Friday, December 28, 2012

#71: Cidre Normande

The prize winnings included some EC-1118 champagne yeast that is also good for ciders.  Seeing that I was more likely to do a cider than a wine, I did a bit of searching for cider recipes.  I'm more inclined to like a dry cider or wine, so I'm going to let this sucker ferment all the way out as far as it'll go.

This one is based on a 5 gallon recipe from BYO called Cidre Normande.  Scaling back this much causes some tiny values for the acid blend, but I went ahead and added it nonetheless.  Used generic GFS honey and Whole Foods apple juice.  The juice comes in a one gallon jug, so this was a 5 minute "brew" day...  I poured a small amount of the juice into a sanitized container with the honey, acid blend, and yeast nutrient, and then microwaved that a bit to thin the honey.  Then that was poured back into the jug, temps were checked, and yeast was pitched.   Easy peasy...

I ended up a little higher on the OG than I thought (the honey and scale were not cooperating, so some estimation occurred), but no worries.  I think the max I'll see is a 7% abv, with the low end around 5 to 5.5%, which is about what I intended.

Cidre Normande                                               
Common Cider


Type: Cider Date: 12/23/2012
Batch Size: 1.00 gal
Amount Item Type % or IBU
0.10 tsp Acid Blend (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.10 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Misc
0.85 lb Apple Juice (1 gallon) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 73.91 %
0.30 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 26.09 %
1 Pkgs Champagne (Red Star Lalvin #EC-1118) Yeast-Champagne
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.049 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.054 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.000 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.89 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.04 %
Bitterness: 0.0 IBU Calories: 232 cal/pint
Est Color: 1.6 SRM

Monday, December 17, 2012

#70: I'm Calling it a Kolsch

German Ale WY1007 is up next, and I was puzzled as to what to do.  I considered an alt, but have a lot of darker beers in the pipeline already and was thinking more pale.  I became a fan of kolsch beers via Blackstone and Cool Springs Brewery, so I got to thinking more along that line.  The standard calls for a smooth, crisp beer of a straw yellow color, with low hop character and little to no hop aroma.  I decided on the low bitterness of the Canadian Blonde extract, but with a 20 minute boil of Perle to get up to the bitterness desired.  OG (of course) is lower than Mr. B estimate.  Though this isn't truly a kolsch, this should be a very nice session pale, hitting something like 140 cal per bottle.

#70: I'm Calling it a Kolsch                          


Type: Extract Date: 12/17/2012
Batch Size: 2.12 gal
Boil Time: 20 min

Amount Item Type % or IBU
0.83 lb DME Golden Light (Briess) (4.0 SRM) Dry Extract 30.74 %
1.87 lb Canadian Blonde (2.0 SRM) Extract 69.26 %
0.50 oz Pearle [6.30 %] (20 min) Hops 16.1 IBU
1 Pkgs German Ale (Wyeast Labs #1007) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.049 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.044 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG New Est. Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.87 % New Est. Alcohol by Vol: 4.30 %
Bitterness: 29.1 IBU Calories: 194 cal/pint
Est Color: 3.4 SRM

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Notes from the free ingredient adventure...

Notes so far from the eight beers in progress:

  • Of the ones already drinkable, they are all pretty tasty:
    • The Winter Dark Ale, with the addition of a grain steep and some DME, is a nice winter warmer.  Roasty, malty, and a bit of raisin.  Pretty happy with this.  In the bottle since mid-October.
    • The Northwestern Pale Ale is a fine APA.  Used WY1056 with this instead of the Coopers yeast.  Head retention is a bit lacking, and I maybe should have dry-hopped it a bit, but it's a perfectly drinkable pale.
    • The ESB is the only one with slight problems.  I was working oldest to newest on the liquid yeasts, and this one did not expand much at all.  I should have done a starter, but I decided that for a 2 gallon batch, even the non-expanded quantity would be enough.  It actually did fine from a FG standpoint, but I'm getting a slight banana ester that likely is from the yeast being stressed a bit (I've read a few other cases on Homebrewtalk where people reported this ester with WY1968). The beer tastes fine, but that flavor just doesn't mesh from an ESB perspective.  Maybe it will fade, or maybe I just shouldn't call this an ESB.  Regardless, it's still a tasty brew, but I will likely let it sit for another month before trying another.
    • The Abbey Dubbel had problems from the get-go.  Another yeast pack that didn't expand, an addition of an additional T-58 pack to get things going when the old WY3944 stalled, and finally a broken spigot causing half of the brew to be lost and the other half to be likely aerated.  After all of that, this may be my favorite of the bunch.  The taste is spot-on for a young belgian, and though the original plan was to age this a bit, I'll likely drink this young just because of the aeration concern.  
    • The IPA was converted into a 5-gallon batch via a mini-mash and DME addition, as well as an additional hop boil.  The result is quite a nice IPA.  I've just dropped this into the drinking rotation.
  • The current ferments are as follows:
    • The Oktoberfest Lager HME was supplemented with a bunch of Munich LME and a flameout Tettang addition.  Instead of this being a misnamed ale, I used the WY2206 lager yeast for a true lager.  Looking at bottling mid-January and taking the first drink sometime in the spring/summer.
    • The Weizen is pretty much a straight-up deluxe Bavarian Weissbier kit, with the yeast replaced with WY3068.  I also added small amounts of orange peel and coriander to a short boil with the LME.  Looking to bottle around New Years, and drink first in February.
    • The Light beer is also a lager, using the Budweiser yeast (WY2007).  Pretty much just the deluxe American Light kit with a flameout addition of Mt. Hood.  Bottling mid-January, and first taste in the spring.
What's left - HME:
So, I still have about 10 brews from these contest winnings, with a bunch of yeast and hops to spare.  The fruit has thus far gone into pies and will likely continue to be used for that (not a fruit beer fan).   I'll need to (at least) find additional uses for the three wheat yeasts, as well as the Trappist.  I'll likely make a cider with the Champagne yeast.  That will leave about 8 Coopers ale yeasts (unless I double up on these 5g packs on some brews, which is a possibility).  Lager yeasts will likely be paired with the Pilsner, the Patriot Lager, or the Mexican Cerveza.  S-04 maybe with the stout, US-05 with one of the ales.  Not sure on the S-33 (maybe the Winter Dark Ale).  The rest will get the Coopers ale yeast. Decisions...


