Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last post of 2008

Be merry and safe and drink your homebrew. Tonight is a great night for sipping on some strong ales.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wheatwine 08' + Steam update

Finally, after reading about this style and having only tried it twice, from Karl Strauss brewing, I decided to brew it. Wheatwine is a very interesting style and can taste delicious. [1][2] I am trying to make a balanced version. As i write this am in the second hour of the boil. After the mash it seems to taste very "wheaty" with an aftertaste of hoppiness. I was only going to boil for 75' but after a gravity reading I decided it needed to boil longer. This will probably make for a long cool down...arrgghhh. One immediate change is add more caramel malt, for color/flavor. I will give it a few weeks and see how it turns out. Pics to come soon, batteries need recharging.

Here is the recipe:
Wheatwine 08'
2-row 4#
Wheat 7.5#
Crystal 60L .5#
(+ 1#rice hulls) [3]
Total grains: 12#

Hop Schedule:
60' Galena
15' Centennial
15' Cascade
5' Centennial
5' Cascade
Total IBU's: ~66

Yeast: WLP029 German Ale/ K├Âlsch Yeast [4]
Ferment @ 65F

[1] I like to brew styles that are hard to find
[2] This way its hard to compare and be dissapointed :)
[3] 1st time using rice hulls, it made brew day easy
[4] I had 2 yeast sitting in my fridge, did not want to purchase another. The other was Wyeast Ringwood 1187

UPDATE: The Steam beer(s) is trucking along at a constant 55F.

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Fermentations...

It's that time of year again to make the holiday Appleweizen. I still have most of last years batch (Appleweizen 07' and Spiced Appleweizen 07') which will be used for new year's eve celebrations. This years version consists of 2 gallons of apple juice with 1 pound of berries (blackberries, strawberries and blueberries) mixed in before fermentation. Also, have 1 gallon mixed with 1 pound of blueberries. MMMmmm, can't wait to taste.

Oh, there was an accident the 1 gallon blueberry mix blew off the airlock and has been fermenting exposed for a few days....oh well we shall see where this experiment takes us...

The Natural Experiment
Blueberry Appleweizen 08'

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Big Dampf Experiment [4]

A friend and myself have talked about brewing an steam beer experiment. We decided to play with the hops, like any other hop lover. Besides, I think the San Fran lager yeast is what really defines this style of beer. After doing some research, which by the way is very interesting for this beer (it's a hard style to define by history).

The Steam Beer Mash

After the research and talking to a couple local pro brewers we decided on this recipe. I went a bit further and made an additional experiment.

South Coast Steam Beer
O.G.: 1.058/F.G.: 1.012/IBU's: 29.5/ABV: 5.9%
Grain Bill:
2-row 7.5#
Maris Otter 1.5#
Munich 10L 1.5#
Crystal 40L .5#
Crystal 10L .5#
Victory .5#
Hop schedule: [1]
Cluster .75oz @ 60' @ 7AA's
Cluster 1oz @ 15'
Cluster 1oz @ 1'
Yeast(s): [2] [3]
(a) San Francisco Lager - White Labs (4 gallons)
(b) Saflager S-23 (1 gallon)
The homebrewery
(L) Saflager (R) WLP-810

[1] He will be using Northern Brewer hops
[2] Both beers are currently fermenting at 56F. My friends experiment is @ 50F. So much for controlling variables...
[3] 55F, average temperature in San Francisco
[4] Dampf is German for Steam

Friday, December 26, 2008

December Friday Fermentation


I believe that yeast are, or can, be your best friends when brewing beer. When you control the yeast, by control I mean give it the best possible environment, it can give you amazing results. Also, I believe that you should play with 1 or 2 strains of yeast and learn from it the best you can. At what temperature does this same yeast give you certain characteristics: fruity, sulfer, balance etc. I have been sticking with the WLP-029 German/Kolsch yeast and have learned quite a bit from it. If you ferment this yeast at lower temps 60-65F, recommended is 65-69F, it can give you a really clean "lager like" flavor profile. I have used this yeast in many different types of styles, kolsch, honey beers, stouts, porters, pale ales. I think this yeast can almost be as versatile as the WLP-001 Cal ale yeast.

Now that we are in winter mode I will be playing the WLP-810 San Fran Lager yeast

Friday, December 05, 2008

Prohibition Ends at Last...

With repeal I can:

Listen to The Brewing Network...

...Bring home a growler of Imperial Billsner from
Turtle Mt. Brewery...
...Share homebrew with family & friends
during the holidays...
...Make ales & lagers...
...Enjoy hotbreak on my stove...
...Enjoy the fruits of my labor legally anytime...
...Enjoy these...Cheers!