Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Slap Yo Momma (Wet Hopped White IPA)

The last of the three Wet Hop beers, this one is very complex, with big fruits and deep layers to dig through.  It doesn't have near the hopiness needed for a a White IPA, but still goes well beyond a standard Wit.

Look: Foggy gold with thick buttermilk colored head.  Head stays tight for awhile then becomes a thin whisp of bubbles on top.  Good lacing.  The beer sparkles.

Aroma: Big Belgian esters, pear, apple, strawberry, orange, tangerine, clove, coriander, grapefruit, pepper, floral, spicy, chalky yeast, sweet grains, subdued hops, honestly, it is hard to tell where the hops end and the spices begin, and where the spices end and the yeast starts.  This is one complex nose.

Taste: Pear, pepper, clove, ginger, herbal, chalky yeast, citrus, sweet grains, floral hops, rose water, alcohol, coriander.

Mouthfeel: Big fizzy medium-light body w/ pulling dry finish , chalky.  Bitterness is balancing and spot on.

Overall: The hops are pretty low for an "IPA" and fresh hops, but it is a good beer.  Bitterness presents in the finish to clear off the complex palate.  Drinks like a stronger / hoppier Wit.  Really enjoy it even though the hops are fading quick.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Recipe: The Becca 2012 - Third Trimester Tripel: When Things Get Funky (Tripel w/ Brett)

Last year I made an Imperial Stout with Cherries, Smoke Malt, and Chipotles named for my wife, Becca, A Smokin Hot Mother Of A Stout.  The beer didn't really suit her much since she can't stand to drink it.  I had been looking for a beer she would really enjoy to become the new Becca.  One of my first beers, batch 3 to be exact, was a Belgian Golden Strong, and my wife loved it, and I have wanted to rebrew to what I originally wanted.  The original turned out much darker than gold, and much sweeter than I had wanted; many people likened it to a sweet Tripel.  I had originally taken 1 gallon of that beer and put it on Brett like Matilda.  The Brett never really took hold (Reinhardt's Flemish Wild and Matilda dregs), so I hit it with Supplication dregs and turned it decent sour.  I have longed to make another beer like it again.  Enter the perfect solution to my delimma.

I used basically the same recipe as before, just All Grain instead of partial mash.  A 50/50 blend of Continental Pilsner malt and Domestic Pale Malt forms my base, along with about 20% White Wheat Malt.  Add a little Belgian Aromatic for some maltiness and touch of depth, and roughly 15% sugar to dry it out as well as boosting the gravity.  In the original recipe I used clear candi sugar which is expensive table sugar when it comes to the flavor contributions, so I just used table sugar.  The original recipe had Sterling hops, but I went with Santiam on this batch since I have a good 5oz in the fridge already.  I took some of the final runnings of my Wee heavy  and boiled it up for an 1800ml starter that I ran for a few days and then put in the fridge to stop the growth of the Brett from continuing too much.  I had snagged a package of the Wyeast PC Trappist Blend strain not knowing that it had Brett in it, and had needed a beer to brew with it so it seems the Lord's providence worked in my favor.

This beer seemed apt to become the new Becca since she loved the original, and she enjoys funky beers.  Seeing as she is in her third trimester with our second child, this year's rendition is The Becca - Third Trimester Tripel: When Things Get Funky.  Now I only needed a day to brew it... enter in the email from Denny Conn... our brew club needed one more brewer for Teach A Friend to Brew Day, and I jumped on it quick.  An easy brew, single rest, low mash temp, simple malt bill, sugar to boost the OG and dry it out, 2 hop additions, chill and pitch.  

5.75 gallons
1.079 OG
1.007 Est Fg
9.4% Est ABV
32 IBUs

4.25#  Weyermann Pils
4.25# Great Western Pale
3.0#  White Wheat Malt
0.75# Belgian Aromatic Malt
2.25# Table Sugar
75 Minutes @ 148*F
82% Extract Efficiency
82% Brewhouse Efficiency

90 Minute Boil:
FW - 2.0 oz Santiam ~ 6.0AA% (Home Grown)
10 mins - 1.0 oz Santiam ~ 6.0AA% (Home Grown)

6 gallon Better Bottle
15 mins Aeration
Wyeast PC 3789 Trappist Blend - 1.8L Starter 
36 Hours @ 68*F
24 Hours @ 70*F
14 Days @ 75*F
1 Week @ 55*F

Gypsum 1/2 t (mash), 1/2 t (boil)
Calcium Chloride 5/8 t (mash), 1/2 t (boil)
Whirfloc - 1 tab

Brewed @ Oakshire.  Brewday went smoothly.  Got slightly higher efficiency than I expected and ended up with extra wort.  Racked into 6 gallon Better Bottle and pitched yeast @ 3:00pm. Drove home and aerated with pump for 15 minutes.  Placed in ferm fridge @ 68, transfered 3/4 gallon out into sanitized 1 gallon jug.

At 7 the next morning (16 hours) there was a 4" krausen already.  This yeast is ripping through the wort and is a true top-cropper.  Attached a blow off to both fermenters.  Jumped temp up later that night to get a little more fruity expression from the yeast since the Trappist High Gravity is known for a subtle and spicy character at lower temps and I want a balance between esters and phenols.  Bumped up temp gradually over the coarse of a few days to restrain fusel alcohols and promote yeast expression.

After 4 days the gravity was down to 1.025.  After 1 week it was down to 1.010.  After 2 weeks the FG is down to 1.007, tastes of clove and pepper with hints of pear and strawberries, light banana.  This yeast is ferocious.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Just Freshinin' Up - Wet Hop Red

When I wrote the recipe for this beer I was looking for a dank and sticky Red Ale, and I got it, kind of.  Unfortunately the hops weren't as big as a presence as I had hoped for and they are fading quick, but they still show off.  It is definitely more of an American Brown with the color and somewhat more restrained hops, but good none the less.  I had hoped for more citrus and pine from the load of Chinook.  I would like to rebrew this one again next year and back off the crystal malt a touch, cut the roast barley back quite a bit, and load up on a lot more Chinook.

Look:  More Brown than Red, this beer pours a murky chestnut with ruby hues under a thick sticky beige head that leaves great lace all the way through.

Aroma: Smells of big resin, thick sticky hops, pine cones, dark fruit, citrus, spice, raisins, burnt sugar, light roast, sweet breads, caramel & toffee, fruity.

Flavor: Taste hits big with resin, followed by pine cone, malty, bread dough, caramel, burnt sugar, roast grain, raisins, grapefruit, clean.

Mouthfeel:  Semi sweet with a firm bitterness, malty, nice carbonation, medium body.  Sticky hops coat the tongue and linger.  Carbonation is fairly high helping to lift the lingering hops for a cleaner finish.

Overall: Beer turned out nice.  I was looking for big malt and resin and I got it.  Color is way too dark, but the flavor is great.  Fermentation is clean, carbonation is a little high (gushes at room temp, but FG is still the same and no gushing at fridge temps).  I was hoping for more pine and citrus from the Chinook.  Unfortunately the hops are beginning to fade after only a month or so.