Interesting article in the Cleveland.com blog about GLBC and its possible plans for the future…
one small hops for man, one giant bitchin' brew for mankind
Interesting article in the Cleveland.com blog about GLBC and its possible plans for the future…
Yes, it’s that time of year already. I christened my 5.5 gallon batch with a 1.8L starter of German Lager yeast, WPL830, yesterday at 5:00pm.
|Munich Malt||5 lb|
|Pilsner Malt||5 lb|
|Vienna Malt||3 lb|
|Hallertauer||1.5 ounce (60)|
|Hallertauer||.5 ounce (20)|
|WLP830 (German Lager)||1.8 Litre|
Everything went very smoothly. I treated my water with salts to boost the water profile (tsp epsom salt, tsp calcium chloride, ph stabilizer). Mashed at 156 for 50 minutes. Got 2.8 gallons on the first run at 16 brix @ 140 degrees for a 1.078. Sort of confirmed by a hydrometer reading of 1.054 @ 140 degrees = 1.070 approximately. Second run at 1.25 gallons with 10.5 brix @ 142 degrees for 1.043, hydrometer 1.030 @ 142 for 1.046. Third run at 1.5 gallons at 6.5 brix @ 148 degrees for 1.020. And a fourth run of 1.3 gallons which was nearly water and I only used about a quart. The pre-boil gravity was 1.056. I boiled for one hour. Cooled the wort to 63 degrees (which is the temperature of my basement where the starter had been sitting) and pitched. OG was at 1.050 which I’ll discuss in a minute. Hooked up to my handy-dandy Johnson control unit/heater set up and threw the fermenter in the refrigerator at 53 degrees. Now I’ll just wait for nature to take it’s course.
Per the above, I continue to have issues, for some inexplicable reason, with my gravities at OG time. I cannot understand how a wort with a pre-boil gravity of 1.056 can boil for one hour and come out at 1.050. That seems impossible. Water should evaporate and sugar should not. I confirmed with the refractometer which showed even lower. This is a source of endless confusion for me. I can understand if one over-collects on the sparge and then has too much water in the kettle, but I measured the pre-boil gravity… Regardless, I may have to take another tack and do some calculations on pre-boil gravity, evaporation rates, and so on to see if I can estimate the OG. But the fact that the tools reported something else is highly upsetting. In the end, I guess, it’s all about what the beer tastes like. But still.
Last year I was closed out of the competition because the slots filled up quickly, in like 2 days. I showed up a week after the competition started, so… Why the competition registration is even open until March 15th I’ll never know. The only scenario I can envision is that brewers become so disgusted with the process that they just abandon it. This is unlikely as winning the competition can make you if you’re a devote homebrewer. Anyway, so this year I vowed that I would show up on time and be ready to go.
Raise the curtain, set the stage. I’m online at 3:06pm (six minutes late! oh no!). The website is slow. Hmmmm. Ah, I connected, here we go. I register. Yay! To add the beers. I’ve got two that I want to send in. 503 Service Unavailable. Oh, no.
I hit Twitter. Comments are already up. The site is bombing.
I go back. Reload. “You must login to…” I login. Add Entry. 503 Service Unavailable.
:30 minutes or more of this. More, as I leave to pick up my daughter from karate at 4:00pm. I come home at 4:30. 503 Service Unavailable!
My wife comes home. I feel guilty for not making dinner. I help her whip some stuff up. I’m frustrated. I tell her that. It feels good to admit it. We eat.
5:28pm. Registration closed. 750 entries.
Just sent a bottle of tap to Ward Laboratories in Kearney, Nebraska. The water report is as follows:
|Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est ppm||170|
|Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm||0.28|
|Cations/Anions, me/L||3.0 / 2.7|
|Total Hardness, CaCO3||129|
|Nitrate, NO3-N||0.3 (Safe)|
|Carbonate, CO3||< 1|
|Total Alkalinity, CaCO3||80|
|Total Iron, Fe||< 0.01|
I’ve heard that the profile for Cleveland water differs in winter from summer. So, I may have to send off for another report later this year.
My next brew is going to be an Oktoberfest/Marzen. So, I will see what it takes to create a water profile that aligns with one from German regions based on this report. Found a pretty interesting article on Homebrew Water Treatment at The Mad Fermentationist.
Great site for Water Chemistry.
