Iron Brewer Update

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well, I fell in the second round of the Iron Brewer Tournament.  The Agave Wheat didn’t quite make it against Tim Hayes’s Amber Agave Wheat.  The cool thing is that all 8 beers this time around were excellent, and the voting was close on all 4 brackets.  Good luck to the final 4!

Dortmunder brewday

•December 1, 2009 • 1 Comment

Got around to brewing a Dortmunder Export on Saturday.  Had a good brewday, and got to use the conical again.

I was shooting for the top end of the style, kind of hoping I’d go over (wanted to make a bigger version of the style).  I got my wish, hitting 85% efficiency.  When checking the pre-boil  gravity, I noted this, and adjusted the BU:GU ratio accordingly.  Having a BU:GU ratio of about .5 in this beer is pretty important, as the style depends on balance.

Below are some pics, and the recipe.  The recipe is scaled to 85%, to show the actual final gravity and new correct BU:GU ratio.  I made a 4.5 liter starter with 2 vials of WLP830 German Lager yeast.  I am fermenting it at 51 F.

Note the beer is about 3 points out of style, I’m interested to see how it turns out.

Dortmunder 2.0

Dortmunder 2.0
Dortmunder Export
Type: All Grain Date: 11/27/2009
Batch Size: 11.00 gal Brewer: Dave Blue
Boil Size: 14.28 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: 20 gallon brewpot and Igloo Cooler (12 gal)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 85.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
15.80 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 76.70 %
4.60 lb Munich Malt (10.5 SRM) Grain 22.33 %
0.20 lb Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 0.97 %
4.90 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [3.50 %] (60 min) Hops 27.7 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [3.50 %] (15 min) Hops 2.8 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [3.50 %] (2 min) Hops 0.5 IBU
2.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs German Lager (White Labs #WLP830) Yeast-Lager
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.059 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.059 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG Measured Final Gravity:
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.98 % Actual Alcohol by Vol:
Bitterness: 31.0 IBU Calories:
Est Color: 6.0 SRM Color:

Color
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 20.60 lb
Sparge Water: 10.31 gal Grain Temperature: 60.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 25.75 qt of water at 165.4 F 152.0 F

Blue Agave Brewday

•November 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So, for round 2 of the Iron Brewer Tournament, I drew 11.75 oz of Blue Agave Nectar.  After doing some reading, I determined that I should probably use more if I want to get some flavor out of it, so I bought another 23.5 oz container, and this was the amber variety (seems to have more flavor).

For the base beer, I decided to do an American Wheat, with WLP320 as the yeast.  I also decided that some citrus might complement the Agave, so I threw in some sweet orange peel and lime zest toward the end of the boil.

I was estimating a 1.053 OG…only hit 1.047.  I’m thinking I overestimated the potential SG of the Agave Nectar.  Still, 1.047 is within the range, and I don’t think it’ll be too light.

One other thing that could have contributed to the low OG is that with only 2 gallons of water in the tun and 7 lbs of grain, the grain bed did not hold temperature as well as it ususally does.  I normally don’t even lose 1 degree over an hour, and in this case lost around 8 degrees.  There’s a chance this may affect the body of the beer too, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Below are pics and the recipe.



Blue Agave Wheat
American Wheat or Rye Beer
Type: All Grain Date: 3/1/2008
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Brewer: Dave Blue
Boil Size: 7.47 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (9 gal) and Igloo Cooler (12 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.40 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 47.93 %
2.25 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (3.8 SRM) Grain 24.51 %
0.33 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3.59 %
0.60 oz Tettnang [3.80 %] (60 min) Hops 8.6 IBU
0.50 oz Tettnang [3.80 %] (15 min) Hops 3.5 IBU
0.50 oz Tettnang [3.80 %] (3 min) Hops 0.9 IBU
0.15 oz Lime Zest (Boil 3.0 min) Misc
0.40 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 3.0 min) Misc
2.20 lb Blue Agave Nectar (3.0 SRM) Sugar 23.97 %
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.053 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.047 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity:
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.07 % Actual Alcohol by Vol:
Bitterness: 13.0 IBU Calories:
Est Color: 4.2 SRM Color:

 

Color
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 6.98 lb
Sparge Water: 6.39 gal Grain Temperature: 67.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 7.68 qt of water at 169.6 F 155.0 F

Tangerine Addition

•November 6, 2009 • 3 Comments

On Tuesday I added the tangerine addition to my Tangerine Brown Ale, the recipe I posted last week.  This is for the GBS Iron Brewer Tournament.

