Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brewing a summer Ale

Have brewed this recipe several times, so here you go, a light beer that is very well accepted by people that just drink light commercial beer.

7# Pilsen malt
2# Vienna malt
1# Flaked rice

Mash at 155F for 60 min.

0.5oz Crystal for 60min
0.5oz Crystal for 5min
1oz Hallertauer for 5min
1 tsp irish momss for 20min

Yeast S04 fermented at 67F.

Click the image below to see the fermentation profile

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brewing an Oatmeal Stout - Part2

Beer came out pretty good, very thick and nice chocolate flavor. Coconut very mild and mint not detected.
Here's a pic.

Here are the final numbers:






This was the fermentation profile (click to enlarge):

Click HERE for recipe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brewing a blue moon clone - Part2

Hey, just wanted to give some feedback, with pics, of what came out from my recipe.
Here are some basic observations after just 2 weeks bottle conditioned:

1)The color of the clone is petty much "right on the money". I wouldn't change a thing;
2)The mouth feel seems a little thinner than the real, perhaps a little more oats, like 1/2lb more would do it;
3)Clone tastes a little stronger on the coriander. I used 1/2oz for 5gals batch, so probably 1/4 to 3/8oz would do it
4)The clone has a bit more carbonation. Used 1 cup corn sugar to prime 5gal batch. 3/4cup would probably be better;
5) My wife actually liked better the clone, so I'm sticking to this recipe, just will apply the above changes.

Here are the pics

Here's the fermentation profile (click to enlarge):

Monday, November 1, 2010

Brewing a blue moon clone

Trying to brew something similar to blue moon, so did some research and came up with this recipe.
I have made few changes to it, like adding a bit of crystal 40L malt to give a little more color and carapills to enhance the mouth feel of this beer.

This is for a 5gal batch:

4# Briess 2 row
2# Bris white wheat
1/2# Carapils
0.3# Crystal 40L
4# Flaked wheat
1# Faked oats
1# Rice hulls

Mash at 158F for 1h

1oz Hallertauer for 60min
0.5oz Cracked coriander for 10min
2 begs of Chamomile tea for 10min

Mash efficiency at 70%:

Added to primary fresh orange peel from 1 orange, soaked in vodka for 2 days.
Using dry yeast S04 at 67F.

Trying to get a thick beer with a sweet finish. Will report the results once it is done and aged for at least 2 weeks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Brewing a wheat beer with 100% wheat base malt

Here's a wheat beer brewed with 100% wheat as based malt. Had no issues at all with my mash tun, no stuck mashing.
This is the recipe:

8# Briess white wheat malt
1# Briess Carapils
1# Briess Vienna
1# Briess Aromatic
1# Rice hulls

Mashed at 154F for 60min.

Hops were as follow:
1.65oz for 20min
2.55oz for 5min

Fermented at 67F with dry yeast S04
Irish moss was added on last 20min of boil, and here are the beer numbers:


It came out looking like a bluemoon, without the orange and coriander flavors, but very refreshing.

Here's the fermentation profile (click to enlarge):

Here's a photo of a pour at 55F

and at 45F

Brewing an Oatmeal Stout with chocolate nibs, coconut extract and mint

Trying something different here, from which I got many people telling me this will not work and I'll have to dump my whole batch. Anyways, I decided to go for it, brewing an Oatmeal stout with real chocolate flavor, plus a hint of coconut and mint.
Here's the recipe. It is fermenting really nice at 67F right now. Will post the outcome of this experiment.

8# Briess 2 row
1# Briess Crystal 120L
1# Briess aromatic
1/4# Chocolate Malt 350L
1/2# Weyerman Carafa-2 550L
1# Flakes oats
1# Rice hulls

Mashed at 150F for 60min

0.6oz Centenial for 60min
1# of Lactose for 20min
1 tsp Irish moss for 20min

Into fermenter:
S04 dry yeast
8oz chocolate nibs + vodka, soaked in vodka for 48h
10ml (2 tsp) of coconut extract
mint juice, from blending 1/2oz fresh mint in vodka, then strained.

