Okay, A Bunch Of Beers Have Been Made

My last update to this blog was February 14th, and here it is March 12th, almost a full month later and I’m finally getting around to posting again.

I have been remiss…again.  But hopefully I can remedy that remiss-ness with this post.

I have brewed four beers, two of which were described in “The Wit and The Steam” so I won’t go through those again.  We planned to brew two Kolsches, but then we realized that Declan already has a bunch of light, really drinkable, “lawnmower” beers, so we ammended our plans and decided to make 2 IPAs instead.  Fine with me.  I love IPAs and these were two badass beers!  We recently ordered like three pounds of hops, so a big hoppy brewday seemed in order.

I threw together the recipes, based closely on one that Declan sent to me and they were heavy on Cascade hops, Bravo Hops and Calypso hops.  Those were the three pounds that we ordered.

I called the Bravo beer “Daddy Work” because on Friday my two year old son was asking for me while I was away at work and when my wife told him that he pointed out the kitchen window to my typical brewing area and said “Daddy beer?” To which my wife replied “Yes, that’s where Daddy makes his beer.” Clearly he hadn’t gotten his point across.  He pointed out the window again and said “Daddy work?”  Now my wife got it!  He thinks that brewing beer in the back yard is my work.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!

Image

Daddy Work
American IPA

Type: All Grain Date: 3/11/2012
Batch Size: 10.00 gal Brewer: Mark Glinski
Boil Size: 12.55 gal Asst Brewer: Peter Nassoit
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Taste Notes:

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
20.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 76.43 %
1.67 lb Munich Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 6.37 %
1.67 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 6.37 %
1.00 lb Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 3.82 %
1.00 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 3.82 %
0.83 lb Carared (20.0 SRM) Grain 3.18 %
1.71 oz Bravo [15.50 %] (60 min) Hops 42.6 IBU
0.86 oz Bravo [15.50 %] (15 min) Hops 10.6 IBU
3.43 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (1 min) Hops 1.3 IBU
3 Pkgs Safale American (DCL Yeast #US-05) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.066 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.054 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.31 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.39 %
Bitterness: 54.5 IBU Calories: 235 cal/pint
Est Color: 9.9 SRM Color:

Color

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 26.17 lb
Sparge Water: 8.31 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 32.71 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 7.6 oz Carbonation Used:
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F

Notes

Created with BeerSmith

So there’s the recipe for the first beer that we made yesterday.  Five gallons of this one is bubbling merrily away in my basement.  I put it on an S-23 yeast cake, so again, technically it’s an India Pale Lager, not an ale.  Or I guess that you could call it a Light Cascadian Lager or something similar.

The second beer of the day was another IPA heavy on the Calypso hops.  As a little nod to that variety we called this one IPAAAAAAAAYYYY-O!

IPAAAAAAAAYYYY-O!
American IPA

Type: All Grain Date: 3/11/2012
Batch Size: 10.00 gal Brewer: Mark Glinski
Boil Size: 12.55 gal Asst Brewer: Peter Nassoit
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Taste Notes:

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
10.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 42.57 %
9.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 36.49 %
1.67 lb Munich Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 6.76 %
1.67 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 6.76 %
1.00 lb Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 4.05 %
0.83 lb Carared (20.0 SRM) Grain 3.38 %
2.00 oz Calypso [12.80 %] (60 min) Hops 42.3 IBU
3.33 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (60 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops
0.86 oz Calypso [12.80 %] (15 min) Hops 9.0 IBU
3 Pkgs SafLager West European Lager (DCL Yeast #S-23) [Starter 200 ml] Yeast-Lager

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.062 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.06 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.18 %
Bitterness: 51.3 IBU Calories: 263 cal/pint
Est Color: 9.8 SRM Color:

Color

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 24.67 lb
Sparge Water: 8.60 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 30.83 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 7.6 oz Carbonation Used:
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F

Notes

Created with BeerSmith

And this one I put onto a Belgian Witbier yeast cake from our “Domestic Tranquility” Wit, which is currently (as of Saturday night) in secondary with the grated peel of one orange, a quarter ounce of Sorachi Ace hops and an unmeasured handful of dried Verbena.

Anyway, that is fermenting in Declan’s basement as a communal “experimental” batch.  So the upshot is that the three of us made 20 gallons of beer and each of us went home with 5 gallons and there is a further 5 gallons at Declan’s.

So that pretty much covers the recent beer production.  Now on to the previously brewed beers!