Here's a few possibilities (one for each extract):

Kolsch Ale:  Canadian Blonde HME, Pale DME, Perle hops, German Ale yeast - Complete 12/17
Liberty Lager:  Patriot Lager HME, [Pale LME], Liberty hops, S-23 lager yeast.
Dortmunder:  Pilsner HME, Smooth LME, Mt. Hood hops, S-23 lager yeast.
Sutter's Gold Steam beer:  American Ale LME, [Pale LME], Northern Brewer hops, 34/70 yeast.
Oval Office Honey Amber:  Northwestern Pale HME, Smooth LME, Fuggle hops, honey, S-04 yeast.
POTUS Honey Porter:  Porter HME,  Smooth LME, Perle hops, honey, S-04 yeast
Ole Mole Stout:  Stout HME, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, cocoa, Coopers Ale yeast
Christmas Ale:  Winter Dark Ale, Robust LME, mulling spices, almond extract, [Tettang hops], Coopers Ale yeast
Mexican Cerveza:  Mexican Cerveza HME, [Pale LME], [hops?], [yeast?  lager or Coopers Ale] - Gifted on 12/25
IPA:  IPA HME, [pale LME], Centennial hops, Columbus hops, Coopers Ale yeast
Cider:  Apple juice, EC-1118 yeast - Complete 12/28

Will be glad to get back to AG brewing, but I must admit that these are easy and have made good beer thus far...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#69: Light #2

Eons ago, I made my first cut at a Light beer, using a Munton's Light LME and ale yeast. This was way back on my 20th brewday.  Seeing that this time I had the Budweiser lager yeast at my disposal, I decided to take another swing at this using the American Light HME. Dropped some remaining Mt. Hood at flameout. Hit the OG this time. Go figure. 

Should be tasty...

Lite American Lager 

Type: Extract
Date: 12/11/2012 
Batch Size: 2.12 gal


Amount Item Type % or IBU 
0.81 lb Booster (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 30.22 % 
1.87 lb Classic American Light (2.0 SRM) Extract 69.78 % 
0.60 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (0 min) Hops - 
1 Pkgs Pilsen Lager (Wyeast Labs #2007) Yeast-Lager 

Beer Profile

Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.69 % 
Bitterness: 11.0 IBU 
Est Color: 2.2 SRM

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#68: Weizen 2

The weizen yeast is gettin' old, so it's time to get it in a fermenter. The obvious choice is the deluxe Bavarian Weissbier kit with the 3068 yeast instead of the packed dry wheat yeast. Decided to add some coriander and sweet orange peel to a boil with the golden LME just for funzies. Quick, smooth brewday, though I still didn't hit temps very well and had to ice bath for a while. Going to ferment cool to hopefully avoid bubble gum. OG is a fair bit lower than the advertised (not surprisingly)... RDWHAHB. Not a big wheat fan, but thinking this may be good...

#68: Weizen 2 

Type: Extract
Date: 12/10/2012 
Batch Size: 2.12 gal


Amount Item Type % or IBU 
1.87 lb Bavarian Weissbier (3.0 SRM) Extract 77.27 % 
0.55 lb BrewMax Golden LME (Wheat) (1.0 SRM) Extract 22.73 % 
0.33 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 min) Misc 
0.75 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 10.0 min) Misc 
1 Pkgs Weihenstephan Weizen (Wyeast Labs #3068) Yeast-Wheat 

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.037 SG 
Measured Final Gravity: 1.009 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.58 % 
Adj Est Alcohol by Vol: 3.64 % 
Bitterness: 17.7 IBU

Saturday, December 8, 2012

#67: Oktoberfest Lager

More contest beer. Lager yeasts are next up in terms of expiration date, so I'll be doing two lagers this weekend, and then likely two lagers as soon as these clear the lager fridge. I had a can of Munich LME that I didn't use for another project, so that goes in with the Oktoberfest HME. Hit my OG perfectly. Pretty quick brewday. I didn't have my water chilled enough, so it took a bit longer to cool than anticipated, but otherwise perfectly smooth.

Oktoberfest (Mr. B ) 

Type: Extract
Date: 12/7/2012 
Batch Size: 2.40 gal


Amount Item Type % or IBU 
1.86 lb Oktoberfest Lager (10.0 SRM) Extract 52.39 % 
1.69 lb LME - Munich (8.0 SRM) Extract 47.61 % 
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (0 min) Hops - 
1 Pkgs Bavarian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2206) Yeast-Lager 

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.053 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.27 % 
Bitterness: 16.2 IBU 
Est Color: 8.8 SRM