Monday, October 29, 2012

Recipe: Let's Partigyle (2nd Runnings Best Bitter)

When making a beer as large as the Callen you inevitably end up with sugars left in the mash tun even after pulling 8.5 gallons of wort to boil.  Adding more sparge water to the mash and running off the additional sugars to make a smaller beer is a great way to get the best bang for your buck as well as getting another beer out of all that work.  Back in the day this method (partigyle) was used quite a bit, and some English breweries still use it to make their classic beers such as Fuller's.

Honestly I was expecting more that 16% efficiency, but then again, I did sparge with 120*F water.  Seeing that the OG was lower than I expected, I added a little bit of sugar as well as what DME I had on hand (not much), and dropped back the bittering hops drastically.  One difficulty with these beers is that the bulk of the body and flavor ended up in the main beer leaving the second beer flabby and thin.  To compensate for this I added a quart of the first runnings to the kettle as well as topping off the mash with a half pound of British Dark Crystal for a boost of body and fresh crystal flavor.  I also added 1/2 oz of American Oak to alter the mouthfeel slightly and add another layer of depth to the beer (and for a little throw back to when English beers were fermented in oak barrels).

Last year I brewed a Scottish 80- for the small beer, but this year I have been itching to brew another Bitter and I have quite a bit of Challenger and Fuggle hops so I went with a Bitter as my second beer.

4.5 gallons
1.036 OG
1.012 Est Fg
3.5% Est ABV
39 IBUs
14 SRM

11.0#  Great Western Pale Malt
9.5#  Crisp Maris Otter
2.0# MFB Munich
0.75# MFB CaraMunich 40L
0.75# MFB CaraMunich 120L
0.75# Crisp British Dark Crystal
0.12# Crisp Roast Barley
0.50# Crisp British Dark Crystal 75/85L
0.50# Table Sugar
0.26# DME
65 Minutes @ 158*F
16% Extract Efficiency
15% Brewhouse Efficiency

75 Minute Boil:
60 mins - 0.80 oz Home Grown Challenger ~ 7.5AA%
15 mins - 0.80 oz Home Grown Challenger ~ 7.5AA%
15 mins - 0.80 oz Home Grown Fuggles ~ 6.7AA%
2 mins - 0.80 oz Home Grown Challenger ~ 7.5AA%
2 mins - 0.80 oz Home Grown Fuggles ~ 6.7AA%
DH - 0.80 oz Home Grown Challenger ~ 7.5AA%
DH - 0.80 oz Home Grown Fuggles ~ 6.7AA%

Chilled to 65*F
5 gallon glass carboy
1469 West Yorkshire & 1056 American Ale - 1/4 pint of slurry from Brown Ale
5 Days @ 62-64*F
2 Days @ 68*F
7 Days @ Ambient Garage - Dry Hopping

Gypsum 5/8 t (mash), 3/4 t (boil)
Calcium Chloride 3/4 t (mash), 1/2 t (boil)
3 Taps Yeast Nutrient
0.50 oz American Oak (primary)

Fermentation took a little longer to kick off than the Wee Heavy due to the lower pitch rate and sleepy yeast.  By 36 hours signs were starting to show, and by 50 hours the beer had a 1/2" of soapy foam on top with a layer of brown sludge.  The soapy foam dissipated later that day, and on the next morning there was a huge krausen that threatened a blow off.  I am hoping that this is due to the 2 yeast strains since this is the same thing that happened with my 2 Lambics.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Leaf Turner - Fresh Hop Brown Ale

Fall is quickly setting in here in Eugene.  The temps are dropping, sunlight fades, massive cloud cover the sky, rain pours down, the leaves change to brilliant hues of reds and yellows.  As it is clear that the warmth and vibrancy of Summer is gone, much of the desire for a crisp, dry, light, pale beer, and this beer does a great job of quenching the thirst of a shifted palate.  Smokey, fruity, mild chocolate, full, sweetish, balanced, malty, just enough alcohol to help warm you on a cool night.  The name is truly fitting.

Look: Thick creamy super sticky beige head sits atop a clear brown beer with ruby highlights.  Sticky lace.

Aroma: Smoky wood and campfire present themselves first with milk chocolate following close behind. They lead into pecans, biscuits, and fruits, figs & plums as well as peaches.  Citrus rind and light pine finish off the nose, very subtle and fruity.

Flavor: Much like the nose the flavor begins with smokey chocolate leading quickly to sweet caramel and toffee, toasted biscuity malt, nuts.  Fruitiness hits as well with more peaches, followed by Christmas tree and sweet breads.  As it warms there is a distinct roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Big creamy mouthfeel like Nitro, balanced.  Lightly astringent finish when cold, not sure if it is from the roasted grains or the Pickling Lime.  Carbonation cleanses the palate.  Bitterness is perfect.