The Steam (a.k.a. “A Steaming Pile Of Goodness”) was kegged on Saturday night and is currently in the kegerator being force carbonated.  I have high hopes for that one.  I think it’s going to be a really good beer!

The Wit (“Domestic Tranquility”) is, as previously stated in secondary with dry hops, orange peel and verbena.  I’m going to leave it there for about a week and then into the keg it goes!  After force carbing, I think I’m going to take it out of the fridge and set it aside until it’s a little bit warmer out.  It’s going to be a great hot weather beer!

A couple of weeks ago I kegged up the Cascadian Dark Lager and put it into the kegerator to force carb.  On the morning of my son’s second birthday party I took it off of the gas and tried it.  It was awesome!  Dark and mysterious, but light bodied and citrusy.  It totally went against everything you expect when you take a sip of a dark beer.  It was probably one of my favorite extract beers ever.  And sadly, she’s gone.  In a distressingly short time that keg kicked and I stood in my basement thinking “Well, that can’t be right! Is this keg leaking?!?!?”  And thus I have decided that I’ve been drinking too much lately, and have begun to reign myself in.  What better time to exercise moderation than during Lent, right?

Esprit du Neu Beige, Ahura Mazda, and Revelation are all sitting in secondary or primary fermenations waiting for me to get off my butt and bottle them.  Maybe next Sunday I can convince my wife to help me bottle them.  What do you think my chances of that are?  I’m thinking thin, but you never know until you try, right?

So, thanks for looking in, and I’ll update again soon!

Me and Peter Overseeing the Mash

Me and Peter Overseeing the Mash

Overseeing the mash rest

I Have A Keezer! Update!

Yup!  I recently added, for the princely sum of zero dollars, a small cube chest freezer to my raft of brewing stuff.  I got it from my brother who was getting rid of it.  Score!

A few friends of mine have gotten aquarium temperature controllers from EBay very cheaply, so that’s what I did, too!  You can follow this link to find them, if you like.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-Aquarium-Sensor-NIB-/220932621004?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33709c42cc

So Declan came over on Saturday night and we wired up the temperature controller and installed it in a project box from Radio Shack, so it looks all nice and neat.  When I say “we” in this case, I really mean “Declan” because he’s actually done this with his own Keezer, so I really just watched and cheered him on.  It took a couple of hours to get it all assembled, but finally it was done!  We powered it up and plugged the freezer into it.  We monkeyed around with the settings, trying to figure out how to do things like set the temperature and adjust the tolerances.  This was a not insubstantial challenge, as the directions were apparently translated from Chinese into German, then back into Chinese and finally into English.  All using nothing but Google Translator.  They were, in short, ridiculous.

At any rate, we finally got everything set and ready and we waited for the delay time to elapse and when it finally did…

Nothin’.

The freezer’s compressor should have switched on, but it didn’t.  It just sat there like a big lump of inert failure.  Crap.  It looked at us accusingly, like we’d just kicked it’s dog or something and we stared back confused at why, after all of this work, nothing was happening.

At that point we took a field trip to Declan’s house to look at the way his was wired and to try his really excellent pilsner.  And it really was excellent.  So we looked at his temp controller wiring and realized that the two controllers were sufficiently different that looking at one really wasn’t going to help much with the other.  We came back to my house and tried, vainly, to figure out what went wrong.  At about 1 AM we decided that we were done for the night, and Declan went home.

He came back last night and, with the help of a multimeter and some sober thinking, we realized that the same person who had translated the directions had also drawn the wiring diagram, and it was wrong.  Presto change-o we moved one wire one spot to the right and plugged everything in again.  One scant minute later we heard the compressor turn on and we gave each other a manly fist bump of celebration!

For the moment I’m just planning to use my picnic taps to dispense, but in the Spring, when a not-so-young man’s fancy turns to projects, I’ll build a collar for her and install two or three taps.  I’m not sure how many I want to put in yet, and I also would like to find a good way to decorate or embellish my newest addition. Perhaps a nice shiny wooden bar top? Maybe a hammered copper top?  Tile?  I don’t know yet, but I will keep you posted, Gentle Reader, as to my decisions and my progress.

I think I should try to be a little bit more focused on the actual beer that I’ve been making when I’m writing for you.  Meaning that in addition to telling you about my brew days, and projects like this one I will  also start to tell you how the beers that I have previously told you about have turned out.  It won’t be anything as formal as tasting notes or anything like that, just general impressions and some specific criticisms.  I hope that interests all of you.

I’ll take some pictures of the keezer and post them in my next entry!

