Friday, December 21, 2012

Farraigi Dorcha 12/21/12

Dark Seas
What a better way to welcome the winter solstice ( or the end of the Mayan calender) than brewing a stout. A belgian stout. Maybe with some funk later on...
If the wind dies down, I'm going to give it a shot later.

I see a little lunchmeat is on the menu...
It must be a sign from the ancient Mayans to brew.

Evil Dawson lives!

Just found the beer engine blog a few nights ago.
Evil Dawson lives!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Belgian Tripel - 12/16/12

I brewed a belgian tripel last night. The grain bill consisted of 99% pilsener and  1% aromatic malt. Pitched a nice fresh slurry of wlp530, and it was fermenting when I woke up this morning. Pitched at 64F and I'm letting it free rise.
OG was 1.072, so it's a big beer but on the low side for a Belgian tripel.
While I was brewing I decided to brew one more Belgian in this series. I'm going to brew something for the Dark Irish.

Starting to read an old book on my family's history. Turns out my family surname is from a long line kings/chiefs/warlords in ancient Ireland.  Huh, my wife or mother wouldn't be surprised.  My mother has been calling me Lord Muck for a long time and my wife has to live with me ;).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Belgian Blonde - 12/8/12

I harvested some yeast from my Consecration brew day last week (prior to brett) and brewed a Belgian blonde. I bumped the gravity down for the style, so we can have more than one.
Normal brew day- except for a little rain when I was racking.
I pitched a big yeast pitch and it was fermenting in a few hours. Pitched at 64 and I'm capping to 72 for the first two days - then I'll let it free rise.

Russian River Consecration - 12/1/2012

Morebeer is selling Russian River Consecration kits. I usually don't by kits, but this kit includes some pieces of old Russian River Consecration barrels. Normal brew day, first time using a Blichmann pot as a brew kettle. I like the pot, a lot lighter than my current kettles. I'll have to make a stand modification to proper fit the kettle, but for now I used a couple bricks to support the kettle since my stand openings are a little too big to support the kettle. Back to the kit - pretty basic grain bill.
White labs 530 to 1.016 and then pitch Roselare with Consecration chunks.
Fermented for two days and then to secondary.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Smoke em if you got em.

I harvested the yeast cakes (830,835) from my Swartzbier and continued the yeast experiment with a Rauchbier. The grain bill is 48% smoked malt.

I always enjoy a beer with smoke malt but never have gone this high of a percentage of smoked malt.
Both are fermenting away nicely after a strong healthy pitch.

Doing it in the Dark

I had a bunch of lager yeast *830, 835) left from my Lady Luck Lager, so I made an over the top Swartzbier from Jamil Zainasheff called "Doing it in the Dark". It's supposed to be an over the top for the style, but I'm expecting good things.

Normal brew day 11/4/12 - no issues.
Split fermentation 830 and 835.

Hmm... what to do with lager yeast with roasty overtones?
I smell something smokey coming...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lady Luck Lager - take 2 (Updated)

I liked my five gallon yeast experiment between 830 and 835 so much I decided I had to do it again.
The five gallons went pretty quick...

This time I made a 10 gallon batch and split between 830 and 835. I added carafoam to this grain bill.
the grain bill is (pils, sauer, Munich, melanoidin). Hallertau for bittering and Tettnang for  aroma.

This should complete the Christmas Eve beer menu preparations.

Updated - Based on previous fermentation experiments 830 is my favorite German strain.
 835 - Lager X is a very clean yeast compared to 830.
We'll see how the two yeast compare in different German beer styles in a few weeks.

Tasting notes: 835 is cleaner, but 830 seems to be a better beer with this recipe. Two more recipes to judge in the weeks to come...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saison - WLP585 - Saison III

Made a saison today and pitched a new yeast WLP585. We'll see if it's as good as the Dupont strain.
Some like the french saison but I don't care for it.

Wine anyone?

Stopped at the brew store on Monday to pick up some yeast for this weekend's brew session and picked up 5 gallons of Reisling and 5 gallons of Merlot juice. I decided to try making some wine.
So we'll see what happens in a year...

