Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hoppy American Wheat Bottled

The Hoppy American Wheat (a.k.a. Liquid Sunshine) has been bottled! Bottled it this past Sunday (3/23) and the bottles are resting comfortably at about 72 degrees. More later....

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hoppy Wheat brewed

Just a quick weeknight batch. A hoppy wheat beer I call Liquid Sunshine that I like to brew each year. I have enough Amarillo hops for two batches. Thanks Farmhouse Brewing Supply!

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Liquid Sunshine
Brewer: Marc
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Wheat or Rye Beer
TYPE: Extract
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 3.60 gal
Post Boil Volume: 3.49 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal  
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 5.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 35.1 IBUs
Boil Time: 20 Minutes

3 lbs                 Wheat Dry Extract     
3 lbs                 Wheat Liquid Extract
2.00 oz              Amarillo Gold [8.50 % AA] - Boil 15.0 min  
0.50 oz               Amarillo Gold [8.50 % AA] - Boil 10.0 min      
0.50 oz               Amarillo Gold [8.50 % AA ] - Steep/Whirlpool Hop
Two quart starter of American Wheat Ale (Wyeast Labs #1010)
1.00 oz               Amarillo Gold - Dry Hop (seven days)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Not so Belgian IPA brewed, racked

Brewed an IPA last Monday and racked it this evening. My original plan was to make it a Belgian IPA using a mason jar of Wyeast 3522 that I've had in the fridge for quite awhile (not sure how long.) I took a chance and pitched what was probably close to a pint of slurry directly into the wort, but it must have been mostly dead, because there was no sign of fermentation after more than 24 hours. I decided to pitch a pack of Notthingham dry yeast to get things going (after rehydrating) and that did the trick. I tasted the beer this evening while racking to the secondary and it tasted fine, but any flaws were probably covered up by the near face-melting amount of hops. Will probably let the beer sit in the secondary for another week before bottling.

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Da Bomb
Brewer: Marc Morency
Asst Brewer: 
Style: American IPA
TYPE: Extract
Taste: (35.0) 

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 3.15 gal
Post Boil Volume: 2.86 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.076 SG
Estimated Color: 8.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 72.9 IBUs
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Actual OG: 1.075

2 lbs 8.0 oz          Pils Dry Extract (3.5 SRM
6 lbs 8.0 oz          Munich Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM)
1 lbs                 Candi Syrup, Golden (5.0 SRM) 
1.00 oz               Horizon pellets [10.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min             
3.00 oz               Cascade pellets [6.70 %] - Boil 15.0 min          
3.00 oz               Crystal pellets [4.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min           
1.00 oz               Horizon pellets [10.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min              
1.00 oz               Crystal pellets [4.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min  
1.00 oz               Horizon pellets [10.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min
1.00 pint slurry      Belgian Ardennes (Wyeast Labs #3522)
1.50 oz               Cascade pellets [6.70 %] - Dry Hop
3.00 oz               Horizon pellets [12.00 %] - Dry Hop

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Control-ALT-Delete brewed, bottled

 Brewed an Altbier about 12 days ago and bottled it this evening. The beer was racked from the primary to the bottling bucket. The beer was quite yeasty, so it's going to be a rustic Altbier. I like using the Wyeast #1010 just for this very reason. It makes an Altbier that is a little yeasty (as the yeast is a low flocculator), but it's temperature tolerant to my third floor condo. That said, I'm little disappointed with the bitterness, but generally pleased so far. I'm thinking that another five or so IBUs wouldn't of hurt. The Weyermann Cararoma is definitely adding the deep caramel malt flavor (and maybe even a touch of prune or raisin) that I wanted. Definitely an old school beer, but that's Alt, right? Translates from German as "old?" Click here for the recipe.

I sampled an old homebrew while bottling tonight. The beer I sampled was what I called simply Autumnal Ale. My idea with this beer was to brew an Octoberfest in a Belgian style, adding candy syrup and Belgian yeast. The yeast I used was Wyeast #3724, so I'm really surprised at how sweet this beer turned out to be. I was really going for a saison crossed with Octoberfest sort of thing. I figure the dark candy syrup I used in this beer contributed far more sweetness than I expected, but then I only used about half a pound, so then I started thinking that the beer was just under attenuated.  So how does it really taste? Here are my notes:
 First of all the aroma is moderately phenolic. The flavors are a little out of balance for a festbier with a big time caramel flavor with an added hard candy sweetness. A lot of residual sugar here which is interesting since I didn't add any caramel malt. Some toasted marshmallow sweetness. Hops are pretty much nowhere to found in terms of bitterness, flavor or aroma. The mouthfeel is smooth and the body is about right, just a touch too sweet. lmost Fat Tire-like in terms of the caramel flavor which has me wondering if New Belgium adds any candy syrup or sugar. This is probably sweeter though.
I've attempted a beer like this at least once before and I'm not sure I'll try it again, or if I do, I might add some spices to add a little more complexity. Maybe just a touch of some star anise and black pepper. I might also omit the candi syrup, or use clear candi and Munich malt as a base. Or I could see making a beer with a touch of smoked malt could also be interesting, not unlike Sierra Nevada's Tumbler which is no longer brewed anymore.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumnal Ale already almost gone, Chinook Red bottled

