Monthly Archives: October 2013

A new and different IPA, plus some unsolicited beer philosophy

Well this one will be sorta smash-like, in that I’m not using any specialty malts, just base malts.  It’s going to have 6 lbs pilsner malt, 6 lbs golden promise, and 2 lbs Munich malt, 14 lbs total.  That’s a little bit bigger than I usually make my beers, but hey, I’m experimenting, so I can do what I want!

Here’s what I planned to do with the hops:

0.5 oz magnum at 60
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 15
0.5 oz tettnanger at 15
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 10
0.5 oz tettnanger at 10
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 5
0.5 oz tettnanger at 5
0.5 oz each magnum, bravo at FO
2 oz tettnanger at FO

Here’s my thinking: I’ve seen some cases where other people have experimented with magnum hops NOT solely at the 60 minute mark, but as late additions, flameout additions, or even dry hopping..  None have had anything bad to say about their beers, so I figure I’ll step outside the box a little and try some magnum late in the boil.  Now I’m also going with a little bravo, which I already know works fine at any stage of the boil.  If you recall that far back, my Munich / Bravo SMaSH had half an ounce bravo early, 1 oz at 5 minutes, and two ounces at flameout, and that’s one of my favorite SMaSH beers I’ve ever made.  Purely delicious.  So to me, that’s a tried and true hop.  It should offer support to the magnum, which is a little unknown, but I have no worries.  Then I’m tossing in tettnanger, in approximately double-ish the amounts of the two higher AA hops.  I really don’t know what I’m going to get out of this, but I bet it will be tasty!  Well of course I think it will be tasty, or I wouldn’t bother making it!

Oh, and probably US-05 yeast.

In the near future I’m going to be brewing with some Irish Ale yeast, and some 3711.  I think the 3711 will go with the next weird extract experimental two gallon batch I’m planning.  Can’t wait to see how EXTRA DARK extract goes with 3711!  Hey, the last one worked out great, so who knows!

Now also in the spirit of trying new things, if this one comes out really good, I may have to try a smash beer with all magnum.  I know one guy who’s tried just such a beast, and it came out tasty beer.  Who says you can’t use magnum late?  Sure, it’s a great bittering hop, and I have no plans to take anything away from it in that respect.  But is it being unfairly relegated to the background, when it deserves some time center stage?

Well let me just say this – if it’s generic, commonly spewed forth advice that seems regurgitated and taken for granted “just because,” then I’m willing to challenge that notion.  I’m already challenging the standard advice with extracts, and now maybe even a little bit with magnum, and maybe a lot more with magnum soon.  I encourage everyone to do the same, challenge the norms, try stuff that maybe doesn’t seem like the obvious thing to do.

And when it comes to giving out advice… Yeah, you can always say “sanitation is important,” and you’ll never be wrong.  But if you say “don’t use amber extract, use light, then add specialty grains bla bla bla…”  Have you actually TRIED amber or dark extract?  Is this advice universal and unchanging, etched in stone from cradle to grave?

I say no.  There are times when amber or dark extract will be perfect for the beer you intend to make.  If that’s the case, just use them!  Taint no big deal!!  Now other times, it may be better to use light extract, and adjust the finer points of your beer with specialty grains.  There’s no doubt that there are many times when this advice is also the best advice, so again, I’m not trying to take away from this approach.  But there should be a reason why the light extract+steeping grains is superior in the particular instance at hand.  Conversely, if amber (or even dark) extract is appropriate for the beer at hand, at least try it once.

I recently had an email exchange with a representative from Munton’s about their extracts.  While he didn’t hand over the manufacturer’s specifications to me, he did indicate that the notion that extracts are “chock full of crystal malt” was simply not the case.  If they were, then extracts would not have the versatility that they do.  instead, they would consistently produce cloying, overly sweet, overly thick beer (just like if you put too much crystal malt in a beer!  Imagine that!).  And of course he believes that the quality of extracts (particularly Munton’s, lol) is very high, and the quality of beer you can make from extracts is also very high, including for the amber and dark or extra dark varieties.  I tend to agree, at least so far.  I know I’m brewing all grain now, but my extract brews  were very tasty too.  That’s part of why I keep experimenting with small extract batches.

