Monday, February 6, 2012

Sorry For The Delay

It's been a bit since I last posted, sorry. But I have been busy, first of all the Pumpkin Beer was awesome! It was a favorite at Thanksgiving, I'm going to have to start making 10 gallon batches of that one.
Since then I have made the Spiced Winter Warmer Ol' Yule Loggy, Chocolate Hazelnut Porter and the American Pale Ale with Carmel.

The Chocolate Hazelnut Porter is a fantastic recipe and a fantastic beer. I highly recommend brewing this. It has such a dark rich profile and the subtle hazelnut nose is a perfect pairing. The recipe calls for .5oz of Hazelnut Extract. I would use a little less than that, it is a very pleasant taste and aroma but some that have tried it found it to be a little too much.

American Pale Ale with Carmel is probably my best brew ever, I learned a few tricks and have been adding gelatin to my beer to help with clarity. This was my clearest beer ever! I learned through listening to the Brewing Network that if you add your finings (gelatin or isinglass) at the temperature you will be serving your beer at, it will be the most effective at clearing your beer. Hell yeah it was, awesome results and very clear beer. The beer is pretty good too!!!

Now on to the Spiced Winter Warmer Ol' Yule Loggy....
Well I had some problems here, I don't blame the recipe and I want to rebrew this at some point. I screwed this one up by getting rushed and not doing my usual brew routine. I usually brew 5 gallons of one beer at a time since this is all I can fit in my temperature controlled fermenter box. I was already fermenting the Chocolate Hazelnut Porter when I got greedy and brewed Ol' Loggy. I didn't temp control this high gravity beer and with the large pitch of yeast at a too warm temperature, well, trouble. It exploded out of the fermenter the first day and it was all downhill from there. The high fermentation temps created some hot fusel alcohols and it didn't have a clean finish. It was very cloying and not good. I really like winter warmers so I was disappointed that I screwed it up. I won't get so hasty next time and brew more than I can ferment properly.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pumpkin Ale

The wind was blowing, the football game was on... and then, the power went out right at kickoff. Argggg! It must be fall. The plus side is that it's time for fall and winter brewing. I like to do a Pumpkin Ale this time of year so it's ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I didn't follow Jamils' Recipe for this one.
I have been using my own for a couple of years and I like to tweak it year after year just for fun. The basic premise is still there though. It's a Vegetable Spice beer where I use a whole roasted pumpkin in the mash. Here's my recipe.

8 lbs 9.3 oz Pale Malt    
2 lbs 14.7 oz Munich Malt - 20L
1 lbs 2.7 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L
4.7 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
1.50 oz Cluster Hops [7.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min
1.5 tsp Pumpkin Spice at knock out
American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Or WLP 001

 Cut and peel an 8 - 10 pound pumpkin and roast in the oven at 350 degrees until the pumpkin is soft, juicy and a bit caramelized.
Mash in at 152 for 60 min with the roasted pumpkin.

Just for fun I added some first wort fresh Cascade Hops. They were just hanging on the vine begging to be used. They were asking for it. I'm not sure if they will make a whole

 The Pumpkin gives the wort a rich flavor and the spice addition at the end rounds it out to a yummy Pumpkin Pie taste and aroma.

The chickens really liked the spent grain too. Especially when there is buried cooked pumpkin at the bottom.

The beer is in the fermenter right now and should be ready in a couple of weeks. Next up will be a Winter Spiced Ale!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

All work and no brew makes Matt a dull boy.

It's been too long...
Way to much work this summer, that's not a bad thing. I work construction and it just happens to be the only time of the year in the Seattle area where you can really get anything accomplished. So not  a lot of brewing going on at my house, I have however been able to make some upgrades to my system.

I got a Blichman Top Tier Brewing Stand!!! Very cool and way easy to brew on. I was having to lift 8 gal of hot wort and boiling water before. So having dedicated burners and a gravity system will be very nice. I also got a stir plate for yeast starters and a temperature controller for my fermenter. So with these awesome upgrades to my brewery I think I will be making some consistently better beer.

With work slowing down I think it's time to brew. It's fall and I think I'm going to depart from the Brewing Classic Styles book and make one my own recipes. It's a Pumpkin Ale made with real pumpkins in the mash. I will post my recipe later. Until then happy brewing

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oatmeal Stout

Grain Bill for Oatmeal Stout. Notice the oatmeal flakes!
I have quickly become a fan of stouts. They are rich, malty, and super good. I recently brewed up an Oatmeal stout that in early tastes has been awesome!! This stout has a creamy mouthfeel from the oats. It also needs a longer mash to convert the oats to a fermentable sugar. After a week in the fermenter it tastes great. I have it in the keg now and carbonating. I can't wait to try it later this week

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Very English Around Here

Crikey, or is that Australian?
Bloody Hell! That's better. I brewed up the English Brown Mild a few weeks ago and debuted it along with the English IPA to my family last week. I got a lot of positive reviews!!! Here's my tasting notes.

English IPA/ Biere De Linde
Very good!!! I was impressed with how well this turned out for my very first all grain beer. It was hoppy, toasty, and very drinkable! (It's almost gone) My one drawback is that it came out with a lower ABV than I had expected. I got a 5% where the recipe should have been at 6.2%  All in all I'm definitely going to be brewing this one again. Very good!!!!

English Brown Ale/ Through A Mild Darkly
I felt more comfortable with this brewday. Having my first all grain brew under my belt I felt that I had found my brewing rhythm and was less anxious. I must have done something right, my effeciency of sugar conversion was 83%, that's pretty good. It turned out very drinkable. My brother in law commented that he could drink it all day, and you really can. It's a session beer, which means it's low alcohol so you can drink a few pints and still be doing just fine.
It has an awesome nutty taste and aroma. It isn't overpowering so I guess that is why it it a mild. This is another one that I will be making again.

Coming up I will be brewing an oatmeal stout and then some big changes are coming to the Smith Brew House. Stay tuned!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

One Recipe Down! English IPA Biere De Linde

   My first all grain batch went off with only a little hitch. Temperature. I found early on while heating my mash water that my hand held thermometer is 20 degrees lower than my kettle mounted thermometer. It took a little bit to figure out which one was accurate, kettle.

   I was pretty nervous and excited for my first all grain batch. I'm very glad that I did so much prep work. I read and re-read How To Brew and watched lots of you tube videos. I hit and held my mash temp, I was just .001 off from my gravity reading so I am calling that a hit 1.062!!! I also found that my efficiency is at 70% I can live with that.

The wort looks and smells great and is currently in the fermenter doing it's thing.

I will be posting about the tasting in a few weeks when it is ready. Until then my next brew day will be an English Brown Ale "Through A Mild Darkly"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's Textbook

I just have a couple of things left to do until I'm all set to get started. I got a keg yesterday to convert to my HLT. I also began reading the all grain chapters of John Palmers' other book "How To Brew." This book is thee book to have if your learning to brew both extract and all grain. Today during lunch I was covering the chapters on the malting process and the chemical conversions that take place during mashing. I have to admit I found myself re-reading it a couple of times. It's very in depth but also graspable for even my mind, it's been a long time since chemistry and biology classes at Central Washington University.

Now what to choose as a first beer. I've been a little stuck. I was first thinking about starting with the first recipe, but that is a Light Lager. I don't have the right temperature control to start lagers so that will have to wait. So after consulting with my wife, Chapin, I will be doing IPA's.  This is my favorite style and the one I'm most familiar with. So very soon I will be brewing up my first all grain beer and it will be the English IPA
So until then...