 

Update, coming at you!!!!

 

So, a little update…I’m leaning towards a shiny wooden top for her.  I have a whole lot of wood in my garage that’s just taking up space and needs to be used, so I’m going to use it.  For this!

I have also decided on 3 taps in the collar.  I’m going to get an 8′ 2×6, that should be enough space for three taps and probably a wall mounted opener.  I’m also going to take one 18″ or-so long piece of the above mentioned wood and rout a decorative edge on it and get it nicely polyeurethaned and shiny and, after mounting that to the collar (which I’m planning on painting white) I’ll run the shanks through the decorative hardwood.

For taps I’m going to take the two Perlicks off of my draft box and buy one more combo pack and a couple of shanks.  I’ll repossess two of my taps from Declan and put the cheapies on the draft box.  I think I can do everything for less than $150.  Not too shabby!

 

Okay, so it’s not much of an update, but it helps me to get my thoughts down in writing…

 

 

The Wit and the Steam

On February 19th Declan and I are having another 20 gallon brew day.  Our plan as of this moment is to brew 10 gallons each of Belgian Wit and California Common.  I’ve never made either of these styles before, so I’m really excited about this.

 

We thought that another Wife Pleaser beer was in order, and a wit seemed to fit the bill for something like that.  Light, slightly fruity, an easy drinking beer that our wives will enjoy.  And we’re calling this one “Domestic Tranquility Wit.”  It is basically a scaled up recipe from BYO’s article about summer Belgian beers.  It just seemed like a good jumping off point to me.

 

Neither of us has ever done a Califonia Common, either, so we’ll be experimenting with that, too.  I posted about the Cascadian Ale/Lager that we made a couple of weeks ago, so you know that I’m fermenting that with S-23 dry lager yeast.  I transferred the raw wort onto the yeast cake from my Milestone Marzen (which, by the way, is very good.  Sweeter than Declan’s version for some reason, but the malty goodness is fantastic!) and I’m going to keg the Cascadian Lager the morning of our brew day and pitch half of that yeast cake into Declan’s half of the Cal Common and leave half in my carboy to ferment my half.  I’m thinking of oaking it, too, along with dry hopping with some Sorachi Ace.

 

In pursuance of my statement that I was going to try to report on beers previously talked about in this blog I want to mention that I finally bottled Cherry Popper Brown Ale, brewed in the Marathon Brew Day in September.  It’s been in the bottle for about 4 weeks, sitting in my 50ish degree basement and it’s finally starting to shape up and get some carbonation going.  It’s malty and sweet and alcoholic.  As time goes on I’ll try to give the occasional update about this beer as it matures.

I also kegged both “The Victim” my extract Hefeweizen and Milestone Marzen.  Both are happily ensconced in my kegerator giving me and , surprisingly, my wife great pleasure!  She surprised me the other night when I asked if she wanted a beer.  She asked what we had and when I ran down the list she asked for a Marzen!  The biggest beer we have on tap at the moment.  I was impressed, and remain so.

 

The recipes for the beers that we’re brewing on Sunday look a little something like this:

 

Domestic Tranquility
Witbier

Type: All Grain Date: 2/19/2012
Batch Size: 10.00 gal Brewer: Mark G
Boil Size: 12.55 gal Asst Brewer: Declan H
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Taste Notes:

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
0.50 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 2.39 %
10.40 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 49.76 %
4.50 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 21.53 %
4.50 lb Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 21.53 %
1.00 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4.78 %
2.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (60 min) Hops 14.3 IBU
0.50 oz Sorachi Ace [12.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops
1.50 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1.50 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) Yeast-Wheat

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.052 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.07 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 14.3 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 3.7 SRM Color:

Color

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 20.90 lb
Sparge Water: 9.32 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
75 min Mash In Add 26.13 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Volumes of CO2: 2.9
Pressure/Weight: 14.3 PSI Carbonation Used:
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 36.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F

Notes

Created with BeerSmith

 

 

And the California Common…

 

Steaming Pile of Goodness
California Common Beer

Type: All Grain Date: 2/19/2012
Batch Size: 10.00 gal Brewer: Mark G
Boil Size: 12.55 gal Asst Brewer: Declan H
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Taste Notes:

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
20.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 91.95 %
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.60 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 2.30 %
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.15 %
1.00 oz Sorachi Ace [12.00 %] (60 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops
2.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (60 min) Hops 24.1 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (60 min) Hops 17.5 IBU
1 Pkgs SafLager West European Lager (DCL Yeast #S-23) [Starter 200 ml] Yeast-Lager

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.34 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 41.6 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 8.1 SRM Color:

Color

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 21.75 lb
Sparge Water: 9.16 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
75 min Mash In Add 27.19 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Volumes of CO2: 2.8
Pressure/Weight: 13.3 PSI Carbonation Used:
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 36.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F

Notes

Created with BeerSmith

 

 

The name for the California Common is tentative…

 

The plan is to start at least one of the mashes the night before (possibly both) after I get home from work, to help make it a more manageable brew day on Sunday, and keep us both out of trouble.

