Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Batch 2.0 Indian Brown Ale

This ladies and gentlemen is the stickiest of the icky. That shit Dr. Dre was talking about way back when fanny packs were fashionable. Some 100% pure Afghan Kush Hops bro it's totally legit. Actually I got to use fresh leaf hops for the first time in batch 2.0. They should go rather well with the Indian Brown Ale that is vigorously burping as I type. Here is a run down of the recipe I used.

  • 10oz of Carapils Malt @ 20L (L stands for Lovibond which is a way of measuring color. The higher the number the darker the color.)
  • 10oz of Crystal Malt @ 60L
  • 8oz of Chocolate Malt @ 338L
  • 2oz of Biscuit Malt @ 19.3L
  • 7lbs of Light DME (Dry Malt Extract)
  • .5oz of Warrior Hop Pellets @ 15.8 AA
  • 1oz of Vanguard Hops @ 5.3 AA
  • 8oz of Dark Brown Pure Cane Sugar
  • One Vile of White Labs Edinburgh Ale Yeast WLP0028
  1. Bring six gallons of water to 150 ° Fahrenheit.
  2. Steep all grains in the water for 15 minutes maintaining a temperature of 150°.
  3. After the grain has been removed bring the water to a boil. Once at a boil, remove from heat and add all malt extract then bring back to a boil
  4. Once the wort is back to a boil set a timer for 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes add the half ounce of Warrior Hops.
  6. Continue to boil wort for 50 minutes, then add all 8oz of Brown Sugar stirring until completely dissolved.
  7. Boil for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and add 1oz of Vanguard, stir until a whirlpool is created. Then cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  9. Cool Wort and pitch your yeast at it's required temperature.

A ridiculous amount of grain should make this bad boy a pretty complex brew. My gravity came in at 1.066 which I correctly read this time round. The recipe called for 1.07 so I was a bit off but .004 from the called for OG ain't bad. It should be about six weeks from now before I can slug back a pint of my hard work. Check the video below dudes!

In related news my ESB/IPA should be bottled tomorrow and then turbo conditioned! I will go into turbo conditioning more once I bottle. Until next time keep on voting Socialist!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Secondary Disappointment

Last weekend marked the start of the XXI Winter Olympics. More importantly it marked the start of secondary fermentation. Basically secondary fermentation is the transfer of beer from the primary fermentation bucket to another fermentation vessel. This process is debated a lot between home brewers, some don't feel it's necessary. This is another matter I have yet to find a good reason behind. Transferring the beer helps aid in clarification and to settle out by-products no longer needed. Some may say this runs a greater risk of infection while transferring. That may be true however I don't see it being a very big risk.

During this process I finally got to measure my terminal gravity and taste my beer. This is where everything goes wrong. My gravity reading came in at 1.024 which is high for this type of beer this late in the process. Typically IPAs have a final gravity between 1.01 and 1.016, I am pretty far from that. Granted my yeast is still working hard, it appears I may fall short of that final gravity. I may have made an IPA that is pretty low in alcohol content, hard to say though since I fucked up the original gravity reading. I plan on checking my gravity tomorrow and then again Friday to see if leveled off. If a gravity reading stays consistent for two days then you know you're good to bottle. Only time will tell if I made the Odell's of home brew.

The big disappointment was in the taste of the brew. For starters the beer is pretty cloudy at this point. The Irish Moss I had added during the boiling was suppose help with this. It's suppose to clear up over time but the shit looks like Cloud City. While sipping the brew I thought Lando might pop up and blast my ass. The smell screamed malt, the crystal malt was the most apparent. The last minute addition of Cascade was suppose bring the beer in the IPA aroma realm, unfortunately this isn't the case. As soon as the beer hit my tongue I got a sweet note the was quickly spooned to death by bitterness. The bitterness quickly subsides and just leads to a mellow and watery flavor. Granted the beer is far from done, this was not as I expected. Carbonation really brings beers into a whole new world, I hope the same happens with this.

Now since I have made this batch I have picked up on a couple things I need to change in the future. The bitterness the brew possessed was because of my hop additions. Generally hops added at the start of the boil are only added for the bitterness quality. Most larger brewers use hop pellets for this very reason, then fresh hops at the end. For IPAs and other hopper ales and lagers hops are added in great bulk for the last 10-15 minutes of the boil. The longer hops boil the more resin released and the more bitterness the wort will posses. Hops boiled with in this magic window of 10-15 minutes will impart bitterness but not to the same extent. As a result I have dry hopped my beer with two ounces of hop pellets. I added an ounce of Centennial to start give a nice citrus quality. After I researched the bitterness I added an ounce of Chinook to balance the citrus with a subtle pine quality. Dry hopping doesn't add a lot of flavor but it helps, the aroma from the Chinook and Centennial will be more apparent then anything.

