Sunday, April 2, 2017

Amarillo Again...





For this version I used a fresh re-pitch of 1318 which started showing signs of fermentation within a half hour.  Compared to the Vermont strain I used previously, this 1318 hasn't cleared up yet.  The Vermont stain cleared up much faster and I didn't use Whirfloc in that brew as I did in this one. 

I'm enjoying using just one dry hop versus two.  The transfer from the SS Brewtech Bucket is painless...cause I don't need to worry about hop debris clogging anything.  The harvested yeast is as clean as I can get it and seems to be happy when pitched.

Not sure what I would change for another batch of this beer.  It's a subtle beer and the flavors are not in your face like other IPA's or hops.  Do I go for a bigger dry hop?  I don't know.  Maybe I'll play with the water profile and use a heavier hand.  Either way it's a pleasant beer and the hops are nice.  Amarillo can stand on it's own.


AMARILLO IPA

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.060
F.G. 1.012

MASH:
80% 2-Row
10% Marris Otter
10% White Wheat
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

BOIL:
Warrior @60 min for 60 IBUs

WHIRLPOOL:
2.00 oz. Amarillo for 10 min.
.6 g. of Whirfloc added at 5 min.

FERMENTATION:
120 ml. of Wyeast 1318

DRY HOPS:
3.00 oz. Amarillo in serving keg




Tasting Notes:

Color: An orange color, white head with good lacing, and an opaque haze.

Aroma: A mandarin orange/tangerine thing going on.  Bready/nutty background.  A slight spicy/sweet aroma without being cloying.  Not a huge aroma but pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Soft.  Light bitterness right down the middle.  Finishes sweet but dry.  Adequate carbonation.

Flavor:  Like a strong orange/tangerine tea.  Earthy, sweet with that bready/nutty thing going on in the background.  A subtle beer.  Enjoyable.

Overall: This beer came out good. I like Amarillo and the flavor is interesting enough to keep me coming back...the alcohol comes through a little (which I like) and cuts through the sweetness of this hop and malt bill.  The 1318  was just as good as the Vermont strain I used last time.  My experience with GY054 is limited to one brew though.  1318 I've used many times and I'm comfortable with it...no need to change for now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nelson Pale Ale...





For this beer I went for the easy brew.  No ph testing and no gravity readings.  It was a joy to brew this way.  No chasing numbers and taking samples.  It was more like cooking...just hoping the quality of the ingredients shines through.  I trust my system enough since my acid addition and salts seem to always fall in place even when I do test.  I use The Mash Chemistry and Brewing Water Calculator from Brewer's Friend to calculate all my additions.





I did try a new process for this brew.  After whirlpool chilling and letting it sit for a while in the kettle I then transferred it to a sanitized glass carboy and set it to the side.  Then, I cleaned the kettle and the chiller and everything that I was done with.  By that time the trub in the glass carboy had really started to drop out.  After letting it sit for an hour or so I was able to rack the clear wort off the trub into another fermentor, add oxygen and pitch the yeast.  The picture below shows just how clean the yeast harvested from this beer really was.  My goal wasn't to reduce haze or eliminate storage issues but just to have as pure a yeast harvest as possible.  I think it worked good!  I used a pitch of this yeast the day I harvested it for an Amarillo pale ale and within 15-20 minutes the blow off tube was starting to slowly bubble.




NELSON PALE ALE

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.045
F.G. 1.010

Mash:
2-Row        80%
White Wheat  20%

Mash at 152 F for 60 min

BOIL:
Warrior @60 min for 30 IBUs
2.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin at 5 min
     

FERMENTATION:
1.0 pkg. of Wyeast 1318           

DRY HOPS:     
3 oz. Nelson Sauvin in serving keg


Tasting Notes:

Color:  A slight pale yellow/orange color in the right light; pineapple juice looking.  It has a white head.  Not the most stunning of beers but not bad.

Aroma:  I get a nice whiff of dank initially....pineapple, grapefruit, peach, spice like pepper.  Very good.

Mouthfeel:   This beer is soft.  The body of the beer stands up good....maybe medium.  I went for 2.3 volumes and the head indicates that but it feels less.  This beer is delicate but assertive with a fading dry finish.

  
Flavor:   I've never had gooseberry's but if this hop is what they are like I'm sure I'd enjoy them.  It's got this unique drying bitterness...spicey but not strong like a Saison spiciness....just a touch...like finely ground pepper.  Earthy....grapefuit....very dry finish that fades quick.  Delicate.  Juice.

