Tag Archives: extract

Extract Brewing Revisited, Batch Two: Dark-Saison

Well I’m going through my drafts folder and publishing everything that I had forgotten about.  So this one is a bit out-dated but what the hey, let’s post it!

Results:

I just popped a test bottle of this one. it’s a bit odd, but it’s plenty drinkable and even qualifies as tasty beer.

I wanted to prove to myself that there’s nothing wrong with amber or dark or extra dark extracts, so I simply tried making beers using those extracts. I can’t see any reason NOT to use them (not that you’d need them all the time, of course). But if you just want some color and body, the amber and extra dark extracts (munton’s, FWIW) have not imparted excess sweetness, maltiness, or roasty/whatever flavors to these two beers, they seem to have provided more color than anything. So now that I’m not just regurgitating the old standard “use extra light extract, and add specialty grains for color and body” advice, well, what does that mean? Nothing, I suppose. There’s nothing wrong with the old standard advice, but it’s not the only way to make tasty beer. You can also use amber, dark, and even extra-dark extracts and still make fine beer. My new advice would be to consider what your goals are, and how to best accomplish those goals, and use the ingredients that best accomplish those goals.

The T-58 comes out quite a bit like 3711, but my impression is that 3711 comes out dryer. It’s hard to say exactly how much that’s true, because I haven’t brewed the same beer twice and varied only the yeast, but it’s fairly similar at least. Preliminary assessment of T-58 is that I’ll keep using it for these little two gallon extract batches that are brewed without temperature controls*.

*brewed in my room, temperature usually a bit higher than optimal for most yeasts, and fluctuations are higher than optimal for most yeasts too. The T-58 has handled these fluctutations well (admittedly they are fairly MILD fluctions, lol).

KISS Amber extract ale

The name almost says it all.  The malt bill is quite simple:

  • 3 lbs Amber Extract

The hops bill is also very simple:

  • 0.5 oz cascade at 60
  • 2 oz cascade at FO

2 gallon batch. American ale II yeast used.

The primary purpose of this beer is to test straight amber extract and see what it’s like on its own.  This is part of my “not regurgitating standard advice when you haven’t actually tried it yourself” campaign.

I plan to keep brewing stuff with amber and dark and extra-dark extracts too, because I don’t believe that everything extract needs to be done with extra-light + steeping grains.  It’s ok to get some of your color from extracts. However, we’re going to see real soon just how much other than color this particular extract added to the beer.\

I suppose this is a smash beer too. Can’t have too many smashes!

I may dry hop it, we’ll see.

 

EDIT and update: well first test bottle popped. Great carbonation, great amber color (the amber extract straight up gives the perfect color for an amber ale). Oddly, a strangely wine-like flavor and aroma, not the cascade-bomb amber I expected. Not sure what’s up with it, but hey, it’s still tasty beer!  Definitely confused on the wine-like qualities tho. I’ll have to make another similar brew and see what happens.

Stout: Another Experimental 2 gallon Extract Brew

Today I am trying a small 2 gallon batch of extract brew, an American stout. I’m using dark liquid extract from Briess, and a mini-mash. Here’s the recipe:

  • 3 lbs Briess dark liquid extract
  • 4 oz Caramel 20
  • 4 oz Caramel 60
  • 8 oz Maris Otter
  • 2 oz Carafa III
  • 2 oz Roasted Barley
  • 1/2 oz Special B

Hops:

  • 1 oz Tettnanger at 60
  • 1 oz Willamette at 10
  • 1 oz Willamette at FO

Yeast:

  • Irish Ale Yeast, WLP004

Tasting notes: seems to be way heavy on the special-B and Carafa-III. Very heavy, very dark fruit forward. It’s quite nice when made into a black-and-tan with about 1/3 stout and the rest something lighter. Drinks like a heavy imperial stout. Not my favorite that I’ve made, but certainly drinkable.

