Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas !

Tap List:
Frosty the Bohemian - Bohemian Pilsner
Scrooged - English Brown Ale
Sledwrecker - Russian Imperial Stout aged on Merlot Oak cubes
Sneaky Mrs. Claus - Belgian Golden Strong
Thing Red - Flanders red aged on sour cherries
Raspberry Mead - Honey wine made with copious amounts of raspberries
German Eisbock - 3 year old freeze distilled German bock

Wine list:
Jamison Merlot - California grapes
Jamison Reisling - California grapes

Shrimp cocktail
Little hotdogs
Clams casino
Fried calamari
Fried shrimp - southern
Grilled Lime shrimp
Crab puffs
mushroom puffs
spinach puffs
Bacon wrapped scallops
Italian potato and tuna salad

Main course:
Grilled applewood Salmon
Puttanesca Bacalla
Pasta and anchovies
Crab ravioli's in lemon sauce

Sunday, June 9, 2013

APA, Jerky, Ribs, and Ribs 6/9/13

Brewed an APA today. Smoked some Venison jerky this morning. Did beef back ribs and beef shot ribs on the smoker tonight. I was a busy boy today....
The APA was 2 row, some munich, and some English C40. I went with a new hop called Belma for bittering and hit it with a combined 84 grams of Cacade, Centennial, Chinook at flameout.
Lots of citrus, almost smells like Citra going into the fermenter.

Update on the kettle elements. HLY is showing some surface rust at the base of the element. I'll hit it with some barkeepers friend and keep an eye on it. I may have to leave the kettle lids cracked during storage.

I did find some affordable stainless steel elements, but they dod not have a grounding screw. I would prefer to weld a fitting on the kettles and use the housing that has a grounding screw. I'll have to look into the kettle fittings.

and some BBQ ....
beef short ribs

beef back ribs 

Belgian Wit 5/26/13

One last beer for the picnic, a Belgian Wit. Used grapefruit, tangerine, naval orange zest.
This brew was pretty much to schedule. I do like the new brewery, it makes processes more consistent.
As long as I pay attention... I almost forgot to pitch the spices at flameout..

Kolsch - 5/18/13

Busy brewing to prepare for the June picnic. I brewed 10gallons of Kolsch tonight, it's a family favorite. I went with Tettnang hops for a special treat.

Update on the heating elements. The kettle element is started to some build up on the base, it looks like the rust isn't taking hold. The hlt still looks fine.

Redhed on the West Coast or was it Germany ? 5/10/13

Brewed a West Coast Red with load of Amarillo and HBC 342 hops tonight. I fly sparged and used the hop back.
I used 84 g Amarillo and 56g of HBC 342 (Mosiaic).
This beer should be a fruity hoppy beer.

Dooh! The plan was to use WLP022 yeast, but I grabbed the wrong harvested yeast and pitched WLP860. I didn't notice until I went into the garage and smelled Sulfur two days later.
It looks like WLP860 was very happy to ferment and 68 but did stress it out so it threw off sulfur.

At tasting this beer isn't bad at all. The lager yeast fermented fast, cleared fast, and didn't leave off flavors. It if did leave an off flavor it complements the fruityness of these hops.
Nothing left to do but Karrie on...

Stout 4/26/13

Did a Dry stout tonight for June picnic.
No sparge added roasted barley at mash out. I double crushed roasted barley - looks a little on the red side instead of black. Need to add more roast or add earlier in the mash.

APA 4/27/13

Brewed an APA tonight hop bursted with 96g Amarillo and 96g Simcoe.
With the kettle element I had to go back to hop bags for the boil.
Had my first boil over with the new setup. What a mess to clean up.
I'll have to keep the element at 65% when I get to 208.
This should be a blond hop bomb.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sour beer tasting - 5/6/13m (updated 6/8/13)

I have 6 five gallon batches of sours going - seemed like a good night for a tasting.
Sorry for the not so great tasting notes, I just wanted to capture something.
I like when fruit is added to a sour, it seems to kick them in gear...