Sweetzel Brown Ale

Sweetzel Brown Ale

Brewed my sweetzel brown ale today  (10/6/12-this post is a few days late). Things didn't quite go as planned.
Started transferring the mash to kettle and walked inside. Come out a few minutes later and see that I didn't have the kettle ball valve closed so half my runnings are on the patio.
Oh well, looks like I'm mashing again.
Started the second mash and things went much better.
The perfect beer for a Halloween party in a few weeks.
Here's to dry cookie'ing.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stout and Oud Bruin

I brewed yesterday an Irish Dry Stout and an Oud Bruin. 
The oud Bruin was fermented with AL's Bug Farm VI from East Coast yeast.
The Irish Dry stout was fermented with WLP001 and I replaced the Flaked Barley with 1# of flaked rye.

I also took 1/2 gallon of Oud Bruin wort and pitched the dregs of a Jolly Pumpkin Firefly. The Firefly was a recently bottled beer so it really wasn't too sour. 
I now have a few 1/2 gallon batches of sours going in the hopes of getting some cultures going.
Russian River, Fantome, Jolly Pumpkin.
I also have 4 5 gallon batches of White labs, Wyeast, East Coast yeast sours fermenting.

Hot rod rye

The harvest ale is now on tap - pale ale made with rye and 8#s of hops.

Hot rod rye

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dry hopping Harvest Ale

I dry hopped the batch of harvest ale with 8 oz of hops I had frozen on harvest day.
I split the batch by pitching WLP001 and WLP007.
The batch is carbonating and will be on tap in a few days.

I'm back from my New Mexico trip. Unfortunetly, I didn't return with an elk. I did however have a great trip. Close encounters with a Pope and Young class elk and charged by a bear was the highlight of the trip.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jamison Harvest Ale and Elk

I picked 8 pounds of hops from the garden on Saturday and then brewed a harvest pale ale.
Cascade 3#
Chinook 2#
Columbus/Zeus/Tomahawk 2#
Centennial 1#

All 8 pounds went into a pale ale at 10,5,0, hopback. I saved .75# for dryhop (I freezed them).

It was hectic day picking and brewing and also packing for my New Mexico archery elk hunt.
Ran into a couple issues with a leak in the hop back and running out of ice for cooling but really no big deal. The recipe had a good amount of rye and I shot for a gravity of 1.057 to make it a more quaffable ipa.
I split the batch and pitched a decanted 1liter starter of WLP001 and WLP007.

Posting this on Wednesday night after a 800 mile commute - only another 1200 to New Mexico for my week long elk hunt.
I'm starting to get pumped up, but it won't hit me until I get there...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Big Devil - Belgian Strong Ale

Brewed a Belgian Strong Ale yesterday.
The Belgian Strong Ale was Pilsner malt (belgian and german) and 15% sugar, a little hallertau and magnum for bittering.

This beer should make many people happy on Christmas Eve.

Big Devil is a play on the famous Belgian Golden strong named Duvel.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fermenter experiment

Here's the completed write-up on the fermenter experiment. We'll see if it ends up in Zymurgy or on Brew Strong.

Does Fermenter Geometry Affect Beer Quality?

Author: Joe Dunleavy
July 2012

Does fermenter geometry affect beer quality? I make beer in different fermenters all the time and I often wonder if different flavor profiles occur with different fermenters. I’ve brewed long enough to have a collection of different vessels to ferment in: (conical, carboys, better bottles, buckets). I’ve even fermented in a stainless steel square. When I bought the conical I went with the fourteen-gallon capacity as opposed to the seven-gallon capacity. I bought the larger conical so I could ferment both five and ten gallon batches. I usually ferment five-gallon batches and wonder if the yeast acts differently than the ten-gallon batches. With the five-gallon batches the majority of the wort is located in the cone of the conical. Does the fermenter’s shape, size, pressure on yeast, affect the flavor profile? Can anyone really tell the difference between beers fermented in different vessels?

I listen to various podcasts and read every magazine and book I can find on brewing. I’ve read and heard various things about fermenter geometry affecting the flavor profile, but most of this material pertained to the commercial level. The research that I have reviewed on the homebrew level just had too many uncontrolled variables for me to feel comfortable with. Does the yeast in my small batch size act the same as in a large commercial vessel?