 

I’ll post again some time next week to give an update on the brew day and the beers we’re drinking!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cascadian Ale

So originally my plan was to make a Cascadian Ale on New Years’ Day, but as we know, I helped to teach a new brewer the basics instead.  A couple of weeks later I was able to wheedle an evening out of my better half for an extract brew night.  It was a relatively short brew session, as I’m now pretty used to all grain brew days, which are quite literally brew days.  In about 3 and a half hours, Declan and I were able to throw together a 5 gallon batch of Cascadian Ale.  Technically it’s a Cascadian Lager, as I set it ever so gently on the lager yeast cake from the Marzen that Declan and I split a month and a half or so ago.  It took off like a rocket, which is pretty surprising considering that lager yeasts are usually more tame during fermentation than ale yeasts. I have to admit that I spent some time down in my brew room cleaning up the mess the next day!

 

It was a pretty basic recipe and it looked a little something like this…Except that the black patent malt was actually debittered belgian black malt…

 

Amount Item Type % or IBU
6.00 lb Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 80.00 %
0.50 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 6.67 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 6.67 %
1.00 oz Simcoe [12.00 %] (60 min) Hops 41.4 IBU
1.00 oz Sorachi Ace [11.20 %] (60 min) Hops 38.7 IBU
0.50 oz Sorachi Ace [12.00 %] (1 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (1 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops
0.50 lb Brown Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 6.67 %

I Have A Keezer!

Yup!  I recently added, for the princely sum of zero dollars, a small cube chest freezer to my raft of brewing stuff.  I got it from my brother who was getting rid of it.  Score!

A few friends of mine have gotten aquarium temperature controllers from EBay very cheaply, so that’s what I did, too!  You can follow this link to find them, if you like.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-Aquarium-Sensor-NIB-/220932621004?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33709c42cc

So Declan came over on Saturday night and we wired up the temperature controller and installed it in a project box from Radio Shack, so it looks all nice and neat.  When I say “we” in this case, I really mean “Declan” because he’s actually done this with his own Keezer, so I really just watched and cheered him on.  It took a couple of hours to get it all assembled, but finally it was done!  We powered it up and plugged the freezer into it.  We monkeyed around with the settings, trying to figure out how to do things like set the temperature and adjust the tolerances.  This was a not insubstantial challenge, as the directions were apparently translated from Chinese into German, then back into Chinese and finally into English.  All using nothing but Google Translator.  They were, in short, ridiculous.

At any rate, we finally got everything set and ready and we waited for the delay time to elapse and when it finally did…

 

Nothin’.

The freezer’s compressor should have switched on, but it didn’t.  It just sat there like a big lump of inert failure.  Crap.  It looked at us accusingly, like we’d just kicked it’s dog or something and we stared back confused at why, after all of this work, nothing was happening.

At that point we took a field trip to Declan’s house to look at the way his was wired and to try his really excellent pilsner.  And it really was excellent.  So we looked at his temp controller wiring and realized that the two controllers were sufficiently different that looking at one really wasn’t going to help much with the other.  We came back to my house and tried, vainly, to figure out what went wrong.  At about 1 AM we decided that we were done for the night, and Declan went home.

He came back last night and, with the help of a multimeter and some sober thinking, we realized that the same person who had translated the directions had also drawn the wiring diagram, and it was wrong.  Presto change-o we moved one wire one spot to the right and plugged everything in again.  One scant minute later we heard the compressor turn on and we gave each other a manly fist bump of celebration!

For the moment I’m just planning to use my picnic taps to dispense, but in the Spring, when a not-so-young man’s fancy turns to projects, I’ll build a collar for her and install two or three taps.  I’m not sure how many I want to put in yet, and I also would like to find a good way to decorate or embellish my newest addition. Perhaps a nice shiny wooden bar top? Maybe a hammered copper top?  Tile?  I don’t know yet, but I will keep you posted, Gentle Reader, as to my decisions and my progress.

