I’ve brewed a few Belgian Dubbels over the years. To be honest, I haven’t been totally “in love” with the recipe I’ve been using. I have practicing minimalism in brewing recently, but for this brew I decided to build a more complex recipe.
Here is what I came up with:
11lb 15oz of Belgian Pilsner Malt
2lb 4oz Belgian Cara Malt 15L
2lb Biscuit malt
2lb cara Munich malt 50L
2.4oz Chocolate malt
6oz Belgian candy sugar – dark
1oz German Norther Brewer 60min
1.5 oz styrian 30min
.5 oz German tettneng 20min
Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abby II
I struck a little later than usual, getting rolling at 10am. I held 150f (target was 149) for an hour and sparged with 3.5 gallons at 175. The grain bed got up to 168, but not the whole time and I did not mash out.
The volume was low so I needed to add 1qt at cool down. The pre-boil gravity was 1.066 and the OG was set for 1.080, but after the addition of the 1qt of water is was 1.074, right on my target. My efficiency was 65% so I’m happy.
At the end, I had plenty of wort at the end, but decided to hit my target and water the volume down. The color looked good and I’m excited for this brew. I was lazy and skipped my starter so we’ll see what impact that has. I have a spot in my house that should get 75+ for temp so I should have a good environment for those yeast.
Since it’s been a while, I figured why not get back on the horse with an old faithful. Californication, a California Common I’ve brewed a few times. This is a simple enough recipe:
20.12 lbs Canadian 2row pale
3lbs 45L Caramel malt
1oz Northern Brewer – 60 min
2oz Centennial – 30 min
1oz Northern Brewer – 10 min
Wyeast 2112 – California Lager
As with the last few brew days I’ve had, my new grain mill made a big difference on my efficiency (Thanks to Pete for getting through to me on that one). I had 70.1% on this batch, made a large 32oz starter, and MIT my target of 1.056 for my OG. All good things.
My mash was a single in fusion at 151 held for 1 hour with two batch sparges. The brew was cloudy when I racked it over, but I was really pleased at how much it had cleared up when I just kegged it.
The brew is now kegged up and should be on tap in the next week.
So it’s great to see the New York Times showing some respect to Upstate New York and Madison County. Hops was once a booming industry here in CNY and some dedicated farmers and brewers are responsible for the rebirth of this craft. Great story and great beers!
So tonight is game seven of the World Series. I was up until 2am last night watching one of the greatest games in baseball history, so I’m a little gassed, but that’s never stopped me. Tonight I decided to try one of my purchases from West End Beverage while I watch the game. This is Elysian Mens Room a red ale that weighs in at 5.6% ABV. According to the website, it’s a crystal malt, cara-hell, cara-pils, and Munich. The hops are chinook for the buttering and cascade for the finish.
The cascade in the finish has a strong vanilla notes. I have to say, it’s an aroma I’ve really come to love from a brew, but it’s not necessarily what I’ve come to expect from a cascade finish. Perhaps it’s the east coast west coast differences in the cascade hops, but the aromas I expect are more citrus and pine. Maybe it’s the malt that’s actually the malt I’m picking up on these brews, guess I have to keep trying more of them!
Here’s the BA feedback, not a lot of love. It’s by no means a knock your socks off brew, but it would make a great session beer with some real flavor.
So my wife and I have now officially been married for 5 years. The 5th anniversary was the “wood” anniversary and my wife got me these AWESOME custom tap handles. As if its not cool enough to get tap handles for an anniversary, she did it the right way. By that I mean she found someone out there that built them by hand and customized them. She found the guy on Etsy who makes tap handles and worked with him to make these four custom handles.
In case you can’t see, the one on the left says “CNY Brew” and has a cool hops vine creeping up the word brew. The second handle is an actual dog paw print by my dog (yes, it’s my dog’s real paw print, freaking awesome). The third handle is my wife and my initials, an the one on the right is a symbol from my fraternity. The handles are made from tiger maple and each have all kinds of awesome patterns.
The guy (who you can follow on FaceBook as well) kept in close communication with my wife during the planning process, he picked out the wood himself and made them with plenty of extra personal touches. It feels so much better knowing that someone worked on these knowing what we wanted and who we were, not just an order to fill.