I reached out to some home brewing royalty in hopes of getting some information based on some of their comments I’ve heard over the years. I emailed Gordon Strong and Jamil Zainasheff hoping to get some feedback on my fermenter questions. I also mentioned an experiment I was thinking of performing regarding fermenting the same beer in different vessels. Gordon responded to my email and volunteered to evaluate my beers if I performed the experiment. Jamil stated he would review my experiment as well.  I then mentioned my experiment to a coworker named Mike Guth who just became a BJCP judge. Mike thought that some of his brew club members would be interested in my experiment, particularly David Houseman. Mike then asked David if he would like to review the beers as well. David said he was in.

All of a sudden, I had three top members of the home brewing scene to review my beer. I’m not a BJCP judge so I thought this was a great development, but I was a bit intimidated sending my beer out to reviewers of this caliber. I also knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Thank you to the reviewers for taking the time to review my experiment. I was amazed at your willingness to share your time and knowledge with another home brewer. Thank you for all each of you does for home brewing!

Here are the details on the fermenter experiment. Each batch was brewed and fermented in my brewery. The yeast I decided to perform the experiment on was a German Hefeweizen strain. I felt the German Hefeweizen strain would be a good candidate because yeast manufacturers document that the flavor profile can be altered. However, I haven’t seen anything documented about altering the flavor profile by changing the fermentation vessel.
My brewery capacity is not large enough to do this in one boil so I ended up brewing three different times on two different days. The two different days were a week apart and the weather on both brew days was about the same.
Brewery capacity mandated three separate batches and boils.

Here is each batch and a description of each fermentation vessel:
Batch 1 (D,E,B):       better bottle, carboy, and 1/2 conical
Batch 2 (A,F):            full conical, open ferment 4G
Batch 3 (C):               bucket
A – 9 gallons in a fourteen-gallon conical
B - 4.5 gallons in a 14-gallon conical
C - 4.5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon bucket
D - 4.5 gallons in 6-gallon Better Bottle
E - 4.5 gallons in a 6.5-gallon carboy
F - 3.75 gallons in a 4.5 gallon 6" deep open stainless steel pan - loosely covered with tinfoil during ferment and sealed with tinfoil as fermentation slowed.

The following parameters were the same:
·      grain sacks
·      grain percentages (50% German wheat, 50% German pilsner)
·      mash temperature rests(120,152,160,168) 
·      boil time (90min)
·      ibu level(13.4) - same hop batch from Hop Union 
·      carbon filtered water 
·      water treatment (calcium 91, magnesium 5, alkalinity as CAC03 30, sodium 20, chloride 98, sulfate 94), Residual alkalinity -38 - sulfate to chloride ratio balanced
·      oxygen level - 60 seconds of bottled oxygen
·      original gravities(1.046)
·      finishing gravities (1.012-1.013)

Each fermenter was sanitized with the same 5-gallon batch of an acid based sanitizer cycled between the fermenters. Each batch received one fresh package of German Hefeweizen yeast. The full conical received two fresh packages because it was twice the volume of the other batches. I normally would create a starter, but took that variable out of this experiment. This resulted in a slight under pitch of yeast, but I was more interested in the flavor profile differences than making the best Hefeweizen to style.

Each batch was pitched at 60 then held at 62 for a week in a fermentation chamber.  The temperature controller probe was against the conical cone insulated with bubble wrap. Each batch was fermented in the same fermentation chamber (a converted freezer). The yeast blew through fermentation in a few days. An interesting note is that krausen formed at different times between the fermenters with batch E starting a few hours before D or B. Batch A, F, C seem to krausen at the same time. After a week, the fermenter was moved out of temperature control into a room temperature environment and the yeast dropped out naturally. Then each batch was siphoned or transferred under CO2 to a CO2 purged keg and carbonated to approximately two volumes. Each batch was then bottled off the keg into new, washed and sanitized bottles. The bottles and bottling equipment were sanitized with an acid based sanitizer prior to each batch bottle fill.