Brew - brewdate - style - yeast - notes - fruit
Thing 1 - 2/12 - flanders red - Wyeast Roselare - good - sour cherries
Thing 2 - 2/12 -flanders red - White Labs sour mix - has that "taste" I don't care for - sour cherries
Thing Red - 6/12 - flanders red - ecy flanders - good - sour cherries
Thing Blue - 6/12 - saison - ecy with bret - Ugh nail polish - ?
Consecration  - 12/12 - russian river dregs/roselare - ok -i get alcohol - currants from morebeer
Bug Farm V1 - ecy - really good - currants from farm

All these sours are in 6 gallon better bottles filled to about 5 gallons. It seems the beers that have some kind of pellicle (not the brett saison) can handle the headspace. The Brett saison is like nail polish. I got this in a wine I did a few years ago that had a lot of headspace as well. I'm thinking the pellicle beers (the pellicle protect against oxygen) must be consuming that oxygen in the headspace. This is the first these beers have had the stopper removed, so they shouldn't have oxygen in the headspace. Something happened to the Brett Saison - maybe the airlock got low and let oxygen in.

I'm going to dump the Brett Saison, it's a nail polish bomb. 11 months aged - this brett took over or I got a dry airlock. It's a split ferment with thing red and fermented side by side. The ecy flanders is nice and the ecy saison with brett is bad. I'll should have tasted the ecy saison. I think I'll have to go back to kegging my bret beers and topping them with C02.

I'm going to pitch the fruit listed above in a week or two on everything but the brett saison.
We'll see them in 6 months... I'll serve one Christmas Eve...

Update 6/8/13
Brett Saison dumped...

I pitched 2# of sour cherries on thing1, thing2, thing red.
I pitched 2# of black currants on Bug FARM V1.

Next brew - Bo Pils

Lets see if I can taste any of flavors with the electric element in the kettle.
I brewed a single infusion Bo pils with Weyermann Pils and lots of saaz.
Something delicate to check eveyrthing out.
I worked out the process issues from the first brew.
Brewday was smooth and I did my normal cleaning procedures.
Next morning found a problem, a little rust on the element.
New process - no overnight soaking with PBW in the brew kettle.
Got all the rust off the element base and we'll keep an eye on the element for the next brew.

First brew on the new system

My chocolate lab Guinness is getting up in age. My mojo that hangs on every brew system I've built is a small a keg of Guinness. So guess what I'm brewing first... Irish Dry stout.
First brew was really nice. I  over shot my mash temps with the new system, but that's a process change. I found a problem with the HLT controller. I did a no sparge since that's what I like to do on low gravity brews.
First brew in the garage - I need a longer hose and a shut off valve. I was a little nervous dropping a whirlpool chiller in an electric boil kettle, but it was fine.
Overall I like the new system, I'll have to work out the kinks.
Cheers Guinness...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Kolsch 1/5/2013

I decided to brew a Kolsch but I really wanted an American Pale Ale as well.
So I did a mash for a 10 gallon batch, made a Kolsch starter for 10 gallons.
Then I split the mash runnings and hopped one as a Kolsch and one a Pale Ale.
The grain bill was 85% Pils, 10% wheat, 5% sauer malt.
I then hopped the Kolsch with a traditional 60 minute noble hop and then hop blasted the pale ale with 8 oz of Simcoe/Amarillo tossed at flameout.

The Kolsch was a normal Kolsch.
The Pale Ale had great aroma but took 5 weeks to clear. The sulfur for the yeast was gone after 2 weeks lagering. Hop blasting is a technique I really like for hoppy beers.

Bottom line the Kolsch yeast is a fine yeast for American Pale Ales.

Brewery Under Construction 2/16/13

I've been building another brewery system, so not much has been posted over the last month.

I had to brew something with the Mrs. out of town this weekend, so I whipped something up Saturday morning.

More to come tomorrow.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cask Ale, Bangers, fish & chips 1/26/13

Brought the boy down to the Dandelion in Philadelphia for lunch.
I had Fish and chips and Joe had his first bangers and mash.
I had a cask bitter from Sly fox and a Yards IPA.
All were good.
I think the kid may like proper English food.