Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hair of the Dog Adam Clone

I had a bottle of this one time when we were at New Seasons. It was love at first drink. Here's the description from the side of the bottle:

I picked up on the figs, smoke and leather. I got this recipe off of the Mad Fermentationist's website; it calls for a 3.5 hour boil which is turning the crazy amp to 11. One last thought, I spent $8.58 on this batch and was stoked the whole ride home until I realized that the base malt was paid for when I bought my bag. Oh well. It would have come to around 15 bucks, which is pretty good seeing as how a bottle of Adam is $4.99 for 12 ounces.
Here's how mine turned out

13.00 lbs. 2-Row
0.63 lbs. Crystal 60L
0.55 lbs. Peated Malt
0.44 lbs. Munich Malt
0.25 lbs. Chocolate Malt
0.15 lbs. Black Malt

(substituting hops with great liberties here)
Called for:
1.00 oz. Galena @ 90 min.
1.13 oz. Super Styrians @ 40 min.
0.75 oz. Tettnanger Tettnang @ 10 min.
I'm going to do:
1.00 oz. Nugget @ 90 min.
1 oz. Cascade @ 40 min
0.2 oz. Hallertau plus 0.3 oz. Cluster @ 2 min. 

Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale starter made 24 hours prior

1.25 quarts per pound of griss
4 gallons strike @ 170
mash for 60 min @150
3.5 gallons sparge @ 180

1/4 tsp Wyeast yeast nutrient @ 2

1-21-2011--Efficiency was good again, I'm beginning to think this is how it's going to be. Preboil gravity was 1.060 which is a full point higher than what it was supposed to be. Boiling for 3.5 hours is a little rough. Around two hours into it, I started thinking about knocking off early.
Post boil OG is...wait for it: 1.110. I took a sip of the sample; man oh man, it was like drinking syrup. Really molassesy-smokey-and BIG. I could smell the peated malt throughout the boil. I'm not sure I would say I like the smell of the malt, but I know it'll lessen in intensity with time. I ended up collecting just over 3 gallons. I think next time I'll sparge a full 4 gallons instead of 3.5. As it is, I'll end up with seventeen 22s. I think I'll drink a couple right away, but I'm gonna let these age for a year (maybe more).
Started bubbling about4 hours after yeast was pitched. 
1-24-2011--Bubbling is a ton less active than the first two days. Gravity down to 1.028+ The Mad Fermentationist said he bottled when it got down to 1.023, so I give it another couple of days then cold crash and bottle. Tasted really big, complex, and smokey. I upped the peat malt a bit, but didn't want to overdo it. Good thing too, because the peaty flavor is really there.
1-26-2011--Gravity is down to 1.022+. When I dropped the hydrometer in to the thief, the hydrometer sunk to 1.030 but then after a couple seconds, went down to 1.022+. I'm sure it's finished, but I'm gonna wait for a week then cold crash. I need to practice patience anyhow with this beer. I plan on boxing up the bottles and waiting on it at least a year or two. 
2-1-2011--Bottled. This is the first time I've bottled and I think I hate it. Emilie capped and I filled. I put the bottles in a diaper box; twenty-nine 12 ouncers and two 22s were tucked neatly away for two years. I think I'll have the first one on my 32nd birthday. The 22s I'm saving for my boys to split with me on their 21st birthday (16 and 20 years from now). I drank the 3 or 4 ounces that were extra. Big, big peaty and smoke with a HUGE alcoholic warming at the end.
2-6-2011--Emilie and I went to Hair of the Dog tasting room last night. The food expediter for our table just happened to be one of the brewers; he also happened to be Alan Sprints the founder and head brewer. We talked about brewing practices and I told him about my clone (which he was stoked on).
2-25-2011--So...I didn't wait 2 years, but I did wait 24 days, that's pretty good right? Man, I love this beer. It's really, really strong peat flavor. I can really pick up on the leathery-chocolatey-figgy taste. Super good and super strong. I think it ended at like 11%. I'm very, very pleased. Now, no more for at least 2 years (unless it's a special occasion)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Last Red Cent Imperial NW Red

First 10 gallon batch! Also, first use of Brew Brothers' grain ledger. They're letting me store my 50lbs bag of 2-row there and take it as I go. The cost breakdown is roughly $0.58 a lbs which is pretty freaking awesome.
Big twist on the last time I brewed this, first of all it's a 10 gallon batch that Scott and I are splitting, we're upping the base grain from 9 to 12, we're also going a little crazy on the hops, and we rounded out and changed the chocolate. Should be quite nice.

