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.

Brewery Brewing update 02/07/2014

Was planning to brew tonight or tomorrow but the brewery's water source is frozen due to the ice storm. So no brewing until I can run the spigot.

I have another project in mind to keep me busy tonight after I finish up with work.
Hint below...

Brewery history

Here is history of the brewery and it's current status. I've been brewing since 2008 and I was reading a friends blog and it occurred to me I've done a lot of design work in the brewery. I wanted to capture it here.

System 1:
Kitchen with electric stove doing 5 gallon extract batch with 7.5 gallon pot. This lasted for 1 batch since the stove couldn’t produce enough heat to get a rolling boil.

System 2:
Outside turkey fryer doing 5 gallon extract batch with 7.5 gallon pot. This lasted 1 batch because I wanted to go all grain.

System 3:
Outside turkey fryer and a cooler mash tun to do all grain. Works ok. I wanted to be able to heat my mash tun and wanted a larger pot to prevent boilovers.

System 4:
Outside turkey fryer with converted kegs. Works better. Lifting heavy kegs with no pumps.

System 5:
Brutus clone without automation and with regular turkey fryer burners. I liked the single tier but the burners weren't great. This system lasts a while in this configuration. Brew outside in the weather. Wind affects boil off. Uses a lot of propane and temperature affect propane. Brutus was setup as a direct fire RIMS system. Then I converted the HLT and was able to use Brutus as HERMS system. HERMS was harder to control mash temperature due to the weather.

System 6:
I bought a used gravity top tier at a price I couldn't pass up. I liked the burners but I missed the pumps. This lasted one batch, then I modified the top tier to have 1 pump and built a control panel to control the pump. I liked the single tier setup better but the blichmann burners were really nice on this stand. Still brewing outside in the weather. Wind affects boil off. Uses a lot of propane and temperature affects propane. 
I used this system while I built the next stand.

System 7:
Electric Brutus: Modify Brutus setup to use electric instead of propane. Brutus runs as a HERMS system with Blichmann Boilermakers. I now brew in the garage out of the elements. I replaced the stainless elements that were showing rust after 9 months with a higher quality all stainless element. My control panel is attached to the stand via bolts, so I can remove from the stand if I want.  This is my current setup.

7.5 gallon aluminum pot - too small.
3 converted kegs with ss scrubie - kettle clogs. Heavy - volume losses.
3 converted kegs with center braided line - kettle clogs. Heavy - volume losses
3 converted kegs with center copper pickup and stainless perforated false bottom - works great unless you use copious amount of pellet hops. Heavy - volume losses
3 Morebeer pots with aluminum bottom and perforated false bottom. - Heavy - good pickups.
3 Blichmann boilermakers  - Nicest pot so far. Current setup.
Blichmann Hop blocker is kind of a pain to use but it filters well. But I can't use whole hops unless I bag them. Next test is to use a custom perforated false bottom above the kettle pickup tube. Not tested yet.

3/8" Copper immersion - tubing leaks, slow
1/2" Copper immersion -  hard connect - works good - turns dark and then shiny after using. Didn’t like the copper discoloration and stuff ending up in beer.
1/2" Stainless immersion - hard connect - works slower than copper but acceptable - easy to clean
1/2" copper counterflow - works good - pain to clean since it need to be recirculated to clean.
Blichmann Therminator - works good for ales, not good enough for lagers unless it's really cold out. pain to clean since it need to be recirculated to clean.
Pain to clean and maintain.
I actually prefer 1/2” stainless immersion chiller but I have counterflow and Therminator for different brews at times.

Batch sparge vs. fly sparge vs no sparge.
I find this argument all over the place when it comes to homebrewers and I don’t understand it. I used to batch sparge when I brewed outside because I couldn’t control the temperature when fly sparging.
I now fly sparge because I brew inside and can control temperature better. Sometimes I batch sparge when I don’t have a lot of time.  Sometimes I don’t sparge because I want a beer to taste a certain way.

I use glass carboys more than conical because I like smaller batches and usually pitch different yeasts.
I use 1 gallon jugs for cider experiments and for messing around with sour cultures.

As I replaced or upgraded components I sold the old components that I didn’t use anymore.

Electric Brutus Mashing
Electric Brutus Chilling

Electric Brutus Element Upgrade

Electric Brutus control panel
Electric Brutus control panel wiring
Serving: refrigerator

Conditioning: freezer with analog temp controller

Fermentation:freezer with two stage digital Love temperature controller

Fermentation: inside gfci outlets (1 on, 2 temp)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tap List Updated 03/29/2014

Tap 1 - Holy smoke, a Lenten Lager! Rauchbier - 5%

Tap 2 - Sneaky Mrs. Claus - Belgian Golden Strong - 7%

Tap 3 (Nitrogen) - Sledwrecker - Russian Imperial Stout aged on Merlot oak - 8%

Tap 4 - Cookie Monster's Beer - English Brown Ale brewed with Sweetzel Ginger Snaps- 5%

Tap 5 (Funky) - Thing Blue: Flanders Brown aged on Blueberries 2/2012 6%

Beer Engine (cask) - empty

Whitbread X 1917 (mild) open fermentation cask
Whitbread X 1917 (mild) closed fermentation cask
Little Joe's Pale Ale on cask