Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lambic December 2014

New Years Eve 2014
I brewed a lambic with the traditional ingredients (barley, raw wheat),  multiple mash steps (120,150,160,170) and a three hour boil.
What a long day.
When using 40% raw wheat there are some unusual looking proteins left in the kettle.
Snot is the word that comes to mind.

The wort going into the fermentors was very clear, so there must be something about the multiple mash steps, long boil or the raw wheat.

I brewed to get a higher OG because I am adding boiled water to the fermentors to get my desired volume.
I split the wort going into the fermentors three ways.
I pitched a 2 year old batch of wort built up from Cantillon dregs.
I pitched a 2 year old batch of wort built up from Jolly Pumpkin dregs.
I pitched a 1 week old batch of wort built up from The Yeast Bay Farmhouse Sour.

Target tasting date: 12/31/2015

Happy New Years everyone.

Whitbread Mild -X - 1890 - 12/14

This is mild from 1890 by the brewery Whitbread. Most would think mild is a low abv beer, but not back in 1890. This beer is hopped like a ipa/double ipa and has an OG of 1.060. My OG came out to 1.066, so I'll add boiled water to dilute the batch down to 1.060. I'll split the batch and then dry hop it with different hops.
This beer has 2# of invert #2 sugar so I should get those sugar notes I like.
I subbed Belma for Cluster.
I subbed EKG for Fuggle because I'm not about Fuggles.
I also used WLP013 instead of Whitbread yeast.
Normal brew day.

Stout - Batch 200 - December

My 200th batch of beer since I started brewing.
I brewed a regular Irish Dry Stout in memory of Guinness. Guinness was our chocolate lab that we lost this year after 14 1/2 great years.
Normal brew day - I used 4# of roasted barley at mash out. I'm still trying to get the level of roast I like.
Here's Guinness enjoying some ice cream on his 14th birthday:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Truman Burton 4 1877 Tasting Notes

Truman Burton 4, is it a Strong Ale, English IPA, Barley Wine?
What is this beer, it's a Burton.

An 1877 recipe for Burton 4 from a brewery named Truman.
101 IBU of American bittering hops, 5 ounce of EKG at 30 minutes. 100% Maris Otter
7% ABV - 7 SRM.

Beer served on beer engine.
Chewy malt, firm bitterness but not overpowering. Hint of alcohol, some fruit, and warming alcohol finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, almost silky. With all the hops I was expecting this to be a hop bomb. This is actually quite restrained for a 139 calculated ibu beer. Overall, an easy drinking 7% pale ale.

If I was a brewer at Burton in 1877, I would have this on the beer cask in the cellar at home.

I may have to pitch some brettanomyces into a gallon and let it age. Brewing in 2014 is a lot more sanitary than in 1877.

Tasting notes at 2.5 months from brew day.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Noakes X 1915 - Tasting notes

Noakes brewery - Beer called X from 1915
Oh, this is good.
Caramel, toasty, like eating a Crisp bar without the chocolate.
Or Twix bar for us 'Merican's.

This is what invert sugar 3# tastes like. - it has 2.5# in 5 gallon batch.
I split this batch 50/50 and pitched two different White lab strains:
013 - Worthington White Shield
007 - Whitbread Dry - Less caramel comes through. I have seen color differences with yeast before, but this seems to be more than that. My caramel addition may have been more in this keg

Yep, someone is going to be pounding this on Christmas Eve - especially at 4%.
I'll drink the 007 batch - 013 is a better.

I've tried both Whitbread strains in multiple beers. Whitbread dry is better than Whitbread but I just like other strains better.

Note: Tasting notes are 60 days from brew day.



Fra-gi-le (it must be Italian) 12/12

Christmas is right around the corner. My family and friends come over Christmas Eve for the feast of the Seven fishes and hopefully to enjoy some beer. On Christmas Day one of my favorite movies loops on cable. A Christmas Story

The name of this beer is what the old man when he's reading the box for his "major award".
Gets me every time.

