Saturday, February 26, 2005

Brewing notes: Could they get any more exciting?

I didn't intend for this to just be a blog of my brewing notes. I've swear I'm not usually quite this boring; it's just a lot easier to post mindless transcriptions than come up with something creative.

Batch 6: Extra Special Bitter

Back to partial mash kits from Seven Bridges.

I'm too lazy to type the whole list of ingredients now, maybe later.

  • Brew Day 1/23/2005, OG 1.047 (6.2% ABV) Should have been 1.056-1.062, once again, I have very low efficiency on these partial mash kits.
  • Moved to secondary, 1/30/2005, 1.015 (2.0% ABV)
  • Bottled 2/12/2005 (or maybe 2/13...crappy notes). FG 1.012, 1.6% ABV.
Final alcohol content 4.6% ABV.

This one turned out pretty swell. Once again, I've only had one, but it was definitely an English style ale. I've convinced myself that it's Bass-like, but that may just be wishful thinking.

Batch 5: Phat Tyre from Northern Brewer

This is another extract kit from Northern Brewer, this time a clone of Fat Tire Amber Ale.

  • .5lbs Victory Malt
  • .5lbs Briess Caramel 60
  • 6lbs Munich Malt Syrup
  • 1lb Extra Light DME
  • 2 Cups Laaglander Light DME (My addition, for good luck, I guess.)
  • 1oz Liberty Hops, 60 minutes
  • .5oz Hallertau, 15 minutes
  • 1tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes
  • .5oz Hallertau, 4 minutes
  • Wyeast #1762 Belgian Abbey II
  • Brew Day 1/15/2005, OG 1.056 (7.2% ABV). Kit advertised an OG of 1.052.
  • Moved to secondary 1/22/2005, 1.014 (1.9% ABV)
  • Bottled 2/6/2005, 1.012 (1.2% ABV)
Final alcohol of 6% ABV.

Unfortunately, something may have gone wrong. I've only tried one of these so far, and it was a little weird. I'm hoping I just got a bad bottle, and I'll try another one this weekend.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Batch 4: Winter Warmer Plus!

Batch 4: A Winter Warmer extract kit from Northern Brewer. I didn't want to end up with a low final gravity, so I added an extra 1.5 lbs of Laaglander Light DME to the brew; this probably wan't necessary, and I ended up with a FG more like a Barleywine. Live and learn.

This time I have brew notes.

  • .75lbs Simpsons Crystal
  • .25lbs Crisp Chocolate
  • 9.9lbs Gold Malt Syrup
  • 1.5lbs Laaglander Light DME (My addition)
  • 1 oz Norther Brewer Hops, 60 minutes
  • 1 oz Styrian Goldings, 30 minutes
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes
  • 1oz Kent Goldings, 1 minute
  • Wyeast #1728 smack-pak XL, no starter.
  • Brew day 11/25/2004, OG 1.078 (about 10.2% ABV). The kit's advertised OG is 1.066.
  • Moved to secondary 12/03/2004, 1.032 (about 4.0% ABV) I should have waited two weeks before moving, probably.
  • Bottled 1/08/2005, FG 1.025 (3.2% ABV),
Final alchohol content: 7%. It's a bit of a sweet beer; this may be incomplete fermentation, or it may be that the Laaglander has a lot of unfermentable sugars.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Batch 3: Organic IPA

My third batch of beer was also from Seven Bridges; it was their IPA Mash-Extract kit. I have some terse brewing notes for this batch that I should someday fill in here.

I think I underpitched the yeast, or bottled too early, because the beer started out a little malty. A friend a work described it as "carmel apple". It wasn't specifically a bad flavor, but it was definitely inappropriate to an IPA.

I still have a few beers from this batch, and they've complete fermentation at this point. They're now extremely carbonated, with a ridiculous head (about two-thirds of the glass, even with an extremely gentle pour) but the flavor is much improved.

Underpitching is the next thing I'm going to try to address: I've been using the Wyeast "100 billion yeast cell" pop-pouches, but I think I'm going to have to break down and do a real starter for any of the higher-gravity beers.

Batch 2: Oatmeal Stout

I then discovered the Seven Bridges Organic Brew Co-op. They're a company up in Santa Cruz that specializes in organic beer ingredients. They had a sale on their Organic Oatmeal Stout Mash-Extract kit. I took a slightly better brewing notes (which I plan to fill in here someday) and used liquid yeast this time.

I was really happy with the way this kit turned out: it was a big improvement over Batch 1.

Batch 1: IPA

Ok, it's been many, many months since I created and posted my first few entries, but I've found a need: I need to keep track of my beers.

Batch 1 was an American IPA kit from Homebrewer's Outpost. My brew equipment had a lot of closet wear-and-tear, so I need to replace most of the plastic, and these guys had a good price on the equipment I needed. I didn't take good notes, and the kit turned out so-so. I blame the fact that I was too cheap and didn't get liquid yeast.