Monthly Archives: June 2012

Juniper Pale Ale

Special thanks to Barfdiggs on Beeradvocate.com for suggesting this hop schedule!

Ingredients:

  • Briess Golden Light Dry Extract  5 lbs
  • Briess 2-Row Brewer’s Malt  8 oz
  • Crisp Maris Otter  8 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 10  4 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 20   4 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 40   4 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 60   4 oz
  • Dried Juniper Berries 1 oz
  • 1 oz Northern Brewer at 60
  • 0.5 oz Chinook at 15
  • 1 oz Chinook at Flame out
  • 1.5 oz Willamette at Flame out
  • 0.5 oz Chinook Dry Hop
  • 1 oz Willamette Dry Hop

Procedure:

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 1.5 gallons spring water to 165 F
  4. add grains (in mesh bag)
  5. steep for 60 minutes at 155F
  6. In separate pot, pre-boil 2.5 gallons spring water
  7. when grains are finished steeping, remove grain bag, combine wort into boiling pot with pre-heated spring water and bring to boil
  8. add bittering hops, 1 oz NB at 60 minute mark
  9. add the DME and wort chiller at beginning of boil.  make sure wort chiller is pre-filled with hot water
  10. add 0.5 oz chinook at 15 minute mark
  11. add 1 oz juniper berries at the 15 minute mark
  12. add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder at 15 minute mark
  13. add 0.5 oz chinook and 1.5 oz willamette  at flameout
  14. let stand 15 minutes before beginning cooling
  15. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  16. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during hop rest and during cooling
  17. while wort is cooling, add 1 gallon chilled spring water to sanitized primary fermenting bucket, allowing it to fall into bucket to increase aeration
  18. when wort gets to about 70F, add to fermentation bucket
  19. top to 5 gallons with chilled spring water
  20. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  21. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  22. ensure wort is 70F or a little less before pitching yeast
  23. pitch yeast
  24. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  25. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  26. ferment in closet for 7-9 days at 67F ambient air temp.
  27. after 7-9 days, add 0.5 oz chinook and 1 oz willamette for dry hopping
  28. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 14 days)
  29. use 5 oz corn sugar at bottling

Targets: OG: 1.056    FG:  1.013     IBU: 40    SRM: 7.78    ABV: 5.63

Actual OG: 1.048

Actual FG: 1.016

Notes:

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Green Flash! Hop Head Red

Well we do get a few great beers from Green Flash Brewery here, and that’s a good thing!  Very good stuff, especially today’s selection, Hop Head Red.  Rating a 100 for style, 98 overall on Ratebeer.com (with nearly a thousand ratings).

I find it a bit odd that Beeradvocate.com rates it just 85, but there are certainly caveats…

First off, BA rates it as an American IPA, not an amber ale.  There are bzillions of really great IPAs, so classifying this as an IPA will certainly give you a lower overall rating, especially given what I feel is a strong bias towards over-rating IPAs and RIS/American Doubles.  If  BA had listed this as an amber ale, it would certainly have done much better, and would likely be one of the top beers in the style.  Oh well, the intricacies of beer website rating nuances and limitations could be a completely different blog.

So…  let’s get to the beer!

Very nice looking. great head and lacing, red colored and clear.  Foamy lightly tan head lasts all the way to the end of the brew.

Smell and body are quite good, lots of hops, piney grapefruit overtaking a strong malty base.   The Amarillo dry hops are quite notable in the aroma.

The flavor is quite amply malty, this beer has a great grain bill and malt base, balanced perfectly with lots of pungent, tangy hop flavors.   To me, this is more of an amber ale than an IPA, but there’s certainly overlap.

Body is smooth and medium, almost chewy with a mellow yet bitter finish. Overall it’s amongst my favorite reds of all time, right up there with Stone Levitation.

Others that we can get around here are their double stout and their West Coast IPA, both delicious!  I’m anxious to try more from Green Flash in the future.

Seriously though, what do you expect from a San Diego brewery?  Excellence!

 

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Got a bottle of this from a trade.  Everything I’ve had from Brooklyn Brewery is great stuff!  I’m especially fond of #1 and of this one, Black Chocolate Stout.

Definitely black, very black, with a nice two finger brown head and fine sheets of thin lacing left behind on each sip.

Lots of milk and baker’s chocolate smell, along with a little coffee, some nice roasted and burnt malts.

Taste is where this beer shines. I was expecting black and chocolate, and I got both, especially the chocolate. You can almost feel the cocoa powder and unsweetened baker’s chocolate, their dryness being a prime component, but even the chocolate flavors are balanced with a little sweet milk chocolate flavors. Roasty malts and just a touch of smoky burnt fill in the gaps.

An extremely easy to drink RIS, despite a tinge of an alcoholic component (expected given the relatively high ABV).

Brooklyn is really a damn fine brewery, and this beer keeps that reputation going strong in my book. I’m always looking for Brooklyn beers!