The clone is not precise for a few reasons, the first being that I don’t have a whole lot of money to throw around right now and I had a backlog of ingredients on hand. As I pursued a clone recipe for Conway I learned that Great Lakes uses Harrington 2-row as the base for most of its brews. This is good to know, as I have a desire to try a few clones: for instance, my Christmas ale this year used a Nosferatu clone as the base–again, however, I didn’t know about the Harrington 2-row. I learned about the base characteristics of Great Lakes brews from a nice post on The Beerists blog site.
Additionally, Great Lakes uses quite a bit of Cascade.
Regardless, here is the clone that I used:
We’ll see how this compares, although I expect significant differences. In the future, I aim to try this again with a more precise version that uses Harrington 2-row, Cascade, and Wyeast London Ale 1028.
Spent part of Monday brewing outdoors. The first time I’ve done that. I purchased a Blichmann floor burner from Grape and Granary a few years back and just hadn’t gotten around to using it; well, now I can say that I have.
The burner is fantastic and connects to a propane tank. It puts out 72,000 BTU’s per hour which translates to a whole lot of heat for fast boils. I am used to brewing in my kitchen where I use a standard gas range. The time to boil was a great delay in the brew day for me. After lautering and sparging and collecting the wort into the boil kettle, the time from that 160 or so degrees to 212 was too much. It could take nearly an hour just to get to boil. I didn’t time things out specifically, but I would swear that the Blichmann was heating water at around 10 degrees every five minutes, maybe even faster. So in approximately twenty to twenty-five minute it was boiling. It happened so fast, in fact, that I had my first boil over in years, even with fermcap. But it was outdoors, so only the ants were pissed (and me later, when I had to scrub the pot).
Another upshot with outdoor brewing is that I just ran the hose to the kettle and used the hose to connect to the Blichmann plate chiller that I have. The excess water that comes in chilling the wort went straight into the garden beds for the very thirsty pumpkins, cucumbers, and peppers. The main drawback was that the water temperature was very difficult to get down, with the nearly 100 degree heat, so I could only chill the wort to 77 degrees, which is a bit high for pitching (but I did it anyway).
I brewed a Brown Ale with lots of Cascade and Nugget hops. The Nugget came straight from my backyard, circa 2011 (vacuum sealed in the freezer). It was a low gravity extract beer which I am using as a yeast starter (essentially) for an all-grain Imperial Red (Nosferatu clone) that I’ll brew in a week or two.
Recently brewed two clones: Founder’s Breakfast Stout and Stone Cali-Belgique. I’ve put the recipes in below, including the BeerXML files.
I just moved the two to the secondary last night. I added 2oz of Grand Cru to the Breakfast Stout and .5 oz of Cascade and 1.0 oz of Centennial to the Cali. Tasted both out of the primary and they were delicious. I used both a refractometer and hydrometer to see the gravity progression and to continue to test the comparison between the readings. Each seems to be on target coming in at around 1.018 and 1.016 respectively–and there’s still a bit more time in the secondary where some action will take place. I’ll bottle the Cali-Belgique for a wedding but keep some back for the All-American Homebrew Competition; a part of the Cincy Winter Beerfest.
I’m planning my next brew, which will be a Hopslam clone, and I may try to get it in before the All-American Homebrew Competition deadline, but it will be a very tight squeeze on this one. I went out to JW Dover’s homebrew store in Westlake yesterday to fill some of the holes in my inventory and had one fortuitous encounter and learned one thing I didn’t know–so it was worth the trip. First, I met the owner and proprietor Jerome Welliver and Tom ? one of the brewers who offered to provide me with yeast slurry from one of their brews. All I have to do is bring in a sanitized mason jar and they’ll fill it up. That kicks ass. I was looking for the 1056 in their yeast cooler and then I got to talking with Tom and he offered. For me this means several things: first, the slurry will be a big pitch, meaning energetic and complete attenuation/fermentation; second, it is second generation from a professional brewery; third, I hope it’s a connection that I can maintain. Second, in the grand scheme of things, what I learned is that Jerome is not only the owner and proprietor of JW Dover, but Black Box Brewing Company, which now owns the label for Crooked River and is brewing up their old recipes.