This being said I hope I can bottle the brew this weekend for the arrival of Joey, or at the very least give him some to take back to DC. This weekend I am going to start batch deuce, more than likely a Brown Ale! Congratulations you've made it through my grammar landmines, you won't be so lucky next time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My First.

Two weeks ago I embarked on my journey to brew master. At the present time I am the furthest thing from that title, kind of like Sarah Palin and President of the United States. For my first beer I decided to go with my favorite style, the always infamous American India Pale Ale. Here is a brief run down of the extract based recipe.

  • 7 lbs of Amber Malt Extract
  • .5 lb of Crystal Malt
  • 1 lb of Biscuit Malt
  • 1 oz of Simcoe Hop Pellets @ 12.7 AA (AA stands for Alpha Acid which indicates the bitterness of the hops)
  • .25 oz of Centennial Hops @ 8.5 AA
  • 1 oz of Cascade Hops @ 7.5 AA
  • 2 tbsp of Gypsum (IPAs generally have a harder water content, Gypsum will aid with that giving a fuller bodied beer)
  • 1 tsp of Irish Moss (During the boiling process the wort will coagulate proteins which lead to a cloudy brew. These proteins are positively charged. The Irish Moss which is actually a seaweed is negatively charged. As a result this chemical reaction will help clarify the brew)
  • One Vile of WLP008, this is of course an ale yeast.

  1. It started by boiling 1.5 gallons of COLD water. During this time I steeped the crystal and biscuit malt in a grain sack. Just before the boil begins the grain sack is removed and discarded.
  2. Once the boil point is reached all 7 lbs of Amber Malt Extract are added. Now I have read on a lot of homebrewing message boards that you want add some at the start and some at the finish. I haven't read a good reason why yet.
  3. When the wort gets back to boiling the hops are added at various points. With this recipe it called for a 60 minute boil. Before this all started I did some calculations to figure out the bitterness I wanted to achieve. IPAs are generally between 40 - 60 International Bitterness Units. Considering I don't know a lot about this scale I aimed at the middle for 50 IBUs. The Simcoe were added at the start for the entire duration. I added a .25 oz of the Centennial at 30 minutes in, the last minute saw the ounce of Cascade. Hops or in this case hop pellets needed to be boiled to release their flavors. The Cascade were strictly a finishing hop to help with the aroma in the final product.
  4. Once the boil is complete the wort must be cooled quickly and then the yeast is pitched. Luckly my Dad has an Immersion Chiller, with this baby cranking it only took about ten minutes for the wort to cool. The yeast called to be pitched between 68º - 72º, just before this I took the original gravity. This gravity will help determine my alcohol content later on. My original gravity came in at 1.07, this reading maybe impossible according to some since I had so much grain. This being said I could of read it wrong, give me a break my eyes are small.
  5. Next step is sit and wait. The recipe called for one week on primary fermentation. The book I am using is rather old, waiting a week is now a days not suggested. Most home brewers recommend two or three weeks to let the yeast clean everything up.

I played the waiting game and the two weeks is up. This weekend I started secondary fermentation, got to take my second gravity reading, and finally got to taste it. Tomorrow I will talk about that process and post some videos for yinz!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Enter this Polish Tornado Sized Shit Storm

Recently beer has struck a cord with me. It's something that I've had some trouble putting in terms neither myself or you would understand. This is quite possibly just another hobby/wanna be career that will get old when I find out I'm god awful at it e.g. rapping. How ever honest that maybe, this certainly feels different. I am reading, obsessing, going bat shit crazy, and drinking myself into an Amy Winehouse like condition. I recently started a batch of water mixed with barley, hops, and yeast. I am hoping that I some how turned this shit into beer. I am afraid my Polish intellect may of either infected or good ole' fashion fucked up my first child. Here I will poorly attempt to write and describe the process. I will speak of my concerns, what I may of done wrong, and what I will do differently. Even if I know only two or three friends will read this, it feels worth recording. Like it, love it, fuck it.