My tasting notes:
I tasted these beers directly from the keg. I used coded cups without knowing which beer was which. I did a taste test at 38 degrees and did not pick up many differences between (A,B,D,E). C and F were different with F being the odd ball. I was sure that F was the open ferment. I then let the beers warm up 10 minutes and did a second taste test. 
This is when I could pick up the differences better.
Batch A (full conical): Clove, banana
Batch B (half conical): less clove and banana than A but fruitier, clearer
Batch C(bucket): dull, thin, slight puckering 
Batch D(better bottle): clove, banana, tastes a lot like A, clearer than others
Batch E(carboy): Balance of clove, banana, clearer than others, preferred
Batch F(open ferment): Huge fresh sour dough yeast, mouth puckering. This is a different beer than A-E - something got in this.
I then looked at the labels and tasted each beer again because I wanted to compare A and B, D and E, A and D. I preferred A over B - different flavors. I preferred E over D - close though. I preferred D over A - close though.
Batch C was thinner tasting than other beers - maybe oxygen pickup from bucket or something else. Batch F was like sticking my head into fermenting sour dough bread. Could this have been wild yeast?
My preferences were E, D, A, B, C, F.

Jamil Zainasheff tasting notes:
I would rank the beers in terms of fermentation quality: E B D A C F
E has a lighter fruity character and balancing clove. Some malt character and much better head form and retention. Clearly the best fermented of the bunch, but not necessarily a fantastic hefeweizen. I could drink a pint of this.
Others exhibited various forms of sulfur and acid (C F).
Some very high banana and juicy fruit character (B).
F was undrinkable, it was down right horrible. Acetone, sourness, and a fart stink.
C wasn't much better. It was sour and exhibited signs of skunkiness.

David Houseman tasting notes:
A - banana, clove, light, smokey
C - lager like, less banana and phenols, bright
B - bit less banana & phenols than A but more bitter and astringent
E - lemon, clove, not as much banana/ester as A & C. Medicinal, lemon rind 
D - dull, lemon, less banana clove, some coconut notes, oxidized
F - off, diacetyl, dms, fusels.

Gordon Strong tasting notes:
All styles had similar color (light gold) and clarity (some haze).
A: strong perfumy notes, noticeable banana. most intense of all the samples.  probably the cleanest/purest of flavors and strongest aromas. med-full body. clean flavor matching aroma (banana, spice/clove/pepper).  My clear favorite, 1st place.
B: moderate perfumy aroma, not totally clean -- slightly dirty/funky, hint of sour. medium body. moderate banana and spice with light solvent. 3rd place.
C: moderately low perfumy notes. Clean, just subtle. Over time, the aroma faded and became less clean; hmm.  Full body. Clean flavor, subtle, mild fruit and spice.  5th place (3rd place earlier before the aroma died).
D: moderately strong perfumy notes. clean, mostly banana with a hint of solvent. full body. mild fruit and spice, clean flavor similar to sample C. Finish has a touch of acidity/sharpness/alcohol, which gave it a slight bite that balanced the malt.  2nd place.
E: moderately low perfumy notes. Not totally clean -- a little dirty. Kind of like a bad homebrew hefeweizen (warm ferment).  Full body. Some increased phenol/solvent. Moderate banana. More spice than others. Slight acidity.  4th place.
F: low perfumy notes. quite neutral in the nose; not much aroma at all. medium-full body. a little snappy in the flavor -- green apple? moderate banana. had the most acidity. not too clean, sharper in finish, hint of vinegar? most unpleasant aftertaste.  My clear bottom, 6th place.
So the 1st and 6th places were pretty obvious to me, while the other ones could easily move up or down relative to each other depending on the moment. The overall intensity of the aroma varied quite a bit.  Surprisingly, the body seemed to have some differences as well.   Also saw the acidity change between samples.  
I thought E had the highest phenols, and F had the most issues. I focused on the differences since there were very many similarities.
Note: Gordon tasted the sample 4 weeks after everyone else.

Preference comparison:
David:             A, C, B, E, D, F
Gordon:         A, D, B, E, C, F
Jamil:             E, B, D, A, C, F
Joe :               E, D, A, B, C, F

I was surprised with the results. I expected all the reviewers to pick the same first and last beer, but that did not occur. My expectations were that the full and half conical would taste the same, they didn’t. I expected the similar shaped vessels (carboy, Better Bottle, bucket) to produce the same flavor profile, they didn’t. Each flavor profile was similar across batches, but they were differences in each one. It was kind of like attending a family picnic; you know you’re all related but each one is different in their own special way.