This also sparked in me two notions, one tempting the other possibly stupid. First, to brew one beer a week for the year. Don’t know if I can pull it off. But I’d like to try. I’m behind right now, but have the ingredients to brew the Hopslam and a Flanders Red, which I could so this coming week and it would put me on track for January. Second, I’m considering the Lenten trial of drinking only beer until Easter. I would be hoping to drop some pounds and let’s face it, beer tastes better than the Almased liquid diet. And besides: it’s beer! Three times per day.
We’ll see. I’m looking forward to heading out to Black Box Brewing this week to pick up the slurry and brewing up a Hopslam clone.
BeerSmith Recipe Printout - www.beersmith.com Recipe: Breakfast Stout Brewer: Tom Hayes Asst Brewer: Style: American Stout TYPE: All Grain Taste: (35.0) Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Batch Size: 5.00 gal Boil Size: 5.72 gal Estimated OG: 1.093 SG Estimated Color: 57.9 SRM Estimated IBU: 64.8 IBU Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Boil Time: 60 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amount Item Type % or IBU 13 lbs 3.2 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 74.66 % 1 lbs 6.4 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 7.92 % 1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5.66 % 1 lbs Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 5.66 % 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2.83 % 5.3 oz Carafa III (525.0 SRM) Grain 1.87 % 4.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 1.41 % 1.10 oz Nugget [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 37.3 IBU 2.50 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (30 min) Hops 27.6 IBU 2.50 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops - 1.50 oz Chocolate, unsweetened baking nibs (Boil 1Misc 2.00 oz Kona Coffee (Secondary 1.0 weeks) Misc 2.00 oz Sumatran Coffee (Boil 10.0 min) Misc 2.50 oz Chocolate, Dark Baker's (Boil 10.0 min) Misc 1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body Total Grain Weight: 17.68 lb ---------------------------- Single Infusion, Full Body Step Time Name Description Step Temp 60 min Mash In Add 22.10 qt of water at 170.5 F 158.0 F 10 min Mash Out Add 8.84 qt of water at 196.6 F 168.0 F
BeerSmith Recipe Printout – www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Stone Cali-Belique IPA
Brewer: Tom Hayes
Style: American IPA
TYPE: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 5.72 gal
Estimated OG: 1.076 SG
Estimated Color: 6.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 64.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Amount Item Type % or IBU
13 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 92.86 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 7.14 %
0.64 oz Pearle [8.00 %] (90 min) Hops 16.3 IBU
0.43 oz Magnum [14.00 %] (90 min) Hops 19.1 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops –
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops –
2.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (15 min) Hops 29.5 IBU
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Belgian Golden Ale (White Labs #WLP570) Yeast-Ale
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 14.00 lb
Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 17.50 qt of water at 162.5 F 151.0 F
This Christmas my wife picked up a 1.5 Litre bottle of 12 Dogs of Christmas Barrel Aged beer by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. It’ll sit downstairs in the cellar for a year to pick up a bit more flavor and then we’ll uncork it next Christmas!
That’s what I named my Christmas beer. It’s a pretty good beer. The main detractor from the Christmas beer was that when I Christmassed it, I over bittered. The beer is an Arrogant Bastard clone, and so is sufficiently bitter already. Then I added the orange peel and curacao (along with everything else), which sealed the deal. Consequently, I had to sweeten it with 4oz of milk sugar (lactose). It worked very nicely, the beer has a sweet front end and a very balanced bitter finish. Bitterness does pass with time, so it was important not to over-compensate on the sweet side.
Old Christmas Bastard was well-received by friends and family and all that remains is three twenty-two ounce bullets. In addition, I entered the beer in the Wizard of Saaz competition which concluded recently, and, unfortunately, by some cosmic mistake, the beer was not judged in the competition. The message from Mike Yingling read, partially, as there was a “screw up in the cellar. The beer was on the pull sheet but the stewards & cellar master must have made a mistake. I’m very sorry your beer was not judged.” However, I am far more interested the evaluation of the beer, and Mike emailed to tell me that it would be reviewed and the results sent.
So, there goes the first competition; but that was the first for me. There will be many more, now. I’m very interested in getting the feedback on my beers as, when you brew for a long time, as I have, you get into certain habits of approach to the brewing process. I try as much as I can to read and adjust and experiment, but at the end of the day my brew session is to get the beer brewed so I can drink it! Competitions will help point out areas that are weak and push me in the direction of exploring more intensely the questions of the process.