Monthly Archives: July 2012

Elderberry Wheat Beer

Well I’m going to try a very simple wheat beer, with a few elderberries added for color and flavor.  The final SRM is only supposed to be about 4 (according to the calculator, lol) but I’m quite sure the elderberries will add quite a bit of color.  There are no specialty grains for this one, so it should be quick and easy.  I’ll be using Wyeast Bavarian Wheat Yeast on this one, along with a good amount of wheat extract, and some Saaz and Hallertau hops.  Easy as pie!

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. Bring 4 gallons water and wort chiller to a boil
  4. add liquid wheat extract and boil one hour
  5. add 1 oz hallertau at 60 minutes
  6. add 4 oz dried elderberries at 20 minutes
  7. add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder at 15 minutes
  8. add 1 oz saaz at 10 minutes
  9. turn on wort chiller and cover at 0 minutes
  10. sanitize spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  11. when wort gets to about 70F, strain into fermentation bucket using sanitized strainer
  12. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  13. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  14. ensure wort is 70F or a little less before pitching yeast
  15. pitch yeast
  16. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  17. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  18. ferment in closet for 12-15 days at 67F ambient air temp.
  19. use 4 oz corn sugar at bottling

Targets: OG: 1.055    FG:  1.015     IBU: 20    SRM: ?    ABV: 5.2

Actual OG: 1.052

Actual FG: 1.018

Notes:

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The Extreme Amazingness of Stone

In a word – Stone.

A single word that practically defines all that is good in the world of craft beer.  If I had to pick a single brewery for life, and I could never ever drink anyone else’s beer, “Stone” would uttered from my lips within about 0.0000001 picoseconds.

An overview of Stone’s beers reveals a wealth of fantastic beers.  I’ve had a lot of them, but not all.  My loss that I didn’t discover Stone earlier!  However, I have now seen the light, and everything about this brewery totally kicks ass!  From their absolutely outstanding Levitation to their amazingly delicious IPA to the wonderful Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, and Double Bastard, the terrific Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, and the palate wrecking, heavenly divine gift to all hop-heads Ruination, virtually anything produced by this brewery pretty much walks on water!

Make sure to follow Stone on Facebook and Twitter, and read their Blog!

Another really amazing thing about Stone is their bottles.  Thanks for using such great bottles, they are absolutely perfect for homebrewers like me!  I use the 12oz and 22oz bottles all the time for homebrewing.

I’ve been to the Stone Bistro and Gardens in Escondido, CA, and I can’t wait to get back there again.  What a great place, beautifully done, amazing food, amazing beer, amazing people.  I was very happy to see Pliny the Elder on tap there too, plus some other Cali beers, what a great experience.  It’s definitely a must-see for the San Diego area.

I’ve been reading The Craft Of Stone Brewing Company, and it’s really an amazing book.  Hardcover, beautifully illustrated, well written, and downright inspiring, I highly recommend it.  Complete with recipes for beer and food, plus tons of interesting stuff about their beers, business, and philosophy, it’s well worth the price (which, BTW, was pretty reasonable).  It inspired me to go buy a bunch of Stone beer today too!  I’ve got a sixer of IPA, a sixer of Oaked Arrogant Bastard, a bomber of regular Arrogant Bastard, and two bottles of 10th Anniversary Ruination chilling in the fridge right now!  I’m about to go ahead and post a review of the 10th Anniversary Ruination, can’t wait to for it to get cold!!!  …

<interlude, while beer is chilling>

…ok, it’s ready!  Here we go…

Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA

Nice looking, orange/tan and clear, nice lasting head and great lace.

Aroma is just amazing. You can smell the oily hops rising off the head. Monster pine and grapefruit. Fruity citrus notes.

Taste is an amazing hop bomb from the ninth layer of light beer hell! This is what BMC drinkers have to consume when the devil wins their soul in a poker game! Great big hop cones blast your taste buds with amazing flavors of citrus (grapefruit, oranges, tangerines), pine, pine resin, a lovely sweetness, and a great malty base.

Well carbonated with a pretty rich, full mouthfeel. Not dry at all, finishes pretty sweet for a double IPA. Lingering sweetness and bitterness.

I’ve read the reviews and I don’t really concur that there’s a noticeable alcohol presence. I don’t detect it, I think it’s pretty damn smooth stuff considering the ABV.

In a word – Stone. That’s all that really needs to be said.

Congratulation on ten years of one of the best IPAs, and best breweries on the planet!

Al’s Benchwarmer IPA

Thanks to to MrOH and OddNotion from BeerAdvocate.com for choosing the name and hops schedule for this IPA, as seen in this thread.

Ingredients:

  • Briess Golden Light Dry Extract  3.25 lbs
  • Briess golden light liquid extract 3.125 lbs
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 20   6 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 40   6 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 60   6 oz
  • 1oz Columbus @ 60
  • 0.5oz each Columbus and Cascade @ 15
  • 0.5oz each Columbus and Cascade @ 10
  • 0.5oz each Columbus, Cascade, and Willamette @ 5
  • 1 oz each Columbus, Cascade, and Willamette @ FO
  • 1 oz each of Columbus and Cascade and 0.5oz Willamette Dry Hop for 7-10 Days

Procedure:

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 1 gallon spring water to 165 F
  4. add grains (in mesh bag)
  5. steep for 30 minutes at 155F
  6. In separate pot, pre-boil 3 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, 1oz columbus at 60 minute mark
  9. add the wort chiller at beginning of boil.  make sure wort chiller is pre-filled with hot water
  10. add the DME and LME incrementally during the boil
  11. add 0.5 oz columbus and  0.5oz cascade at 15 minute mark
  12. add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder at 15 minute mark
  13. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  14. add 0.5 oz columbus and  0.5oz cascade at 10 minute mark
  15. add 0.5 oz columbus and  0.5oz cascade and o.5oz willamette at 5 minute mark
  16. add 1 oz columbus and  1 oz cascade and 1 oz willamette at FO
  17. hop rest 20 minutes
  18. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during hop rest and during cooling
  19. while wort is cooling, add 1 gallon chilled spring water to sanitized primary fermenting bucket, allowing it to fall into bucket to increase aeration
  20. when wort gets to about 70F, add to fermentation bucket
  21. top to 5 gallons with chilled spring water
  22. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  23. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  24. ensure wort is 70F or a little less before pitching yeast
  25. pitch yeast
  26. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  27. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  28. ferment in closet for 7-9 days at 67F ambient air temp.
  29. after 7-9 days, add 0.5 oz chinook and 1 oz willamette for dry hopping
  30. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 14 days)
  31. use 5 oz corn sugar at bottling

Targets: OG: 1.60    FG:  1.016     IBU: 93    SRM: 9.2    ABV: 6.3

Actual OG: 1.064

Actual FG: 1.014

Notes: actually less than 5 gallons came of this batch.  Probably about 4 1/2 gallons.  Most of it was boiled.  Much of the hops were filtered out before adding to fermentation bucket.  I expect the rest to mostly settle out during fermentation.

Wort was the most bitter of any I’ve made so far.  I have high hopes for the flavor and aroma on this beer, after all, I’ve dumped more than seven ounces of hops in it already!

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