Archive for March, 2013

Brewed: Pot Licker Milk Stout

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

pot licker milk stout

I have been attempting to brew a quality milk stout since I was extract brewing. That first version used Hershey’s powdered chocolate in the boil. It basically fell out during the fermentation process (typical four weeks). Once I began all-grain brewing I tried my hand at version two of Pot Licker. I used cocoa nibs in secondary. This seemed to work well for me. Chuck, Rich and I decided that the beer wasn’t creamy enough; I vowed to thicken it up the next time around.

In the second version I only used a half a pound of lactose (milk sugar) while aging a gallon of the beer on cocoa nibs and roasted jalapenos (fresh from Rich’s garden). I decided to up the lactose to one pound for this brewing of Pot Licker and, since I don’t have fresh jalapenos to use, I will bypass.

Pot Licker is the first non-sour I have brewed in while. I am looking forward to a quick turn around yielding a brew I can drink in a month. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05
Yeast Starter: None
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.061
IBU: 26.8
Color: 37.5 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.2%
Primary Fermentation: 28 days @68*F
Secondary Fermentation: 7 days on cocoa nibs

Grain Bill:
9.00# 2-Row
1.00# Chocolate
0.75# Crystal 60L
0.50# Roasted Barley
0.25# Black Malt

Saccharification Rest @ 152.0*F for 60 minutes.

Hop Bill:
2.00 ounces Fuggles (4.5%) @60 minutes

1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min.
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Useless Fact: The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.


Sunday, March 17th, 2013

turbid_mashI have been trying for well over a year to get some Easy Coast Yeast (ECY). The yeast is produced in small quantities and the stuff that I have been after are the highly sought after critter mixes: 01, 02, 03, 04, etc. When only 10 viles of a mix come out at a time, maybe once every six to eight weeks, that tends to make them hard to get. I was able to pick up ECY01 and ECY02 the last go around.

The strange thing about finally getting the yeast: what to brew. I had concentrated so long and hard on being “in line” to get a taste that I lost sight of what I could do with the yeasts. ECY01 intrigued me more so I did a bit of research on the yeasts and bugs that reside in the small bottle.

It didn’t take long before ideas of lambic were dancing in my head.

Never done a lambic. Never thought much about one. Never have tried many. Definitely don’t know how to brew one.

I knew what I wanted to do with the yeast but I didn’t know how to brew a lambic. Of course I turned to The Mad Fermenttionist and google.

I found A Liddil Lambic Lesson: The Cult of the Biohazard Lambic Brewers on google but found the long text a bit daunting. Besides I had never heard of turbin mashing, it sounded difficult.

Mike had done a handful of lambics that he reported on his site. He mentioned that his Lambic 3.0 was the best he had done. It as done via a turbid mash. One of the places he found information was the aforementioned A Liddil Lambic Lesson: The Cult of the Biohazard Lambic Brewers but had pinpoinnted what really needed to be read.

In the course of getting prepared for brew day, I read Mike’s notes many of times, asked him various questions via email and read the entire Biohazard Lambic site at least a handful of times. The pictures on Mike’s site help to piece the two together.

I wouldn’t say my brew day went smoothly. I feel there were some rough edges, specifically with trying to keep 1 quart of wort at 176*F. That proved very daunting based on the size of the pot and all the large pots on the stove. That temperature was all over the place but I believe I did get it up over 176*F. Next time I would use one of the wife’s 2 quart pans to give the liquid more vertical volume, allowing a thermometer to better gauge the temps. This would also open more room on top of the stove with the smaller footprint. I should have enough room in the pot for the additional 4 quarts that are added later in the process.

