Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bourbon Barrel brew process - The Fill

The project is about to begin. Grain is here and now I am working on the yeast. I thought for a while about how to pull off the 60 gallons I will need for this project. I am lucky in the fact that I can brew fairly large batches from the homebrew scale. Basically the process is a starter batch to grow yeast, and corny kegs for storage until there is 60 gallons brewed.

Here is the process visualized because I am a geek like that:


So the total time from start to aging will be about 30 days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Experimental hop 'HBC 342' Pale Ale

Last Sunday we brewed 15 gallons of an American Pale Ale. This beer included a number of firsts for this brewer.

Let's start with the hops. We flavored this beer with a hop that I have never brewed with, or even tasted as far as I know. The hop comes from Hopunions Hop Breeding Company. It is only known by the number 342 at this time. Hop breeding cycles tend to take around 10 years from birth to any substantial acreage. My guess is that this hop is near the end of that cycle as there seems to be enough of this stuff around that there are some commercial examples out there.

I have heard some call this the watermelon jolly rancher of hops. Well, I highly doubt that, but I do hope to get some melon flavors from it. Here is the offical description:

HBC 342 is a high alpha aroma variety selected for its pleasant aroma. It's aroma can be described as mild, pleasant, citrusy, and tropical, with some melon notes as well. Most are using this hop in Pale Ales and IPAs, but it would go well in stouts and browns also.

The other firsts for this brew day is that we did both a hop addition in the mash and a first wort hop addition.

We went with all 342 in the mash and boil. From what I have read, the hop seems to be a little weak in the aroma dept, so I decided to dry hop with Ahtanum since it has got an amazing aroma. Even though I will not be using 342 as a dry hop, I still feel like I will get a good idea on what this hop is all about.

Revival HBC 342 Pale Ale
Brewer: Tim & Michael
Batch Size: 16.00 galStyle: American Pale Ale (10A)
Boil Size: 17.14 galStyle Guide: BJCP 2008
Color: 5.7 SRMEquipment: 26 gallon brewtroller
Bitterness: 37.7 IBUsBoil Time: 60 min
Est OG: 1.058 (14.1° P)Mash Profile: Temperature Mash, 153
Est FG: 1.012 SG (3.1° P)
ABV est: 6.0%
26 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)Grain1
6 lbsVienna Malt (3.5 SRM)Grain2
2 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)Grain3
1.0 ozHBC 342 [11.4%] - Mash HopHops4
1.0 ozHBC 342 [11.4%] - First WortHops5
2.0 ozHBC 342 [11.4%] - Boil 15 minHops6
3.0 ozHBC 342 [11.4%] - Boil 5 minHops7
3.0 ozHBC 342 [11.4%] - Boil 0 minHops8
3 pkgsSafale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)Yeast9
3.0 ozAhtanum [6.0%] - Dry Hop 0 daysHops10

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy Project

Things are coming together for our Bourbon barrel project.

First rinsing
The barrel is currently sitting with a holding solution in it. The process was to rinse it out a few times, and then fill it with a solution of citric acid and potassium metabisulfite. This is not a freshly dumped Bourbon barrel. It was used to age 4 batches of Smoked and Oaked belgian ale from Epic Brewing. I have no idea how long it sat, but it was not dried out so I am hoping it wasn't too long. Hence my desire to rinse and fill with the holding solution.

The beer we are going to brew to fill it has been selected. We are brewing a very simple recipe of 99% Scottish Golden Promise and 1% roasted barley. It is based on Traquair House Ale (but this one will be higher ABV). In my mind and others, this is probably the preeminent Scottish ale. The story of the Traquair brewery also happens to be amazing, and totally in synch with why I enjoy beer brewing so much. The house in which the brewery resides is said to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. It dates all the way back to 1107. If that's not cool enough, the brewery is truly old school. The brewery was re-founded in 1965 after the old brewery equipment was discovered on the property after sitting idle for at least 150 years! The beers are not only aged in oak, they are fermented in the original oak fermenters. And get this, it would be impossible to recreate these fermenters because the oak species they are made from are extinct!

What is also amazing is that even though they brew only about 700 barrels a year, you can actual buy it here in Utah. And let me tell you, this beer is outstanding!

This week I picked up 220 pounds of golden promise. A big thanks go out to Cody and Salt City Brew Supply for giving me a nice deal on it. So the next steps will be setting up the logistics on how to ferment all 60 gallons that will be brewed. I only have 35 gallons of space in stainless, so some of it is going to be fermented someplace else.

Ros Ceithir (Barrel Aged Wee Heavy)
Strong Scotch Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 9/11/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 60.00 gal Brewer:
Boil Size: 65.44 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: 26 Gallon (Brewtroller) - All Grain
End of Boil Volume 63.44 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 59.25 gal Est Mash Efficiency 76.3 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
200 lbs Golder Promise (1.7 SRM) Grain 1 99.0 %
2 lbs Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 2 1.0 %
8.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 45.0 min Hop 3 14.7 IBUs
10.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 35.0 min Hop 4 16.5 IBUs
Massive slurry Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728) [124.21 ml] Yeast 5 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.087 SG Measured Original Gravity: ?
Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG Measured Final Gravity: ?
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 9.3 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 9.7 %
Bitterness: 31.2 IBUs Calories: 282.2 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 9.7 SRM

Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Bottle Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 46.54 oz Carbonation Used: Bottle with 46.54 oz Corn Sugar
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
Color will be much darker due to the in kettle caralization we will do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Isn't it a little late for a pumpkin beer?

