Wednesday, April 03, 2019

 Decided to rack the Japanese Sunshine tonight and add two ounces of Lemondrop for aroma. A good call because the hop aroma is barely detectable. So far this beer is quite bitter for the style....almost too bitter, but I suspect that hoppiness will fade. I also goofed in my calculations and the OG is actually 1.056 and 36 IBUs instead of 1.049 and 30 IBUs. A much hoppier beer than I intended but the hydrometer sample tasted good.The hop aroma from Lemondrop should be a nice compliment to the hop bitterness and flavor. This will likely be the hoppiest version of Japanese Sunshine to date.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Took today off of work and decided to brew a warm weather beer -- another version of my recipe that I call Japanese Sunshine. For this version I've kept it basic with three and a half pounds of Briess Golden DME, one and a half pounds of Briess Wheat DME, a pound of rice syrup solids and Sorachi Ace hops. The hops were added at 15 minutes left in the boil and at the end of the boil -- one ounce each. The wort is being fermented with Wyeast 3711 French Saison.  Decided on a four-gallon batch as I shorted myself a bit on DME. (I ended up raiding the pantry for leftover DME.) Chilled the wort to about 90 given the reading on my infrared thermometer. Water from the tap for my chiller was 50 degrees. Wort and water in the fermeter seemed not to mix so gave the fermetner a good shake after pitching the yeast. I have an ounce of Lemon Drop hops that I may dry hop with in the secondary or for a couple days in the primary at the end of fermentation. Also, I've had no problems with the Gigawort since using only DME instead of LME.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

So smoked "bock" got bottled about three weeks after it started fermenting. I didn't bother with two-stage fermentation since I was using an ale yeast afterall. I've tasted the beer after three weeks in the bottle and this point it tastes more bitter than I expected but I think this might have to do with the oak smoked malt accentuating the hop flavors along with the sharp carbonation. In hindsight, I would use just beechwood smoked malt and no oak smoked malt. I would probably also use more smoked malt for more of that bacon and sausage character. That said, I do like the character of the oak smoked malt but I think that's for another beer -- maybe a helles bock or Grodziskie --  and I really want to try brewing a Grodziskie. I tried a Grodziskie for the first time recently and really liked it.

As I'm typing this I'm drinking my dunkelweizen. It comes across drier and a bit thinner than expected but I do like it. It is very carbonated and I think that reinforces the feeling of dryness. I went to a new brewpub last night called Ike and Oak. I really enjoyed their pale ale called Broken Carabiner. I'm not sure if I'll try and brew a clone of that or the Grodziskie next. I really enjoyed the late additions of Mosaic hops in the Carebiner but I think I might still try and get to the Grodziskie...it's just such a delightfully oddball style.

Monday, February 04, 2019

It's been a week since I brewed the smoked pseudo-bock. Fermentation temperature has been a bit tricky. We had quite a cold snap last week (it got down twenty below zero) so it was too cold by the outside wall (wort temperature got down to 54) so I moved the jacketed fermenter to it's usual spot just outside the kitchen. The temperature came up to 62F but the fan on the Brew Jacket kept running, no doubt due in part to the heat generated from fermentation. Once the cold subised and the daytime temperature rose above freezing I moved the jacketed fermenter back by the doorwall. The temperature for about the first for days of fermentation was 62F but I raised the temperature on the controller to 64F and the beer is now at that temperature. I will probably give it a diacetyl rest at the end of the week and then bottle.

Monday, January 28, 2019

I'm brewing for the second time with the Gigawort today. One of the problems I had the first time with the Gigawort was malt extract sticking to the bottom of the kettle which triggered the "run dry" sensor causing the unit to shutdown. I used dry malt extract (or as the English call it, spray malt) this time and had no problem. (Dry malt exract tends to float instead of sink.) The recipe this time is what I'm calling Campfire Bock. The recipe is six pounds of Muntons Dark DME, one pound of Melanoidin malt, one pound of Weyermann Beechwood smoked malt, one pound of Weyermann Oak smoked malt and a half pound of CaraAroma. The beer is hopped with one ounce of 11.4 percent AA Magnum hops. I'm going to reusing the WLP 300 yeast from the last batch and plan to ferment at 64 degrees to keep the esters low. It should be interesting. I've used peat smoked malt before in a Scotch ale but I've never used rauch malt. I'm curious as to how much smokiness 20 percent smoked malt will offer. I think I can mash up to five pounds of malt in the Gigawort so I probably could make a pretty smoky beer as long as the original gravity isn't too high.

So after writing the above, I started reading more about smoked beers and I'm kind of fascinated with Grodziskie. I'd like to try brewing one someday. Here's a link if you haven't heard of this style before.