Anyway... This beer is a stout brewed with 1.25# of invert sugar #4 added to make things interesting.
Normal brew day - no sparge for low gravity beer.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Can You Brew it?

I decided to brew a beer from The Brewing Network's Jamil Show/Can You Brew it.
Uinta Wyld Pale Ale
2 row, munich, Carapils, C20. The thing is it has the largest amount of Carapils (11%) I have every used in a recipe. Amarillo for bittering, and loads of Simcoe for aroma - Kolsch yeast.
This should be the last beer brewed for the family Christmas Eve get together.

I also used my hop back (2 oz of simcoe) and plate chiller for this batch. I tried a new procedure for sanitizing the chiller and hop back. Run the wort through both when it first boils.

I strayed from the recipe a bit. I added a hopback addition of 2 oz. I also double dry hopped.
I think Tasty would approve.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day of the Dead - Evil vs. Good

Day of the Dead is All souls Day. I remember being a kid and being drug to church on this day or being lucky enough to pull alter boy service.
I didn't want to be at church after a night of Trick or Treating!

So something that plays on both.
Started with a Kolsch base, added a little caramunich, light munich, and then (oats, wheat, rye).
Fermented with Kolsch yeast that was way past it's expiration date that I revived with a starter.
Plan to ferment out split three ways and pitch a different Brett strain to each one.
Then a trinty of Bret Melange, Bret Anonomolous, Bret Brux Trois.

To recap we have the Zombie yeast and then the Trinity of Bret to finish it off.

Truman Burton 4 1877 10/2014

Truman Burton brewery - recipe from 1877 - is a strong ale made for keeping.
This one comes in over 7% and with American bittering hops and East Kent Golding hops for flavor.
Brew Notes: New 3 roller mill - low conversion due to incorrect gap.

Noakes X 1915 - 9/2014

Noakes X was a English Mild recipe from 1915.
Pale Malt, Crystal, Touch of Black malt, and loads of Invert #3.
5% Mild
First Use of Brambling Cross hop.
Brew notes: Having issues with grain mill - going to replace.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

BP Barkley Perkins BS Brown Stout 1887 Old School Stout 9/14

The second in a series of old school brews from Ron Pattison's "Shut Up about Barkley Perkins" newest book.
The stout from the Barkley Perkins brewery is a recipe brewed in 1887.
Crystal, black malt, brown malt, amber, pale malt, and invert sugar #3. EKG
WLP007 - Whitbred dry 
OG: 1.071

A no problem brew day. Pitched at 58 and let rise to 70.
It's raging after 12 hours.

Taste Notes:Future

Back to school Harvest Pale Ale 8/2014

Well I brought the oldest back to college/university this weekend. I squeezed in a brew late night with the hops I harvested 7 days ago.

14g Warrior 
Whirlpool hops:
36G Centennial
81G Cascade
72G Chinook
40G Columbus

Dry Hops:
81G Cascade
72G Chinook

Taste notes:
Huge juicy fruit flavor.

Friday, August 8, 2014

BP Barkley Perkins HHD 1886 - Old School Porter - 8/14

Porter recipe from Ron Pattison's "Shut Up about Barkley Perkins" newest book.
The porter is from the Barkley Perkins brewery is a recipe brewed in 1886.
Crystal, black malt, brown malt, amber, pale malt, and invert sugar #3. EKG
WLP007 - Whitbred dry - May be one of my favorite English yeast strains.
OG: 1.054
Fall is coming, so that means the beer engine will be back in play before you know it. Time to start building up the pipeline.

I had a new home brewer come over to see how an all grain brew day goes. I think he picked up a few things he can use.  I sent him home with 5.25 gallons of yeast pitched wort.

