Tuesday, October 13, 2009

44 Pale Ale


Wow, what a BLUSTERY birthday brew!  Here are the action shots:

The updated label to indicate the windy day.


The scene outside the garage.

Mashing in and heating sparge water in the garage behind one closed garage door and two others open.  This kept out the wind some and the flame didn't blow out.


Mashing out with the rain in the background.


















One full boil kettle!














5.5 ounces of hops!














The boil kettle after all the wort was drained off.














The new fermenter!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Birthday Brew Planned


















My 44th birthday is next Tuesday, so I decided to take the day off to brew. The Evil Twin Red Ale is just about to blow, so I figured I'd brew a Pale Ale to sit on that tap when the time comes and my Evil Twin kicks the bucket.

Here's the recipe:
44 Pale Ale
10-A American Pale Ale
Author: Wade

Size: 11.0 gal
Efficiency: 64.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 191.23 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.057 (1.045 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.010 - 1.015)
Color: 9.21 (5.0 - 14.0)
Alcohol: 5.65% (4.5% - 6.2%)
Bitterness: 42.3 (30.0 - 45.0)

Ingredients:
24.72 lb American 2-row
1.64 lb Munich Malt
1.09 lb White Wheat Malt
1.64 lb Victory® Malt
2 tbsp 5.2 pH Stabilizer - added during mash

1.5 oz Magnum (14.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
1.0 oz Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (AKA Fermax) - added during boil, boiled 5 min
1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 5 min
1.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 0 min
1.0 oz Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 0 min

2 ea Fermentis US-05 Safale US-05

Notes
Mash at 152

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.3

It'll be my first time using dry yeast. I hear it doesn't bring much complexity into the beer, but it sure is easy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sick Puppy IPA Kegged!

Wow, what a fun brew this has been. I let it sit on the dry hops for 10 days instead of my usual 7 before crash cooling to 32 degrees on Monday. I finally got around to kegging it today (Friday) where it will sit on the CO2 for 7 days before it goes in the keezer.

I took the liberty to ramp up the fermentation temp to 75 degrees for one day just to make sure the yeast attenuated all the way. well, it did and then some. Instead of 1.016 for the FG I ended up at 1.014. 78.125% attenuation out of that yeast that's supposed to attenuate at 67-71%. I guess I don't have to ramp up to 75 degrees next time! The hydro sample taste great!

Here are a couple of pics of the carboy after draining off 5 gallons of beer to the keg:
































Up next: A pale ale. I'm almost out of Evil Twin.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sick Puppy Brew Fun

Yesterday was a nice brew day! It wasn't too hot (90's), no interruptions, and the outcome couldn't have been more perfect. Here are the pics!

Boiling the starter in the house Thursday night. Sharon was gone so I didn't have to worry about the beer smell that seems to permeate everywhere in the house. Smells good to me!














Some folks ask "Why go to all the trouble to make a starter?" These pics should clear that up.

The starter Thursday night. If you look really, really closely you can see little white flecks of yeast in there.


















The yeast Friday morning. Looks like those yeasties procreated just a little! ;-)


















Cleaning a few kegs while the grain is mashing. It sure is nice having a hot water spigot outside.














My OG was supposed to be 1.064. Nailed it!


















Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sick Puppy IPA Brewday Planned

This Saturday is my 3rd IPA brew day! I'm going to be switching back and forth between the Surly Sow and Sick Puppy IPAs to have on tap. I'll make notes each time I make these and hopefully each will become better and better! The Surly Sow will be more bitter/hoppy/piney while the Sick Puppy will have more emphasis on the malt and flavor hop additions. Definitely two different ends of the IPA spectrum.

This will be my first take of the Sick Puppy which is a take-off of the Lagunitas IPA from the CYBI episode on The Brewing Network. I've made a couple of changes depending on ingredients that I have on hand as well as making this just a few IBUs higher than the original.

Here's the recipe that I'll be brewing on the 15th.