OG=1.058 (actual)

Click HERE for the review of this batch.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Phenolic taste

After over 40 batches of pretty good beers, I finally had to dump a whole 5gal batch of beer due to extreme high phenolic flavor.
It feels bad watching that golden nectar going thru the sink hole but it was really undrinkable, at least for my palate.
Several issues with my process could have caused the problem:
- Over sparging the grain, having too low gravity at end of sparge
- Sparging with water temperatures above 170F. Few times my sparge water was at 181F.
- Fermentation at too high temperatures.
- Use of water collected thru a garden hose, which I found was adding a nasty plastic flavor.
- Expired water filter

Here are the changes I made to my process to try to fix this phenolic taste issue that happened to few batches:

- Collect only 4gals of wort from mashing in order to end sparge at higher gravity. That drive my grain bill up by as much as 3lb of base malt, but a cost I'm willing to pay to get better quality beer.
- Making sure my sparge water is between 165 to 170F. Never above 170F.
- Fermenting at lower temps. My fermentation chamber let me do this on a heart beat.
- By-passed the garden hose when collecting my brewing water.
- Replaced my water filter cartridge

Have brewed two batches after these changes and can definitely notice the difference.
This issue was probably on my beers for a while but not noticeable when brewing beers with stronger flavors to hide behind. With latest recipes of very light taste profiles, the phenolic flavor became evident.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Lime review

Just tasted this beer after just over 2 weeks bottle conditioned and it taste AWESOME!
This is the best light and refreshing summer beer I have brewed so far. The lime taste is perfectly balanced.
Pretty much no head retention, caused by the oils from the lime zest I guess, but what the hell.

Click HERE for the recipe.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Malt Analysis and potential calculation

Wondering why you are getting that low mashing efficiency, even though you optimized your mash tun design and milling gap?
That can be caused by using the wrong malt potential, specially on the base malts that represent the big chunk on your grain bill.
So after having this same issue for a while, decided to do my homework and investigate the base grain malt analysis from manufactures like Briess and calculate the gravity potential myself.
That in fact correct my efficiency calculations and allowed me to do better OG predictions.
The basic numbers you need to get from the malt analysis sheet are two:
DBCG = Dry basis coarse grind
MC% = Moisture content

The potential in PPG, which is point per pound per gallon would be calculated as:

Malt "Briess 2Row brewerrs Malt"

How to use PPG?
If your PPG=35 from the example above, that means if you use 1 pound of this malt to produce 1 gallon of wort, you would get 1.035 gravity or OG if your mashing efficiency was 100%.
Your OG can be calculated as:
MW = pounds of malt used
BV = Batch volume in gallons
EF% = Mashing efficiency


MW = 1000*(OG-1)*BV/(PPG*EF%/100)

New example:
You want your OG to be 1.050 on a 5gal batch and estimate your mashing efficiency at 70%, so the base malt weight your need is (for Briess 2Row brewers Malt) :

MW=10.2# of malt

I downloaded several spec sheets from Briess.com and calculated each malt PPG. I used mostly Briess malt so here's a table I use:

Click to see it bigger

Friday, May 21, 2010

Brewing a Summer lime Ale

Playing with my recipes here and decided to do a light ale and add some lime zest to see what happen.
Here's the recipe for this batch, which I called "Summer Wit", since it has quite some wheat malt to the grain bill.
-3# Briess Pilsen Malt (1.1L)
-4# Briess White Wheat Malt (2.5L)
-1# Briess Viena Malt (3.5L)
-1# Flaked Rice
-0.5oz Goldings USA for 60min
-0.5oz Goldings USA for 5min
-1 tsp irish moss for 20min
-1 pack Dry Yeast Safale S-04
-Zest from 2 limes, mixed with 1 cup of vodka. Added to Primary.

Mashed at 155F for 60min, here are the brew numbers:

Bottled at 5/16/10, tasted nice and not overpowered by the lime, at least at that point. Will have to wait all flavors to mellow down to taste it again, but feels it will be a very nice and refreshing beer.

Here's the fermentation profile for the S-04.