I started taking pictures but the process and purchasing Dark Lord Tickets sidetracked me. I will be brewing another lambic via turbid mash in the next month (using some of the yeast cake from this beer). I plan on taking more pictures, documenting the process (video, maybe?). Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: ECY01
Yeast Starter: None
Batch Size (Gallons): 4.75
Original Gravity: 1.052
IBU: 13.1
Color: 3.6 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68%
Alcohol by Volume: 4.7%
Primary Fermentation: 365 days @68*F, including some oak chips

Grain Bill:
6.00# Pilsner
3.00# Red Wheat

Turbid Mash

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces Saaz (3.20%) @90 minutes

1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Useless Fact: On Average, You blink over 20,000,000 times a year.

Tasted: Alpha Acid Aspirations – Chunk

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

alpha acid aspirations chunk

The second beer in the Alpha Acid Aspirations is ready for review: Chunk. Of course I have tasted the beer a half dozen times before brewing. I feel that it is best at this point, as it seems to be peaking.

Look: Pours cloudy (more like opaque) with a couple of fingers of tightly packed, small bubbled, off-white foam that has some quality staying powers. The top stiffens as it recedes, leaving sporadic bits in its’ wake. The beer is a deep amber color.

Aroma: A light malty backbone comes through from behind a shroud of hops. The hops are full of topical and citrus fruit aromas, some floral notes as well.

Taste: Lots of hops in the taste. More tropical and citrus hop flavor tap a tune. Malt is more than a usual for a DIPA. I like the “difference” that is normally not there in a DIPA. The finish is full of hop flavor and bitterness. Bitterness is actually complex: clean (Warrior), rough (Chinook) and some grapefruit (Cascade(?)).

Drinkability: Fuller body than a normal DIPA (seemingly 151*F mash temperature added enough difference to bring up the body). There is a stiff bitterness that doesn’t have much carbonation to hide behind, causing the bitterness to kill the palate.

Overall: Even though this is a DIPA, there isn’t much hiding from the bitterness. The Maris Otter does seem to give a bit more malt base but I don’t think it is enough for the price difference with 2-row. I would brew this beer again but would definitely tone down the bitterness, maybe even remove the Chinook.

This isn’t a beer for anyone who does’t like loads of hop bitterness. I will brew it again but only occasionally. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Certain frogs can be frozen solid, then thawed, and survive.

Brewed: Aigre Saison

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

The name of the beer, in English, is Sour Saison. I decided to jump on the bandwagon of using French for a French/Belgian inspired beer. As you can tell by the simple name, I went all out. I didn’t use my customary golf terminology (from my days of a caddying). Fret not my friends I will meander back to the normal naming conventions with my next few beers but I will use French names in the appropriate spots.

I used a blend of WLP 566 and some of the yeast cake from a recent brewing of Bad Tipper Oud Bruin. I had been thinking about sour mash, acid malt, and other possible ways to get this beer tart/sour. Alas, I thought reusing some roeselare yeast would do the trick. I used a high mash temperature to create longer chain sugars to keep some goodies around for the bugs to munch on. I have used Brett in a Saison in the past but I truly wanted to say this was a straight forward sour beer, thus the bugs.

This one will be racked off the yeast after four weeks into secondary, allowing it to age until it starts to taste as I expect. I am going to add a bit of oak chips to the secondary as well. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, March 03, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WLP 566 and Oud Bruin yeast slurry
Yeast Starter: 2 liter for 566 (was four month old yeast)
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.25
Original Gravity: 1.057
IBU: 20.9
Color: 3.6 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.7%
Primary Fermentation: 28 days @68*F
Secondary Fermentation: 365 days @68*F, including some oak chips

Grain Bill:
10.00# Pilsner
1.00# Red Wheat
0.25# Flaked Oats

Saccharification Rest @ 156.3*F for 60 minutes.

Hop Bill:
0.20 ounces Warrior (15.0%) @90 minutes
1.00 ounce Fuggles (4.5%) first wort hop
1.00 ounce Fuggles (4.5%) @3 minutes

1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min.
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Useless Fact: ‘Formicophilia’ is the fetish for having small insects crawl on your genitals.