I recommend checking out his work, Jerry was great to work with and produced a beautiful product. Here is his website as well http://www.jerryswoodworks.com
Just like last year, I decided to do a harvest ale using the wet hops from my garden. I was first introduced to this concept by the Sierra Nevada harvest ale and was a big fan. The fresh hops give a totally different flavor profile and having my own hops vines helps as far as getting them in a timely fashion. Last year I took part of my harvest for this brew and dried the rest, but this year, the Japanese Beetles really decimated my crop so took what I would salvage and made another harvest ale. This might be a regular in the rotation.
Now this one I was low on time so I did a partial mash. I used 6.6lbs of light LME and 4lbs of UK 2-row. Simple enough base. Then it was just plenty of Cascade to get some IBU’s in there and the rest was just a matter of adding the wet hops at flame out to ensue the flavors and aroma are maximized.
I pitched this to the yeast cake from the pumpkin ale so that was easy enough. All my targets were hit and the brew seems to be all good.
That’s right, this is the name of a beer you get when you ask your friend to help you brew and tell him he can name the beer for his effort.
This was a 10 gallon batch for the first time in a while. It is a play off of the origional pumpkin ale that I brewed, only this time, instead of using fresh pumpkin, I opted for the canned pumpkin. I used two pounds of canned pumpkin. It was nice, there was already some spice in the mix so it had flavor and aroma already. I added the pumpkin in the mash and it really didn’t cause any problems.
The recipe was simple enough:
- 12.8lbs German Pilsner Malt
- 5.6lbs germa Wheat
- 2.3lbs German Munich
- 12oz Roasted Barley
- 8oz Rice Hulls
- 6.4oz light brown sugar
- 4oz German Carafa III
- 4oz molasses
- 2oz Mount Hood Hops – 60min
- 1oz Hallertauer – 15min
- Dried American ale yeast
I had to use the dried ale yeast because of a problem with some 1056 I was trying to reuse. The target OG was 1.059, but I recorded 1.064, a pretty good increase meaning I worked at 88% efficiency on this brew. The gran mill appears to be paying off some pretty big dividends.
As I mentioned, I added the pumpkin in during the mash, the molasses and light brown sugar were added with about 15min left. I also added 4tbs of pumpkin pie spice in the secondary. I dissolved the spices into some boiling water and just split the mix between the two secondary vesicles.
This is going to be the “Oktoberfest beer” for this years party!
All these years and it was like being greeted by and old friend. Not overbearing, not offensive or questioning, just pure comfort. I have to admit, I didn’t know what to expect, would there be a funk or something off? Maybe it would lack backbone and leave me wanting more. None of the above. It’s smooth, clear crisp with the perfect amount of malt flavor to keep you wanting more. This beer is everything I remember and more, it’s actually a hell of a beer! 11 years later and countless stages of pallet growth, this beer experience has lived up to expectation.
Now I must admit, I wanted this. I wanted to fall in love again and perhaps I’m being a bit drastic, but I invite you to take a trip to South East Asia and have one of these. If you come back and don’t feel the same about this beer, by all means correct me. But to my standards, I have a personal top 5 beer, no bones about it.
Thanks again to the Melissa and Laura at the Baddish Group, I appreciate the opportunity to re-find an old friend in Tiger Beer!
“Một hai ba, yo!”
Many years ago, the winter of 2000 to be exact, I was deep in the jungles of Vietnam sipping a sweet nectar they called “Tiger Beer.” We would ask “toi un Tiger beer, moi lom lom” and they would come back with a cold (for Vietnam standards anyway) Tiger Beer for us. There were other beers there in Vietnam, Saigon Beer for example, but none of them had the flavor of the blue bottle.
Since that wonderful trip in 2000, I don’t recall ever having Tiger beer again. I always knew I could get it if I wanted it, but for some reason I avoided it. That was until I received a fateful offer by Melissa Tavss from The Baddish Group to try some Tiger Beer on the house. Having been so long and with the changes in my tastes over the years, I had to try it. Would it live up to the memories? Would the flavor of this beer take me back to the Mekong Delta watching long shabby fishing boats putter around with the mountains in the back ground? Would I smell the exhaust of thousands of two stroke motor scoots and hear the constant stream of beeps that turned into white noise? Who knows, but I had to find out!
So I took Ms. Tavss up on her offer and asked to send along a sample. Within days there was a box waiting for me and I have to say, I haven’t been this excited about a tasting in a VERY long time. Now one sits, chilling waiting to be drank. Will rediscover and old fond love or will my memories be dashed by a pedestrian beer? Time to find out…