I decided to use the juice and the zest.  First, I took the 6 tangerines and zested them. Next, I used a borrowed juicer to juice the tangerines.  I got a lot less juice than I was expecting out of 6 tangerines, but that could actually be a good thing.

I added the zest into the juice, and heated it up to 170 degrees F, then covered it and let it cool to room temp.  Then I dumped it into the primary and will let it sit for about 5-7 days before kegging.  Below are some pics.

Iron Brewer Brewday

•November 2, 2009 • 7 Comments

On Friday I got around to brewing my entry for the Iron Brewer Tournament.  As mentioned previously, my the ‘mystery ingredient’ that my bracket drew was 6 tangerines.

As I thought about what to make, I remembered that I’ve had some dark chocolate flavored with orange and tangerize zest, so decided to do something along these lines.  I settled on something like an American Brown Ale, with some citrusy hops to compliment the tangerines and some roasted malts to give some chocolate character.  I decided to use Amarillo hops because of their prominent citrusy character, and also used cascade from my backyard plants.  I will zest and juice all 6 tangerines and add the juice and zest to the fermenter as fermentation starts to slow.

I used my smaller 9 gallon pot  to do a 5 gallon batch, and on my new burner boiled off around 3 gallons in an hour!  This obviously raised my OG, so I added back .5 gallons of water to get where I needed to be volume and gravity wise.

Below is the recipe and a few pics.

Tangerine Brown

Tangerine Brown
American Brown Ale

Type: All Grain

Date: 10/26/2009

Batch Size: 5.50 gal

Brewer: Dave Blue
Boil Size: 7.71 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (9 gal) and Igloo Cooler (12 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 80.95 %
1.00 lb Carafoam (2.0 SRM) Grain 9.52 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4.76 %
0.37 lb Chocolate Malt (220.0 SRM) Grain 3.52 %
0.13 lb Black (Patent) Malt (550.0 SRM) Grain 1.24 %
0.60 oz Amarillo Gold [9.30 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 20.1 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [9.30 %] (10 min) Hops 11.0 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (10 min) Hops 6.5 IBU
0.50 oz Amarillo Gold [9.30 %] (0 min) Hops
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops
1 Pkgs Safale American Ale (DCL Yeast #S-05) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.054 SG

Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.05 %
Bitterness: 37.7 IBU
Est Color: 17.1 SRM Color:

Color
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 10.50 lb
Sparge Water: 5.69 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, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 13.13 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F
Tangerine Brown

Tangerine Brown
American Pale Ale

Type: All Grain

Date: 10/26/2009

Batch Size: 5.50 gal

Brewer: Dave Blue
Boil Size: 7.71 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (9 gal) and Igloo Cooler (12 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 80.95 %
1.00 lb Carafoam (2.0 SRM) Grain 9.52 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4.76 %
0.37 lb Chocolate Malt (220.0 SRM) Grain 3.52 %
0.13 lb Black (Patent) Malt (550.0 SRM) Grain 1.24 %
0.60 oz Amarillo Gold [9.30 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 20.1 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [9.30 %] (10 min) Hops 11.0 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (10 min) Hops 6.5 IBU
0.50 oz Amarillo Gold [9.30 %] (0 min) Hops
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops
1 Pkgs Safale American Ale (DCL Yeast #S-05) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.054 SG

Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.05 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 37.7 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 17.1 SRM Color:

Color
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 10.50 lb
Sparge Water: 5.69 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, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 13.13 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 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: 4.2 oz Carbonation Used:
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F
Notes
Good efficiency, boiled off almost 3 gallons…need to really run the boil at the absolute bottom of this burner’s capabilities with this small pot!

Added 1/2 gallon back to get closer to estimated OG and volume.

GBS Iron Brewer Tournament

•October 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So our local homebrew club  GBS is holding an Iron Brewer Tournament.  Basically a bracketed tourney, starting with 16 brewers.  My bracket drew tangerines as the mystery ingredient.

I took Friday off, and will be brewing then, posting pics, and the recipe.  Stay tuned.

General Update

•October 5, 2009 • 2 Comments

OK, so long time no post.  I’m just going to post some general news and other tidbits along with some random photos.

First, had a GREAT time at the Augusta Bottoms Beer Festival on Saturday.  Our local homebrew club, Garage Brewers Society had a booth there along with several professional breweries.  Lots of great beers there, and once again we were a hit, winning Favorite Brewery this year!  Very exciting.