Yeah, it probably is a little late to be brewing this beer, but what the hell. The new brew club is having a porter meeting in 5 weeks, so I figure two birds with one stone.

Will it be ready in 5 weeks? It will be close that's for sure.

So I am not much of a conformist... well I can conform, but it makes me a little crazy. So when coming up with a pumpkin beer, I wanted to stay away from any typical pumpkin beer styles. Mainly I wanted to not do an amber style beer with a lot of pumpkin spice.

Last year I did an awesome Yam-ber ale, so what to do different this year?

1) First start with a porter instead of an amber ale.

2) Add some spiciness by using rye malt

3) You have to actually put pumpkin in it. So I smoked 10 pounds of pie pumpkins over pecan wood for 4 hours.

4) Be ready to add some smoke if the pumpkin does not carry over. A tiny bit of peated malt was on standby.

Behold the Smoked Pumpkin Rye Porter! I am hoping I have a detectable level of smoke in the finished beer. If not, behold the Rye Pumpkin Porter!

Here is the recipe brewed
Batch Size: 10.75 galStyle: Robust Porter (12B)
Boil Size: 14.22 galStyle Guide: BJCP 2008
Color: 26.4 SRMEquipment: 26 Gallon (Brewtroller) - All Grain
Bitterness: 24.8 IBUsBoil Time: 60 min
Est OG: 1.061 (14.9° P)Mash Profile: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge (151)
Est FG: 1.014 SG (3.6° P)Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage
ABV: 6.2%
14 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)Grain1
4 lbsMunich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)Grain2
4 lbsRye Malt (4.7 SRM)Grain3
2 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)Grain4
1 lbsCarafa III (525.0 SRM)Grain5
.25 lbsPeat Smoked Malt (added 20 mins into mash) (2.8 SRM)Grain6
10.00 lbsSmoked Pumpkin (Mash 60 min)Misc7
1.0 ozCentennial [10.0%] - Boil 60 minHops8
2.0 ozWillamette [5.5%] - Boil 15 minHops9
1.5 tspPumpkin pie spice (Boil 5 min)Misc10
2 pkgsSafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04)Yeast11

Friday, October 5, 2012

RedRock Brewing Nut Brown Release party

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to a RedRock brewing release party. This Nut brown is based on their award winning session Nut brown, but has been upped to 6%. With it there was a fairly substantial edition of cascade hops added to the finish. It's quite noticable, and not really expected based on the style. If you are a fan of a malty Nut brown, this may not be the beer you want.

My wife actually ordered the standard Nut brown after drinking a little of the new stuff. It happens to be one of her favorite beers, so no suprise there. I actually like the hops, but then that is no suprise either.

The nose is a little nutty with notes of coffee, chocolate, and some piney hops. It has a nice roasted flavor with some toffee that finishes with suprising cascade piney hop notes. The finish is dry. 

I was also lucky enough to sit at the same table with the only RedRock brewer that showed up. That made the night much more enjoyable as we got along great with him and his wife.

I got invited to go to another release party next week for their beer Secale, a Rye Whiskey Barrel aged Dopelbock Lager. One of my favorite beers!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Brewtroller conquered?

This past weekend we brewed up a Belgian style Dubbel using the Brewtroller for a second time.

Massive cold break!
The good news is that we had no real issues with the setup. We were able to get it to successfully control both the HLT and the MLT. We were still a little nervous about leaving things unattended for too long, but the remote viewing of the process does ease some concerns.

We do have a couple of outputs on the Brewtroller board that are shorted out. This is what caused some of the issues we have had the past week or so. Once we hooked up a voltage meter we were able to diagnose these problems and move outputs around.

So far the guys at Open Source Control Systems have been great to work with. They said we can send back the board and they will fix the shorted outputs.

Next up we will be attempting to add volume sensors to the HLT and Kettle.

As for the beer we brewed, we followed the water volumes that the Brewtroller provided, but I think we had a little more sparge water than we were supposed to. We ended up with an OG that was just a little under the expected value. Hopefully we can easily measure out things like 15.75 gallons easily after the volume sensors are in place.

Belgian Dubbel

Batch Size: 17.00 galStyle: Belgian Dubbel (18B)
Boil Size: 18.18 galStyle Guide: BJCP 2008
Color: 17.5 SRMEquipment: 15 My Equipment
Bitterness: 22.4 IBUsBoil Time: 60 min
Est OG: 1.066 (16.0° P)Mash Profile: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Est FG: 1.007 SG (1.7° P)Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage
ABV: 7.8%Taste Rating: 30.0
30 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)Grain1
1 lbs 6.0 ozCaramunich Malt (56.0 SRM)Grain2
6.0 ozSpecial B Malt (180.0 SRM)Grain3
2 lbsCorn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM)Grain4
2 lbsTurbinado (10.0 SRM)Grain5
2.0 ozNorthern Brewer [8.5%] - Boil 60 minHops6
2.0 ozStyrian Goldings [5.4%] - Boil 15 minHops7
2 lbsCandi Syrup, Dark [Boil for 15 min] (180.0 SRM)Grain8
5 pkgsBelgian Ardennes (Wyeast Labs #3522)Yeast9