Sick Puppy IPA
14-B American IPA
Author: Wade L. Williams

Size: 11 gal
Efficiency: 64.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 213.01 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.064 (1.056 - 1.075) (Lagunitas = 1.059)
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 (1.010 - 1.018)
Color: 13.48 (6.0 - 15.0)
Alcohol: 6.29% (5.5% - 7.5%) (Lagunitas = 5.07%)
Bitterness: 48.1 (40.0 - 70.0) (Lagunitas = 45.6)

Ingredients:
15.12 lb Pale Ale Malt (It's what I have left)
9 lb American 2-row (I ran out of Pale Ale and regular 2-row was all that B3 had in stock)
2.0 lb White Wheat Malt
1.8 lb Munich Malt
1.2 lb Crystal Malt 60°L
2.75 lb Crystal 15
1 oz Vanguard (4.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min (I had it on hand so figured I'd use it)
.75 oz Magnum (14.4%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1.3 oz Glacier (6.0%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min (Supposed to be Wilamette, but B3 was out so I subbed Glacier)
1.0 oz Centennial (9.1%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
2.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient (AKA Fermax) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
2.5 oz Cascade (7.8%) - added during boil, boiled 1 min
1.5 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added dry to primary fermenter
1.5 oz Centennial (10.0%) - added dry to primary fermenter
2.0 ea Wyeast 1968 London ESB

Notes
Mash temp 158-160 (Yup, that's high!)

Ferment temp: 66F for three days - slowly raise to 70F over the next 3-4 days

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.3

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Amber Brew Day

Today was my first venture into the world of Amber Ale. I was supposed to light the burners at 4:30 AM, when Sharon left to climb Half Dome, but I hadn't filtered my water or ground my grain last night, and at that time of the morning I started to doubt my choice for an Amber Ale so I started researching recipes and taking inventory of all my grains and hops on hand. After a few cups of coffee I decided to stick with the original plan and brew the Amber.














Mashing out at 9 AM. The first runnings were dark and sweet!















I took this picture for two reasons. First, I put a new piece of brewing equipment into rotation: The Ove Glove! It's much more convenient to grab hot pieces of aluminum, etc with this then trying to use a regular, square hot pad. Second, notice that there is NO BOIL OVER on the edges of the brew pot or on the ground. Why? I started using Foam Control on this brew and even though I had a great rolling boil, I didn't have all the foam associated with it. This stuff ROCKS!















11.5 gallons of Amber Waves of Grain in glass where it will sit for the next three weeks. I used a few drops of foam control in each carboy and it started eating through the foam from the aeration right away. 1/2 hour after pitching the 2 liter starter I had visible yeast activity.















Oops! I boiled off a little too much and over shot my starting gravity. Was supposed to be 1.055. As Mark would say, "This is going to be a big ole ale!"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Amber Waves of Grain - Amber Ale

This Saturday I'll be lighting the burners at 5 AM and brewing an Amber. I'm still waiting for the keg of Pale Ale to blow before I hook up the Summer Sunset Orange Wit. Man, oh man, I can't wait to taste that beer!

Here's the recipe planned for the 11th:

















Amber Waves of Grain
10-B American Amber Ale
Author: Wade L. Williams

Size: 12.0 gal
Efficiency: 64.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 173.16 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.052 (1.045 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (1.010 - 1.015)
Color: 17.8 (10.0 - 17.0)
Alcohol: 5.12% (4.5% - 6.2%)
Bitterness: 35.8 (25.0 - 40.0)

Ingredients:
20.78 lb Pale Ale Malt
2.19 lb Munich Malt
2.46 lb Crystal Malt 40°L
1.59 lb Crystal Malt 120°L
1.59 lb Victory® Malt
3 oz Vanguard (5.4%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1 oz Cascade (7.8%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
1 oz Centennial (9.1%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
.5 oz Cascade (7.8%) - added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
.5 oz Centennial (9.1%) - added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
2.0 ea White Labs WLP001 California Ale

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.3

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Summer Sunset Orange Wit Brewday Planned

For those followers of this blog I'm extending an open invitation to come brew with me on May 16th at 9 AM. I'll be brewing up a great session beer, a Belgian Wit. Two other folks who want to learn to brew will be there and I have room for many more. Plus, I'll have three beers on tap for everyone to enjoy. Just submit a comment on this blog with your info and email address and I'll send you directions to my house.

