Sunday, April 29, 2012

#59: Chestnut Brown Ale

This is a total ad-lib, as I have ingredient seal-a-mealed for a lager, but I have a broken lager fridge.  I may well be able to manage temps within the lager fridge with enough ice, but I will be out of town most of this week.  So...  why not punt and brew next weekend?  Well, I am planning to brew with other people in a few weeks, and I want to get in at least one pass with my new electric turkey fryer before doing this with someone else.  So, after realizing I had no ale yeast at all, my only option was to pick up a Brooklyn Brew Shop kit at Whole Foods and supplement from there (mainly to get the yeast).  After assessing their selection of refills, I ended up with the Chestnut Brown over the Porter or Stout.  I really wanted either the IPA or Pale, but they only had those in kits, and I really didn't need a one gallon fermenter.  No idea how to estimate the grain bill here, other than it makes 6.0%abv for one gallon, and while I could have used the grains for the lager to bulk it to 2.4 gallon, I am instead making it a partial mash with a stray Mr. B Cowboy Lager that is supposed to be 2.3% for 2 gallon, so at a 2.4 gallon I'm guessing I'll be somewhere in the 5% range. I'm also adding Mt. Hood to bump the hops and keep it close to what is intended, knowing that the HME has some hops (18 IBU).  I'm going to try to figure out some stats later, but this is truly a RDWHAHB brewday.  Currently halfway through the mash, and the new pot is maintaining temps nicely...

EDIT:  Here's my current best guess, but I will adjust further when the hydro reading is taken...

EDIT:  Pretty close...  adjusted below...  I've been playing with my efficiency on my old setup, so I adjusted back to 75% on this one, which may have been a touch optimistic, but really not far off.  This will be a nice session nut amber (is that a style?)...

EDIT (6/3/12):  Finally bottled...  Was sick last weekend (when I intended to bottle), so this one was delayed a week.  23 bottles in this small batch (plus a small tester).  Smooth bottling day outside of one bottle that, while not paying attention, I bottled on top of the sanitizer (forgetting to dump it before filling).  I just ditched that bottle.  Likely would have had an even 24 had I not done that, but no worries.

One of these things is not like the other...

EDIT (6/28):  This one is mighty nice now...  

Chestnut Brown Ale                                                  
American Brown Ale

Type: Partial Mash Date: 4/29/2012
Batch Size: 2.40 gal
Boil Size: 3.00 gal
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal) 
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1.20 lb Classic American Blonde Ale (3.0 SRM) Extract 34.78 %
2.00 lb Brooklyn Brew Shop Chesnut Brown Ale grain blend (20.0 SRM) Grain 57.97 %
0.30 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.70 %] (60 min) Hops 10.8 IBU
0.10 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (60 min) Hops 4.6 IBU
0.10 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (20 min) Hops 2.8 IBU
0.10 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.70 %] (20 min) Hops 2.2 IBU
0.25 lb Candi Sugar, Clear (0.5 SRM) Sugar 7.25 %
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.044 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.043 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.27 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.16 %
Bitterness: 33.9 IBU Calories: 189 cal/pint
Est Color: 10.9 SRM

The setup and ingredients...

The accompanying homebrew IPA and grilled chicken... 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

#58: Sorghum Pale Ale

Decided I needed to brew today, but didn't have time to invest in a full AG.  A friend had wanted to do a sorghum brew but has never gotten back with a time, so I decided to use the sorghum extract I had bought for that purpose to do a straight up sorghum pale ale similar in nature to the Briess recipe they offer on their website.  I had Columbus on hand, so I subbed for their Cascades, and I'm using S-33 instead of their Nottingham.  I also threw in a bag of Booster that I had laying about.  I originally intended to steep some gluten-free items (oatmeal and the like), but decided to do this one straight up and save the experimenting for the next go.  So, a simple SMASH-ish go-round and the first brew day since January.  Really need to get back into the swing this spring/summer...

EDIT:  Well, that was an interesting brew day for everything that didn't involve brewing.  First, I had been missing my volumes on the low side, and while trying to adjust, I ended up coming in a bit high this time.  No worries, though it may lead to a mess in a day or two when we krausen up.   Recipe adjusted above.

But now for the non-brewing...  while I was transferring the wort to the fermenter, our backyard gate apparently broke and our dog got loose.  She was easily recovered (the boys saw it happen and called her back almost immediately), but in the melee, I am certain that I did not aerate well enough.  I did, however, pitch an entire pack of S-33 instead of the half pack I intended, so hopefully that will make up for it.  I also gave it a late stir after pitching, so I'll likely be good.

The other non-brewing catastrophe is that my free lagering fridge that has been so handy (it sat right at 50 at its lowest setting, so it was perfect for lagers) looks like it gave up the ghost.  The good news for today is that I did an ale and the fridge is sitting pretty at 62 or so.  The bad news is that I just picked up some lager yeast for a new lager I intended to do today (until time got away) and had postponed until next weekend.  I guess that gives me a week to find a new solution or to get some ale yeast.

So...  Dog recovered, fence repaired, beer in (non-working) fermenting fridge.  I guess it all turned out OK...

EDIT:  Hit 1.021 in four days.  Primary seems to have settled down.  Gonna let this sit for another couple of weeks before I can bottle, but hydro pull tasted quite promising...

Sorghum Pale Ale                                            
American Pale Ale

Type: Extract Date: 4/22/2012
Batch Size: 2.75 gal
Boil Size: 3.02 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.30 lb BriesSweet White Sorghum Syrup 45DE (3.0 SRM) Extract 80.29 %
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (20 min) Hops 29.0 IBU
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (5 min) Hops 9.5 IBU
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.81 lb Booster (0.0 SRM) Sugar 19.71 %
1 Pkgs SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.30 %
Bitterness: 37.4 IBU Est Calories: 246 cal/pint
Est Color: 3.6 SRM

                     First pour pic...

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Not the best restock trip, as Three Floyds is getting irritatingly difficult to get (they need to get their distribution/production figured out), but all-in-all it was not bad.  Left to right...  From FFF...  Sixer of Robert the Bruce Scottish ale, single of Alpha King pale ale, single of Gumballhead wheat ale, Brian Boro red ale, Arctic Panzer Wolf IPA, Rabbid Rabbit saison.  Also, a bomber of the now retired Heavy Seas Prosit! imperial oktoberfest (kinda out of season, but on clearance hard to pass up), a single of Bell's HopSlam, and a sixer of Goose Island Mild Winter (also out of season, but also on clearance and similarly hard to pass up). Would have liked to get a few other sixers of FFF, but all is good.  The only FFF I passed on this time were Black Sun, which I'll try to catch it next time, and Dreadnaught, which I got last time and decided to get APW instead this time.  Of the two places I shopped, the RTB was the only sixer I saw, and this was the one and only one of those.  Crazy...