I overshot my mash temp after 15 minutes. I explained stuff happens during brew day and it's good to know how to recover.
I forgot to turn my HERMS pump on and my mash reached 170 degrees before I noticed.
I added cold water to drop the temp and added a few handfuls of freshly ground 2 row to help the conversion. I still came out a few points low and just boiled a little longer to get to my target gravity.

The gravity reading wort sample tasted really good, so a decent porter is a few weeks away.

This is the first of a series of old school recipes from each "style" listed in Ron's book. I shooting for something around 1886.
Pale Ale
Little Bitter

This finished at 1.029 and according to the brewing log records at BP it should have finished at 1.014. After primary I split the batch and added some active lager yeast. This batch dropped to 1.026.
I wasn't sure if the high amount of crystal or if my mash error caused this.
So I rebrewed the same recipe and mashed at 149.
This batch finished at 1.024.
So the high amount of crystal prevents this recipe from finishing at 1.014.
The only way this could have finished this low was if there was some brett in the original strain used at the brewery in 1886.
I have a bunch of bret strains in the yeast bank so I may pitch some brett.

Swartzbier -Swartz - 8/2014

You have the ring. And I see that your Schwartz is as big as mine. Now, let's see how well you handle it.
Who doesn't love Spaceballs and a good Swartzbier.

Under 5% ABV, a little roast, a lithe dark,
Hops - German Spalt.
A little Black Prinz malt for Annikin.

White labs 830 - Weihenstephan 34/70 - My go to lager yeast.
OG - 1.045 
FG - 1.009

Beer for football season.

Bavarian Pilsner - German Hull Melon - 7/2014

Hoppy German Pilsner - New German hop - Hull Melon

No sparge mash to get best malt flavor.
28G German Hull Melon - First wort hopping for smooth bitterness.
56G German Hull Melon - 10 minute whirlpool prior to chilling.

White labs 830 - Weihenstephan 34/70 - My go to lager yeast.
OG - 1.042 
FG - 1.009

Low alcohol hoppy pils for summer. 
Hop is supposed to have melon/strawberry flavor.
Taste notes:
I don't get strawberry but I do pick up some melon. Nice mellow beer, hop is fine nothing special to note.

2014 garden

Sweet corn is pretty tall.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FIFA Stout 6/28/2014

The world cup has been a lot of fun to watch this year. Hopefully the USA can last a little longer next time.

Tropical breweries seem to use Lager yeast when making their stouts, so I'm making a stout with lager yeast.

2 row, flaked barley, roasted barley, a little rye, EKG, and WLP830.

This is a keeper recipe for a stout.

Blueberry wine 07/04/2014

4# blueberries
.75 oz Citric acid
2.25# sugar
3.75 Liters of water
4 G Go ferm
Lavlin RC 212
4 G Fermaid K

Boonesfarm ?

2014 Garden - Pollinator friendly

I've seen more honey bees this year than I have for a long time.


Butterfly garden

Butterfly garden



Honeycrisp Apple

Hops, Figs, vegetables


Corn, cucs, cardoon

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mandarian Bavarian Pilsner 06/21/14 - update 8/8/14

Floor Malted Weyermann Pilsner
Mandarian Bavarian Hops
Hop blasting

I am looking forward to when this is done fermenting and conditioning.

Update: This is nice. Hops have a little citrus fruit going on. I would double aroma hop next time.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Drie Pale Ale 06/07/2014

I picked up a vial of WLP644 - 3 Fonteinen Brett strain.

I woke up early today and made a pale ale and pitched a 5 day 1300 ml starter of WLP644.
Did a different kind of hopping for this one.
40g of Belma in the mash. I forgot to take the mash ph and didn't add any salts.
No bittering.
56g of Cascade and 56g of Simcoe in the whirlpool for 10 minutes.
Pitched at 70.

