Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fermented News

There is a new coalition trying to get rid of the ridiculous law that only allows grocery/convenience stores to sell low gravity beer (3.2% ABW). Their big hook is increased jobs which I find that questionable, but whatever lies they have to spin to make buying beer/wine more convenient is okay with me. Lots of other states (missouri) allow it and they all still have plenty of independent liquor stores. [LJ World]

Saturday is Kansas's 150th Birthday as a State and everybody is invited to celebrate by raising a glass of Kansas beer, wine, or cider at 6:00pm when the KU - K-State game tips off. I'm sure I'll have a growler of something nice from Free State (Iron Man Imperial Stout?) [facebook]

Hops Shortage. Everybody Panic. [Rouge Wire Service]

In Boulevard Brewing news:

  • Their collaboration with Christopher Elbow should be on shelves in time for Valentines Day. Mmmmm Chocolate. [KC Beer Blog]
  • Imperial Stout is in bottles so keep an eye out for that, probably won't last long. [facebook]
  • Rye-on-Rye is in barrels. [facebook]

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ashburne/Cascade SMaSH

Single Malt and Single Hop = SMaSH. It's a fairly popular homebrewing technique. The idea is to pick one malt and one hop and really focus on highlighting the flavors of those two ingredients. It's a fun way to get familiar with brewing ingredients and can help with recipe creation down the road.

For the malt I decided to go with Ashburne Mild from Briess. It's a base malt kilned to 5.3 Lovibond, which puts it in the neighborhood of a Maris Otter, light Munich or Vienna malt. I thought it gave a nice bread crust flavor with a touch of sweetness. It defiantly had more flavor than the regular 2 row pale malt, I can see myself using it more in the future. The only real problem with it is it cost a little more than 2 row.

For the hops I went with the classic, Cascade. Originally developed by the U.S.D.A. and released as an aroma hop in 1972. It has become the standard for American hop aroma, and can be found in many IPAs and Pale Ales. Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is probably the most popular and one of the first to popularize its use. Another great example is Hopalicious from Ale Asylum in Madison. The beer I brewed reminds me of Hopalicious, lots of Cascade, a little malt. On a side note: If you ever visit Wisconsin, fly into Madison (a Frank Lloyd Wright designed airport) and head down the road to Ale Asylum for your first stop and repeat on your way home. It's a great way to start & end a vacation.

Expected OG: 1.046
Actual OG: 1.055
Expected FG: 1.015
Actual FG: 1.010
IBU: 41
BU:GU: .77
Boil: 60 minutes
Pre-boil Volume: 6.2 gallons
Final Volume: 4.8 gallons
Apparent Attenuation: 81.1%
ABV: 6.05%

10 lbs. Ashburne Mild (Briess)

2.0 oz. Cascade (pellet 4.1% AA) @ 30 min.
1.0 oz. Cascade (pellet 4.1% AA) @ 10 min.
1.0 oz. Cascade (pellet 4.1% AA) @ 5 min.
2.0 oz. Cascade (pellet 4.1% AA) @ flame out
2.0 oz. Cascade (pellet 4.1% AA) dry hop
Safale US-05

Spring water from Welpman Spring in Morgan County, MO

Mash Schedule:
60 min @ 155° (15 qt @ 165°)
20 min @ 168° (16 qt @ 190°)

Should be about 6.5 gallons of sweet wort.

Brewed on 12/08/10 by myself.

I used this spreadsheet to calculate temps, it worked well for the barleywine.

8:20am - Brrrrrr 11° outside.

9:00am  - Somehow I missed way to the low side on my mash temp (I thought I was getting better at this) sat around 140° for about 25 min then I added 6.5 qt of boiling water which brought the temp up to 156°. That temp had dropped to around 150° by the time I started sparging. I think the sub-freezing temperatures outside might be a contributing factor to the low mash temps. I wanted to mash at a high temp to ensure there was plenty of body in this small beer. Looks like it'll be on the dry side now.

10:40am - preboil gravity is about 1.043 with only 6.2 gallons collected. I'm going to have to adjust my original hopping schedule to account for the increased gravity.

12:15pm – 1.055. Nice.

1:30pm - Pitched yeast at about 68°. A little less than 5 gallons, going to call it 4.8. 78% efficiency? That would be my best ever.

12/11/10 - High kraeusen, temp is 64°

12/12/10 - Still chugging along at about 64°

12/21/10 – Added dry hops. Temp has settled down to the mid 50s.

12/29/10 – Bottling Day. 2.25 Vol. CO2 + 4.75 gal. + 65° = 3.2 oz. Table sugar.
16 x 22 oz. + 1 x 24 oz. + 1 x 750 ml + 2 x 500 ml + 4 x 12 oz. = 3.77 gallons. Might end up with carbonation in the 2.6 volume range instead. Glad I started low, kinda forgot how little wort there was to start with, plus trub. Sample smells very citric, orangy. With a toasty, bread flavor.

