Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weed Death Brew Day

My 18th brew day is done.  A good day indeed.  All of the usual stuff will come here shortly, but I had to mention three new things I got to use in the brew house today.
First, I got to use my new mash paddle.  It went through the mash effortlessly and really broke up those dough balls!  Easier = better in my opinion.
Second, I was able to use my new high temperature tubing to transfer the 165 degree water from kettle to bucket.  I also used it to transfer the wort to the kettle and I'll use it here shortly to transfer the boiled wort to the fermentor.  Again, very easy to work with since it's so flexible.
Third, I got to use my new stainless steel spoon instead of my plastic spoon to stir the hops into the wort.  Wow, just wow.  No more wimpy spoon twisting in my hands as I stir.

Now, back to our regular programming:

The yeast starter went a little crazy on me and blew its top.  I made two 2,000 ml starters - one for the initial starter and one to step it up and grow more yeasties.  The first starter fermented out in two days so I put it in the fridge, let the yeast settle to the bottom, decanted the nasty starter beer off the top and re-fed it again on Thursday morning.  I took of for my meeting in Monterrey and came back Saturday afternoon to this mess.  Yuck!  The starter is just fine but I have quite the mess to clean up!

 The mash with my new mash paddle!  Take that you little dough ball bastards!  OK, maybe I'm just a little too excited about this.....

Did I mention that I mashed in really early this morning?  Also, I had to lengthen the mash to 1 hour 20 minutes instead of the standard 1 hour.  I missed my mash temp by a few degrees so I wanted to make sure everything converted.

7.5 gallons of wort on my first runnings, 8 gallons from my second runnings.  1.5 gallons of wort (that won't fit into the boil kettle) down the drain.  I've got to work on my mash math so that I come out with zero extra gallons of wort. 

Just a liiiiiiiiiiiiiitle too vigorous on the boil.  I tuned it down and got the perfect boil going.  Not too much, not too little, just right.  Hmmmm.  Thinking about some kind of Goldilocks Ale now.....  ;-)

Just chillin'.  Oh, BTW, the outlet hose for my chiller split in the middle of the hose AND the darn connector started leaking.  Had to put a towel over the connector to keep hose water from getting into the wort.  Hmmmm.  Thinking about some kind of Hose Water Hefeweizen now..... ;-)

And, finally, the little bastards that this ale was named after.  I could here these Weedomites screaming in their death throws today: "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee".  Damn that was irritating!  ;-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weed Death Wheat Ale

The Summer Sunset Orange Wit is about 4 pints away from blowing the keg so it's time to brew something light to replace it.  To be honest, I don't like Wits (Sorry Stephen!) and American Wheat beers seem to be getting lots of attention so a wheat beer it is.

Now, as much as people like wheat beers, they may not necessarily want to drink one with the word Death in the name so here's the explanation.  Almost everyone reading this is going to have a lawn.  Very low alcohol beers are sometimes called "lawnmower beers" meaning that you can have one when you mow the lawn.  Well, I don't have a lawn, I have weeds and I've been battling them for 4 years.  This year my father in law gave me a mixture of round up and some other chemicals that I'm sure will pollute the ground water for years to come, but I won't have any weeds!  So, instead of "Lounge Lizard Larry's Lawnmower Libations" I opted for "Weed Death Wheat Ale", a name that was partially born out of my buddy Steve's suggestion of "Wade's Weed Death Mixture".

The yeast starter was created last night and is spinning dizzily on the stir plate.  Brewday is Sunday while I smoke 16 pounds of pork butt (Yes Steve, I said pork butt).  Here's the label and the recipe.

Weed Death Wheat Ale
6-D American Wheat or Rye Beer
Author: Wade L. Williams

Size: 10.56 gal
Efficiency: 64.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 166.16 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.050 (1.040 - 1.055)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (1.008 - 1.013)
Color: 6.63 (3.0 - 6.0)
Alcohol: 4.91% (4.0% - 5.5%)
Bitterness: 22.3 (15.0 - 30.0)

10.5 lb Pale Ale Malt
10.5 lb White Wheat Malt
2 lb Vienna Malt
1.5 oz Sterling (7%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (AKA Fermax) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
1.5 oz Sterling (7%) - added during boil, boiled 5 min
2.0 ea White Labs WLP320 American Hefeweizen Ale

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