Yesterday was the anniversary of D-Day. God bless all of those that sacrificed to make the world a better place. Rest in peace Uncle John.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Little Joe's Pale Ale 03/29/14

I woke up early this morning, I just couldn't go back to sleep. So I came downstairs at 4:30 am and started to fill the hot liquor tank.  By 6:00 am, I was mashing in, eating breakfast, and had some bread dough rising. I decided to make some "Easter style" bread.

Back to the pale ale.
I went with a grist of 41% American 2 row,  46% English Optic malt, 7% white wheat and 6% carafoam.
I hop bursted with 40 grams of Simcoe and 40 grams of Columbus for 15 minutes.
Mash ph was 5.25 with 4G gypsum added.
I stopped sparging when I hit a PH of 5.57 and OG was 1.008.
Yeast was 3rd generation WLP007 - pitched at 64 degrees.
"My nickname"

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The beer engine yeast experiment - 1917 Whitbread X (updated 4/28/14)

I enjoy reading Michael Dawson's "The Beer Engine Blog" as well as Ron Pattinson's "Shut up about Barkley Perkins".

Michael was talking about the effect of head pressure and space during fermentation.  He referenced research I performed on fermenter geometry in his writing. He suggested a few readers submit their results regarding fermentations. I agree to submit my findings.
I brewed a English Mild from Ron's blog - 1917 Whitbread X.
OG 1.045
Lots of different base malts, English hops, American Hops, invert sugar.
I brewed a 7 gallon batch and split it between two vessels.
1 6 gallon glass carboy with 3.5 gallons topped with an airlock, and 3.5 gallons in a 5.5 gallon stainless steel square topped with tin foil. I'll skim the excess yeast in the square during fermentation.
WLP007 - Wyeast 1098
Temperature - 63 degrees.

I was going to use Wyeast 1099 but that strain is a little too blah for me. This X has a lot of hops and I want those hops to come through, so I used the 1098 strain.

I also used a PH meter for the first time in this brew. I have used the good strips before, but after reading the Water book I decided I wanted to take advantage of the knowledge.
Check ph in mash with ph meter.
5.71 no salts - 3.5gallons water.
5.45 - 1g gysum, 1g calcium chloride
5.34 - 1g gysum, 1g calcium chloride
Sparged to 2Brix - 1.008. PH of mash was 5.81 when I stopped sparging.
End of boil ph was 5.64.
Might try acidify sparge water to try to control my ph better or maybe collect less wort.

This brew was also the first time I used my newly design false bottom. I used a combination of whole leaf hops and pellet hops. This false bottom worked well. I had a few seeds get by the bottom and into the pump but overall was pleased with the outcome. It's like my old kettles after the whirlpool and gives me more options on brew day.

These beers will be on my beer engine before you know it.

Update: I dirt skimmed the yeast after 24 hours in the square. There was a replacement krausen when I checked the square 4 hours later. I checked the square after 48 hours and the krausen is gone. There is a thin layer of yeast finishing up the fermentation.
The carboy still has a healthy krausen going.

Same beer, same volume, same yeast. The yeast was pitched by volume out of a measured flask.
The open ferment seems to be faster. I recovered the square with foil and will take a gravity reading of both when I transfer to cask.

Tasting notes.
I have both of these beers on a beer engine. I casked them each with 20g EKG, 80g corn sugar in boiled water, 1/2 packet gelatin in water 170F.
Open fermented beer finished at 1.009 and carboy finished at 1.010.
Open fermented beer is not as bright as carboy beer. The invert sugar comes across a little more in the  open ferment and the hops come out brighter in the carboy beer. However I would say in a blind taste test in would be hard to tell the difference between the two.

I would say wlp007 doesn't have much of a difference between open ferment and a carboy at fermentation temperature of 63 degrees.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Brewery update 03/12/2014

Added an option for the boil kettle. I had a false bottom fabricated and then altered it to fit my custom kettle. This will allow brewing with leaf hops without using mesh bags. It also allows me to use a immersion wort chiller in the kettle without having it lean it on the heating element.