Best 'Brewery' Winners! Go GBF!

Best 'Brewery' Winners! Go GBS!

Next, I have used the Conical  Fermenator twice so far, with good results.  It is very nice for getting a nice clear product straight into the kegs, for harvesting yeast, and kegging is very fast since you can pressurize the fermentor.  Only drawback so far is it does take some time to sanitize.   I’ve made a point to get it filled with sanitizer the night before brewdays now.

In early August, a few friends an I went up north on a brewery tour.  We hit Piece in Chicago, Three Floyds, Two Brothers, Bell’s,  and Founders.  Had a great time, and it was very cool to taste so many of those beers fresh from the tap. Puts a new perspective on quite a few of the great beers those breweries make.

Lastly, I did a harvest of my hop plants.  Ended up with 1.6 lbs wet which turned into about 6 oz dry.  I dried them on a screen and vacuum packed them with a Foodsaver.  I hope to use them (Cascade) in an APA or hoppy wheat beer soon.

Pics of all described above and more below.

Brewday, Fermenator, Freezer, and Fermcap awesomeness

•August 10, 2009 • 9 Comments

I have a lot to talk about, and decided to condense it all into one post.
First, I got to use the Fermenator for the first time on Saturday.  Very impressed with it so far.  Easy to clean, easy to sanitize and assemble, and easy to use.  I brewed a 12 gallon batch of an Imperial IPA, and pumped the chilled wort directly to the fermenter in it’s new freezer out in the garage.

I purchased a stopper/thermowell from Northern Brewer for around $25, and so the temperature probe from the  In Action!Ranco controller is sitting snugly in  a stainless tube right near the center of the beer.  Not only does this give an accurate reading of actual fermentation temperatures, it takes no influence from the ambient temperature in the freezer, and as a result the freezer runs much less often to keep the beer temp where it needs to be.  It’s sitting at 68 now, and I have not seen the freezer running yet, which is good.

Also tried Fermcap for the first time in an all-grain batch.  I used a few squirts into the wort before the boil…this picture was right as the boil started really peaking…and that’s as much foam as I ever got.  This stuff is great.

Lastly, there are some pics of the modification process I had to go through to get the shelves in the freezer replaced so that there is enough space for the fermenter inside.  Not significantly different from what is already on the Blichmann site, but thought I’d post them anyway for reference.

Oh yeah, picked 2.8 oz of wet hops from the back yard that I added to this recipe at 2 minutes.  Otherwise it is the Hop Hammer recipe from Brewing Classic Styles.  2.8 oz converts to approximately .7 dry oz.

Fermenator

•August 6, 2009 • 1 Comment

I received the Blichmann Fermenator (Stainless Conical Fermenter) this week.  I hope to use it this weekend if I can get everything ready.  I’ll be posting some pics of the setup and the first brew with it when I get a chance.  For now, here’s a teaser:

14.5 gallon Fermenator

14.5 gallon Fermenator

Belgian Starter Beer

•August 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I recently bought a vial of White Labs WLP530 for use in a Belgian Trippel.  Since this would require a pretty major starter, I decided to just make a 5 gallon  batch of a light Belgian style ale as a starter…using that much extract I might as well bump it up and have something to drink from it!

Pretty basic…Pilsner and Extra Light DME, some Hallertau for bittering and Saaz at finish.  Started fermentation at 65F and ramped up to 70F.

I boiled harder than expected again on my 5 gallon pot, so came out 4 points higher on the OG (1.044).  I will make some adjustments to the equipment entry for this pot in Beersmith to accommodate (evaporation percentage).

Also, I used Fermcap for the first time.  Very impressed so far.  Boiled hard, and didn’t have to babysit the pot at all while the boil was starting.  Could be very useful for large batches.

Here is the recipe for the starter:

Belgian Starter
Belgian Specialty Ale

Type: Extract

Date: 7/17/2009

Batch Size: 5.50 gal

Brewer: Dave Blue
Boil Size: 6.66 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (9 gal) and Igloo Cooler (12 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency:
Taste Notes:

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.00 lb Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 100.00 %
1.00 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.00 %] (60 min) Hops 14.5 IBU
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (10 min) Hops 2.6 IBU
1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.040 SG

Measured Original Gravity: 1.044 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.009 SG Measured Final Gravity:
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 3.94 % Actual Alcohol by Vol:
Bitterness: 17.2 IBU Calories:
Est Color: 3.0 SRM Color:

Color