Click HERE for the review of this batch.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Using Dry Yeast

Have used mostly Wyeast smack packs until now and decided to test some dry yeast, mostly to keep some in stock and avoid a trip to the LHBS for every batch I brew, since I always like to get the freshest possible liqui yeast. Got the 11.5g dry yeast from Fermentis, Safale S-04, Safale US-05 and Safale S-33.
I must say I'm mostly not going back to liquid yeast, unless I need a special strain that I can't get in dry.
I got some cool direction on how to re-hydrate the dry yeast and it has worked for me every time, with Krausen formed after 6 to 8h.
The S-04 yeast is a beast, promoting a very fast and clean fermentation, not huge amounts of CO2 so no over spilling thru my airlock. The floculation after fermentation is awesome. The beer left is very clear and after few weeks in bottle conditioned, taste great!
The re-hydration process, which at first looked weird with the higher temperature, is listed below:
1)Once you have your wort ready to picth, at bout 70 to 75F, move to step 2
2)Boil 0.5l of tap water for 5min.
3)Remove from heat and cool to 103F
4)Add dry yeast and wisk to dissolve, for about 3min
5)Cool down further to pitching temp, 70 to 75F
6)Pitch to your wort

There are reasons behind not using sugar water or DME to re-hydrate the yeast, as well as for the high temperature. From what I read it has to do to the fact that the yeast cells do not have the hability to select what comes into the cell on the first seconds of re-hydration, so using sugar water would cause damage to the cells as good and bad thyings will get in. Also, once you get to step 5, the quick you pitch the better, so waiting to pitch actually works against you. The time from step 4 to picth should be about 5min.

So far, S-04 will be my primary yeast for general beers in substitution to Wyeast 1056. It promotes fully fermentation is 48h, has some bread taste while fermenting but it clears out within days.
The US-05 seems to produce fenolics that I don't like, so will probably stay away from it.
S-33 worked fine on my wit recipe and will mostly use it for wheat beers from now on.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Brewing a Bloody Ale - Part 2

Here are the results for this batch, which I may say turned out pretty good. A very refreshing light Ale, with an intriguing red color.

Beet flavor? Well, not really. The bottle I opened today is only 1 week old, so still a littlle green, but can't really taste any beet flavor. But it will definitely be a winner for this coming summer.

Here's how it looks like:

And here's the fermentation profile. Used Wyeast 1028 London Ale and it is a very quick and hungry yeast indeed!

Click HERE for the recipe.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brewing a Pumpkin Ale

First time brewing this recipe and the idea of using real pumpkin seemed interesting.
Here's the recipe and actual brewing numbers:

Grain bill:
5# Briess Pilsen
1# Briess Aromatic Malt
1# Briess Vienna Malt
3# Cooked Pumpkin - steamed
1# Rice Hulls

Spices (boiled for 10min):
1 TBS - Pumpkin Pie allspice
5 Whole Cloves

1.5# pilsen DME
1 tsp irish moss boiled for 20min
Wyeast 1028 London Ale

0.5oz Goldings - East Kent -England for 60min
0.5oz Goldings - East Kent -England for 30min
1oz Crystal -USA for 5min

The DME extract had to be added to bring the OG closer to planned because the pumpkin did not add any sugars to the wort. The pumpkin was steam cooked, smashed and added to the mashing, which took 60min at 153F.


Here's the final beer after 1 week bottle conditioned. Looks and taste very light. Cinnamon flavor is predominant, but not overpowering.

And here's the fermentation profile. This yeast did its job in only 3 days!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Brewing a Bloody Ale

No, not a new style, just the name I'm using for this beer that will look very redish.
Had this crazy idea, which I later found not to be that crazy since this has already been done by others including commercial brewers, of using beet juice to provide a strong red color to a light ale.
Used a ligh color base malt from 2 row and Pilsen with some aromatic and Vienna malts.
Yeast is the Wyeast 1028 London Ale, now fermenting at 68F. Fermentation is very strong, one of the most active I had so far. Not much CO2 though, just circulation of the wort is very visible.
Here's the grain bill and brewing numbers:

4# Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt
3# Briess Pilsen
1# Briess Carapils Malt
1# Briess Vienna Malt
1# Briess Aromatic Malt

0.3oz Centennial -USA for 60min
0.5oz Hallertau - US for 30min
0.5oz Hallertau - US for 5 min
0.4oz Kent Golding for 5min
5 cups of Beet Juice. Blended 2 beets with 5 cups of water, stainned, then added to last 5 min of boil.

