I have some vacation to burn before the end of the year, so I’ve set myself up to take a few Fridays off in October-December and do some brewing (without having it monopolize my Saturday), the first of which was this past Friday 10/7. I set this brew day up for just six days after my last because I wanted to brew a really strong beer for Christmas 2011 that will be able to age well for a year or two. To properly ferment a beer approaching 10% ABV (OG was 1.081), I knew I’d need a large amount of yeast to work with. This means I’d have to pitch on an existing yeast cake from a prior batch. During last week’s wet hop pale ale brew session, I made sure to select a yeast strain that would be versatile enough to mesh well with a big huge stout. Though aiming to use WLP001, I ended up having to use it’s cousin, WLP051. 51 is a bit fruiter than 01, but flocculates well and can take on some higher gravity brews if need be. (more…)
Hey – just a follow-up here to the Off-leash Coffee Stout post. It’s been over two weeks since bottling now and I was able to test out one of the brews last weekend. It turned out awesome! The coffee flavor is present, but not as much as you’d expect given there is a full pot of coffee in this 5.5 gal. of beer.
Though this is technically the second all-grain batch I’ve brewed, it’s the first completed all-grain beer of mine I’ve consumed (still lagering the first all-grain batch). I don’t want to toot my own horn too much (Ok, ok, I do. Why else would I have this blog?) but to me it tasted exactly like anything you’d be able to purchase commercially. With extract batches, I can always tell there is a certain thinness to them that makes them seem kinda fake. They don’t taste “bad” at all, but just not… “real.” One year after starting to brew, I’m really really happy with the direction my homebrews are heading. (more…)
Friday night ALL GRAIN brew day? This could take a while. I ain’t scurrrrrd.
My buddy Jim came over for a Friday night brew day (12/10) with a six’r of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Delicious, big bold malty IPA. Good pick Jim!
We brewed a Java Stout recipe from Midwest Supplies. I had done a yeast starter (4 cups water, 1 cup dark DME) on Tuesday evening – a day further away from brew day this time – and I think that helped. A lot.
Base malt: 9 lbs domestic 2-row
Specialty: 14 oz Chocolate Malt, 4 oz Flaked Barley, 4 0z Caramel 60L, 16 oz. roasted Barley (pre-mixed)
Hops: 1/2 oz Challenger, 1 oz. Tettnang
Coffee: 4 oz Peace Coffee Nicaraguan Blend
Yeast: White Labs Burton Ale WLP023 (did a yeast starter)
Brew Day Notes (12/10)
- After a long (close to 120 min.) sparge, we ended up with about 7 gallons of wort
- 60 min. boil
- Challenger in at 60″
- Tettnang in at 5″
- OG = 1.048 (11.8 brix) with a target of 1.042-1.046