Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To Decoct or not to decoct, that is the question.

As mentioned earlier this week, my goal is to get the Doppelbock done this week. In true German brewing style I also plan on performing a double decoction mash for this batch. While the decoction process is not complicated, it does tend to be rather time intensive. Decoctions usually add about two or three extra hours to a typical five hour brew day.
My schedule is jam packed this week with the usual, plus my OEC refresher is coming up this weekend, which will take up Friday night, Saturday, Sunday morning. "Ay, there's the rub", I'll have to make a decision by Thursday if I plan on getting anything into the fermenter before the week ends. I could have a window for a single infusion mash on Saturday evening.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Double Decoction Doppelbock

It's settled. I'm going to attempt to find the time to brew a Doppelbock this week. Complete with a Decoction mash. I have a massive yeast cake just begging to be dumped on, if you know what I mean. So, I just need to make a little room in the kegerator, and I should be good to go. Well there is one more item that I will need....Time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

BBF this weekend

Iz and I are ditching the kids and heading to Boston this weekend to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary and attend the Belgian Beer Festival. This will be the first time that we will be away from the children for an entire weekend. Hee-Haw!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gravity Falling

Tucker and his family arrived last night. They will be staying with us until Friday. Tucker got to see the brewery and sample some of the latest creations. Presently I have the Super Pilz, AAPA, and the Belgian Strong Golden ale on tap.
I took some gravity readings this week . The Munich Dunkel was at 1.o33 on 9/18, and the latest Tripel came in at 1.020 on 9/24. Both beers were aerated very well and started fermenting within six hours of pitching the yeast, so I'm quite pleased with how fermentation is going with these beers.
Once the Tripel reaches terminal gravity I plan on cold conditioning it for several weeks before racking to keg & bottles for long term storage. Yeah, I'm gonna need more of them Belgian Style 750ml bottles.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Beer recipes on the brain

Now that Summer is over and I'm back in the basement brewing with some frequency, I'm finding myself thinking about beer styles and new recipes again. As a result I usually lay awake in bed thinking about mash schedules, decoction schedules, and breaking new ground in exploring different styles of beer that I have yet to brew for the very first time.
The latest styles keeping me up at night are Dubbels, Strong Scottish Ales, and German Lagers.

I have been refining the grist for the Old Chub clone almost daily as I continue to research this style, and more specifically this fabulous beer that arrives in a can.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fermenting another Belgian

Despite several setbacks the Tripel is chugging away happily in the the conical. Today was a rather challenging day in the basement brewery. For the first time in years I grossly missed my strike temperature. I had originally planned on performing an upward infusion mash. My plans were forced to change when my first infusion of the day fell short of it's target. I had intended to mash in the first infusion around 144F. I missed this temp by a mile. It came in at 137F.
This forced me to switch gears and do what I could to get the mash up into to 149-153F range. I missed this target as well, and ended up at 147F. It's at the extreme low end for mash temps. It's also the lowest temp I have ever done a single infusion mash. Fingers crossed that this will be a success.

On a side note I kegged the DIPA and five gallons of AAPA. I harvested several strains of yeast ans cleaned up the brewery. Next weekend it's off to the BBF in Boston, so it's likely I'll be taking a break from filling the mash tun next weekend.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Grain Bill Together for Sunday

I completed the grain bill and got all the malt milled today for Sunday's Tripel. I even went so far as to make invert sugar for this beer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

No Marris Otter in the brewhouse

Things are really starting to ramp up in the basement brewery. Hippie stopped over last night and helped me rack the Red Rye to secondary fermentation. It finished at 1.010 which is respectable. I'm interested in brewing this weekend, but it seems I'm pretty much out of MO 2-row, so I think a Tripel is on deck for Sunday morning. I have everything that I need for this beer aside from the invert candy sugar, which I can get together tonight after the children are in bed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strong Scottish Ale & more lager on the horizon

I used some of the sweet wort from the Munich Dunkel that I brewed this past Sunday to get a starter going for a Strong Scottish Ale that I plan to brew very soon. I'd also like to use the yeast caked from the Munich Dunkel for another lager as well. I'm thinking about that Doppel Bock again or possibly a Maibock. It sure would be nice to be drinking beers the corelate with the seasons for once.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Munich Dunkel fermenting

Hippie came came over Sunday morning and we brewed up twenty gallons of beer. I made a Munich dunkel, and he brewed a nut brown ale. I abstained from doing a decoction this time around. Instead I opted for a simple upward infusion mash which included a protein rest. The lager is fermenting away happily. I plan on harvesting the some of the yeast from this batch to use for a Doppel Bock that I plan to brew sometime this Fall or Winter.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Got Starter Started.

I got a starter of WLP830 going last night. The WLP830 is my second favorite lager strain next to Wyeast 2001 . I like using the Wyeast 2001 for my Bohemian Pilzner and SMaSH recipes. The WLP830 lends a nice clean malty flavor to my German style lagers.

Brewing season is back!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Another Lager on the Docket.

I'm planning on filling the the lager chamber with my next brew. Ideally it will be a single or double decoction Munich Dunkel. I'm planning on using up to 75% Munich malt in the grist. The balance will include Pilsner and German Cara Vienna.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Red Rye

I swung back into action on Sunday night and brewed a Rye Ale. It is a modified version of my Rye Pale Ale. This time around I bumped up the Rye from 14% to 20% of the total grist. I'm hoping to impart a nice spicy flavor with the Rye that will blend well with my bittering hops which area combination of Brewers Gold, Chinook, and Perle. It's S.G. was 1.062 and came in at 65 IBU's.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Three Cornies Conditioning

I was over at my friends brewhouse last night to drop of the Super Pils for some additional lagering. While there I had an opportunity to sample two of my Belgians that have been in his cooler conditioning.
The Belgian Strong Golden ale is coming along nicely. I suspect it will ready for consumption in October. The Saison is evolving nicely. It has a strong yeast ester in the aroma which I found undesirable. Hopefully this will dissipate over time thus improving the aroma of this otherwise fine beer. On the other hand it may also cause the beer to dissipate very quickly.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Final Packaging for the Saison & Super Pilz

Tuesday night I was back at it in the basement. I finally got around to bottling the Saison that B and I brewed back in June. For authenticity I borrowed a floor corker to bottle them in 750ml bottles. Five gallons of the super Pilz also got moved to a keg last night.
I'm throwing around some ideas of what I should brew this weekend. The Lager chamber is vacant, so I'm contemplating a Dunkel.
Let me know if you have any suggestions.