Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jockey Box Build (and use)

Camping season in upon us my friends. And what is camping without beer? More than that, what is camping if you have to bring a crap load of growlers or bottles? Even more than that, who wants to bring a keg of homebrew and drink it warm? Not me.
The answer? Jockey Box.
The essential premise is kinda like a counter flow chiller, but colder. Beer goes in warm and comes out cold. And again, I don't actually want to spend good money on things like this. Dude, 350 bucks for that? I set out to spend less than $10. The picnic tap was $4 and the quick release was $5.95, so I had to call on some friends for the rest of the stuff :) My buddy Jon had an extra cooler and my buddy Andy had the coil. Throw in some spare line and BAM!,!, camping bliss.
Here's the finish product and a picture of it in action. 

Emilie Cider

6-26-2011--Made a cider for the wife. 4 gallons apple juice, a cup of sugar, and a packet of champagne yeast.

You Bug Me!

My first shot using Brettanomyces. Everyone is mocking me because sour/bug beers are lame, I beg to differ. I'm using a basic amber ale recipe, fermenting in ale yeast, then gonna leave it in fermentation for 3-6 months with the brett.
7 lbs GW 2row
.75 lbs GW Crystal 60
.50 lbs Castle Special B

1 oz Nugget @45
.5 oz Willamette @ 20
1 oz Willamette @1

2.9 gallons strike @ 165
1 gallon sparge @ 190

Wyeast 1968 London ESB for the first 10 days
White Labs 645 Brettanomyces claussenii for 3-6 months

6-22-2011--Well, I went to brewbrothers today and they were suuuuper busy putting stock away. I took that as an indication that they wanted me to weigh my grains and serve myself (just another reason I love going to brew bros). I brewed the next day and was pouring the grain into the mash when I realized I forgot to mill it. Lame. I went back and we tried to mill it semi-wet. That didn't work. I bought more grain, brewed, and everything turned out fine.
7-2-2011--Racked to sour bucket and pitched the brett with 10 oz of granulated sugar to sit and ferment/sour for 4-6 months.
8-1-2011--The whole 4-6 months was a pipe dream. Bottled today. Tasted...well, not good. We'll see how it conditions in the bottle

Friday, June 17, 2011

PoorHaus Dopplebock

I've wanted to do a bock forevs, but I never wanted to pony up for the German grain or buy a new yeast. I currently have like 80lbs of 2row on my ledger, so I decided to do an German/American Bock. But...why do a bock, when you can do dopplebock? I mean, there's really only two things better than beer: more beer, and beer that's higher in alcohol percentage. Now I know you'll probably throw the whole "hanging out with your wife" or "seeing your kids grow up" or something like that back in my face, but come on. This is beer we're talking about. Big, bold, two-pints-will-make-you-more-tipsy-than-is-Godly, German BEER!
14 lbs GW 2-row
1.75 lbs GW Munich 10L
1.75 lbs GW Pilsen
1 lbs GW Vienna
.25 Crisp Pale Chocolate

0.5 oz Tettnanger @60
0.5 oz Saaz @0

WhiteLabs 833 German Bock Lager starter made around 18 hours prior

6.7 gallons @170
Collected 4.2 gallons
2.3 gallons @197
Collected 2.6 gallons

Whirfloc tablet @20
Yeast Nutrient @20
0.5 lbs Rice Hulls

6-17-2011--I usually cool the yeast starter in the freezer, well last night I forgot it was in there and fell asleep. I'll let the yeast propagate before I pitch. Maybe tomorrow. Ended with just about 6 gallons of 1.074 wort.
6-28-2011--Gravity down to 1.029. A week or two more.
7-2-2011--Kegged. I'll "lager" until a tap opens up. Man, lagar yeast STINKS!
7-11-2011--Took my first half pint. Tastes really German-yeast-fruity.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Racer 5 Clone 1.2

Which one's which?

