Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Emily...




I really couldn't wait to get back to this beer.  Galaxy just does it for me.  Over the last year I've been waiting to get my hands on some but it's just been hard to find.  All the home brew shops around me didn't have it and the online stores only had small bags and limited supplies.  Finally, a couple weeks ago Farmhouse Brewing Supply happened to have some and I was able to get a pound before they sold out again.  Now...a couple weeks later Yakima's got quite few pounds of the 2017 crop.  Need to get me some.

For this version (the other was a double) I went smaller for a 5.5% to 6% beer...so I'm calling it a Pale Ale.  I reduced the hops a bit but still kept the 2:1 ratio of Galaxy to Columbus.  Also, I've begun using my new R.O. filter system for water instead of buying bottled water.  Can't really tell the difference but it is convenient to not have to buy water.

Works great and good service!

Pushed my dry hop schedule up and only did primary for 4 days and then kegged it with more hops and spunded the keg for the remaining 6 days.  Threw it in the fridge on gas before leaving for a 5 day trip to the hills of North Carolina.  That was good for me.  I usually cant help my self from sampling while they carb.  Got home, tucked my kids into bed, and had a nice beer after a long drive...couldn't have been better.
 

EMILY...A PALE ALE

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.055
F.G. 1.010

MASH:
80% (5 lbs. 4.2 oz.) 2-Row
15% (1 lb.) White Wheat
5% (5.3 oz.) C20
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

BOIL:
.5 oz Warrior @60 min for 30 IBUs

WHIRLPOOL:
.6 g. Whirlfloc
2 oz. Galaxy for 10 min.
1 oz. Columbus for 10 min.

FERMENTATION:
120 ml. of Wyeast 1318 3rd generation

DRY HOPS:
2 oz. Galaxy in primary on day 2
1 oz. Columbus in primary on day 2

2 oz. Galaxy in serving keg on day 4
1 oz. Columbus in serving keg on day 4



Tasting Notes:

Color: A pale orange color....in the right light...orange juice looking. It has a thick two finger white head.  Hazy.

Aroma: This one gets you from a couple feet away.  Passion fruit...citrus and yet the wheat comes though...a swirl of the glass and that dank hop aroma comes out mixed with the tropical aromas...and the wheat again...I could crawl into the glass

Mouthfeel: This beer is soft but a nice carbonation asserts itself with delicate drying finish.  A pithiness coats the mouth from the huge hop charges.

Flavor: A coating true to hop flavor....the oils make the body...they draw me in to mango like citrus like pithy tasting beer with some bready wheat behind it all.  Such a nice beer.  I wouldn't change a thing with this...the lingering bitterness isn't boil derived but delicate raw hop...assertive and repeat.

Overall: This smaller version came out great.  Galaxy just makes me happy.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Nelson Pale Ale...




NELSON PALE ALE...

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.049
F.G. 1.012 (last sample taken at dry hop kegging)

MASH:
73.7% (4 lbs. 3.3 oz) 2-Row
26.3% (1.5 lbs.) White Wheat
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

BOIL:
.25 oz. of Warrior at 60 min for 30 IBUs

WHIRLPOOL:
2.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin for 10 min.

FERMENTATION:
100 ml. dense slurry of Wyeast 1318 2nd generation

DRY HOPS:
3 oz. Nelson Sauvin in serving keg


Tasting Notes:

Color: The slight pale yellow/orange color as the last try but a little darker.  It has a nice white head.  I like the look of this version better.

Aroma: I get a whiff of fresh hops initially....grapefruit, peach, spice like with an excellent white wine finish to the aroma. Very good.  The wheat shows through and combines nice with the hops.  Carbonation was a bit low (sample taken on day two) and the aroma didn't punch as the last version but as it carbs I suspect it will.

Mouthfeel: The body of the beer is good but has a slight thinness that I think the carbonation will help.  It leaves a lasting pithy dry feeling.

Flavor:  Repeat of the the last version: "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."  This version may be a bit thinner due to the higher alcohol.  I'd suspect it finished at 1.010 making it just north of 5% abv.

