Friday, March 17, 2006

Nanobrewery Update

The photos are of a Saison that I brewed in March of 2005, (that we polished-off on last Sunday's brewday), and there's one of Good Ben enjoying the same Saison, and a closeup photo of the hat he's wearing. My son, ever the artist, painted the hat while I brewed that day.
Brewery Update:
The Brown Ale that I brewed on the "tornado day" is almost ready to transfer to secondary fermentation. Either Saturday or Sunday will be the day. I transferred the IPA that I brewed for James to kegs and carbonated. I had a taste of the IPA last night, and it's a winner! It's fairly aromatic and hoppy, and has a very crisp and clean finish. The Strong Dark Belgian Ale will be ready to transfer to tertiary conditioning by next week, I think.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Homebrewing During Tornado(s)

On Sunday, I homebrewed my all-grain brown ale during several tornado-warning siren sessions. We had quite the session of "White Trash Theater." Earlier, I had been out in the woods when the first tornado hit the area. You can read more about it on my other blog.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Missouri Man Makes Gluten-Free Beer; available nationally (in U.S.) May 1st

Read or watch the video regarding this man's quest to help millions enjoy beer who can't now, because of a medical condition called celiac disease.
Here's the web site for his beer, called Bard's Tale Beer.

I have a friend who has the same medical condition. I'm going to make him a batch of gluten-free sorghum malt beer, sometime within the next two months. I think it will be an interesting homebrewing project. From the tasting notes at the 2004 GABF, Bard's Tale did ok, with a couple of caveats:
Date: 2-Oct-2004 (44-5471)
Package: draught
Place: Great American Beer Festival, Denver CO
Score: 15 points
Appearance (3)Pale golden. Nice thick head.
Aroma (3)
Smoky, grainy.
Mouthfeel (7)
Medium body. Really sweet and herbal and smoky, with an unfortunate diacetyl note.
Overall Impression (2)
Real interesting beer.

I think I can brew a less sweet version with no diacetyl notes. Bard's has an IBU rating of 20. I think 30-35 would be more appropriate, and I'll use noble hops to do it. I don't know if I'll brew an ale or the lager, at this point.

Randy Mosher writes about brewing with sorghum in his book Radical Brewing. I'm going to re-read what he has to say about it. I'll come up with my own recipe and post it in the near future.

Have any other of you bloggers brewed a sorghum malt beer? I'd be interested in some feedback.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

American Brown Ale Recipe

I'm going to brew an American-style Brown Ale, sometime this weekend. I want to have a different offering for a "session beer" available in my beer fridge.
Here's the basic recipe that I came up with:

Bad Ben's Brown Ale
Type: All grain
Size: 11 gallons
Color: 51 HCU (~22 SRM)
Bitterness: 50 IBU
Alcohol: Approx 5% by volume

10 lb. American 2-row pale malt
7 lb Maris Otter British pale malt
1.5 lb. Belgian CaraMunich
13 oz. Belgian chocolate malt
6 oz. Flaked barley
1 lb. White Wheat Malt

70% efficiency
Single-infusion @ 152°F for 60 minutes.
Recirculate through mash bed for 20 additional minutes.
Mash-out at 170°F
Sparge with 170°F water.
80 minutes
Irish moss last 15 minutes.

2 oz. Centennial (10.5% AA, 60 min.)
1 oz. Mt. Hood (4.5% AA, 30 min.)
1 oz. Cascade (6% AA, 15 min.)
1 oz. Mt. Hood (4.5% AA, 15 min.)
1 oz. Cascade (dry hop in secondary)
1 oz. Mt. Hood (dry hop in secondary)

Yeast: Wyeast 1056, large starter.
Ferment at room temp for 5-9 days in primary.
Secondary fermentation for 7-10 days.
Tertiary conditioning for 4-7 days.
Carbonation: Force-carbonate and serve from cornelius kegs.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Party...Fermentation Updates

The bachelor party was a resounding success!
The toll:
60 loud and obnoxious attendees.
1 each shitload of food (eaten).
11-gallons of homebrew drank.
1 bottle of Stoli.
1 bottle of Belvedere (Polish vodka).
A large dent in the large bottle of "Most Wanted" single-batch vodka.
1-1/2 bottles of Basil Hayden's.
1 large bottle of Maker's Mark.
59 wounded livers.
1 happy Russian bachelor, who fell asleep on the floor and had his face painted by *Total Dickheads.
(Some photos may follow).

Brewing note:
The Belgian is down to 1.025 specific gravity (from a starting gravity of 1.092). It's slowly fermenting with a Trappist yeast, now. I may raise the fermentation temp to 80F for a while (to finish the job).
The IPA that I brewed for James 2-weeks ago is down to 1.012. It will probably finish at 1.009 or so. The yeast is still somewhat in suspension. I'll transfer it again to tertiary conditioning (within the next two weeks), to clarify it some more.

*Total Dickheads = Good Ben, my son, and me.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Getting Ready to Transfer Some Brew, Tonight.

Preparing for a brew transfer tonight: I cleaned 2 corny kegs and a glass 15-gal Demi-John this morning (before going to work). They are all soaking with PBW and water in them. I'll perform the rest of my sanitization protocol when I get home.

I have to transfer the Imperial Stout to kegs this evening (after I run 12 miles with the Trail Nerds). I want to have at least 1 corny keg of Imperial Stout force-carbonated before Alex's bachelor party on Saturday night. I will age the other keg with some French Oak chips (that have been soaking in Maker's Mark Whisky).

The glass demi will house my most-recent Belgian for the duration of it's final fermentation. I was going to leave it in the stainless steel "Sputnik" fermenter, but I couldn't off-load the latest round of dead yeast from the bottom sanitary valve...(it's clogged). So, I'll transfer it to glass. No big deal.

I'll have to check my stock of beer in the horizontal chiller downstairs. I'll need some more for Alex's party. I should have a few oddball kegs in there. I need to finish-off some of those soon, before they get too long in the tooth.

You may have seen the photo before. It's of my Nanobrewery Ale Fermentation Area (NAFA). This time of year it's at room temperature, which is 68F (20C). I have an electronically-controlled heat wrap for the SS fermenter, that I'll use at the end of it's final fermentation.