Sunday, November 7, 2010

Impériale Dubbel Bruin

With today possibly being the last pleasant weekend day of the year, I decided I would get something brewed.

My Belgian black honey ale was ready to go into secondary so I wanted to pitch on the left over yeast cake. The yeast is WLP530 or Westmalle yeast (also used by Achel and Westvleteren). So it was clear whatever I brewed would be in the Belgian style.

After some back and forth I decided to use Achel Bruin Extra 9.5° as the inspiration. This is a beer that really doesn't fit into a predefined style. It basically an imperial dubbel, also called an Abt, quad, or quadrupel, so it would fall into the catch all Belgian specialty category. Achel is one of the coolest Trappist brewers in my opinion. While they are a commercial brewery, they are tiny in comparison to some of the others. They sell most of their beer at a cafe at the Monastery. Monks actually have a had in brewing here too.

I used much of the information found in the book by Stan Hieronymus, "How to brew like a monk". Here the general ingredients as well as mash process is reveled. The beer uses pilsner and chocolate malt, dark candi syrup, and Saaz hops.

I tried to match the grain ratio as closely as possible. I also used the same mash process and temps. I ended up doing a no sparge step mash of 118° (15 mins) | 143° (20 mins) | 163° (40 mins) | 173° (10 mins)
Had to use gravity to be able to do the step mash. I used direct heat on the kettle to maintain temps while recirculating back through the mash tun

Instead of using all early addition Saaz, I used Pearle and Tettnang hops. I used one pound of date sugar instead of the candi syrup. This is really just finely chopped and dried dates... but it is sweet and has a very nice flavor.
Date Sugar

Only 2.5 hours after pitching on the WLP530 yeast cake and it is already bubbling away like mad. The following morning my bucket looked about ready to explode. I quickly set up a blow off tube in order to divert a disaster. I am usually fine without one when I ferment 5 gallons in a 7.5 gallon bucket, but not this time.

AmountItemType% or IBU
14.00 lbPilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)Grain90.3 %
0.50 lbChocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)Grain3.2 %
1.00 ozPearle [7.50%] (90 min)Hops25.9 IBU
1.00 ozTettnang [3.90%] (20 min)Hops7.6 IBU
1.00 lbDate sugar (5.0 SRM)Sugar6.5 %
1 PkgsAbbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530)Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.091 SG (1.062-1.075 SG)Measured Original Gravity: 1.090 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.021 SG (1.010-1.018 SG)Measured Final Gravity: TBD
Estimated Color: 19.6 SRM (10.0-14.0 SRM)Color [Color]
Bitterness: 33.5 IBU (15.0-25.0 IBU)Alpha Acid Units: 2.4 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 9.2 % (6.0-7.5 %)Actual Alcohol by Volume: TBD

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

KSL investigates a product that turns juice into alcohol

I found this special report on a local news website.

"KSL News tested the product in two separate trial runs. We used grape juice in the taste tests, but the product suggests any juice can be used. Within 48 hours, the first juice we spiked had an alcohol content measured at 3 percent. After two weeks, the second juice we spiked had a 9 percent alcohol content, suggesting a stronger alcohol concentration the longer you let the product sit."

I have got news for you KSL, your about 10,000 years behind on this news story.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"HB" Kölsch

Yet another style of beer that originated in Germany. Production of this beer is centered near Cologne. It is a close relative and a direct competitor to Alt. Düsseldorf and Cologne are neighboring cities, and there has been fierce rivalry in the past between the two. There are reports of violence breaking out for ordering the wrong kind of beer in the wrong city. True or not, it is not an issue these days although for the most part if you live in Cologne you drink Kölsch exclusively and vise versa.

Kölsch is fermented at even cooler temps than Alt and use no dark malts and far less hops. It was essentially created by ale brewers around Cologne to compete with pilsners. Kölsch is usually less hoppy than a traditional pilsner and can even be on the sweet side. 

This Kölsch uses the exact same yeast as my Alt. It is quite light and clean, but does have some esters present that you would not get in a true lager. I fermented this in my temp controlled fridge at 55. I lagered it at 35 for a couple weeks before kegging and then bottling. I was attempting to create a beer that was similar to the standard HB or Hofbräu lager. I think this comes pretty close even though it  uses an ale yeast.

There is not much of this stuff left, so I figured I would document it here.  

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.00 gal     
Boil Size: 6.02 gal
Estimated OG: 1.054 SG
Estimated Color: 4.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25.2 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes
Mash temp: 150

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
8.00 lb        Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)             Grain        80.0 %       
1.00 lb        Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)                     Grain        10.0 %       
0.50 lb        Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)              Grain        5.0 %        
0.50 lb        Munich Malt (5.0 SRM)               Grain        5.0 %        
2.00 oz       Crystal [3.50%]  (60 min)                 Hops         25.2 IBU     
1 Pkgs        German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029)    Yeast-Ale