Monthly Archive for December, 2006

Facial Hair and Homebrew

A gentleman over at BA is asking if there’s some correlation between beards and brewing. Funny comments, and based on my experience, yes, there is.

I guess that means Scott is going to have to upgrade from soul patch to something more.

All grain 70/-

3 tier system?
Scott brought over his new brew kettle and mash tun yesterday and we set up an ad-hoc 3-tier brewing system in my kitchen. We brewed a 10 gallon(ish) all-grain batch of Scottish 70 shilling. New equipment and new techniques slow things down a little, and this was not different. We did manage to brew the beer in just under 7 hours, though.

Scott modified a recipe we found on TasteyBrew for 10 gallons and for the hops we had on hand (I hate Northern Brewer… for no good reason) and I fired up a starter using Safale S-04. The sparge wen alright, though the wort gravity on the sparge was a little lower than expected. We deliberated and decided to stop a bit short of 10 gallons.

The boil went fairly well though there was a surprising amount of hot break, and the steam coming off the wort made it difficult to see the wort. Ultimately, we racked off around 8.5-9 gallons of beer with on O.G. of 1.036. While waiting for the boil we stood out in the cold, drank some brew, and discussed what techniques have improved our results the most and what challenges we want to take on next. Anyway, here’s the recipe.

Grain bill:

  • 15 lbs domestic 2-row
  • 1.0 lbs British Crystal 70/80L
  • 2.0 lbs German Munich
  • 0.5 lbs Roasted Barley

Hops:

  • 1 oz Chinook @ 60 min. (12.2% aa)
  • 2 oz U.S. Fuggles @ 5 min. (3.4% aa)

Misc:

  • Fermentis Safale S-04 dry yeast (with 1 liter starter)
  • Irish Moss

We joked about how much of the process is now second nature that we fail to include any instructions with our recipes. If you’re curious about the process, um… see a book or something.

A happy airlock

Sweet Cheeks Stout

So I gave up on the name before actually formulating the recipe, so this isn’t a milk stout as originally intended. Anyway, brewed this on Saturday and it’s now fermenting contently in the kitchen.
Witche Brew
When I picked up the ingredients from Steinbarts, I had Ella with me and was having trouble milling the grain. One of the gentleman behind the counter was happy to assist.

Anyway, at brewing time yesterday it was clear, cold and windy. I brewed with just over 6.5 gallons of water, thinking most would evaporate. With 20 minutes left, not much had evaporated so I turned up the gas to get a turbulent boil. Seems to have done the trick as I racked just a tad over 5 gallons.

Grain bill:

  • 7 lbs LME
  • 1.5 lbs domestic Crystal 80L
  • 0.5 lbs Roasted Barley
  • 1.0 lbs Chocolate Malt

Hops:

  • 1 oz Galena @ 60 min. (13.2% aa)
  • 1.2 oz Galena @ 5 min.

Misc:

  • Fermentis Safale S-04 dry yeast (with 1 liter starter)
  • Irish Moss

I’ve been enjoying some hoppy/spicy stouts this fall, so I was hoping the Galena could impart those characteristics. The wort tasted great, and the O.G. was on target at 1.054. I figure I got the beer started early enough that I’ll actually get it kegged before classes start again. If not, Joe can make as much fun of me as he wants. The last two did turn out though.

Meet the brewer

Last night the power was knocked out just as the oven finished pre-heating so we decided to hit up Concordia for dinner. Michelle adjusted her route home to make sure they were open and had power, so we fed the baby and loaded up.

Two of the last three visits we’ve made to Concordia Ale House happened to be on “meet the brewer” nights. Last night the brewer from Stone flew in from San Diego (with nasty weather) and brought a cask-conditioned Smoked Porter, and the Double Bastard was on tap.

I’m afraid I’ll get used to Concordia and it’s awesomeness.

Weinhards History

Found a few good Weinhards historical video clips via the Beervana blog.

On the occasion of a really good beer

For my birthday this year, Scott gave me a bottle of St. Bernardus Abt 12, the 60th Anniversary recipe. I’ve been putting off having it until I could truly savor it, and had actually intended to share it with someone. Instead, I opened it last night to celebrate the completion of my fall term classes. While it was not the best choice to accompany tacos, the beer was fabulous.
My fridge runs a little cold, so when I got home, I placed the bottle in some warm water while I fed the animals, changed Ella’s diaper, and started dinner. Since I don’t have a proper tulip glass, I used a red wineglass and poured a bit to enjoy while making dinner. It was still a little cold, but exuded a horrifically rank aroma. But in the good way. A way that American brewers can’t quite recreate.

As the beer warmed, the taste and aroma improved even more – turbid funk, spicy, fruity malts, and warm alcoholic satisfaction. I’ve gotten a little tired of reviewing beers, so I’ll spare you (er, myself) the details – but it was an excellent beer. Well worth whatever Scott paid for it.

Beer Alchemy

I’m a happy user of Q-Brew and it’s features, but the looking at BeerAlchemy makes me drool. If only I had time to brew…

Holiday Ale Fest 2006

Joe, Lindsay, my dad and I stopped by the Holiday Ale Festival on Saturday afternoon, expecting to have outsmarted the crowds. Not quite. A 20 minute wait outside was the prelude to a 20 minute wait to get a beer. Many of the beers I wanted to try were “out until 5pm,” but there were plenty of other great, strong beers to be had.

After the first beer, we hung out in the northeast corner where warm air was being pumped in to the tent, and where two colliding lines created an people eddy and we were able to easily sample a few beers without much wait. After the equivalent of 3 and a half beers, we made our way back north thanks to the MAX and found our selves a bit… listless. Those were some strong beers.

One of my favorite things about the holidays and the beers is the great names for so many of the beers. Monk’s Uncle, Sled Crasher, Ho Ho Homo-Erectus, Blitzen, Taunen Baum, etc.