Archive for September, 2016

Brewed: LaLa Barleywine

Sunday, September 4th, 2016
Preparing to add 60 seconds of oxygen to LaLa wort, post boil.

Preparing to add 60 seconds of oxygen to LaLa wort, post boil.

Requests for a new home brew don’t happen often. Heck, even my wife only requests for the same two beers over and over: Honey Pot Pale Ale and Grass Cutter. Maybe that should tell me something about how my home brews are perceived and/or my home brewing abilities.

Nonetheless, a request did come in the shape of my cousin Ron while chatting at this summers’ family reunion. He heard me say “La”. He asked me to say it again, mentioning that it had been a long time since he had heard someone call his Mother “La”. Of course she is my aunt and my Dad’s twin sister. Her real name is Catheline. “La” came about when my Dad was little and did not have the ability to say Catheline. Instead, he could say “La La”. Somehow it stuck. Ever since I am able to remember, we referred to Ron’s mom as Aunt La.

I not going to bore with more family details but let’s just say Aunt La, a damn hip and cool lady, has had a large helping of misfortune in her life. Ronny asked if I could make a beer for the 2nd annual New Year’s day get together, at my house, to honor his Mom. Of course I couldn’t say no, nor did I want to.

Now I had to determine the beer style and recipe that is fitting of Aunt La. A strong beer with the potential for multiple ways (bourbon soaked oak chips, large dry hop and possibly some with a combination of both) of changing the final product seemed to be the best route to go.

In order to brew up a large beer I had to get one more piece of brewing equipment that I have wanted for a long time and has held me back from brewing high gravity beers: pure oxygen. It has been at least a couple of years since I brewed a high gravity beer for the simple reason of my hyper-sensitivity to alcohol flavors in beer. The process of shaking the carboy only has lead me to believe that mine have that off-flavor. I was waiting for a time that I could get the necessary equipment and the wife wouldn’t bat an eye. Paying homage to my Aunt was an easy win.

Researching award winning barleywines and professional clone recipes, I ended up with what is below. The hope is there that everyone will taste and enjoy this beer that is truly created to represent Aunt La in liquid form. Enjoy!

LaLa Barleywine

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, September 04, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05 (2), not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.088
IBU: 31.5
Color: 6.4 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 180
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.2%
Primary Fermentation: 30 days @68*F, condition at ambient basement temperature for two months

Grain Bill:
10.50# 2 Row
9.50# Pilsner
0.50# Caramel 60L
0.50# Caramel 80L
0.50# Dextrapils

Mash:
Saccharification @150.8*F

Hop Bill:
3.00 ounce 2014 Magnum @90 minutes
1.00 ounce 2015 Cascade @5 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 minute of pure oxygen after racking to carboy

Update(s):

  • 2016-09-04: @1600 the temperature was @83.8*F, placed on concrete basement floor.
  • 2016-09-05: @0800 the temperature was @68*F, pitched yeast
  • 2016-09-05: @2100, fermentation showing good signs.
  • 2016-09-06: @71.3*F, strong fermentation.
  • 2016-09-06: @67.2*F, added heat @69*F.
  • 2016-09-14: Took of heat. Left at ambient basement temperature.

Useless Fact: The $99 Now watch, made by designer Micah Davis, doesn’t have a clock face that tells time, it literally just says “NOW.”

Brewed: Honey Pot Pale Ale – Cascade Wet Hop

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
2016 Cascade hop harvest.

2016 Cascade hop harvest.

I have brewed with home grown hops in the past. I didn’t really care for the finished product, so much so that I didn’t even make an entry into the blog. I recall heaps of vegetal taste that had been extracted into the beer. Unpleasant at best.

That first, and only attempt, I used the hops as late kettle additions: 20, 10 and 1 minute. I wanted to extract cascade flavor and aroma. Unfortunately, I only remember the greenness. That one brew has scared me away from using my home grown hops since.

In the meantime, I have dug up two of the plants (Mt. Hood and Centennial) leaving me with Cascade and Willamette. The two plants I dug up were do to low yield due to poor yard placement. The remaining two have produced okay crops but I have always come up with a reason or three, to the wife and quietly to myself, on why I didn’t have time and/or couldn’t use the hops in a particular season.

This season I noticed that I was getting a good crop of both Cascade and Willamette. I had to do something with those hops. I needed to gain merit with my wife for not wanting to dig up the last two plants. She would replace them with flowers in a heart beat.

What to brew and how to use the hops were my biggest and only questions. Trying to coordinate an optimal time to pick and have time to brew was up there as well.

Countless of hours of thinking about brewing while on one of my two daily walks yielded:

  1. Brew a beer my wife likes: honey pot pale ale.
  2. Incorporate the hops as a whirlpool addition to the wife beer: whirlpool hops.
  3. Need time: Labor day weekend.

I had come up with the perfect plan. Now I only had to perform. Never an issue.

2016 Willamette hop harvest.

2016 Willamette hop harvest.

On brew day, I picked the Cascade and Willamette hops. The amount of Cascade filled a 6 gallon bucket half way. I have no idea how much it weighed but I know it was a shit-ton of hops. The Cascade was full of hop oils and huge on aroma: my hands were green but had the aroma of fresh cascade hops. Better than any crop previously. Knowing that wet hopping with that amount of hops would soak up huge amounts of wort, I decided to not use the Willamette. RIP Willamette. It was discarded. Next year I will plan Labor day weekend as a double brew weekend to use up all the home grown hops. The second beer I would brew: a saison, using the Willamette hops late in the boil and/or as a whirlpool hop.

If the beer tastes half as good as it smelled while brewing, this will be a winner, even with the wife. Enjoy!

Honey Pot Pale Ale

General Information:
Brew Date: Friday, September 02, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.050
IBU: 31.5
Color: 6.4 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.2%
Primary Fermentation: 14 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
6.50# 2 Row
0.50# Caramel 40L
0.50# Honey Malt
2.50# Virginia Orange Blossom Honey

Mash:
Saccharification @150.8*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounce 2014 Magnum @60 minutes
1.00 ounce 2015 Cascade @10 minutes

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

Update(s):

  • 2016-09-03: @0700 the temperature was at 68*F, pitched yeast
  • 2016-09-04: @69*F, fermenting well.
  • 2016-09-06: Fermentation slowing, @67*F, add heat @ 68*F.
  • 2016-09-08: Took of heat. Left at ambient basement temperature.
  • 2016-09-17: Bottled with 3.5 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 24, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: HPW.

Useless Fact: Trees “talk” by exchanging chemicals. They communicate through underground fungi, and when they can recognize their relatives, they share nutrients. Basically, tree “families” help each other out.

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