The false bottom is perforated stainless steel not the Blichmann slotted false bottom. I used a grinder disk and flap wheel to get the bottom to fit the kettle and then used a step bit to make two holes for legs. The bottom rests on the kettle pickup tool nut, and then I built two stainless steel legs out of 3/8" threaded rod and four nuts.

I'll have to test out how it affects hop extraction, whirlpooling, and the overall brew day.

Cherry Wine - 03/12/2014

I used some of last year's frozen sour cherries to make a small batch of cherry wine.
8.5# cherries
2.5# white sugar 
3.5L boiled filtered water
2G Go-ferm
1G fermaid K after 24 hr, 1G after 3 days. 
1t pectic enzyme
.5t tannin
Lavlin ec-1118

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Penace Porter 03/02/2014

I was able to order a few vials of brettanomyces that haven't been available commercially before.
The supplier is a company called The Yeast Bay and they use White Labs for propagation.

I've been on a historical English beer kick lately. I decided to brew a porter with a nod to history and include some aged character via brettanomyces. I then split the batch three ways and pitched 150ml of regular saccharomyces (Whitbread 1099) and a vial of brettanomyces (brettanomyces beersel, brettanomyces brussels, brettanomyces lochristi).
The grist composed of a blend of two pale malts (optic, golden promise), american 6 row, rye malt, torrified wheat, Crystal 40, victory malt, pale chocolate malt and invert no. 4 sugar.
I have seen all of the malts (except the victory) in historical porter brewing logs. 
Bittering hops Belma, aroma hops Strisslespalt and East Kent Goldings.

After a long fermentation, each batch will be dry hopped with a small amount of Styrian Goldings.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Historical IPA - Whitbread 1923 02/21/2014

Here's a historical IPA I brewed tonight. I want to have a hoppy beer for the beer engine for March.
Lots of English Kent Goldings:
56 grams at 90, 60, 20 minutes. Then dry hopped with guess what? Of course, more EKG hops.
The  recipe from over at "Shut Up about Barkley Perkins".

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Post fermentation coloring with caramel

Commercial beer coloring (left side)
Blue Mountain Country food coloring (right side)
The srm or color isn't of interest  ( I used different size tinctures), this is a more a test to see if the coloring remains in solution or precipitates.
In water with an hour rest
Both water soluble

In beer with an hour rest.
The resulting compound for Blue Mountain Burnt Sugar is insoluble

And after another 1/2 hour.
insoluble precipitate

Something is making the Blue Mountain Burnt Sugar coloring precipitate out in beer. Uh, it looks like mud. The commercial coloring is still brilliantly clear.

I will perform the test with some home made caramel and update once I get a chance.

The base beer is a vienna lager about 5 srm.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Book review - Cellarmanship - O'Neil

Book review - Cellarmanship - O'Neil
Picked this up to learn about how to serve cask beer. Interesting view into the UK beer serving traditions. It's considered the bible for serving cask beer. I'm breaking some CAMRA rules but it's all good in the Jamison garage cellar.

Beer Engine at the Brewery

I picked this beer engine up this week and installed it tonight. It's mounted on the brew stand temporarily until I build a proper wood mounting box and setup refrigeration. Since the garage is in the 40 degrees we'll go with that for now. The casks are corny kegs with the dip tubes shortened about 1.5" and have a stainless mesh on the dip tube to prevent clogging. The casks are vented and then setup with a CO2 cask aspirator.

I just happen to have two cask condition beers to sample on the engine.
Both beers are historical recreations from the blog "Shut Up About Barkley Perkins".
1923 Courage Stout
1962 Fullers PA
Add caption

1923 Courage Stout with Sparkler

1962 Fullers PA with sparkler

1962 Fullers PA without sparkler

1923 Courage Stout without sparkler

After an hour the cask beer was very bright. I must not have moved them in place as gently as I thought I did. 

In the next few weeks, I'll build a proper stand for beer engine.