A friend of mine named Rick has a brewery called Great South Bay Brewery. They’ll be at the Craft New York Brew Fest Saturday and I’ll be there pouring for a little while. If you’re around, stop in! Cheers!
8lb 2oz of US 2-Row Malt
8lb 2oz of US 6-Row Malt
3lb 0oz of US Flaked Corn/Maize
14.34 oz of US Caramel 10L Malt
2.00 oz of US Amarillo (60 Min From End)
1.00 oz of US Cascade (30 Min From End)
1.00 oz of US Amarillo (5 Min From End)
Pitch 1 pack(s) of Wyeast 2112-California Lager
Pitched @ 9:17 155f, 5.8ph, added 2 tsp of Gypsum with a target of 5.2
Ran off 10:15 at 151f
3.5gal Sparge 1 171f
1.052 pre boil gravity
Racked after 7 days, topped off one of the carboys with 1qt of water 1.014 FG
- 18lb 10oz of US Pale Ale Malt
- 1lb 3oz of US Caramel 40L Malt
- 9.31 oz of US Munich 10L Malt
- 1.57 oz of US Centennial (60 Min From End)
- 2.09 oz of NZ Cascade (10 Min From End)
Pitch 1 pack(s) of Wyeast 1056-American Ale and
ferment at 68 F
Struck at 11:50 147f added 2qts boil to get to 151, held for 50min at 151
Double batch Sparge 168f. Boiled for about 1hr 5min. Had trouble reusing the 1056 from a previous batch so added one pack of dry yeast to the wort after 48hrs. Used only a primary carb for 2 weeks and a day, racked from primary.
I have some posts on two brews I made over the winter I’ll catch up on, here is my latest brew. Usually at this time of year if I haven’t brewed a Marzen, I’ll bail. However this year I had an epiphany; I can fit a carboy in my keezer!!! That means I can lager beers in the summer and make an Oktoberfest hopefully in time for the season. Here goes:
- 8lb 1oz of German Bohemian Pilsner Malt
- 13.44 oz of Belgian Vienna Malt
- 6.72 oz of Belgian Special B
- 0.80 oz of Czech Saaz (70 Min From End)
- 0.80 oz of Slovenian Styrian Goldings (60 Min From End)
- 0.50 oz of German Tettnang (45 Min From End)
- Pitch 1 pack(s) of Wyeast 2124-Bohemian Lager and ferment at 64 F
Per the usual, I decided to do a decoction mash for this brew. I dough in at 138 (target was 131) and boiled the decoction for 30min, then added back to the mash and stabilized at 150. I held the 150 for 60 and did two batch sparges of equal volumes using a total of 5gal making my whole batch volume used 7.72gal.
Pre boil gravity of 1.048. I mixed the 75min and 45min hops up so it was actually .8oz of Tet for 75min and .5 of Saaz for 45min which shouldn’t make a huge difference.
The OG was 1.052 giving me a mind blowing 90% mash efficiency. I just used the smack pack without a starter and it should be good. I want to get the primary fermentation at 63f and secondary in at 45f to get it good and clear. More to come. Cheers
A while back there was a great group of guys I kept in touch with through brew blogs. I’ve lost touch with the brew community to a large extent, but I remember drinking Ted’s Columbus IPA
http://www.tedbrews.com/2008/09/columbus-ipa.html?m=1. Over the years, Ted’s Columbus IPA really stood out to me so when I was contemplating my next IPA, I decided to take a shot at his recipe. Here is what I came up with:
13lbs US 2 row pale malt
1lb US caramel 20L
8oz US caramel 80L
6oz US Victory Malt
4oz Canadian honey malt
1oz US Columbus 75min
.5oz cascade 20min
.5oz US Columbus 20min
.5oz US Columbus 10min
.5oz cascade 10min
1oz US Columbus flame out
1oz US Columbus dry hop- secondary
Wyeast 1056 American Ale
My pre boil gravity was 1.061, OG was 1.067 and it fermented down to 1.012. I strike at 151, held for 60min and did two batch sparges, however, I wasn’t able to get the temp of the grain bed up over 155f.
This one is kegged now and waiting for a spot in the lineup to open so I can tap her, can’t wait!