Overall: For a Wet Hop beer the hops are subdued, but it actually works perfect for this balanced Brown.  The smoke malt is more pronounced in my beer than in Sierra Nevada's Tumbler who I stole the malt bill from, bringing a pronounced smokiness up front.  The yeast plays very nice in this beer keeping it malty, nutty, fully attenuated and yet full and creamy.  Lots of layers in this beer.  The finish is off though, the astringency takes away from an otherwise great beer.  Definitely want to re-brew this one next year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Callen's Killer Krausen

Came home tonight to find this awaiting me in the ferm fridge.  Only 4.8 gallons of wort in this 6 gallon Better Bottle and I'm still in danger of a blow off.  Man this beer is ripping like mad.  Glad that I didn't top off with that 1/2 gallon of water already.

Recipe: The Callen 2012

Glug, glug, glug goes the wort in the kettle.  Honestly I was shocked at the syrupy string that pulled off of the tubing when I moved it from the container I vorlauf into, but the noise in the kettle during the last hour of the 2.5 hour boil was like a sound effect used for a tar pit in a cartoon.   What more should I expect form a 1.105 OG Wee Heavy?

Last year about this time I brewed a Scottish Wee Heavy that didn't turn out right.  First off, I used American Caramel malts that were too dark as well as 1056 which is not known for making a malty beer.  Then the beer got infected.  Lots of cherry notes present themselves in last year's version.  This year I went for a brand new recipe from the bottom up.  New base malts, new character malts, new yeast, new hopping regimen, new beer.  I started with a base split between Great Western Pale and Maris Otter for a nice toasty/biscuity English feel.  Next I added in some MFB Munich malt for a little more malt character.  On top of this I did a 3 way split of MFB CaraMunich 40, 120, and British Dark Crystal 75 for a deep caramel and toffee layer with some burnt sugar and a hint of dark fruits, with a touch of Roast Barley for color and to help dry out the finish some so it won't be too cloyingly sweet.  Pulled enough for a 2 1/2 hour boil for a little more kettle caramelization and better efficiency.  Tossed in some Fuggles for a touch of bitterness to balance it out.  Fermented it with a mixed yeast culture of Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire and 1056 American Ale that came from my Brown Ale that turned out quite nice.  The Yorkshire strain should give me some nutty and slight dark fruit character as well as a full mouth feel, lots of malt character, and the American Ale should help it stay clean and finish the fermentation up completely.  Even with the 158*F mash I am hoping for a good 75% attenuation putting me in the 1.026 FG range for 10.0% ABV.  With the controlled temp on the ferment I am hoping to be drinking this bad boy by Christmas.

4.5 gallons
1.105 OG
1.035 Fg
9.5% Est ABV
24 IBUs
19 SRM

11.0#  Great Western Pale Malt
9.5#  Crisp Maris Otter
2.0# MFB Munich
0.75# MFB CaraMunich 40L
0.75# MFB CaraMunich 120L
0.75# Crisp British Dark Crystal 75/85L
0.12# Crisp roast Barley
65 Minutes @ 158*F
60% Extract Efficiency
56% Brewhouse Efficiency

150 Minute Boil:
90 mins - 2.0 oz Home Grown Fuggles ~ 6.7AA%

Chilled to 65*F
6 gallon Better Bottle
1469 West Yorkshire & 1056 American Ale - 3/4 pint of slurry from Brown Ale
15 mins of aeration with pump 
5 Days @ 62-64*F
9 Days @ 68*F
4 Days @ 82*F
5 Days @ 72*F
14 Days @ Ambient Garage Temps

Gypsum 5/8 t (mash), 3/8 t (boil)
Calcium Chloride 3/4 t (mash), 1/2 t (boil)
6 Taps Yeast Nutrient
1 Whirfloc Tab

Boil off was slightly more than I thought and I got slightly less volume and a higher OG which worked since my FG was higher than I wanted due to a higher mash temp.  I factored my strike temp for all the grains but left out the crystal and roast until the end and hit 158*F instead of the 155*F I wanted and just went with it since last time I tried to cool off my mash I over cooled.  Aerated with pump for 15 mins.  Signs of fermentation started to show with in 12 hours, krausen building at 24.  High Krausen after 48 hours, fermentation is cranking along nicely.

Down to 1.049 after 7 days.