So what does all this mean to me? It was clear to me that beers do differ when fermented in different vessels.  I now can utilize fermenter shape as a variable during fermentation to work towards a particular flavor profile. This experiment has also opened up a few new questions for me. This experiment was performed with a Hefeweizen strain and it performed differently between the fermenters. Can other saccharomyces yeast strains be manipulated to alter the flavor profile? Does brettanomyces produce different flavor profiles when fermented in different vessels? How do bacteria (pediococcus, malolactic, and lactobacillus) behave in different vessels? How does your favorite yeast behave when different fermentation vessels are used? I would suggest conducting your own experiment with your favorite yeast and see where it takes you. You might be surprised with the results as well!

Little Devil - Belgian Pale Ale

 I brewed a Belgian Pale on Saturday. Pilsner malt, a little aromatic, and a little caravienne, and WLP870. I plan on making a Belgian golden strong (Duvel) on the repitch with this yeast.
So the pale ale will be a little devil, the golden strong will be the big devil. If I get some fermenter space    I may just make a wild devil...

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises and the Pale Knight too...

The family is out of town this weekend so I decided I would brew tonight after work. I decided to do one mash and split the runnings out into two worts. The first wort would be an IPA and then second wort would be a black ipa. I drained the mash into the boil kettle and took a hydrometer reading to confirm I met my numbers - I did. I then washed the mash tun and stirred the boil kettle volume to make sure the wort was uniform. I then drained half the boil kettle to the mash kettle and started the first boil in the first kettle. I then steeped the dark grains in the second kettle until the first kettle came up to boil. I then started the heat on the second kettle. This gave me about 20 minutes between each kettle to get the first batch chilled. I used my counterflow chiller for each batch and capped the output between batches.
Each batch went fine and made to the fermenter with no issues. I took a hydrometer reading for each batch and the ipa came in a little low. I must have not mixed the mash runnings enough to get the same original gravity.

I used all late hops (hop bursting) for this brew day.

I used first runnings only for this brew day.

I'm also finishing up writing up my fermenter experiment - stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Apollo - sun god

Apollo - Greek god of the sun.

I love to drink a nice hoppy pale ale on a sunny summer day. Apollo is a hop that I have never used so I fixed that today. I made a pale ale with all late hops - that is the hops were added at the flameout. I then whirlpooled and added some more hops where I started to chill.
Into to fermenter @ 1.046, so it should make a nice session beer in 5 weeks.

Still waiting on one more review for the Hefeweizen experiment...

June 30.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

English or Scottish Pale Ale

The last grain order I placed I picked up a sack of Thomas Faucet Golden Promise malt in addition to the regular Thomas Faucet Maris Otter. I decided to do a double brew day yesterday and made the same Pale Ale but one mash would have the Maris Otter and the other would have Golden Promise.
I then split each one of those batches and pitched two different yeast - the normal WLP002 (Fuller strain) and WLP023 (Burton).  Based on previous experiments (Hefeweizen) I could end up with four different beers. Brew day was uneventful, just long...

While the first beer was chilling and the second beer was mashing, I ran out to get some ice so I could chill the second beer. I went to Wegman's to pick up ice, a couple Tritip roasts and then (wth) I grabbed a couple size packs. I have over 50 gallons a beer in the garage and none ready to drink. The first six pack was a Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA and the other was Acme IPA. Firestone is a great beer and I had to get the Acme because of the label.
Still waiting on one review or the Hefeweizen and I'll publish the results.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fermenter experiment

I received feedback from Jamil Zainasheff and David Houseman on the Hefeweizen fermenter experiment. I'm waiting on Gordon Strong and I'll write everything up.
Jamil suggested a Brewstrong episode and Gordon suggested I write an article for  Zymurgy on the subject.

I'll write everything up and copy everyone and see if they think it has merit.

Blitzkrieg Mild - Father's Day

 I woke up early to brew on Father's Day. The goal was to brew a nice little mild, add some invert sugar late in the boil, and a ton of Fuggle hops late in the boil.
I set up the night before so all I had to do was wake up, heat water and mash.
Sounds like the best laid plans right?