So anyway, I’ve digressed into pointless rambling.  I tend to do that sometimes.  Make of it what you will, or just grab a beer and go watch reruns of your favorite TV show (as a means of ignoring my ramblings)*.

Anyway, I need a beer.  Cheers!

*wouldn’t be the first time that happened, lol

EDIT: Brewed 11-23-13

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Changes to the Double-Smash Beer

Well I finally got around to actually brewing the Double-SMaSH, with Vienna/Munich, BUT – I forgot the cascade hops on brew day.  Since I have to drive a ways to get to where I brew, I wasn’t going back.  However, I had some hops there, so I just changed the hops schedule around completely.  So now it’s a double-TRIPLE-SMaSH.  Yes, I realize that’s one hell of a misnomer.  But hey, it’s my beer, and I can change it up if I want to!  Plus I was never that good at keeping to the strict interpretation of literary meanings or definitions of words.   I do what I want!!

Still 6 lbs each Vienna / Munich malts.

Here’s the new hops schedule:

0.25 each at 60 bravo/belma
0.25 each at 15 bravo/belma/centennial
0.25 each at 10 bravo/belma
0.5 centennial at 10
0.25 each at 5 bravo/belma
0.75 centennial at 5
1 oz each belma/bravo at FO
DH one ounce each belma/bravo

From past experience, it’ll at least make beer, and probably tasty beer.  Maybe it’ll be the new sensation, who knows?  But as long as it makes tasty beer, I’ll be happy.

Classic American Cream Ale

Well I’ve made a Classic American creme ale, based on recipe info found around the web and on threads on BeerAdvocate.com homebrew forum.  I’ve gone with an older interpretation of the style, a little hoppier, dry hopped, and using six-row and corn for the grist.  The grist is quite simple:

  • 9 lbs 6-row
  • 3 lbs flaked corn

Now hops wise I had planned to use tettnanger, but there was a bit of a failboat moment when I forgot the hops when I went to where I brew (my bro’s house).  So given the fail, I winged it on the hops:

  • 10 grams centennial at 60
  • 15 grams centennial at 10
  • 15 grams centennial at 5
  • 15 grams centennial at 0
  • 14 grams citra at 0
  • hop stand ten minutes
  • 2 oz centennial dry hop
  • 26.5  IBU
  • 5.5 ABV
  • 3.6 SRM
  • 1.056 OG

It sure was light when it was done boiling, so the SRM estimation should be pretty close.   I’m interested how this hop combo will go with the body of what will presumably be a light, easy drinking beer.  We’ll find out in about a month!

Oh, Nottingham yeast!

UPDATE: bottled 10-26.  very clear, perhaps my clearest beer yet.  sweet, corn like taste (to be expected).  All signs point to a good batch.

 

UPDATE 2: drinking GREAT!  Completely clear, lots of rising bubbles, light corn sweetness yet still quite dry, light, thirst quenching body, lightly fruity/corn sweet aroma, I dare say a very fine creme ale.  Flavor and aroma aren’t super high, but this is not a beer that’s supposed to be super high on flavor and aroma.  I’m quite pleased with this beer.

All homebrewers should watch this video: Brewing on the ones

Definitely worth the effort to watch.  Keeping beers simple can improve your brewing!

Queen’s Limited Release Wheatwine from Texas Big Beer

I knew Texas Big Beer had another beer coming out soon, and now it’s out.  And it’s gooooood!  Very nice, a tasty wheatwine/barleywine hybrid, but it’s really more of a wheatwine.  And it’s a big, topping off at 11.39% ABV. 

It pours an orange, almost red color, kind of a deep amber.  The head and lacing weren’t that impressive, but there’s ample carbonation, giving it a creamy mouthfeel that’s almost chewy. 

Aroma is this one’s strong point, with a great fruity, floral treat for your nose.  Flavor begins with a solid malt/wheat backbone, a good balancing dose of very floral hops, and plentiful fruitiness. 

Very enjoyable, hats off to Texas Big Beer once again.  I can’t wait to try their new IPA that’s coming out!

Queen’s Wheatwine

 

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