Here's the recipe planned for the 16th:












Summer Sunset Orange Wit
16-A Witbier
Author: Wade L. Williams

Size: 10.56 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 162.08 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.049 (1.044 - 1.052)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (1.008 - 1.012)
Color: 3.69 (2.0 - 4.0)
Alcohol: 4.79% (4.5% - 5.5%)
Bitterness: 17.3 (10.0 - 20.0)

Ingredients:
8 lb Pale Ale
9 lb Wheat Flaked
2 lb White Wheat Malt
2 tsp 5.2 pH Stabilizer - added during mash
1.3 oz Sterling (7.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
7 oz Orange zest - added during boil, boiled 10 min
.5 oz Corriander crushed - added during boil, boiled 10 min
2.0 ea Chamomile Tea Bag - added during boil, boiled 10 min
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (AKA Fermax) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
2.0 ea White Labs WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.3

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

B2D2 - The Better Beer Dispensing Device

Nope, it doesn't look anything like R2D2, but the 4 tap draft box is FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here she is in all her 4 tap glory!

The collar that started it all.













The freezer fitted with a collar for the bottom to raise the unit up to acceptable (for me) pouring height, and for the top for the taps to fit through. I also added non-marring casters so it could roll around the house without scuffing up the floor.

















1x3s installed to secure the freezer to the collars to the freezer, create airflow between the freezer and the outside plywood, and to be used as nailers for the plywood.













Skinned with 1/4" plywood and dry fitted with taps and CO2 distribution unit.


















An inside peek before all of the hoses are installed.














Building the top.













After the stain and first coat of varnish is applied.

















The finished unit sans drip tray (that will come next month).


































Yes, I know that's a crappy ol' staining job but the drip tray will sit right at the bottom of those stain lines so I'm hoping it will mask it some.

Three of the taps are pouring Scottish Wee Heavy, Red Ale, and Pale Ale. Yippee!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Surly Sow IPA

Yesterday I brewed up the Surly Sow IPA. This recipe is based of the one that Vinnie Cilurzo created and won homebrew competitions with before he commercially brewed the Blind Pig IPA.

Here's the recipe:
Surley Sow IPA
14-B American IPA
Author: Wade L. Williams
Date: 4/16/2009

Size: 11.0 gal
Efficiency: 64.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 206.06 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.062 (1.056 - 1.075)
Terminal Gravity: 1.015 (1.010 - 1.018)
Color: 11.55 (6.0 - 15.0)
Alcohol: 6.09% (5.5% - 7.5%)
Bitterness: 77.7 (40.0 - 70.0)

Ingredients:
26.0 lb Pale Ale Malt
1.0 lb Malted Wheat
1.0 lb Cara-Pils® Malt
1.0 lb Crystal Malt 40°L
1.0 tsp 5.2 pH Stabilizer - added during mash
2.8 oz Chinook (13.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
2.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
1.0 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient (AKA Fermax) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
1.0 lb Corn Sugar
2.0 oz Centennial (10.0%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
1.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
2.0 oz Oak Wood Chips - added dry to secondary fermenter
2.0 ea White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.2

The brew day went GREAT and I had a few guests. Brandy, her son Clayton, and her dad Bruce showed up and helped brew. OK, only Bruce helped, but Clayton just walked around looking cute until it was time for a diaper change and a nap. :-)

Bruce was a big help and we talked about beer all day long. We celebrated the end of the brew with a Sierra Nevada Big Foot Barlywine. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Also, this is the first time I was able to use a water filter for my brew water. It's a carbon filter and it took all of the "organic" flavor out of our well water. The beer turned out nice and clear with not a hint of that flavor!

Here's the pics from the day:
Filtering the water the night before.

I now use big blow off tubes instead of airlocks that can get clogged with gunk. Here they are in action:

video

Monday, April 6, 2009

Evil Twin - Kegged and Labeled

I kegged the Evil Twin on Sunday and had the usual problem of me being too greedy when it comes to getting every last drop of beer from the carboy to the keg. I "push" the beer with CO2 so the pressure makes kegging very fast. The problem is I don't know when to say when and I usually end up sucking up CO2 out of the carboy and bubbling it up through the beer in the keg. Oh, well. No use crying over spilled beer! ;-)

Here's a copy of the label I came up with. Bonus points to anyone who remembers this episode. Thanks to my parents, I remember EVERY episode! :-)


Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Brew Club

A few of the Modesto Mashers club members decided to create a new club. Reasons behind the split are unimportant, but we will be focused more on the actual craft of brewing.