1/11/11- 1st taste. Pretty nice. Big orange/cascade burst with a little spice, and a bread crust backbone. Clear with a short rocky head.

1/15/11 – Clear deep golden color, small rocky head, some lacing on the side. Orange-ish citrus in the nose, hint of bread. A touch of sweet, bread crust, more citrus. Clean finish, lingering grapefruit-ish flavor, mild bitterness. Carb is on the low side, I like it that way. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium. Very drinkable.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Boulevard's New & Improved Website.

I'm sure you've seen Boulevard's website redo by now. If you haven't go take a look. There was one improvement I found to be especially interesting as a homebrewer that I wanted to point out.

They've added ingredient, gravity, and bitterness information for all their beers. They even have CO2 info, which I've never seen a brewery disclose before. I like it when a brewery is willing to disclose this much information about their beers, it only increases my appreciation of them. (see also: Sierra Nevada) And it helps with recipe formulation if you know what commercial brewers are using in beers you enjoy. I'm not sure why they have the annoying date of birth thing at the beginning. It seems all the bigger craft breweries are doing it, probably to appease some whiny nanny somewhere.

Now, if anybody knows exactly what they mean by "dark sugar" please let me know...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Red Ale #3

This is my third attempt at brewing a hoppy red ale. The two previous versions were both pretty good. This recipe is pretty much the same as the first version except I reduced the amount of pale chocolate malt. I thought there was a little too much roast flavor in the previous versions. I originally started with the recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. I want this to be a red ale with a hop forward flavor. I missed my mash temp way to the low side, resulting in a pretty low final gravity. I think I'll lower my target to 152° next time so I can keep it on the dry side. If I use the Wyeast 1450 again I might reduce the amount of Crystal a little as well, it does a nice job of accenting the malt flavors.

Color is a rich amber, pretty much what I want. Pretty clear too. The aroma is mostly malt, caramel, bread, and a little toast. Some citric overtones from the hops. Next time I want to add some dry hops to give it a little more hop aroma. The malt aromas carry through to the flavor. Toasty bread with a caramel flavor but not very sweet, thanks to the low FG. Finish is dry and smooth. Well balanced and easy to drink. Won't last long.

Expected OG: 1.055
Actual OG: 1.055
Expected FG: 1.015
Actual FG: 1.010
IBU: 45
Boil: 60 minutes
Pre-boil Volume: 6.25 gallons
Final Volume: 5 gallons
Apparent Attenuation: 81.1%
ABV: 6.05%

10 lbs. Two-row Pale (Briess)
1 lbs. Crystal 40 (Briess)
8 oz. Victory (Briess)
4 oz. Crystal 120 (Briess)
2 oz. Pale Chocolate (Thomas Fawcett & Sons)

1.0 oz. Centennial (pellet 8.6% AA) @ 25 min.
1.0 oz. Cascade (pellet 5.0% AA) @ 10 min.
1.0 oz. Centennial (pellet 8.6% AA) @ 10 min.
1.0 oz. Cascade (pellet 5.0% AA) @ flame out
1.0 oz. Centennial (pellet 8.6% AA) @ flame out

Wyeast 1450 Denny's Favorite 50, 1 quart starter

Spring water from Welpman Spring in Morgan County, MO

Mash Schedule:
60 min @ 154° (4 gallons @ 168°)
20 min @ 168° (4 gallons @ 190°)
Should be about 6.5 gallons of sweet wort.

Brewed on 10/22/10 by myself.

10/21/12:30pm – made a one quart starter using 4 oz. DME.

Estimated mash water temps with help from

10:30am – Initial mash temp is around 145°. Grain temp was closer to 70°. added about 4 ½ cups of boiling water, still not as high a temp as I wanted. Ended up with a little over 6 gallons of wort, call it 6.25.
2:20pm – 1.055 on the money! Around 63% efficiency.
2:30pm – Pitched yeast at about 67°. 5 gallons on the nose!
Instead of the flame out hop addition I added them after the wort had cooled to about 120°, I read somewhere that you get better aroma than at flame out this way because there is less heat to drive off volatile aroma compounds. Some of the pellets never full dissolved, so I'm not sure if I got all the aroma from them, we'll see.

10/23/2010 :
10:00am - Fermentation is going strong. Should have used blow off, a little bit of yeast leaking out the top. Temp is around 68°.
2:00pm – added a blow off. Fermentation is still going strong. I wonder how low it will finish considering the mash temp was pretty low.

10/25/2010: Fermentation is starting to wind down a bit, temp seems to be holding around 68°.

12/3/10: Bottling day. 4.8 gal, 65°, 2 vol CO2 = 2.7 oz table sugar. 20 x 22 oz. + 5 x 24 oz. + 4 x 12 oz. = 4.75 gallons. FG was low, probably due to the low mash temps. Didn't smell as hoppy as I wanted it.