Overall:   This beer came out very good.  A fresh drinker for sure.  I'm gonna put this hop right there next to Galaxy on my favorites list.  Just fantastic!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mosaic Quick Sour...




My wife likes sours and so I make sure to brew a quick sour for her every so often.  But I have to put my own spin on it.  I like dry hopping them and she likes them...so that works.

For the first few quick sours I made starters for the lacto and stressed over getting everything right: the temperature, the exposure to oxygen and the amount of cells.  Well, I'm a huge fan of simple.  So when I came across this post on Homebrewtalk.com where one of the members drgonzo2k2 talked about just throwing the Swanson's  L. Plantarum probiotic pills straight into the wort (1 per gallon) I was intrigued.  I followed a couple links and found he discussed his method on the Milk The Funk Facebook page and people were having success.  So I gave it a go for this one.  And it worked!  Worked great.


This beer came out good.  When the beer is still it gives off a fresh lemon lime scent.  With a good swirl it gives off that dank berry like aroma that Mosaic has.

It has a soft but assertive sourness and as it aged and cleared it smoothed out even more.  Real refreshing; subtle hop flavor with just a touch of that earthy dankness that Mosaic has.

Overall, I enjoyed brewing this and drinking it.  With the new lacto technique brew day was easy and I think Mosaic helps add some complexity to the aroma and flavor to such a basic beer.


Mosaic Quick Sour

2.50 gallons
O.G. 1.038
F.G.  1.009

MASH:
Pilsner     50 %
White Wheat    50 %

Mash at 145 F for 60 min       

BOIL:
Bring to a boil and then stop.  Adjust ph to 4.5 and then chill down to around 100 degrees.    

SOURING:
Pitch the contents of 3 capsules of Swanson's  L. Plantarum probiotic pills into the 100-90 degree wort and hold for about 48 hours.
  
FERMENTATION:
1.0 pkg. of Wyeast 1318 starter made on brew day and pitched around 48 hrs later.   

DRY HOPS:
1oz Mosaic 4 days in primary
2oz Mosaic 1 day in keg, then left in keg while chilling and carbonating.


EDIT:

The picture to the left is from Doug Stallard's (drgonzo2k2 on HBT) post on the Milk the Funk Facebook page about his beer Three Question Marks which won an award for Best of Show in a brewing competition.  This is the post (great picture!) that really convinced me to try this souring method.  I've messaged with Doug on HBT and he encouraged me to share his post on the Milk the Funk Facebook page. If you're already a member click on the picture to take you to the post.  Or I believe the link will tell you it's a closed group...it's a great group and worth joining if your into brewing sour beers of any kind.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mosaic,Citra,Columbus...



Rather than sit and click away at Beersmith and Brewer's Friend for this recipe, I used a malt bill from another beer (Mosaic Once Again) and mixed up the yeast and hops.  This made for a relaxed brew day since I didn't take pH readings or toil over hitting the numbers because I knew what to expect from the malt bill.

Slightly carbonated.



This was the first beer I used my homemade spunding valve on.  I let it ferment out in primary for about 4 days and then transferred it onto the bagged hops in a purged keg.  With the spunding valve on I left it in the ferm chamber until the pressure stopped climbing.  At that point I put it in the keg fridge and let it crash for about 5 days.  Samples taken during that time were fine and I perceived no off flavors.




MOSAIC, CITRA, COLUMBUS

2.50 gallons
O.G. 1.062
F.G.  1.009

MASH:

Rahr 2-Row     75.0 %
White Wheat    20.0 %
Crystal 20      5.0 %

Mash at 152 F for 60 min       

BOIL:
Warrior @60 min for 60 IBUs     

WHIRLPOOL:
1 oz. Mosaic
.5 oz. Citra
.5 oz Columbus
All for 10 mins. at 180f.    

FERMENTATION:
1.0 pkg. of WLP007           

DRY HOPS:
2 oz. Mosaic
.5 oz. Citra
.5 oz. Columbus
 Spunded for 5 days.


Tasting Notes:

Color:  A slight orange color and in the right light it's nice.  It has a white head that lasts an average amount of time with some lacing.