After many years with my blue igloo cube, I decided it was time to freshen up my equipment. This time I went all out, false bottom, stainless ball valve, you name it. I have about $105 wrapped up into it so it was actually a lot more reasonable than I anticipated. Plus buying parts meant to do what you were hoping to do made a big difference, it took me less than an hour to assemble and test for proper seal. The 10gal jug is from Lowes, $49, the 10″ false bottom ($35) and stainless steel ball valve with fittings ($20) were from EJ Wren. I’m writting this from a brew day and while I loved blue, this thing works awesome and was super easy to clean. It’s perfect for 1 man brewing.
While I know we’re still a ways away from the end of winter, I can’t wait to get some sun action and spring weather. Initially I was thinking I would brew a pils, but elected instead to brew a cream ale. A good lawnmower beer. I’ve done a few of these, but I have tweaked them over the years. This is what I came up with this time:
- 10 gallon
- 8lb 2oz US 2row
- 8lb 2oz US 6 row
- 3lb flaked maize
- 14oz 11L US caramel
- 2oz Amarillo 60min
- 1oz Cascade 30min
- 1oz Amarillo 5min
This brew had an OG of 1.057 with an 85.3% mash efficiency! The grain mill has a great grind and is worth every penny. The IBU is 24, SRM 3.6 and should end in the 5.5-5.7ABV. It’s a little higher thanks to my mash effeciency being so much greater, but I’ll live.
I struck the mash with 6gal of water at 169 (probably closer to 171) to hit a 155 starting temp for the mash. I held that temp for an hour, added a few gallons of boiling water to try and raise the mash to 171, but it didn’t fly and then did two equal batch sparges of the remaining water. The total water used was 14.3 gallons. I also used my ph meter and added some gypsum to the mash. It started out at 5.8 and after the gypsum it lowered to 5.2, pretty cool.
I fermented at ~60f for a week and now its spending the secondary in the cold of my garage, more like 40f. From there, I will keg the brew (probably some time next week) and be on my way! More to come…
As mentioned, I’ve been brewing a kit called Hex Nut Brown Ale from Midwest Supplies and its now time for racking. The whole idea here was to use a base nut brown ale and add some of the vanilla beans my wife picked up to give it a vanilla nut brown ale, similar to what Landmark Brewing used to do. The brewer there always said that the key was the vanilla bean so I got some good ones for this brew.
First off, I had to prep the vanilla beans. I chose to use three beans as this was the number that I had seen in a few places and I’ve had in my mind. Always remember, with adding flavor into the secondary you can always add more if you think the flavor is lacking, but you can’t ever take it out. its best to start small and work your way up.
To prep the beans, I cut them open exposing the pasty seeds inside. I soaked the split beans in vodka for 24hrs and poured it all into my carboy (vodka and all) for the secondary. From there, I simply racked as usual. I gave the beer a taste going from primary to secondary, it tasted good, basic flavorful nut brown ale. Just what I was looking for. Tasting between primary and secondary is a good idea, you get a lot of the flavors that are not hidden by the carbonation. However, if there are flavors you question, I wouldn’t lose a lot of sleep over it because there will be more maturation in the future.
As you can see from the picture, the color is right and the beer looks good so far. I think that this will be a good brew when its all said and done.
More to come…
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was contacted about reviewing a brew kit from Midwest Supplies and agreed (on the condition that I could make a minor tweak!). The brew kit came with instructions and all the ingredients I needed for a nut brown ale. The recipe said the brew would produce between 1.042 and 1.046 SG and 46.8 IBU.
At the bottom of the post, I have pictures in chronological order of how and what the steps are for brewing a kit brew. As you can see, its easy and just required a couple of hours to complete (unlike my 5-6hr all grain brewing sessions) and I am able to set up and brew right on my back deck.
With this brew kit, everything went off without a hitch. The extract our of the milk jug works a lot better than the cans (IMO) and I thought it worked well. One note that Midwest may or may not endorse is I immerse the jug partially in the water to help get some of the extract out. It’s pretty sticky and thick, swashing some of that 150f water in there helps knock it out.
The hops smelled great, as you can see, the recipe called for 1.5oz at 60 min (meaning that the hops will boil for 60 minutes) and .5 oz at flame out. I don’t get too crazy with this, I just eye the .5 oz. Look for the wort to create s think milky foam (picture below), that’s usually a sign there is a potential boil over coming. This is especially important to look for if your brewing in your kitchen as it’s a mess when there is a boil over. You can stir, but watch out because it comes on quick, I usually look to take it off the heat at the point where the boil over looks like its coming. After its off the heat, I let it settle down and then return it to the heat, after that there usually isn’t much threat of boil over.