23 lbs 2-row
4 lbs Light Munich
1 lbs Crystal 30
1 lbs Crystal 50-60
1 lbs Crystal 120
0.5 lbs Pale Chocolate

2 oz Millennium @60
2 oz Nugget @30
1 oz Cascade @10
1 oz Cascade @0

Wyeast Irish Ale 1084 in a 1 quart starter made about 20 hours earlier

12 gallons strike at 175 for 60 min (I would have done 170, but Scott said 175 would be better)
4.5 gallons double batch sparge at 190

1/4 teaspoon Wyeast Yeast Nutrient

1-15-2011--Good brew day, only a few things went wrong. I plugged the eye sight on the MLT because it's useless, but the plugged leaked and one of the hose clamps on the CFC broke, besides that everything went smoothly. With a little bit of play, Scott got the banjo burner cooking with some serious heat. Putting 12 gallons in with 30.5 lbs of grain just about fills the keggle.

Pre-boil gravity was 1.040, the post boil adjusted gravity was 1.085. Color looks good.
1-16-2011--Fermentation began before I fell asleep last night.
1-18-2011--Kegged. FG of 1.016. Big malt foretaste with a warming middle and a hop finish. Daddy likey.
1-25-2011--I really want to get this on tap. I am determined to drink the rest of the Happy 21 in the next two days. I think there might be like a gallon left
1-28-2011--Not fully carbed yet, but man oh man, I'm digging it big time! Big malty foundation with a nice hoppy punch.
2-1-2011--Had two pints today. Still not carbed enough to take a picture, but I really like it. Scott's was really cloudy, and I'm getting that a little, but only the first pint or two. Really, really good beer.
2-5-2011--A ton clearer. Took above picture and have been really enjoying it. This will be a PoorHouse favorite.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pliny the Elder Clone (sort of)

Here we go. I'm pretty pumped up to make a Pliny clone. Named after Gaius Plinius Secundus (or Pliny the Elder) who created the botanical name for hops, "Lupus salictarius", meaning wolf among scrubs. It's big, hoppy, and smooth; Pliny is quickly becoming my favorite beer...too bad I don't live in Santa Rosa :)
Here's catch: I'm changing the hop bill to fit the hops I have. There actually a pretty close match, except the Simcoe. Those freaking hops are just so dang expensive!
Here's how I'm doing it:
 14 lbs two row
.6 lbs Crystal 50
.6 lbs Carapils 

3.5 oz Millennium @ 90 min
.5 oz  Millennium @ 45 min
1 oz Nugget @ 30 min
2 oz Nugget @ 0 min
1 oz Chinook @ 0 min
1 oz Millennium dry hop after 6 days
1 oz Chinook dry hop after 6 days
1 oz Nugget dry hop after 6 days
Wyeast 1056 - 1.5 liter starter made a day prior

 1 lbs dextrose (calls for .75 lbs)

5 gallons strike water at 168. Mashed in at 151.
Don Osborn said he used a 10 quart boiling mash out, but I think it's a type-o. I did a 1 gallon mash out. Collected 3.5 gallons.
Double batch sparged with 4 gallons, collected another 3 gallons.
1-3-2011--Seriously, brewing with a tier system is like cheating--it's so simple. Only problem was my new banjo burner. I had it on for around 15 minutes and was only at 176*.
I switched back to my old faithful burner and was boiling in no time :) Other issues I encountered today were: my CFC leaked again and I got an obscene amount of hop trub. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet (ferment it?)
As far as the Pliny, came out murky (hop trub?) but had a good color. Tasted unbelievable bitter. After the dry hop this is going to be a hop monster.
Came out with just under 5 gallons in the fermenter. Pre-boil gravity 1.035. Post boil 1.072. I'm a tad concerned with the amount of trub and how that's going to effect the yeast. To be honest, I've never seen that much. I'm gonna need to figure out a new straining technique. It's supposed to get down to 1.010ish. I'd be happy with 1.015
1-9-2011--Racked to secondary and added and ounce of each hop; gravity down to 1.010 oops. Tasted hoppy and smooth. No aroma as of now, so I'm expecting a lot out of the dry hops. I'm going to leave it in secondary for a couple days, then tertiary, then keg. Due to the hop trub, I was only able to get 4 gallons.
1-12-2011--Cold crash and racked to tertiary; no change in the gravity, but the taste is getting better and better. Big, vibrantly floral hop taste, it's the kind of hoppiness that stays with you. I lost another pint in the yeast trub that fell, but the clarity is much better.
1-15-2011--Wow. This is really bitter.
1-19-2011--Still really murky, but not as bad.
1-21-2011--A ton clearer. Time for the side-by-side.
Mines the one on the right.
Here's my taste breakdown:
Mine--A bit darker and less carbonated. Big bitterness hits you right away, that dissipates in the middle and comes back at the end.
Pliny--A clear and brilliant golden yellow. Big bitterness but a smoother bitter than mine. Finishes sort of oily.
I think the really big bitterness of mine will go away with time. I really like it. I would give the nod to the real Pliny in a taste test. I think if I would have used the Simcoe instead of the Nugget mine would have been smoother. I'm happy with it for sure though. I'm stoked to have 4 gallons of a beer I normally can only get once a year.