One of the items we needed was a club logo and while I'm no graphic design artist, here's what I've come up with so far:































Friday, March 6, 2009

Evil Twin

Today I brewed a recipe made famous by Jamil Zainasheff, Evil Twin Red Ale. This is supposed to be a great malty beverage with a big hop flavor and aroma without the bittering as all of the hops come at the end of the boil. Here's the recipe:

Evil Twin
Size: 11 gal
Efficiency: 70.0%
Attenuation: 75.8%
Calories: 223.88 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.060
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 (0.995 - 1.035)
Color: 18.39 (1.0 - 50.0)
Alcohol: 6.3% (2.5% - 14.5%)
Bitterness: 42.8 (0.0 - 100.0)

Ingredients:
23 lb Pale Ale Malt
1.5 lb Crystal Malt 40°L
1.5 lb Munich Malt
1 lb Victory® Malt
1 lb Crystal 120
.5 lb Pale Chocolate
1 oz Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 20 min
1 oz Amarillo (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 20 min
1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
2 tsp Yeast Nutrient (AKA Fermax) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
2 oz Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
2 oz Amarillo (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
2 oz Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
2 oz Amarillo (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 0.0 min

Notes
Directions: Single infusion mash at 154F (68C) using a ratio of 1.3 quarts water to 1 pound of grain. The 90 minute boil enhances the blood-red color. It also adds a touch more melanoidin and caramel notes. Cool the wort quickly after the last hop addition to retain as much hop aroma as possible. Optionally, dry hop with more Centennial or Amarillo if you’re a real hop monster. Carbonate to no more than 2 volumes and serve at 45 to 55 F (7.2 to 12.8 C).

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.2

It was an interesting brew day. Everything seemed to go well, and then the unexpected happened. See the pics below for details.

I found a great new place to make the yeast starter: in the garage. The camping stove works great and the house doesn't end up smelling like beer.

Ten ounces of hops waiting to go into the boil.

My new "hopsock" that I built out of a small piece of aluminum dowel, a 3 inch PVC pipe adapter, a 4 inch hose clamp, and a 5 gallon paint strainer. The hopsock goes in the boil, the hops go into the hopsock, and I don't get leaf hops clogging up my ball valve when I'm draining the wort!

So, at the end of the boil I put in the wort chiller and noticed that the "in" side had a small leak. No big deal since it's dripping outside the kettle, right? Wrong! This little gem burst apart spewing water all over the garage but didn't get any in the boil kettle. Whew!


10 Gallons of wort in glass and the hydro sample (that tasted absolutely delicious!). If you look closely at the hydro sample you can see the red color that this beer will have. Can you tell which carboy got the bottom of the brew kettle nasties in it? ;-)

Three weeks until fermantation is finished and we can put this lovely elixer on CO2 to carb it up!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hops!

I haven't brewed in four months, instead I've been buying supplies in bulk so I can brew cheaper. Last month I ordered three pounds of hops from www.nikobrew.com. I ordered:
1 lb Cascade Pellet
1 lb Amarillo Pellet
1 lb Centennial Leaf

I needed to seal these up with a vacuum sealer and one of my employees gave me a vacuum sealer that his dad picked up at the thrift store for $2. Not bad since these usually cost anywhere from $40 to $140.

I sealed up the hops today and they smelled wonderful! Unfortunately the Cascades were short 1 oz and the Centennials were short 1/2 oz. I emailed Niko today and let him know what happened. He seems to be a pretty straight shooter so I'm sure he'll make it right.

Update: Niko is sending out the hops to make up for the mistake!

Here's a couple of pics.


Three pounds of hops!

The $2 vacuum sealer that worked excellent!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Some New Toys

I haven't been brewing lately, but I have been busy building some new toys. Brad (Mark's friend) bought my old brew kettles so i made a couple of new ones.


I bought a couple of straight sided kegs because they look better and they're easier to handle than the old "barrel" type of kegs (Coors Light). The HLT is on the left and the boil kettle is on the right. And, oh yeah, I bought a new wort chiller too!

The new HLT has a thermometer and a sight gauge built in as well as the spigot. I put the thermometer in so that I wouldn't have to keep reaching over a boiling pot of water to put the thermo in. The sight gauge was put in so that I don't have to measure out my water in a 3 gallon pot - I can go straight from HLT to mashtun.


Here's a close-up of the HLT.

Here's a hint for what's up next.