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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Brew days can be so much fun.  We seem to pack a ton of work into each day. Yesterday was a bit insane as we went strong, not sitting at all for over 14 hours. It all started with the Hefe, then went all kinds of efficient craziness. We tasted and oaked our barleywine, we transferred our Blonde to fermentation buckets, set up our new temperature controller, cleaned a keg or two, and then moved us on to brewing a big IPA.

The day after we are a bit sore and tired but also excited.  A quick peek in the morning saw both fermentations started but the Hefeweizen seemed a bit slow. We turned up the chest freezer from 16.2 C to 19 C and we let the temperature rise on its own. A look late in the afternoon saw a great fermentation going. The IPA, which was pitched on top of a week old slurry of Belgian yeast was so violent it was making the blow off container look like a hot tub! Very quick start and great result of a technique that we don’t often use but will try to in the future.

Stacked in the back of the basement was our Berliner Weiss. We finally got going on that project yesterday as well. The kegs went into the fridge and today we added some Lactic Acid to sour up the beer.  You see, months have gone by and the hope was that the yeast would still work it’s magic inside the keg.  That did not happen. At all. A quick taste of the cold un carbonated Berliner Weiss was a disappointment. No real lactic taste at all.  I believe that the winter will find us brewing this style and leaving it on the yeast for the required time to get the real feel and taste. A quick addition of the Lactic Acid, 8 teaspoons into 3 gallons, seemed to bring the desired effects.  It’s now on CO2 and we shall see in about a week if it’s saved the beer from the drain.

Today was another double batch day.  We are brewing a heffeweisen and an IPA.

The Hef is built from our tried and true recipe but we are using mostly pilsner malt and a Weinheinstephan strain of yeast.   The yeast is really going gangbusters as a starter.

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We missed our mash temp by 10° (low) and had to scramble to get it fixed. 

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The IPA was inspired by a prize from the NHC.  Epic brewing of Utah awarded us a 5 gallon all grain IPA kit and instead of using it this weekend, we decided to use the yeast cakes from our Belgian blondes for a Belgian rye IPA. 

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3lbs of rye and 2 lbs of oats, plus some caramunich, biscuit and special B make this one of the most complex grain bills ever. 

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Lots of hops on a stupidly elaborate schedule add to the fun.

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I got home today to find a big box at my doorstep.   Here is what was inside:

Bronze medal for our Kolsch.

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Bronze medal and bar towel

A bag of freebies from NHC.

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Freebies

A recipe kit from Epic Brewing.

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Epic 5gal IPA kit

Pretty cool!

Yesterday we brewed a blonde ale based on our Song Girl Blonde recipe.  We used 20lbs of Pilsner,  1lb of crystal 15. This was a huge departure as we normally would use 2 Row as our base malt.  We tuned our recipe for 80% efficiency and managed to hit our numbers almost perfectly. Brewhouse efficiency peaked out at over 85%!

We did a first wort hop too.  Yeast is WLP 500 and WLP 550. We did starters for both yeasts. The 550 really got up and ran in less than 20 hours, but the 500 was a lot slower.  After 48 hours there were signs of activity, but nothing like the 550. Both yeasts were pitched at 66 degrees and started very nicely.

We also kegged our Oktoberfest and Popcorn Pilsner.  Both taste great.  The Pilsner has a bit of a high alcohol level, but not quite at the Imperial level.  Both beers stayed in primary for just a few days short of a month.  The trub was fierce and it took a lot of work to get two fermenters clean and sanitized in time for the blonde.  Maybe time to get a few more fermenters. We might try the Better Bottles.

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