Well, the Autumnal Ale has turned out pretty nice. Perhaps the best way to describe it is Saison Dupont crossed with Chimay Blue. It's of course not nearly as strong as Chimay, but has a bit of the flavor of the Blue from the use of dark Belgian candi syrup and a fairly low hop bitterness. It's kind of interesting stuff. Like I posted earlier, I really thought it wouldn't turn out as dark as it did using only a half pound of candi syrup. I've actually already (sadly) plowed through most of the batch even though it is just now coming into it's own. I guess I was thirsty and foolish.

I've brewed another batch since the Autumnal Ale and it is a rather fun project. My friend Eric Keeley shared some of his prized hop crop with me a few weeks ago and I used the fresh hops pretty straight away. He packed two gallon-sized Ziploc bags with the fresh picked Chinook hops, which I put in my freezer for about a week before using them. I used all of them in the batch which at first seems like a lot, but I did so after reading that five times the amount of fresh hops should be used compared to dry. It turns out I did the right thing, as the beer is hoppy, but not too much so. I did cheat a bit and used the Brewer's Best Red Ale kit, so the batch was augmented with some pellet hops, which I used for bittering only. (The kit called for splitting the Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops between bittering and flavoring additions.) I made a point to bitter with the pellets (since I knew the AA percentage) and use the fresh hops late in the boil for flavor and aroma. I'm actually a bit surprised at how much aroma persisted in this beer without dry hopping with additional pellets. I'm quite pleased. I added the corn sugar provided for bottling and reduced the volume of the batch from five gallons to four and half gallon to push the gravity up a touch.

I brewed the Chinook Red on the September 14, racked on October 7 and bottled it this evening. The results so far are about as expected. I really didn't expect a hop bomb, but I wasn't sure. What I hope to end up with is a flavorful red ale with a nice accent of Chinook hops and smooth, but lingering bitterness.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Brewed and bottled Autumnal Ale

Oh, yeah...right! I have a blog. I kinda forgot.

My full-time job has been very tiring in the past couple of months and the time away from work has been spent enjoying summer doing other things than brewing. I've re-evaluated my schedule and now I'm making some time for brewing. On and off for the past few years I've brewed an ale for the fall weather. I usually just call it Autumnal Ale. About a month ago I found some time to brew and crafted a recipe that is sort of a brown saison. I was sort of hoping it would be more amber, but it ended up being brown (at least so far.) I very much underestimated the power of a half-pound of extra-dark candi syrup. It added a lot of color and I still have another half-pound to use in another recipe or maybe I'll brew another batch of what I bottled today. The fermentables  for this beer included included six pounds of pilsner liquid malt extract, one pound of amber dry malt extract and about nine ounces of extra dark candi syrup. I boiled for one hour with three ounces of Strisselspalt hops, adding another ounce at 40 minutes into the boil and an ounce of Crystal hops at 15 minutes left in the boil. All the hops were pelletized.

Temperatures in the fermentorium (kitchen) have been in the low 80s so I used the Wyeast 3724 yeast. The ambient temperature never got above 83 degrees and this notorious yeast still took almost a month to complete fermentation. I left it in the primary the whole time, mostly because I had a bit of a fruit fly problem in my kitchen and wanted to the fly population to dwindle before I racked the beer. It seems to be no worse off. The beer tastes good with a fruity, earthy flavor along with some complex caramel flavors no doubt from the candi syrup. I'm eager to taste the finished product in a few weeks.

The beer that accompanied my bottling session this evening was my Dragon Slayer Ale, a highly-hopped Belgian-style quadrupel. This monster of an ale is still quite delicious a couple years after being bottled. The hop aroma and most of the hop flavor is long gone and what's left is mostly just phenolic; but the flavor is quite interesting with marizpan notes, caramel corn, almonds, a touch of a sauvignon blanc wineyness and an earthy, woody character that leads to a somewhat bitter and boozy finish that smooths out and leaves a residual marzipan-like sweetness on the tongue. To style? Well, it doesn't really fit any style, but it is pretty interesting. Would a lot of people like it. Probably not. Do I like it? Yes, and it's just homebrew, so that's really all that matters, right?