OG=1.048 (actual)

Click HERE to see the review of this batch.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Brewing a Weizenbock - Part2

So, after two weeks in primary fermentation, it is finally done.
Bottled at 01/24/2010, tasted the first sample today and it is indeed a strong beer. As predicted, same color as the previous DunkelWeizen recipe, over 6% alcohol.
Here are the final numbers:


Fermentation took two weeks and I guess this is how the Weihenstephan Weizen yeast works, since my previous batch also took that long.

The taste starts with the alcohol, which gives that warm feeling, then some malt and sweetness.

Here's the fermentation profile.

Click HERE for the recipe.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brewing a WeizenBock

This is another first time style and like a Dunkelweizen, takes a lot of wheat malt and uses the same yeast, Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen.
It should come out quite like the Kunkelweizen with a little more malt flavor, same color and with higher alcohol level.
Brewed at 01/10/10, here's the recipe and brewing numbers:

-Batch size = 5gals. Boiled volume = 7.5 gals.
- 8# Gambrinus wheat malt
- 1# Briess Munich 20 Malt
- 1# Gambrinus Vienna Malt
- 1 # Special B
- 2oz Chocolate Malt
- 2# Gambrinus Pilsner Malt
- 1# Flaked wheat
- 0.2oz Columbus hops boiled for 60min
- 1oz Willamette hops boiled for 60min
- 1 tsp irish moss boiled for 20min

Real OG=1.065
Expected FG=1.014
Expected ABV%=7

Mashed for 60min at 157ºF and currently fermenting at 62ºF. This yeast generates lots of CO2, so be aware and make sure your fermenter has plenty of head space. After 2 days, gravity is at 1.038 and going strong, dropping about 14 points a day.

Click HERE for the review of this batch.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brewing a Dunkelweizen - Part 2

This is the final report for the batch brewed on Dec 19th.
Now bottled for just over a week, this beer already taste great. Above, a photo of the final beer, nice color and good head. Banana notes very perceptible.
Here are the final numbers.:

OG: 1.044

FG: 1.009

ABV%: 4.5

Color: 16

IBU: 14

Mashed for 60min at 155ºF and fermented at 62ºF for 12 days. Bottled and primed with 1 cup of corn sugar in 2 cups of water, boiled for 15min and cooled to room temperature before adding to the beer. Used 1 smack pack of Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen.

Here is the fermentation profile:

Click HERE for the recipe.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

When a yeast goes nuts!

Yeah right, all you know about predicting the yeast attenuation goes down the drain when a regular 1056 American ale yeast decides to go nuts and attenuates 94%. Nothing out of ordinary, regular amber ale recipe, but this yeast was really up to beat the hell out of the whatever sugars were left. Check the fermentation profile below.

OG was 1.054, FG at amazing 1.003.
I saved the yeast cake for a while but was afraid to re-use it and decided to dump the monster before it was too late :-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Brewing a Brown Ale

1st day of 2010 and here I am, brewing another batch :-)

This is my second batch of all grain brown ale and decided to do few changes to the original recipe. Here's the recipe for this batch:

- 7# Gambrinus 2-Row Pale Ale Malt 2L

- 1# Briess Crystal 120L

- 1# Special B 115L

- 1/4# Chocolate Malt 350L

- 1/4# Weyerman Carafa 2 550L

Recipe numbers:

- OG = 1.050

- FG = 1.011

- ABV = 5%

- Color = 34L

- IBU = 23

Mashed at 159F for 60 minutes. Mashing efficiency was 73%. Boiled for 60 minutes and these were the boil additions:

- 0.4oz Columbus AA13% Hops for 60min

- 0.5oz Cascade AA6.9% Hops for 5min

- 0.5oz Saaz AA5.9% Hops for 5min

- 1tsp Irish moss for 20min

Used 1 smack pack of Wyeast 1056 American Ale, now at 70F. Will lower to 65F after 24h and keep it until fermentation is completed.