Archive for November, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

On the drive up to the Detroit suburbs, I was only thinking of the American craft beer that could be had in the area. There are easily 30 breweries in a one hour radius of my sister-in-laws house. Deciding which one(s) was originally thought to be difficult but a simple selection criteria popped into my head:

  1. At least one establishment that I visited had to be one that I never visitied before.
  2. One had to be Kuhnhenn’s

The Michigan brewery guides does one of the best jobs I have seen of putting all state breweries on a map: making is simple for anyone to plan a course.

Limited time, approximately four hours, meant that lunch at Woodward Avenue Brewers followed by a few at Kuhnhenn’s seemed most reasonable.

Woodward was a pleasant surprise. I had the pesto chicken with and custom porter. The food was well above average with the cole slaw stealing the show. Kuhnhenn’s was usual: lot’s of big beers with lots of big flavors. I had a few DRIPAs.

Not a bad start to the long weekend that should include another new brewery on Friday and brewing on Sunday. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: A ‘jiffy’ is a unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

Thouhgts on FoBAB 2012

Monday, November 19th, 2012

The third pilgrimage to FoBAB. Each year I have been fortunate enough to be accompanied by my wife. Sitting on our tickets for two plus months gave me the burning desire to see what the new FoBAB venue would have to offer as well as the tasty treats the American craft brewers would bring forward.

That’s about where the excitement ended. A third straight year in which FoBAB under staffed the line. For the 500 – 750 that would be attenting, that wasn’t enough. Some 40 minutes in line got us into the venue. Coat check, glass, beer listing; ready to go.

Unfortunately the event was on the fifth floor, there was only one freight elevator, and it was slow. Not good for a fat guy. Once we made it up stairs, the best beers had already ran dry: only 40 minutes into the night. Yuck.

Once up there, it was hot. 90 degrees hot. Even after a first session in which they knew it was hot, they didn’t open the windows. I sweat easily and, when I do, I am not a happy camper.

The shape of this new space was rectangular and narrow. Not a great way to move around. In the past, the square shape allowed those with beer to move to the middle, not so as there was no middle. The low ceiling combined to make the space seem much more confined.

Yes, I a bitching. It wasn’t a good event. At $45 per ticked, I don’t feel I was able to get my value out of the event. We had a few good beers but nothing more. We left less than two hours after we arrived, giving away five of our tickets each. This was my last FoBAB. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: In 1912 a law passed in Nebraska where drivers in the country at night were required to stop every 150 yards, send up a skyrocket, wait eight minutes for the road to clear before proceeding cautiously, all the while blowing their horn and shooting off flares.

Dry Hop: Mango Saison

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Mango Saison is progressing. I racked it on the mangos in late October. I have tasted it a couple times along the way but nothing fantastic has greated my taste buds or ofactory. As I put more thougt into it, I came to the realization that although I really like to eat mangos, they are very subtle. Time to move this beer forward.

Dry hop!

Mouteka. From the way I get it, Mouteka should lend a lemon, lime, and, potentially, tropical fruits. Exactly what I wanted from the real manogs.

The other thing I noticed with this taste: Wyeast 3711 doesn’t have the same peppery character of WLP566. It might be too early (but past experience doesn’t lead me to believe this) but the Brett character is extrodianarily subdued.

Bottling will be this coming weekend. Hopefully there is enough character there to appreciate. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Because of the rotation of the earth, an object can be thrown farther if it is thrown west.

Brewed: Worm Burner Barleywine

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

mash for worm burner barleywine

This is the second time that I am brewing Worm Burner. I brewed it 11 months ago for the first time. This time around the goal is to put it in the bourbon barrel. The recipe changed a small amount from the first time (I will put both below) as I used this brew day to use up grain odds and ends.

The real story begins with me making a starter for this beer three weeks ago, with plans to have brew two weeks ago. Per typical life got in the way, causing my brewing plans to become skewed. I was building the yeast twice, the first time I have ever done so. On October 21st, I did the first build up: 2 liter starter. A few days later (Wednesday to be exact), I split the yeast in two and did two, 2 liter starters. Both were placed in 1 gallon jugs. Mistake! When I came home from work the next day, both starters had oozed out of the jugs. I didn’t think this was all that bad outside of wondering if there was going to be enough viable yeast cells. I figured I would know in a couple of days, post brewing.

Fast forward three weeks. The yeast sat around all that time only covered by tinfoil, which had become one with the bottle from the drying of the oozed out yeast. Of course I didn’t know this until I was ready to pitch the yeast. Yes, a lot of neglect put me in the position of finding out the yeast had went bad.

What to do now? I know I can let the cooled wort sit but I really don’t know for how long and, after a long brew day, I wanted fermentation. 🙂

Dry yeast! I thought I had a couple in the basement but wasn’t sure. Crap, only one and the yeast calculator says I need two. Chuck comes through again. One packet of Nottingham and one packet of S-05. Fermentation was noticeable the next morning (<12 hours after pitched). General Information (II)
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Nottingham, S-05
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.098
Final Gravity:
IBU: 24.1
Color: 7.5 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Alcohol by Volume: 5.7%
Primary Fermentation: 30 days @70*F to 78*F
Secondary Fermentation: 2 months @70*F with Brett strains and Mango

Grain Bill:
10.00# Pilsner (German)
0.50# Oats
0.25# Special B

Saccharification Rest @ 150*F for 75 minutes.

Hop Bill:
1.00 oz Fuggles (4.5%) @ 60 min
1.00 oz Fuggles (4.5%) first wort hop
1.00 oz Amarillo/Citra dry hop

General Information (original)
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.104
Final Gravity: 1.014
IBU: 94,9
Color: 13.3 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
Primary Fermentation: 30 days @70*F
Secondary Fermentation: 6 months @58*F

Grain Bill:
18.00# 2-Row
1.00# Crystal 10L
1.00# Crystal 60L
0.25# Special B

Saccharification Rest @ 150*F for 75 minutes.

Hop Bill:
2.50 oz Warrior (15.0%) @ 60 min
1.00 oz Amarillo (8.5%) @ 10 min
2.00 oz Centennial (10.0%) @ 0 min
1.00 oz Amarillo (8.5%) @ 0 min
2.00 oz Centennial dry hop

1.00# Table Sugar

The rest of the day, which came before the yeast fiasco, was uneventful by comparison. I did pick up 10 gravity points from the mashing process (did some research since last brew that I put in place – hopefully another entry). Enjoy!

2013-02-24: Bottled after seven weeks in a used bourbon barrel (48, 12 ounce bottles)

Useless Fact: Most American car horns honk in the key of F.