Having another tonight. Will remain on my wants list for all times, unless I move to somewhere that has Brooklyn available at all times!

Totally AMAZING beer.  Cheers!

Zombie Dust!!

With all this talk in the news lately about zombies and such*, it’s quite appropriate that I use this auspicious occasion to sampling another of Three Floyds delicious beers, Zombie Dust!

I’m having a Zombie Dust, 100 on ratebeer right now, and I can definitely attest that it’s t most amazing pale ale ever, in the history of no matter what!!

All citra pale ale from Three Floyds.

*apparently, at least if you’re from Miami

Black IPA

Time for another homebrew.  Gonna make a black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale, as some insist on calling it.  The debate about naming such beers is not particularly interesting to me, but some consider it to be the end-all of all dark, hoppy beers.  Meh.

Either way, this beer will be dark and very hoppy, with lots of late and dry hops additions.

The day before, it’s time for yeast.  Wyeast 1056 American Ale.  In the morning I did up the smack pack, left it on the counter at about 68F.  Around noon it was well puffy and ready to go.  I boiled about 1.5 quarts of spring water, then added 3/4 cup of DME, boiled ten minutes, cooled, and added to my sanitized Erlenmeyer flask.  Also sanitized the scissors and package, then added yeast.  I aerated well and have been aerating every few hours.  I’ve got a sanitized airlock on top, but I’ve allowed fresh oxygen to get in every few hours.  It’s krausening well on the stir plate already.

Here’s what’s going into the beer…

  • Briess Golden Light Liquid Extract  6.625 lb
  • Briess Pale Ale Malt  2.5 lb
  • Weyermann De-Husked Carafa II  1 lb
  • Aromatic  0.75 lb
  • Crisp Crystal Malt 60L  0.625 lb
  • De-Bittered Black  0.25 lb
  • Nugget Pellets      1 oz @ 60 mins
  • Columbus Pellets   1 oz @ 15 mins
  • Columbus Pellets  0.5 oz @ 10 mins
  • Columbus Pellets  0.5 oz @ 5 mins
  • Glacier Pellets      0.5 oz @ 1 mins
  • Tettnang, German Pellets  0.5 oz @ Dry
  • Glacier Pellets     0.5 oz @ Dry
  • Nugget Pellets      0.5 oz @ Dry
  • Columbus Pellets  1 oz @ Dry
  • Wyeast Labs American Ale – 1056

Targets:

OG: 1.078   FG: 1.020  IBU: 67.6   SRM: 41.62  ABV: 7.60

Procedure to be added before brewing… I’m thinking of trying a mostly full boil on this one, but splitting it between two boil pots.  I can’t do the entire volume in one pot, but I sure can in two…  Considering.  Planning on editing this tomorrow morning with my final decisions on all aspects of the procedure!

More to come on this one…

**next day**

A couple things I’m doing on this one…

I’m using five pounds of grain, so it’s going to be a partial mash.  I’ll use about 2 quarts of water per pound.  I’ll be using about five grain bags.

Also, I’m going to try to boil most of my wort, and use a minimal amount of top off water.  It may be necessary to use two boil pots for this, we’ll see.  After the partial mash, I will see how much the big boil pot is full and make the decision then.

OK it’s morning and I’m about to get started, so I better get my procedure down first!  Here goes…

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 2.5 gallons spring water to 160 F
  4. add grains (use four or five mesh bags)
  5. steep for 60 minutes at 155F
  6. In separate pot, pre-boil 1.5 gallons spring water
  7. when grains are finished steeping, remove grain bags, gently rinse with hot water
  8. add pre-boiled water and bring entire pot (or two pots, if necessary) to a boil for one hour.
  9. add bittering hops, using hop bag, 1 oz nugget
  10. During boil, added wort chiller, dried malt extract
  11. at 25 minutes, add one ounce colombus hops
  12. 20 minutes begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, etc
  13. 20 minutes add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder
  14. 10 minutes add 0.5 oz columbus hops
  15. 5 minutes add 0.5 oz columbus hops
  16. 1 minute add 0.5 oz glacier hops
  17. while wort is cooling, add 1 gallon chilled spring water to sanitized primary fermenting bucket, allowing it to fall into bucket to increase aeration
  18. when wort gets to about 70F, add to fermentation bucket 
  19. top to 5 gallons with chilled spring water
  20. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  21. take OG reading using sanitized wine thief
  22. ensure wort is 70F or a little less before pitching yeast
  23. pitch yeast
  24. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  25. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  26. ferment in closet for 7-10 days at 68F ambient air temp.
  27. add dry hops, 1 oz columbus, 0.5 oz each of glacier, nugget, tettnang
  28. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 16 days in primary)
  29. use 5 oz corn sugar at bottling

OG was only 1.062.  Not sure what was up there, but not too worried about it.

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