I think I should try to be a little bit more focused on the actual beer that I’ve been making when I’m writing for you.  Meaning that in addition to telling you about my brew days, and projects like this one I will  also start to tell you how the beers that I have previously told you about have turned out.  It won’t be anything as formal as tasting notes or anything like that, just general impressions and some specific criticisms.  I hope that interests all of you.

I’ll take some pictures of the keezer and post them in my next entry!

So, Anyway…

Well, I said in my last post that I was planning to do an all-grain belgian Blond on New Years’ Day.  It didn’t work out quite that way, but New Years’ Day was still a good brew day.  I didn’t brew anything for myself, but I did help teach a friend to brew and we made his first batch of homebrew.  My wife always tells me that I should have been a teacher because I love to explain things to people, so this kind of thing makes for a good day for me.

Tom, The Noob

To the left you see my friend, Tom.  Hereinafter referred to as “Noob.”  Just kidding.  Tom’s a good guy and very smart. He’s a detail guy, so I fully expect him to end up being a better brewer than I am in pretty short order.

For Christmas Tom got his first brewing equipment kit and his first ingredient kit, so that was what we made.  It was a pretty basic American Pale Ale extract kit from Brewers’ Best.  Me being me, we couldn’t just brew the kit…We had to doctor it up a bit.  All we did was to add an extra half ounce of Sorachi Ace hops, but it wasn’t my batch, so I didn’t want to mess with it too much!

As of a couple of days after the brew day it was bubbling away merrily in Tom’s basement, doing what it’s supposed to do.  With a little luck I’ll have a chance to try it when it’s ready.

Now all of that doesn’t mean that the Belgian Blond didn’t get made, though.  A couple of days before New Years’ Declan asked if I felt like brewing it up before he went out of town, so we made 10 gallons of Ahura Mazda Belgian Blond, and when I left to pick my son up at daycare Declan continued brewing and made a batch of Marzen that we split, too.  Yeah, he did all of the work on that one, and I appreciate that!

As for the Ahura Mazda the recipe looked like this:

20# Belgian Pilsner Malt

1# Flaked Maize

1# White Wheat Malt

2# Cane Sugar

1 oz. ea. Saaz and Magnum hops for bittering

2 oz. Santiam Hops for aroma

Our target mash temp was 154 and we came in at 148, if I remember correctly.  It’s definitely going to be a light bodied beer!  With the flaked maize and the cane sugar the Original Gravity ended up landing at about 1.074, and both Declan and I pitched onto belgian yeast cakes from our Esprit de Neu Beige batch, so we both got a good fast light off from that huge yeast population!  This is going to be a very alcoholic beer!  It was brewed on 12/28 and as of last night when I was down in my basement it was still bubbling with visible motion in the carboy.  So there’s still action going on in there!  Smells like heaven and it’s a beautiful straw color that will look great in a glass.  This is definitely one that I’ll have to bootle, because this beer on tap would be really dangerous!

As for the Marzen here’s the recipe:

5# ea of German and Belgian Pilsner malts and Munich Malt

3# of Dark Munich Malt

.5# ea of Carapils, CaraMunich and Melanoiden Malts

2 oz. of Hallertau Hops and .5 oz. of  Tettnang Hops for bittering, no aroma addition

Saflager S-23 yeast

The mash schedule was more complicated than usual, including a protein rest at 122 degrees and a Saccarification rest at 154 degrees, both of which Declan hit within a degree or two.

Oh, we’re fermenting Ahura Mazda on Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity (me) and Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale Yeast (Declan)

Anyway, That’s my recent brewing history.

I think in the next couple of weeks we’re going to make either a Belgian Dubbel or Tripel.  Those will also go on the same yeast cakes (or possibly washed yeast) and I was thinking about brewing up a Black IPA this afternoon, but to be honest, it’s frickin’ cold outside and I have plenty of things that need doing inside the house today.

One last thing, Saturday night Declan helped me install electrical into my brewing space, which is pretty huge.  All I have to say is: Woo Hoo! No more work lights and extension cords! On Sunday I replaced the door, so now I can even control access!  Sounds like a bigger deal than it is, because most of my finished beer lives outside that room anyways.

One more last thing…I got a free chest freezer that I’m going to make into a keezer.  I already have the temp controller, so I’ll wire it up for the short term and just use the picnic taps for the winter and in the spring I’ll build a collar for it and install some taps.  I’ll post on that when it happens!

Happy New Year everybody!  Hope you all have a great, safe and productive 2012!