Overall: I like this beer a lot.  Although the hops popped better in the first version and I think its due to the quality of the hops for this batch.  I had three different bags of these hops from different sellers.  One bag wasn't worth using, the second was OK and the third was excellent.  Since the second  one was a 4 oz. bag that I had just purchased I saved 3 oz. of that one for the dry hopping and put the one good bag which was an ounce in the whirlpool with an ounce from the 4 oz. bag.  I've really been paying attention to the quality of my ingredients over this last year and have found that the variations are many.  I've since purchased a new 8 oz. bag and hope to brew this again soon.



Friday, May 5, 2017

Blow off set up....



With the blow off valve open and the tubing inside a jar of Starsan
 it provides a 1/2" blow off during fermentation.

Thought I'd share this blow off set up a friend of mine made up for his SS Brewtech fermentors that I've made and used.  I've found it works great and figured some people may find it useful for their Brew Buckets.  This set up can be used as a blow off tube, a way to perform a pressure transfer, and purge with CO2 while cracking the lid.



Click on the pictures to get a bigger view.


To do as close to an O2 free transfer as possible I'll suspend my bagged hops in a keg and purge it several times with about 20psi of CO2 and then pressurize the keg after purging.   When I'm ready to transfer, I'll hook up my CO2 to the gas fitting on top of the "T" and get the gas flowing at under 5psi to slowly bubble the Starsan in the blow off jar.  The transfer tubing I use has nothing on one end and the other end has a liquid quick disconnect installed on it.  Right before connecting the open end of the transfer tubing to the racking valve on the fermentor, I'll connect it to the liquid out post on my keg.  This releases the CO2 from the keg and purges the tubing.  I then open the pressure relief valve on the lid of the the keg, connect the tubing to the racking valve, close the blue handled valve on the blow off set up and open the racking valve to start the transfer.

To purge the head space while adding hops or other additions first connect your CO2 to the gas fitting making sure the CO2 is off at this point.  Open the two front spring clamps and turn the gas on to about 5psi and close the blue handled valve on the blow off.  You can now lift the lid a bit and make an addition to the fermentor.  Once your done, lower the lid, open the blue valve again, and close the two spring clamps.  You can run a bit of gas though the head space afterwards for a few seconds to further assure you've purged as much O2 as possible.  While I don't open my Brew Bucket during fermentation, this is the method my friend uses to do so.

All the parts were purchased at Brew Hardware except one from SS Brewtech.  The stainless parts are listed from left to right as in the first picture above:

From the lid:
Hose Barb 1/2" 90° for Blow-Off
   
Left side of "T":
Hose Barb, 1/2" Male NPT x 5/8" Hose ID

And "T":
NPT Tee Fitting Female 1/2" NPT

Top of "T":
Hex Reducing Bushing 1/4" FNPT X 1/2" MNPT

NPT Male, 1/4" to Keg Post Adapter 19/32" -18 Thread

Gas Side Ball Lock Keg Post (19/32"-18) with Universal Poppet

Right side of "T":
Mini-Ball Valve 1/2" Male/Female

Hose Barb, 1/2" Male NPT x 5/8" Hose ID

And then enough tubing to make your top connection and then to reach the blow off jar:
UltraClear Silicone Tubing by the foot, 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD (1/8" Thick Walls)

The 1/2" tubing fits real snug over the 5/8" hose barbs and won't blow apart with the amount of pressure applied during a transfer.  Also, I used some Teflon tape on the threaded parts of the set up.  To clean the set up I remove the tubing and soak the assembly and tubing in PBW for at least 30-40 minutes.












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% (5 lbs. 9.7 oz.) 2-Row
10% (11.2 oz.) Marris Otter
10% (11.2 oz.) 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% (4 lbs. 3.3 oz.)
White Wheat  20% (1 lb .8 oz.)

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 % (2 lbs.)
White Wheat    50 % (2 lbs.)

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 % (5 lbs. 4.9 oz.)
White Wheat    20.0 % (1 lb 6.6 oz.)
Crystal 20      5.0 % (5.7 oz.)

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.