole fashion straight forward grain essence. Therefore I used a pound of Munich to achieve. A bit scared of adding too much as a DIPA should be dry, favoring the gloriousness of the hops used. I don’t want the Munich/grain to take over, just add a touch of complexity. The sugar should dry it out while the wheat should help head retention.

Simcoe and Amarillo hops have been on my radar to use together for a while. I am horrible at determining if hops will work together up front. Based on the aroma that was given off during fermentation, I think these two will make me very happy.

I have been experiencing some issues with my thermometers, causing me to hit a low mash temperature (this one was very low). I have to calibrate them to know if they are off. I do know that the weather has been below normal and this cause the mash tun and grain to be colder than anticipated. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, July 27, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S05 (2)
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.074
IBU: 110.4
Color: 4.9 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 8.6%
Primary Fermentation: 14 days @68*F, 7 days dry hop @60*F

Grain Bill:
14.0# 2 Row
1.00# Red Wheat
0.50# Munich
0.25# Rice Hull
1.00# Table Sugar

Mash:
Saccharification @148.2*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces Amarillo first wort hop
1.00 ounces Simcoe first wort hop
0.80 ounces Warrior @60 minutes
0.25 ounces Chinook @60 minutes
0.50 ounces Amarillo @10 minutes
0.50 ounces Simcoe @10 minutes
0.50 ounces Amarillo @5 minutes
0.50 ounces Simcoe @5 minutes
0.50 ounces Amarillo @1 minute
0.50 ounces Simcoe @1 minute
2.50 ounces Amarillo 7 day dry hop
2.00 ounces Simcoe 7 day drop hop

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes

Updates:

  • 2013-08-10: dry hopped with 2.50 ounces Simcoe, 2.00 ounces Amarillo
  • 2013-08-17: bottled with 4.0 ounces of priming sugar, 2 cups of water. Yielded 1, 750ml, 24, 22 ounce. Gravity at 1.005
  • 2013-08-30: tasted, hops are old

Useless Fact: The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Brewed: Honey Pot Pale Ale

Monday, July 22nd, 2013
The new, to me, Blichmann 15 gallon kettle

The new, to me, Blichmann 15 gallon kettle

I have always said that brewing equipment doesn’t make the brewer. I still believe that but having some kick ass equipment does make the brewing day easier. The latest addition to my equipment portfolio is a 15 gallon Blichmann kettle.

After brewing Honey Pot Pale Ale for my wife as the inaugural brew with the new kettle, I determined a couple of points that made my brewing life easier:

  1. The larger volume of the kettle allows me to not worry about the heat break as the wort comes up to boil. I have had several boil overs in my days of the 10 gallon kettle, having to watch it closely every time the wort was nearing boil
  2. The kettle has a built in thermometer. At this point good and bad (see below).
  3. The kettle has a built in spigot. This point has turned out to be awesome. I don’t have to hold a racking cane, I don’t have to carry the kettle, full of wort, to a spot to allow me to drain, I don’t have to watch it that closely.

Outside of all the gloriousness of the kettle, there is one point of frustration: the temperature probe is at the 7 gallon mark. Since I brew 5.5 gallon batches, that is at the top end of the amount of wort I have in the pot. This means that I have had to attach another thermometer to the immersion chiller to have an accurate reading while chilling the beer post boil. Not ideal.

The brew day of the Honey Pale Ale went okay. I didn’t hit my mash temperature. I have thoughts on that one but I will wait until I try out the beer. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, July 21, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S05
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.048
IBU: 31.5
Color: 6.4 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.7%
Primary Fermentation: 14 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
6.50# 2 Row
0.50# Caramel 40L
0.50# Honey Malt
0.25# Rice Hull
2.50# Local Honey

Mash:
Saccharification @148.6*F

Hop Bill:
0.50 ounces Amarillo @60 minutes
0.50 ounces Fuggles @60 minutes
1.00 ounces Centennial @60 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes

Updates:

  • 2013-08-10: bottled with 4.0 ounces of priming sugar, 2 cups of water. Yielded 1, 750ml, 26, 22 ounce. Gravity at 1.004
  • 2013-09-13: tasted

Useless Fact: The “spot” on the 7-Up logo comes from its inventor who had red eyes. He was an albino.

Saison De Pipaix – Brasserie à Vapeur

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Saison De Pipaix - Brasserie à Vapeur

I had been rereading a recent copy of BYO magazine. There is an article about saisons, one of my favorite styles of beer. The article centers on how large the style is and all the different saisons that can be brewed while fitting within. There is a picture of a bottle of Saison De Pipaix, by Brasserie à Vapeur, in the article.

This sparked flashes of seeing that same picture in another BYO article. In this earlier article the focus is on the brewery and Saison De Pipaix. The clone recipe is given. I have never brewed the clone but I have always wanted to taste the beer. I had interest because of the different spices that are used: black pepper, ginger, sweet orange peel, curaçao, star anise. I never had a saison with such a bold spice character (at least knowingly).

Lady luck was with me when I scored a bottle on a recent family trip down to Florida. The bottle had a date of April, 2013. Somewhat fresh for a saison. Obviously I drank the beer instead of cellaring (have read that people have had five year or older bottles).

Saison De Pipaix poured beautifully into a tulip, topped by at least two inches of virgin white foam. Lacing complemented the drink throughout. Pepper and ginger can be had on the nose. Orange, which is subtlety tart, joins earth, lime and pear. The taste is similar. The citrus, spice and yeast create a tart, difficult to describe (at least for me) center of flavor. A delicately complex beer that has a medium body and, surprisingly, a light end of carbonation. Interesting but not my favorite saison but definitely worth a try if you want a saison that is a bit left of center. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: A Czech man, Jan Honza Zampa, holds the record for drinking one liter of beer in 4.11 seconds.

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