Once you reach boil and add your hops, you’re on easy street. Just watch the pot and make sure nothing crazy happens. If you’re using an immersion chiller, put it in the pot at about 15 min and make sure the hoses don’t hit anything hot and melt. Once you’re done, just hook up the hoses and be cautious because the water exiting the chiller is REALLY hot (I know, it seems obvious, but I burned my hand pretty good when I forgot the basics of physics).
You want to chill to 70, but in my experience you’re usually good anywhere under 90f. In this brew, I wasn’t in a hurry and I let it get down to 70.
Sanitizing is another important part of brewing. One thing to think about is before and after the boil. The boiling itself is a cleansing agent, but once the wort is cooled, it’s important to ensure that everything the wort is exposed to is sanitized.
Once that’s done, add your yeast and wait for the fun to happen. I will follow up with more on this.
**Quick thought on the brew kit itself. This was a good product with good parts. You’ll note that there were a lot of styles to chose from. With that said, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend utilizing your local brew shop (assuming you have one and its hours fit your life). As a new brewer, visiting EJ Wren really helped my get the confidence I needed to move along in brewing. I can honestly say I am not sure I would have followed through with brewing if I hadn’t visited my local brew shop.
However, some folks may not have the convenience of a local brew shop or also might benefit from the increased selection online suppliers like Midwest have. I just hope you consider all the options for brew supplies as this is a wonderful hobby and having access to supplies is only made possible by us brewing and purchasing. There, I am off my soapbox.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Midwest Supplies about reviewing a brew kit for them. It’s been a while since I brewed (or blogged for that matter, sorry about that) and I figured why not? So I asked them to send me their “Hex Nut Brown Ale” kit because I’ve been wanting to do a vanilla nut brown ale like Landmark Brewing used to do (my wife ordered some bourbon vanilla beans so that was my motivation). It arrived last week and this was what was in the box:
It was Wyeast 1056, (worked like a charm, one of my fears of mail order supplies has always been how will the yeast make the trip, but this was great), amber malt extract, mix of un-crushed grains, priming sugar, a grain steeping bag and directions.
Just some quick review for anyone that hasn’t brewed before, a kit beer is simply a set of supplies that come together and make a pre-figured kind of beer. It’s not like Mr. Beer kits or anything, this kit requires some of the brewing supplies in a beginners brew kit (here is one from Midwest), but it’s a great way to get started. I for one have been brewing primarily all-grain beer for the last four or five years, but when I am pressed for time, I like to do an extract brew. Beer kits are not much different than following a recipe, the only difference is everything is in the box. The people that come up kit types know their beer so it’s a safe bet and cost effective.
There are basically two different ways to brew extract beer; partial boil or full boil. This is determined by your personal situation, a partial boil works well for a stove top brewing and does a fine job. It consists of brewing in a smaller volume (8-12 quart pot) and adding the concentrate into your bucket with cold water. This acts to get your volume where it needs to be and also cools the mix pretty much to the point of being ready to pitch.
Full boil consists of brewing everything in a pot large enough to safely boil 5 gallons of wort. The trick here is you have to both have the vessel to boil in and a means to cool the brew. These chillers can be an expensive addition to a brew buy for someone that is just getting started, but worth it if you intend on brewing long-term.
With me, I have all the supplies for full boil that these instructions are based on that. Here is my summary of extract brewing steps:
- Heat 5 gallons of water to 150-160f
- Steep your crushed grains (in the grain steeping bag of course) in the heated water like a tea bag for about a half hour
- Remove the grains, squeeze out what liquid you can, pour the malt extract into the pot stirring to ensure that it dissolves into the liquid
- Return to heat and bring to a boil
- Once you reach a boil, add the first hops (watch out for boil overs)
- Continue to boil for an hour adding your second (and third and fourth…as needed) hops at the times indicated by the recipe
- Chill, sanitize (your equipment), pitch, and wait
That’s it. Simple enough. In the next post I’ll follow up with my notes on the brew day with this kit. More to come, cheers.