Sunday, September 22, 2019

Really bad about updating here...so I tried my hand at a Polish style of beer called Grodziskie. For those that arent' familiar with the style it is made with 100 perent smoked oak-smoked wheat. I used 
Styrian Goldings since I couldn't get access to Polish hops. I also fermented with Safale US-05. I was able to keep fermentation temperatures in the upper mid- to upper 60s for this one. It turned out great. Only used four pounds of wheat so the alcohol by volume was below four percent.

After brewing the Grodiziskie (also know as Gratzer) I brewed a Belgian-style hopppy dark ale (a Black IPA is suppose.) For this beer I used six pounds of dark DME, one pound of Special B malt, one pound of dark Belgian candi sugar, one ounce of Chinook (full 60-minute boil) and two ounces of Mosaic Cryo hops. I fermented this with Wyeast French Saison #3711. I bottled this beer today and the hop character was bright with fairly strong hop burn in the finish. Not quite as dark as I expected but we'll see how it is once it clears up.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Brewed awhile back. A simple saison intended to be a Grisette, a lower-alcohol type of saison. I used three pounds of pilsner DME and one pound of Wheat DME along with two ounces of Styrian Goldings boiled for 30 minutes, one ounce boiled for 20 minutes and ounce ounce steeped for 45 minutes. I pitched Omega Saisonstein's Monster yeast which I haven't used before and I have to say I'm impressed. I bottled this beer last night and the gravity was 1.002 down from 1.035, so I'm knocking on the door of 4 percent ABV, which is a little more than I thought but I'm fine with it. Tasted at bottling, this beer had a very pilsner like bitterness and estery nose. I added gypsum which may have accentuated the hop bitterness. It's a spicy, yet not to aggressive bitterness from the Styrians. I brewed this beer back on June 30 and bottled after 15 days in the primary. No secondary. Should be interesting.

Also, the Japanese Sunshine has turned out to be very hoppy....here are my notes:

 4/26/2019 - Bottling day for Japanese sunshine. Very pale appearance. Yellowish. Very herbal and citrusy aroma. Very gentle bittermess, touch of citrus pith, bitter lemon. Dry.
5/18/2019 - Surprisingly hoppy. Hoppier than I recall at bottling time if that's possible. Still a good beer, but a hoppy saison. Somehow almost a Belgian IPA. Should be interesting to see how it ages.
7/14/2019 - This is definitely some hoppy stuff! More of a Belgian IPA than a saison, but not quite big enough for an IPA. More of a hoppy American pale ale with a Saison yeast. The two ounces of Lemondrop really put it over the top. It's also not as dry as I would like a saison to be, but fine for an IPA. Big lemon/dill aroma. Estery and hoppy with slight oily hoppiness. Bitter finish. Drinks more like an American Pale Ale or IPA than a Saison. Hard to believe that is only 5.0 percent ABV, but maybe this is just because it  is so hoppy.

Also: the smoked "bock" from a few months ago seemed to be infected or at least not finished fermenting as the last few bottles have been gushers.

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.