Thursday, October 28, 2010

Go Dodgers Imperial Amber Ale

My brother-in-law is going to be in town this weekend so I figured it'd be a perfect weekend to brew. I'm all out of the CDA I made and I don't have anything hoppy on tap (cardinal sin...I know). I'm a huge Dodger fan and God has cursed me with filthy rotten Giants fans all around me, Andy is one of the accursed SF supporters I have to deal with. To make matters worse, those good for nothing Giants are playing in the world series. Anyhoo...I'm going to use a bunch of the hops he got me and all the hops I grew. This would be an IIPA except the crystal 120 darkened it a bit. Here's the recipe:

14 lbs 6-Row
1 lbs Caramunich
0.5 lbs Special B
0.5 lbs Biscuit
0.5 lbs Crystal 120

This is where it's going to get a little sketchy.
I'm going to continuously hop from first wort to the end. If I were forced to write down how much I used, this would be my guess:
1 oz Todd's Spice FWH
1 oz Todd's Spice @90
1 oz Todd's Spice @80
1 oz Todd's Spice @70
1 oz Todd's Spice @60
1 oz Todd's Spice @50
1 oz Todd's Spice @40
1 oz Todd's Spice @30
1 oz Todd's Spice @20
1 oz Home grown Cascade @ 5
1 oz Home grown Cascade @ dry hopped in the fermenter

2 packets of Safale-05

1 lbs to 1 liter

10-30-2010--Everything went smooth enough. Andy and Luke were over helping, so that was nice. The hops were a lot of fun since we just dumped a ton every 10ish minutes. We were drinking, so sometimes we forgot. Andy made up for those times by dumping 6 oz at a time. There were so many hops that we had to filter them out half way through the boil; then again at the end. I'm not sure we got them all.
11-2-2010--So I guess we didn't filter out all the hops because there was a LARGE amount sitting at the top of the bucket. I think it sucked up all the yeast because I haven't seen a lot of action in the airlock.
11-3-2010--Pitched another packet of dry yeast.
11-4-2010--Took a reading: 1.020. It's probably finished, but I racked to secondary just to drop it a little more. It's REEEEEALLY hoppy :]
11-9-2010--Not fully carbed yet, but I had a pint anyway. Big, bright hop taste with a caramel finish. Real murky color with some yeast sediment on the bottom of the glass when I finished. Suuper good.
11-16-2010--Big maltly-caramelly flavor with a spicy finish. Really good.

Friday, October 15, 2010

We're Skipping Christmas this Year Winter Ale

ABV is gonna be pretty high on this one. I'm a little unsure about how much spice I should be putting in, so the measurements I put down in the beginning may change


12 lbs 6-row
0.75 lbs Crystal 120L
0.5 lbs Caravienne
0.35 lbs Honey Malt
0.35 lbs Special B
0.12 lbs Roasted Barley

1 oz Todd's Spice @ 60
1 0z Todd's Spice @ 5

1.5 lbs Clover Honey @ flame out
3 table spoons Ginger @ 3
3 table spoons Cinnamon @ 3
3 table spoons All Spice @ 3
half cup crushed coriander @ 3

10-15-2010--Well...this was a disaster. Pretty much everything went wrong that could go wrong. First off, I forgot to put the manifold in my mash tun, which I didn't realize until I was about to take the first runnings. I tried to strain it with a strainer and it worked well enough; however, the sparge water was really clear. In fact, I was about 0.04 off on my pre-boil gravity. Next, I tried reheating the wort and remashing, which brought the gravity to 1.04 instead of 1.06. Boil went alright...until I went to add the hops my brother-in-law sent me. I guess they were wet hops because they were frozen solid. Then I went add the honey and it, the hops, and the spices like coagulated together and wouldn't strain out. It sucked. The post boil was 0.03 off but it smelled pretty good--so things were looking up, so I thought. I realized I put too much sparge water in and my post boil was at like 6+ gallons. I thought about just tossing it, but I pitched the yeast and racked it. Not looking forward to dumping this when it turns out to be terrible.
10-20-2010--Gravity's down to 1.010. I can certainly taste the spice and honey, but no malty taste. I'll carb it up and see.
10-22-2010--I think I might try adding some LME to this and refermenting before I toss it.
10-26-2010--I boiled 2 gallons of this and added 2+ lbs of DME, cooled it, and stirred up the yeast for re-fermentation. Gravity from the DME rose from 1.010 to 1.03+
11-1-2010--Racked to secondary. Huge yeasty and honey-y yeast cake. Gravity is back down to 1.01ish. The sample tasted a whole lot better this time. I normally skip secondary, but I use so many additives that I'm going to let this sit for a week or so in secondary. Then I'll let it condition for a while.
11-16-2010--I've had this in my extra keg which doesn't hold gas very well because I didn't have a good one open. A keg opened up and I transfered into it. Taste had not changed. I ran across an idea on how to "fix" kegs that won't hold gas here and I'm going to try that.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cycling with my Shirt Off Kentucky Common

I recently went to Hood River and had a sour mash beer at Big Horse Brew Pub. I talked to the brewer and he said the best beer to make a sour mash out of was an I found a Fat Tire clone, modified it, and am going to let it sit in the mash for 2 days. We'll see how it turns out.

5 lbs Munich
4.5 lbs 6-Row
1 lbs (ish) Cyrstal 80 I say "ish" because I tossed in some extra on top of the half pound just to make it darker
0.25 lbs Victory
0.18 lbs Biscuit

0.66 oz Fuggles @60
0.66 oz Fuggles @30
0.66 oz Fuggles @5

Nottingham Ale

Here's where it gets interesting. I'm going to take around 4 gallons of 170* water and mash for around 2 whole days, take my first runnings, then I'll take 3 gallons of 190(ish)* water for the sparge. Then I'll boil like normal. We'll see how it turns out.

10-7-2010--Doughed in tonight with 4 gallons of about 165* (ish)
10-8-2010--Still warm. No yeasty funk yet. smells like death. I was thinking of letting it go another night, but I'm not sure I could handle it spoiling any longer.
10-9-2010--Finished. I think I have a headache from the smell.
10-16-2010--1.009. I think it's finished, but I'm going to let it go for a little bit. Taste? Well, it's sour and has a yeasty finish. So it tastes just like it's supposed to. I'm not ready to subscribe to the "latest craze" in brewing, or at least not till it's carbed :)
10-17-2010--Kegged. I entertained soaking some fruit in a secondary, but decided not to.
10-25-2010--It's certainly sour. They say it's an acquired taste. We'll see.
10-27-2010--After a couple days in the ked...I kinda like it. It's gotten A LOT more mild and the sour flavor's growing on me. I'm not sure I'll do this again anytime soon, but I'm glad I experimented.