Down to 1.039 after 2 weeks

Down to 1.035 after 2.5 weeks

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Update: Carol 2.0

Last week I brewed my second Lambic.  After a 24 hour chill open to the air in my garage I racked the beer into a sanitized 6 gallon carboy.  Upon racking it, I added about a ½ cup of slurry from my previous Lambic (over a year old, and had been in the fridge over a month), as well as the dregs from a 3F Oude Gueuze.  There was no activity for 3 more days.  On Friday morning I sent a message to Mad Fermentationist asking how long is too long to wait before pitching something, and he advised pitching something right away if it didn’t take off that day.  When I got home from work that day there was a pure white soapy foam on top about a ¼” thick or so - it looked like StarSan foam.  This lasted for a few days and began to die back some.  On Sunday afternoon I pitched some of my Strawberry Starter that I had made earlier in the summer and had stepped up with some of the wort for the Lambic.  On Monday night I racked my ½ gallon of spontaneous fermented Brown Ale into a glass jug with an airlock and added the yeast slurry to the carboy (the beer tastes kind of watery and wild, but not off putting, nor does it taste like the Brown Ale).  Upon smelling the Lambic while adding the yeast the smell is not disgusting, but not appealing either.  I’m hoping that the fermentation will blow off any unwanted aromas, and the wild yeast will transform any unwanted acids and fats into lovely esters over the course of the year it ages. There could be some dangerous bacteria growing, DMS from the Pils and no chill, or a number of other possibilities, but most Lambics go through this stage for much longer than a week.  As of Tuesday morning there is a normal krausen starting to form on the beer and the airlock is starting to crank out like normal while it sits in the garage at a steady 67*F.  We’ll see where it goes over the course of a year…

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recipe: Carol "Lambic" 2.0 (Where the Wild Things Are)

As I sip on my “Lambic” from last year, which I am very pleased with, I am very anxious to brew another one.  This time I will use the same yeast culture from the last one as I saved the entire cake from the last brew in a gallon jar in the fridge.  This year I am going to go with a grist that is much more traditional, 65% Pils, 35% Raw Wheat, mashed @ 158*F.  Last year I had some character malts like Vienna and CaraVienne which are not traditional and I’m not sure they added any needed complexity other than color.  I also had a flavor hop addition which is pointless in a beer aged for a year, coriander was the same.  I added some cake flour last time for a little more dextrins to chew on since my mash temp was fairly low. 

I could always do a turbid mash, but why?  I could also do a cereal mash, but why?  These things are traditional, but do they add anything to the final product that won’t be there (or at least drastically noticed) in the final product?  My first Lambic is quite nice and it was mashed at 152*F, and hit 1.006 in 3 weeks.  The 158*F mash should leave a larger amount of dextrins in the wort for the bacteria and Brett to munch on, and the large pitch of yeast cake should ensure a healthy amount of bugs and Brett as well as autolized yeast for them to eat as well.  That combined with an overnight open cooling in the garage where all my wild stuff is going (which I already fermented a ½ gallon of left over Brown Ale spontaneously in there), and some more dregs from commercial and homebrewed sours should ensure a good, big, powerful, and characterful fermentation from the onset, avoiding some of the enteric bacteria that are not desired.  Add in a 3 hour boil, and aged hops, we are looking at a great start to a second Lambic for next year.

5.5 gallons
1.050 OG
1.001 Est Fg
6.6% Est ABV
8 IBUs

7.5#  Weyermann Pils
4.0#  Flaked Wheat
0.50# Rice Hulls
10 Minutes @ 148*F
10 Minutes @ 152*F
45 Minutes @ 157*F
78% Extract Efficiency
72% Brewhouse Efficiency

180 Minute Boil:
180 mins - 3.4 oz Aged Hops ~ 1.5AA%

Cooled overnight opened to air in garage
6 gallon glass carboy
Healthy pitch of cake from Carol 1 (cultured from blackberries plus dregs)
Dregs of 3 Fonteins Oude Gueuze
12 months at ambient in garage

Gypsum 1/2 t (mash), 5/8 t (boil)
Calcium Chloride 1/2 t (mash), 1/2 t (boil)
1 French Oak Cube in primary

Brew day started off difficult.  I overshot my strike temp and hit a mash temp of 165*F.  After adding cold water I ended up at 148*F.  Added boiling water to get up to 152*F, then added more boiling water to get it up to 157*F, and rested for 45 minutes.  Wasn’t planning on doing a step mash, but oh well.  After collecting 10 gallons of wort I drained the last of the runnings into a separate kettle and boiled it down to about 800ml of 1.080 wort.  I added this to the beer and drew off 1200ml of 1.040 wort from the boil and cooled it to make a starter to my dregs while the wort cooled over night.  I added the dregs from a Hannsens Oude Gueuze to the starter only for a fruit fly to get into it and render it useless.  After a 3 hour boil, I had to move the keggle into the garage for the overnight chilling, and of course, while carrying the 15.5 gallon beast of a brewpot with a scorching hot bottom, I hit my leg with it and burned it quite nicely, luckily I only did it once and got the wort to the garage without spilling any or hurting myself anymore.  I covered it in a large sheer curtain sack that I synched down on the sides, hoping that the Fruit Flies don’t get into there like the starter.  After about 28 hours at ambient temp I racked 5.25 gallons of the wort into the 6 gallon carboy with the yeast cake, oak, and dregs.