Aroma:   I get the fruit up front, and then a slight hint of dry grass.  That Citra sweetness is there and it's only a total of an ounce between the whirlpool and the dry hop.  After a week or two in the keg that melded into the background and the Mosaic took the forefront with a berry like aroma.  As it aged, a citrus/earthy like aroma got stronger.

Mouthfeel:   This beer is soft and easy and finishes dry.  The carbonation is good.  The spunding carbonated it a little and I had to play with the hydrometer sample to get rid of the carbonation.  As the beer got older the softness dissipated and it dried out more.

Flavor:   Berry fruits and a slight sweetness along with an earthy undertone.  The bitterness was nice at 60 IBU's of Warrior and I'm finding I like this for my tastes in hoppy beers.  Finishes dry with a citrus like flavor.  As it got older the citrus/earthy flavor seemed to get stronger along with the dry bitterness.  But in a good way.

Overall:   This beer came out good.  This one does well to put a little age on it.  Not as much as a fresh drinker as some of the other beers.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Amarillo...



Tasting Notes:

Color:  Pretty much the same as the Mosaic beer.  Orange hue.  Hazy.  White head.

Aroma:  I thought this beer would be an aroma bomb but not really.  It had that sort of peach/apricot thing going on with some citrus in the background.  Good enough but not amazing.

Mouthfeel:  This malt bill felt a little thinner and the yeast brought it down to 1.009 so that must have had something to do with it.  Dry on the finish.  Good carbonation.

Flavor:  This is where this beer shined.  I really enjoyed it once it sat for a week on gas.  It WAS all citrus like; hints of oranges and tangerines.  The drying finish helped it to appear to taste like oranges with a slight bit of pithy finish.  Going to brew this again.

Overall:  The Conan yeast didn't seem to make a big impact on this beer.  The next time I brew it I'll just use 007 or 1318.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Amarillo...


Ready for a swim.

There's so much talk about hops like Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra but Amarillo has this sort of quiet fervor about it.  It plays well with so many hops but there aren't as many single hopped pale ales made with Amarillo as the other hops mentioned above.  Not sure why.




For this batch I was able to try out my new Torpedo keg.  I'd have to say not the best quality.  The quick disconnects are tight and the gas poppet sticks sometimes when disconnecting the fitting.  I've seen reviews that the lid doesn't close properly unless putting it to high pressure.  This hasn't been a problem for me since I have made a habit of turning the pressure up when sealing keg lids.  Although the edge of the metal rim the lid sits against is pretty rough and has small bends or dents in it....it's just not smooth and I could see someone having trouble getting it to seal.


Anyone have any crackers?

On brew day, man the Amarillo smelled good in the whirlpool!  The orange and grapefruit aroma just wafting up with the steam was amazing.  It will be interesting the see how the GY054 pairs with this hop.


AMARILLO IPA

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.060
F.G. 1.009

Mash:
2-Row        80%
Marris Otter 10%
White Wheat  10%

Mash at 152 F for 60 min

BOIL:
Warrior @60 min for 60 IBUs     

WHIRLPOOL:
2.00 oz. Amarillo for 10 min     

FERMENTATION:
1.0 pkg. of GY054           

DRY HOPS:
1.50 oz. Amarillo for 5.0 Days     
1.50 oz. Amarillo in serving keg





Friday, December 9, 2016

Mosaic Once Again...



Tasting Notes:

Color:  Orange.  Opaque.  Nice white head.

Aroma:   I get the fruity/blueberry up front, the bubble gum, then a slight hint of dry grass.  The grass aroma could also be described as grain like...something I get from Mosaic not from the malt.  In a fresh bag of pellets this aroma is there....I may not be describing it right but it's there.

Mouthfeel:   This beer is soft.  Drinks easy and finishes dry.  The carbonation pops at the end.  This beer really does it for me.  For me these type of beers drink best with a little higher carbonation...the perceived sweetness blends better.

Flavor:   I get a mix of berry fruits.  The bubblegum and dry grass/grain like flavor seem to both come at once as it finishes with the soft bitterness accentuated by the carbonation.

Overall:   This beer came out good and I enjoy it.  I feel it represents Mosaic's aroma and flavor.  Having had this side by side with the previous Citra beer, I can say I like this beer better.  The aroma is not as strong as Citra but more pleasant to me; the flavor rounded and accessible.  The Citra harsher and lingering.  My previous attempts at a Mosaic beer didn't come out this nice.