The mash went fine as well as the boil. I decided to use my hop rocket in a new configuration - before the pump instead of after the pump - aka Tasty McDole style.  I used the hop rocket so I would be chilling with the counterflow chiller instead of the immersion chiller. Since the ground water was hot I decided to pump ice water through the chiller instead of just using the hose. Here's where things started to go wrong. 
First, I had the wrong fitting on the counterflow chiller and had to use the hose instead of the ice water.
Then I couldn't get the pump primed, then wort starts leaking  out one of the hoses. I fix the leak, and get the pump primed but spill boiling wort on my hand. The pickup tube in the kettle must have been moved so I left 1.5 gallons in the kettle. At this point I just want to get the beer in the fermenter because my parents are coming over for dinner.  Wort in the fermenter and I start to aerate the wort then my diffusion stone drops in the conical.
Ok, this batch is just a mess.
Blitzkrieg Mild seems like an appropriate name for this beer.

I checked the conical in the morning and I something ia fermenting.

I checked the conical tonight - day 2 of fermenting and the beer is @ 1.012. I can taste the invert sugar but the beer tastes a bit thin. I had amber malt in this recipe along with crystal, dark crystal, invert and maris otter. 
The process making this mild may have been a mess, but I like where this recipe could go.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rain, Thunder, Lightning and SMOKE

Today was the second half of my brewday that was interrupted by rain yesterday.
I woke up to light rain and an ominous sky. My plan was to smoke a pork shoulder and brew a smoked lager. I made a tinfoil hat for the grill vents to keep the rain out of the smoker and then dragged the patio table and umbrella over the brewery.  The rain started and stopped, then the lightning and thunder started.  I took a break and headed inside. Thunder, lightning, and rain then subsided and I was able to complete my brewday without issue. The smoker ran a little hotter than I like but the pork shoulder still came out okay.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Redhead Lager

Today's brewday was a very hot day - humid and very sunny.  I was planning on brewing two brews today but I ended up getting a late start and only was able to get one in because mother nature didn't cooperate. So it looks like I'll be brewing again tomorrow.
I ended up brewing a German lager and used Carared. Carared is a malt from Weyermann that I have never brewed with before. 

Tomorrow is another lager but I'll be using  30% smoked malt in the grist.

But today was a red headed lager...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hefeweizen - part 2 and part 3


Here's this weeks brew:

50% German Wheat
50% German Pils

12 gallon batch of Hefeweizen split 2 ways at the fermentor.
All pitched with 1 and 2 smack pack of 3068 and O2 for 60 seconds.

Then brewed another batch - 6 gallon batch  of Hefeweizen.

4 gallons - open ferment
9 gallons - conical
4 gallons - bucket

Just finishing up a long day. Brewed two batches and kegged the last three batches, also made some brats, burgers, and a chicken on the grill.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hefeweizen and Fermentors:

I want to brew the same beer and ferment it with 6 different fermentations to see if there is a difference.
6.5G carboy
6G better bottle
half 14G conical
full 14G conical
open shallow square ferment
6G bucket

Here's this weeks brew:

50% German Wheat
50% German Pils

12 gallon batch of Hefeweizen split 3 ways at the fermentor.
All pitched with 1 smack pack of 3068 and O2 for 60 seconds.

4 gallons - 6.5g carboy
4 gallons - 6g better bottle
4 gallons - 14g conical

Thursday, April 19, 2012

NY, NY for the day

I was in NYC for the day for work - Amazon Cloud Summit. Good stuff, if only I could get the company to invest it. But I digress, this blog is about beer.
On the way back to Penn Station, I was able to stop for a pint or two.
I stopped at Stout on 33st. Bunch of kids, had a lot of beers on tap but nothing really interesting for me.
Wait a tick, is that Brooklyn Lager I see on tap? I just happened to have a hoppy lager fermenting at home.
Ah, just what I needed after a long day, a refreshing beer with noble hops in the finish, I liked it., and I hope my latestlager turns out as good. Like I said Stout - too many kids for me,  so I move on to Penn Station. Wait, I have a few minutes to spare and I'm hungry. I decided to stop at Rattle and Hum. Decent tap list, friendly bartender  and decent food. I order a Bear Republic Black Racer - cause Racer 5 is one of my favorites - cause Speed Racer is the best. 8 oz. Black Racer on cask - small ipa and to be honest small flavor.  Sampled (1oz) of Bear Republic IPA (Apollo, Delta) - Delta no flavor , Apollo I think I picked up some hops. I'm making an Apollo pale ale in a few weeks, I can't believe this hop was tame - these beers must have been old. I order a pint of Bear Republic XP pale ale. Little bit of grapefruit, but I must be spoiled with the low alcohol pale ale hop bombs I've been brewing. Ordered 2 chicken sliders and they were tasty, a bit hot, and tiny. I'd go back to Rattle and Hum, nice little beer bar.
Off to the train, I make the  express with 15 minutes to spare. As I was waiting in Penn Station, I thought to myself, I could have stopped at another place and tried another beer. Oh well, work tomorrow and then off to Vegas for the week for work.
I'm sure I'll be stopping at Vegas Gordon Biersch for a Hefeweizen on Saturday. That should get me in the mood for my Hefeweizen yeast experiment the following weekend.