Mini-Batch of Weird Saison-ish extract/mini-mash Beer Strangeness

Decided to try a mini-batch of weird beer today in my old Mr Beer keg, approximately 2.4 gallons.  Used the following ingredients:

  • 1 lb 6-row
  • 8 oz maris otter
  • 4 oz caramel 20
  • 4 oz caramel 60
  • 4 oz flaked corn
  • 0.9 oz honey malt
  • 2 lbs Amber Dry Extract (Munton’s)

Hops:

  • 1 oz willamette mash hop
  • 0.5 oz tettnanger 60 minutes
  • 1.5 oz tettnanger 1 minute

Misc:

  • campden (to guard against chloramines in water)

Yeast:

  • T-58 saison yeast

I honestly have no idea what the heck I’ve made here.  It did taste, smell, and look like it’ll probably become beer after it’s done fermenting!  But we’ll find out in about a month!

UPDATE: it’s ready, and it’s delicious!!  Very saison-y but not at all dry (which is a little odd, but hey, it works).  Next up for the mini-batches will be something along these lines, but with extra-dark Munton’s extract!

Willamette / Cascade India Pale Ale

Well there’s a lot happening on the beer front over at my house lately!  The pumpkins are out, as are the fall beers, plus several tasty imperial treats that I just blogged about.  Thus, I’m enjoying the commercial side of things quite a bit as of late.

In addition, I’ve almost completed the construction of my first mash tun, made from a cooler.  I plan to start making all grain beer soon!  I will be starting off with 3.5 gallon batches, mostly due to the fact that I’m using a 5 gallon cooler, and I want to do a full boil without purchasing a new pot.  I will learn and improve my process with 3.5 gallon batches, then upgrade my equipment later.

I have one more extract batch to make, and that’s going to be this post: Willamette / Cascade India Pale Ale.

Also, I just picked up Beersmith II and I’m quite pleased with the software!  The stats for this beer came from Beersmith II.

Now it should be noted that I originally planned this to be a 5 gallon batch, but it’s going to come out more like 4 now, with a little bit of adjustment on the ingredients.  The ratio of grains might be a little off from my original plan, but I have gotten such good results from a full (or nearly full) boil that I’m just going with what works from here on out.

I also kind of decided on this mixture of ingredients partially to get rid of some stragglers that I had in my cupboard and freezer.   Might dry hop it, but if that happens I’m not sure what hops I’ll use (I’ll have to see what I have at the time).

Recipe:

  • 1 lb 2-row
  • 1 lb caramel 40
  • 0.5 lb pale wheat malt
  • 2 lbs extra light dry extract
  • 3.25 lbs pale liquid extract
  • 1 oz cascade 60 min
  • 1 oz willamette 60 min
  • 2.19 oz willamette 5 minutes
  • 2.57 oz cascade 5 minutes
  • US-05 (rehydrated)

Procedure:

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 0.75 gallon spring water to 165 F
  4. add grains
  5. mash for 30 minutes at 155F
  6. Sparge / strain
  7. In main boil pot, pre-boil 3 gallons spring water
  8. when grains are finished mashing, combine wort into boiling pot with pre-heated spring water and bring to boil
  9. add bittering hops, 1 oz each cascade and willamette at 60 minute mark
  10. add the wort chiller at 30 minutes.  make sure wort chiller is pre-filled with hot water
  11. add the DME and LME incrementally during the last 30 minutes of the boil
  12. add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder at 15 minute mark
  13. add 2.19 oz willamette at 5 minute mark
  14. add 2.57 oz cascade at 5 minute mark
  15. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  16. begin cooling with wort chiller at 0 minutes
  17. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during cooling
  18. ensure bucket, wine thief, thermometer, spoon are sanitized
  19. when wort gets to about 75F, add to fermentation bucket
  20. top to 4 gallons with chilled spring water (if necessary)
  21. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  22. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  23. ensure wort is 75F or a little less before pitching yeast
  24. pitch yeast
  25. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  26. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  27. ferment in closet for 7-9 days at 67F ambient air temp.
  28. after 7-9 days, add dry hops
  29. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 14 days)
  30. use 4 oz corn sugar at bottling

Targets:

  • OG 1.067
  • FG 1.015
  • IBU 50
  • ABV 6.9
  • Actual OG 1.062
  • Actual FG

Please note: these target figures are from Beersmith II.  If anyone who reads this has beersmith and comes up with a different set of numbers, please comment or contact me so we can discuss beersmith!

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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