Monthly Archives: March 2013

Just wingin’ it CCC APA

An odd one here.  A couple weeks ago there was a small accident regarding a computer keyboard.  Well, it’s in the shop getting fixed ($46 installed, but it’ll take about a week to get the part).  Well, this is where I had the copy of beersmith that had today’s homebrew recipe on it.  Thus, today didn’t exactly start out with 100% efficiency on perfection.

But alas, if you’re gonna do something, do it right.  OR if you’re not gonna do something the right way, don’t skimp on it.  Go for broke!  Well that was today, go for broke!

The recipe at one point was clear and I had a specific plan (at least that was before I ordered the grain!).  That’s out the window, obviously.  All I had was a bag of grain of around 12 lbs that I wasn’t sure exactly what was in it, but there was approximately…

  • A decent amount of 2-row
  • some munich malt (or some other non-2-row base malt, I can’t remember what it was)
  • some crystal malt (I am sure it was eight ounces of crystal malt total, there wasn’t a lot of crystal)
  • 3 oz honey malt (I am positive there was 3 oz honey malt in there)

I am guessing 12 or so lbs total grains, OG in the 1.055-1.060 range.  I didn’t measure.  Why bother!

Might as well guess on the hops too (though I did use a scale to weight them)…

  • 0.5 oz cascade FWH
  • 0.5 oz each cascade/centennial/citra at 7 minutes
  • 0.5 oz each cascade/centennial/citra at flameout

Dry hops (pre-weighed and bagged for when the time comes):

  • 0.5 oz each centennial/citra dry hop
  • 0.75 oz cascade dry hop

The yeast was a proper starter of NW ale yeast, WY1332.  That much we couldn’t possibly slack off on!

Then the thermometer took a dump during brewing.  We’re about a 60 mile round trip from anywhere that we could get a thermometer (or even a battery for the one that took a dump), so we used the one that came with the turkey fryer.  Prolly not as accurate, LOL, but it went from 50-300 and read just over 210 at boiling.  Good enough.  Mashed at 165-ish strike water (which probably left me at around 152-155 mash temp) and stirred once during the 1+ hour mash.  No point in using a timer either, eh?  Well I timed it on my phone to “close enough.”

So all during this brew-stravaganza, we continued work on the “man-cave” / brewhaus.  Today we framed the roof and added two of the skylights and some of the roof panels.  Then it started raining!  When it rains, it pours!!  It’s gonna be totally badass though, a big, nice sheddy kinda shed with plenty of room to brew, and several “add-ons” to the outside, including two built in, covered, insulated freezer/controller boxes (will eventually be enough for 30 gallons of fermenting beer in three different temperature controlled freezers with controllers, 5 gallons times 2 buckets per freezer).  Also the new 10+ gallon system (burners and all) will be on the outside, with a tiled sink and floor on the inside and storage for everything on the inside.  It’s gonna kick total ass man!  We’ll be on the man show for sure!  More on this in the future!

Well, when I get my other computer back, I can find out what exactly were the grains that were in there.  Will my hops schedule work?  I bet it will!

We shall find out soon!

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Boulevard! Harvest Dance Wheatwine

Boulevard Brewing, from Kansas City, is some awesome stuff!  Today I’m having one of their smokestack series, Harvest Dance Wheatwine.  I love this stuff!  Wheatwine isn’t a very common style, and I think I’ve only actually ever had a few examples of the style.  But the ones I’ve had are delicious!  Especially this one!

http://www.boulevard.com/BoulevardBeers/harvest-dance-wheat-wine/

A very delicious beer indeed.

Wheatwine pours a beautiful orange-ish tan color, just a little hazy, with a wonderful white head that lasts forever and leaves great lacing.

Fruity and spicy on the nose and taste, with great citrus and floral components as well.  Hops aren’t real forward, nor should they be for this style, but they’re pleasantly accenting of the taste and aroma.  Honestly, the commercial description pretty much describes the beer perfectly:

John Barleycorn is memorialized in English folk tradition as the personification of the barley plant, sacrificed at harvest time and then reborn as beer or ale. Our Harvest Dance Wheat Wine is a celebration of John’s Midwestern cousin, wheat. Beginning with a large portion of wheat malt, we add an equally generous helping of Hallertau and Citra hops and age the ale on both French and American oak. The result is a big, warming burst of tropical fruit flavors, highlighted by subtle wine-like notes, and rounding slowly to a long, dry, oaky finish.

I am not one to take anyone at their word on what I should think of a beer without trying it myself, but this description is pretty accurate (and I’ve had this beer multiple times).  Boulevard isn’t blowing their own horn on this one, this beer actually is really good!

Citra hops, eh?  I just brewed with them for the first time today.  Haven’t tasted the results yet.  My next blog will chronicle the event (it was an odd brew day, fittingly for citra, which has so much myth and hype around it, lol).

Why not toss in a nice bit of music to listen to whilst enjoying this delicious beer?

If you like wheatwine, or if you’re just a fan of great beer, you should try this beer!

Pike Brewing XXXXX Stout

All those x’s should give me some really oddball hits on this blog, LOL!

But we’re talking about Pike Brewery’s XXXXX Extra stout, a very delicious beer that’s in my glass right now!  Sorry to disappoint if your search engine was searching for something else!

This is about the third or fourth of Pike’s brews that I’ve tried.  I keep trying them because they are good beers.  I really like this one, it’s (perhaps) the best of the Pike beers I’ve tried so far.  Albeit that’s not a lot of beers, but I just discovered them, and plan to try more of their beers soon!

