Archive for the ‘Brewing in General’ Category

Long Time Away

Nov 28, 2012

It’s been awhile.  I did not brew for nearly a year, so there was not much to say.  And when you are away from something for awhile, it gets easier to stay away.

I did a marathon brew week last week.  Well, a marathon of two brews in two days.  I was sore.  I probably should have stretched first.

I made a holiday-spiced pale ale and an Irish stout.  I’ll try to post pics later.

 

The Adequate Brewer

Summer Blues

Jul 12, 2010

Just like my last post, I have the blues.  Only now it’s the middle of summer.  The beer closet is all but empty.  I brewed a summer beer and an IPA around March and I am down to just a few bottles of each.  I still have several Old Ales, Imperial Stouts, and three or four of the Number 8 aging.  I brewed a summer Saison a month ago and I have yet to bottle it.  I know, the adequate brewer has turned into the lazy and depressed brewer.

The summer beer from March was an interesting brew and one that I really am proud of because I made up the recipe once again, and once again it is good.  I used flaked wheat, oats, barley, and corn as steeping grains and all my fermentables came from extract.  The flaked grains came out of the steep looking like gruel and smelled like they would be good with a little salt and butter.  The resulting beer is super-hazy, highly carbonated, and light, much like a Belgian Wit.  I used the Wyeast French Saison yeast and gave it plenty of sugar for carbonation.  While bottling it, I started thinking of what to call it and the words Gruel Summer came to mind in the form of the song Cruel Summer by Bananarama.  Yep, that tells my age right there.  I laugh every time I think of it.

The IPA that I made in March is dark and hoppy.  I wanted to make a dark-colored IPA and little did I know at the time that the Cascadian Dark Ale or whatever they are calling this “new” style would be all the rage.  I haven’t followed many of the brewing podcasts or publications lately.  I mentioned that I am now the lazy and depressed brewer, right?  Anyway, the dark IPA idea worked great in theory, but the resulting beer is not all that good.  I used all extract, as it was too cold out and I was just plain lazy by not at least doing a partial mash.  I used a whole bunch of hops that I don’t remember and the Safale US-05 yeast.  The beer is darker than most IPAs and quite bitter with a good hop aroma, but overall it’s just not that good.  I’ve drunk most of them, but that’s typical and not indicative of flavor in my house.

So okay, I have boo-hooed enough for today.  I’ll try to post more… when I brew more.

The Adequate Lazy and Depressed Brewer

Winter Blues

Jan 13, 2010

I’ve got the winter blues.  The holidays are over, I’m back to work and school, and it’s been below freezing here for a couple of weeks now so I just don’t feel like brewing.  The trouble is that I am running a bit low on home brew.  I have plenty of beers aging and a few styles ready to drink, but I just get nervous when I can walk several feet into the beer closet.  It’s usually packed full.

I have a plan for a dry stout with cherries that I am going to brew as a partial mash so I don’t have to go outside, but I just can’t seem to get a free day or two to prepare and brew it.

The Raspberry Blonde has carbonated but not yet to my satisfaction because the house has been cool for quite a while now.  I’ve sampled a few and they are quite good.  The clean malt flavor is supported by a touch of hop bitterness and raspberry flavor.  The aroma is nearly all raspberries with a touch of malt.  It’s also very light-colored and extremely clear.  Here is the recipe for any that may want it. 

Raspberry Blonde
OG: 1.052
FG: 1.010
IBU: 29
ABV: 5.5%

Malts/Fermentables
8 lb 14 oz Pilsner malt
1 lb 2 oz UK Pale Ale malt
4 oz US Caramel 40L
1 oz US Caramel 20L
12 oz Frozen Raspberries @ 0 min.

Hops
.75 oz US Amarillo (8.9% AA) @ 60 min.

Yeast
Wyeast #2565 Kolsch

Single Step Infusion Mash – 149 degrees F/ 60 min.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post about this beer that I was originally planning to do a partial mash but changed to a full mash the day of the brew.  I also didn’t have enough of any one malt to make a full mash.  So, the recipe seems a bit strange with unusual amounts of malt.  These specific amounts don’t need to be replicated.  Rounding the malt amounts or using all Pilsner or all UK Pale Ale malt will result in a very similar beer, in my opinion.  I would do it this way if I were to re-brew the recipe.

The Adequate Brewer

New Brewing Plan

Jul 27, 2009

I have bad luck sometimes.  Saturday is my day to brew.  Lately, it seems to rain nearly every Saturday.  When it rains, I can’t brew on my all-grain setup outside.  On the few Saturdays it hasn’t rained, I’ve had some pressing task to c0mplete or engagement to attend.  The result is that I have only been able to use my all-grain equipment three times since the weather warmed up.  This is just plain sad.

I have a solution!  I know it is probably obvious, but it took me quite some time to come up with it.  I usually grind my grains on Friday evening, so I’ll grind enough grain to do a partial mash and keep enough extract around to brew on the stove if it rains.  But if I get a good Saturday, I can just grind the rest of the grain bill on Saturday and I’ll be set to brew outside.

I know, it’s not an incredible insight, but at least now I won’t run out of home brew.

The Adequate Brewer

Big Brew 2009

Apr 29, 2009

The American Homebrewers Association is celebrating National Homebrew Day by having its annual Big Brew this coming weekend (May 2, 2009).  Everyone is encouraged to brew, spread the word about brewing, and just generally have a good time with the hobby and other brewers .  They even provide three recipes as suggestions for everyone to brew. 

There is a small problem with the Big Brew always being held on the first Saturday in May and that would be The Kentucky Derby is also always on that day.  Or perhaps it is not a problem.  Since we usually do not attend the Derby, we tend to have friends over or attend a Derby Party and what goes great with friends at a Derby Party?  Homebrew, of course.  Last year we hosted the party and sampled five different batches of my beer.  It was fun to have everyone try the different beers and I had enough chilled that they could then choose what they wanted for the evening’s festivities.  This year I wanted to brew one of the recipes suggested for the Big Brew but felt that with all the festivities and general revelry, brewing might not be such a good idea.  So, my version of Saison Du Mont was brewed last weekend and is now happily fermenting in the closet.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe mostly because I ended up not having enough of some ingredients and none at all of others.  Well, and I can’t help myself sometimes when I look at a recipe.  I only had six grams of coriander and I wanted to use fresh orange and grapefruit peel instead of the ugly dried stuff at the homebrew shop.  I’ve read that a mix of orange and grapefruit peel can mimic the sweet and bitter orange peel combination.  I also had a smack-pack of Wyeast #3711 French Saison yeast that I wanted to use instead of the Belgian Saison strain.

What I brewed:

Pre-boil volume: 7 gallons
OG: 1.056
Mash: 152 F

7.5 lb US 2-Row
2 lb Vienna Malt
8 oz Flaked Wheat
8 oz Flaked Oats
13 oz Turbinado Sugar added at 15 min left in the boil 

1 oz East Kent Goldings (60 min)
1 oz Hallertau (1 min)

Spices (0 min)
6 g Coriander
2 g Grains of Paradise
7 g Orange peel
7 g Grapefruit peel

Wyeast #3711 French Saison (1 qt starter made the night before)

All in all I am very pleased with how my second all-grain batch went.  I was aiming for a mash rest temperature of 151 F and I hit 152 F so I just rolled with it.  We’ll see in about six weeks…

The Adequate Brewer