It's funny. If you google "Racer 5 Clone" my post is the 3rd hit on the list. That means a crap load of people have seen my first attempt at a Racer 5 clone. Also, when I look at how people have come to see my blog, most of the time it's through searching for a Racer 5 Clone. It's funny because my first attempt at a Racer 5 clone kinda sucked. I think it was my 3rd or 4th attempt at all grain brewing, and I was drinking a bunch when I brewed it. Plus, now that I'm soooo experienced (I'm such a dork) I feel I owe it to the blogasphere to try again.
This is a 10 gallon batch. Half for me and half for a friend.
22.5 lbs GW 2-row
3.2 lbs Red Wheat
1.26 lbs GW Crystal 15
0.5 lbs Briess Carapills

3 oz Chinook @ 90 min
3.5 oz Cascade @ 60
0.6 oz Galena dry hopped 10 days
0.6 oz Chinook dry hopped 10 days
0.6 oz Cascade dry hopped 10 days
0.6 oz Simcoe dry hopped 10 days

10.3 gallons strike @170
Collected 6.25 gallons
5.7 gallons sparge @ 185
Collected 5.5 gallons

WLP051 California V Ale in 5 gallons
Wyeast 1968 London ESB in 5 gallons

Whirfloc @20
Yeast nutrient @20

6-15-2011--The recipe from BYO calls for 1 oz of chinook @ 90 and 3 oz of cascade @ 60, but that only gives you an IBU of 48. I upped both because Bear Republic's website says the IBU is 75+. Finished with 5 gallons in one fermenter, 4.3 in the other due to a semi stuck mash. Very aggressive boil. Gravity at 1.072
6-27-2011--Kegged mine and bottled Ben's. My FG was a right on target 1.020 using the Cali V yeast, Ben's was 1.010 using the London ESB. Crazy.
6-29-2011--Did a side-by-side taste testing (see pic). Appearance: Mine's a little cloudier (first pint?) and a little darker (red wheat instead of regular wheat?). Aroma: Both smell wonderful, almost identical. Taste: Mine's a little more bitter, but that'll calm down in a couple days (again first pint). Overall, mine is really similar. I'm glad I upped the 90min and 60 min hop addition; I think BYO is definitely wrong. When I do it again, I'll go a tad less on those hop additions, but not much less. Great beer!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summery Bullcrap

A coworker ask me to brew him and his girlfriend, "something summery, not too hoppy." My buddy Scott and I have talked about opening a brewpub but this is one of my hold ups. Scott thinks we'd need some lighter beer because when he and his wife go out, she likes having a beer, but she doesn't like hoppy/hardcore beers. This happens with Emilie and I too. So they end up only being able to go to pubs that can satisfy both their tastes. Now, I'm not sure if anyone who reads this blog (pffff, like anyone reads this) has ever seen the Seinfeld episode where George (Larry David) and Jerry are meeting with the NBC executives to pitch the pilot they're writing, but George flips out because they're messing with his "artistic integrity?" Thats sort of the same thing I feel about brewing some light bullcrap. I refuse to brew anything don't like. Most people will argue, that's how you make money....ARTISTIC INTEGRITY JERRY!
Anyways, when my coworker asked me to brew this, I told him I would, but I was going to make something that I liked. I hope he does too.

8.5 lbs GW 2row
1.5 lbs GW Vienna
.75 lbs GW Crystal 70
.50 lbs Briess Carapils
.15 lbs Maltextro Chocolate

.8 oz Melinium @60
1 oz Cascade @ 25
1 oz Hallertau @0

Wyeast American II 1332

4.8 gallons strike @ 170
Collected 3 gallons
3.4 gallons sparge @190
Collected 3.2 gallons

6-4-2011--I use a rain barel to store water so I can pump that through my counterflow chiller. It cools the wort and saves water (go me). Well, I brewed earlier in the day so the water was sort of warm. Sooo...when I "chilled" it this time, it didn't chill it down that low. This is a fact I learned about after I pitched the yeast and cleaned up. Oh well, I've always wondered if yeast can survive in temps higher than 80*. Hit my target gravity of 1.057
6-29-2011--Had two bottles today...well, I opened two bottles. The first bottle I opened was the last to be bottled and ERUPTED upon opening. The second foamed up, but I was able to get all the beer into the cup. I think I'll not use regular sugar without liquefying it first. The beer itself was good. Sort of like a mildly hoppy red, minus the big malt backbone.

Compound Stout

I found a guy on craigslist that wants to trade me a lefty compound bow for a case of stout. I figured I'd make him the Shakespeare Stout. I've made this a bunch of times now and have traded it twice.
I grow tired of posting the same recipe, so if you want to see what it is, look it up. I'm not a hunter, so learning to shoot is just going to be another hobby. I really like having hobbies. Emilie thinks I have too many, I just like being relatively decent at most things.

6-4-2011--I over sparged so I could use the second pot technique. A gallon and a half went into a pot and boiled down to around a point or two on the stove, while the other 6 gallons boiled in the kettle. I ended with a little more than 5 gallons after topping with the yeast slurry. 1.075.