Go Flyers!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Czech Please

Brewday - For something different, I decided to fly sparge today's beer. About half way through  I remember why I don't fly sparge on my system. I have a hard time maintaining the temperature in the mash tun.  I bailed half way through and batch sparged. I ended up getting more than I needed for my initial volume. To remedy,  I boiled longer before I added my first hop charge. I'm going to try to fly sparge again when it's a little warmer.

My next two brewdays will be dedicated to my yeast experiment regarding German Hefeweizen. I need to stick to my repeatable process for those two sessions.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Czech Pils

I decided I'm going to brew this weekend. I need a nice Pils for summer time visitors, but something with some hops.

Czech Please
Pils mat, handful of carapils, handful of carafoa, lots of Satz hops.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No "bittering hops" Citra Pale Ale

I just tapped my Citra Pale Ale. This is the first time using Citra hops as well as using a technique where no bittering hops and all hops are added at flameout. The wort is then whirlpooled for 20-60 minutes.
I used 56 grams at 0 minutes and then a whirlpool for 30 minutes. After the wort had completed fermenting it was dry hopped for 7 days on 28 grams of Citra.
Impressions -
No DMS - the extended whirlpool did not produce any DMS precursors.
The Citra hop has  similiar characteristics to Summit (high myrcene level issues- citrus, onion). I must be sensitive to these characteristics as I picked them up inititally, but as the beer conditioned they faded.
Beer had enough bitterness to carry the malt, but was not bitter and was very smooth - I like the 0 minute technique.
I would use Citra again but would blend with another hop - maybe something piney to go with this hop.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Masters

This week is one of my favorite 4 days of golf - The Masters.

My son is a high school junior and a decent golf player in his own right.  We both enjoy watching the show in Augusta, GA. I talked to a Division 1 golf coach today (think blue and white) about how to help my son pick a school and get schools interested in him. It was quite an eye opener on how much work it is to get things lined up.

Anyway back to the Masters - who's going to win?

History of Dunleavy Brewing

Reading my favorite blog "Shut up about Barkley Perkins" I wondered if there was ever a Dunleavy Breweries in Ireland or England  in the past. Well, I did some research and the answer is....


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Citra Pale Ale

After 7 days of dry hopping my first"hop bursted" pale ale was off to crash.
Citra hops used in hop bursting - 30 ibus target and then 1 oz of Citra dry hop.
We'll find out how it tastes some time next week.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lady Luck Amber

Lady Luck Amber
Pale Malt
Munich malt
English Crystal
Midnight Wheat
No bittering hops
0 minute hops - 40 minute whirlpool - 50g amarilo - 50 g palisade 

2nd Hop bursting beer.
Hop bursting is technique published by Jamil Zainasheff
I emailed Jamil about an entry in Ron Pattinson's blog (Shut up Barkley Perkins) where Ron documents this technique done in the 1700's.
It was something new in the craft and homebrew scene, but it turns out it was done a long time ago.

The Czar's revenge

Russian Imperial Stout
Maris Otter Pale Malt 15#
Roasted Barley 1.5#
Chocolate Malt .5#
Pale Chocolate Malt .5#
Caramunich III .5#
Special B 1#
Sucrose 1#
Molasses .5#
Loads of hops - Northern Brewer, Fuggle, Glacier, EKG
Harvested WLP001 yeast - ptiched at 60 - temp control at 65.
This brew is for my youngest brother John who loves the RIS style.

Brewday - Started Friday night after work - finished up around midnight on 3/30/12.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blog Kickoff

The purpose of this blog is track the brewing of Lady Luck Brewing in Jamison, PA.