Pike XXXXX Extra Stout

Black as night with a good tannish-brown head and good lacing.

Aroma is roasty and a little burnt with nice coffee and chocolate notes.

Flavor follows through with the nose, maybe with a touche of anise (but it’s subtle).  The chocolate and coffee are a bit more pronounced, leaving a slightly cappuccino effect for the imbiber.

Body is full, thick, rich, and leaves a wonderful slightly roasted, slightly burnt aftertaste that I really enjoy in a stout.

Definitely recommended.  I’ll for sure buy this one again.  It wasn’t even very expensive, so it’s a great value (I can’t remember the exact price, but it was very reasonable).  A very nice stout you should definitely try if you’re a stout lover.

Pike XXXXX Extra Stout

Ranger Creek Mesquite Smoked Porter

A truly Texas beer, Ranger Creek MSP is a tasty one that’s in m glass right now!!

Black as night with a monster head that would hardly go away enough to pour the rest of the bottle.

Very smoky, dominated by smoke at every step.  Tastes like a Texas BBQ.  Quite a nice roasty/burnt component, more like a stout than a porter if you ask me.  Some other more subtle flavors and aromas, like coffee, chocolate, and very dark fruits (figs, dates, raisins).

Body is thick and very full, with a pretty heavily smoky aftertaste.

This one is truly the taste of Texas.  Quite enjoyable, especially recommended for fans of smoky beers.

Freetail Brewery

Freetail Brewing in San Antonio Texas is a wonderful spot for beer lovers.  They have about 10-11 different beers on tap at all times, plus usually a cask of something tasty.  They serve food and have TVs and such, and the food is quite tasty, especially the pizza.  They now have 22oz bombers for take-out too!

Today I’m having a nice lunch and trying their St Patrick’s day special: Spirulina Witbier.

Well this was a St Patrick’s Day special here, I could tell immediately when I saw the color: GREEN.  Nicely green too, slightly cloudy, had a decent head and left great lacing behind.

Had a typically witbier aroma, wheaty and spicy with cloves and yeast.  Flavor followed suit in spades, if I didn’t see the color it would be hard to tell this was a specialty brew and not just a delicious witbier.
Body was light and very drinkable, I dare to say it’s the perfect St Patty’s beer (especially with the low ABV, 3.9%, so you could pound many of them and still remain standing!).

Always recommend a trip to Freetail for their great beers, this one is no exception.

Oh, and amazingly The Mars Volta was playing on the overhead music!  That’s friggin’ awesome!!

Upcoming Beers on the Homebrew Front

Well I’ve got a number of things in the queue that I’m real excited about, including several SMaSH beers:

  • Maris Otter / Simcoe SMaSH with WY1968 London ESB Ale Yeast
  • 2-row / Fuggles SMaSH with an extra-long boil to increase malliard reactions
  • Vienna / Cascade SMaSH (yeast?)
  • Another Petite Saison SMaSH fermented at 64-66F (with different base malt/hops this time, TBD)
  • Bleach Blonde Ale IV (it still hasn’t been made, lol, even tho I already blogged it)
  • Elderberry Wheat III (identical recipe, possibly a slightly different yeast)
  • An American Pale Ale with 2-row, munich, vienna, cara-amber, and honey malt, hops schedule TBD, probably an ounce each Cascade/Centennial at 5 minutes with magnum bittering and serebrianka dry hops
  • An American / Oatmeal Stout – I haven’t made a stout in a while and my last one came out GREAT!  (I might just make that one again, or something close to it).
  • “Election Stout” a rather complex but tasty looking pseudo-session beer, recipe by GreenKrusty101
  • Something “session” or “mild,”  Preferably English.
  • A Rye beer, fairly hoppy

Note that I’ve done enough American IPAs and hoppy APAs for the moment.  We’re in different territory now.  Not everything has to be super-hopped.  In fact I’ve had trouble finding commercial beers lately that aren’t IPAs or hoppy APAs.

The Averagely Perfect American IPA Project

Very interesting project started by Vikeman on Beer Advocate.  31 polls decided all aspects of this beer, from gravity and ABV to ingredients and amounts, even fermentation temperature.

Well I brewed it last night.

5 Gallons (into fermenter)
Target ABV: 6.5%
Target OG: 1.062
Target FG: 1.012
Apparent Attenuation: 81%
Recommended Mash Temp: 151F
Fermentation Temp 64-66F*
64 IBUs (per Tinseth Calc)

Grain Bill:
Two-Row Brewer’s Malt (92%)
Crystal 40 (5%)
Carapils (3%)

Bittering Hop: Bravo

Flavor/Aroma Hop Schedule:
15 minutes – Simcoe 0.5 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz
10 minutes – Simcoe 0.5 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz
5 minutes – Simcoe 0.75 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz

FO/Whirlpool/Stand – Simcoe 1.0 oz, Centennial 0.75 oz, Cascade 0.75 oz
Dry Hop – 1 oz Simcoe, 1 oz Centennial, 1 oz Cascade

Yeast:
Wyeast 1056/WLP001/US-05

It’s in the fermentation chamber now, we’ll see how the “wisdom of crowds” doees on this one!  I suspect it will come out great!!

*note: mine is getting 64-66F because that’s where my fermentation freezer/controller is set and that’s where I like it, lol.
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