Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Red Door Saison

I have gotten back on a bit of a Saison kick lately, especially since White Labs WLP-670 – American Farmhouse has become available to homebrewers. White Labs has this to say about the strain. “Inspired by local American brewers crafting semi-traditional Belgian-style ales. This blend creates a complex flavor profile with a moderate level of sourness. It consists of a traditional farmhouse yeast strain and Brettanomyces. Great yeast for farmhouse ales, Saisons, and other Belgian-inspired beers.”

What I have created here could be described as either a Saison or a farmhouse ale (those terms seem to be interchangeable these days). I have brewed this beer twice now and I’m happy with the outcome of batch two so I figured I might as well share the recipe here. The brett character is still very light in this beer, however I really like how quickly the Saison strain works and how well it dries out the beer. The “sourness” that White Labs references in there description is also not there, however I think doing a starter with this yeast, in addition to saving the yeast and using it on a second batch has really helped the Saison strain overpower anything else that may have been in the original vial. I do like how this strain is progressing and I plan to keep this strain going for quite a few more generations. I might even try it in my Christmas Ale this year.

On this batch I was lucky enough to have a friend pass on some Galaxy hops that they didn’t plan to use. Going forward I will most likely continue to finish this beer with the Galaxy hops (really like the tropical fruit/citrus character they provided) however I could also see myself using Amarillo or Citra and even dry hopping the beer with those hops as well.

11 Gallon Batch
90 Minute Boil
Brew Day – 8/10/13

12 lbs of German Pilsner Malt (57%)
4 lbs of Red Rye Malt (19%)
1 lbs of Flaked Oats (5%)
3 lbs of Wheat Malt (14%)
1 lb of Clear Belgian Candi Sugar (5%)
Rice Hulls (as needed based on your mash tun)

3 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet, 3.8% AA) @ 60 min.
1 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet, 3.8% AA) @ 10 min.
3 oz of Galaxy at Flame Out

WLP-670 – American Farmhouse – 2nd Generation

Pre-Boil Gravity without sugar addition = 1.035
OG = 1.044
OG with Sugar = 1.047
FG = 1.005
ABV = 5.5 %
IBU = 22

7.5 gallons – target 142 F

10 gallons

Fermentation Notes
Start ferment at 69 degrees. Raise 1-2 degrees each day until 78 F is reached. Hold at 78 F for 2-3 weeks or until FG of 1.005 is reached. Crash cool to 45 F to drop out yeast.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Middle States Hop Ale

I finally got around to brewing what I have been referring to as Middle States Hop Ale again.  Since this was my first batch brewed in Lawrence and due to some changes I made to my system and brewing software I didn't have the numbers quite dialed in and the first batched turned into more of an "imperial pale ale".  This time around I also decided to just stick to pilsner malt, wheat and oats.  I was also able to get my hands on hops that I originally wanted (thanks to my local homebrew shop JWL Craft Brewing in Lawrence, KS) ...Columbus for bitter along with Citra and Amarillo for aroma. 

At this point I think the only thing I would change in this recipe is the bittering hop addition.  For this 10 gallon batch I plan to take it from 3 oz of Columbus down to 2 ounces (75 to 50 IBUs). This beer also finished below 1.005 so I might lower the pilsner malt addition just a touch to get this beer under 5% abv.  I do like how dry it turned out so don't want to change the FG at all. 

Middle States Hop Ale

11 Gallon Batch
90 Minute Boil

18 lbs of Pilsner Malt (85%)
1 lb of Oats (5 %)
1 lb of Wheat (5%)
1 lb of Clear Candi Sugar (5%)

3 oz of Columbus (13.9% AA) for 60 Minutes
1 oz of Citra (14 % AA) for 10 Minutes
2 oz of Amarillo and 1 oz Citra (% AA) at KO

1 oz of Citra and 3 oz of Amarillo dry hop for 11 days
1 oz of Citra and 1 oz Amarillo for 3 days

WLP-001 – American Ale
7.5 gallons @ 149 for 60 minutes

Fly sparge with 9.5 gallons of water
The Numbers
OG – 1.044
FG – 1.002
ABV = 5.5%
IBU = 75

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Death Metal All-Grain Recipe

I have brewed this beer once or twice per year for the last 4 or so years...and I think I have finally settled in on a recipe...well except for the yeast and coffee which I tend to change from time to time.  Oh the hops too depending on availability.  Lately I have been using a Belgian Abbey Ale yeast. I like how the beer ferments out and I like the esters that are picked up when using this strain.  However it tends not to do as well in competitions because if I mentioned that it's an Imperial Stout...the esters throw the judges off.  But regardless I like the way the beer turns out and I think it adds another layer of depth to this beer as opposed to what the American strain imparted.  I also go with citrusy/piney American hops if at all possible.

I also realized that I never posted the all-grain recipe on my blog and have had quite a few people email me asking for an all-grain recipe.  The extract recipe is available in Sam Calagione's Extreme Brewing, A Deluxe Edition book that was released in 2012.  If you plan to brew this beer as an extract batch I would recommend you follow the recipe in the book and reference this recipe for any possible changes and also to incorporate any steps that you may be able to work into your batch.

11 Gallon Batch


28 lbs of (2 Row) Rahr (58%)
6 lbs of Maris Otter Pale Malt (12%)
3 lbs of English Roasted Barley (6%)
1 lb of English Black Malt (2%)
2 lb of English Chocolate Malt (4%)
2 lb of Briess Crystal 120 (4%)
2 lb of Weyermann Pale Wheat Malt (4%)
2 lb of Flaked Oats (4%)

Adjuncts (added to boil kettle)
2 lb of D-180 Dark Belgian Candi Syrup (4%)
15 oz of Plantation Blackstrap Molasses (2%)

90 Minute Boil
5 oz of Columbus (15.2% AA) @ 60 minutes
3 oz of Mosaic (12.7% AA) @ 15 minutes
2 oz of Simcoe (13% AA) @ 5 minutes
2 oz of Mosaic (12.7% AA) @ 1 minute

1 Vanilla Bean with 7 days in fermentation (soaked in vodka over night before adding, pour vodka and beans directly into fermenter)

12 oz of course ground coffee beans – cold steeped in the fermenter for 24 hours. What I is coarsely grind the beans and put them into a sanitized hop bag. I usually boil the bags first in order to sanitize them. I have a conical fermenter that I’m able to control the temperature on and I drop it down to 42 degrees F in order to do a cold steep directly into the fermenter. I transfer out of the fermenter directly into kegs 24 hours after adding the coffee. This time around I used freshly roasted Asociation Primaveral medium roast beans from Oddly Correct Roasters out of Kansas City, MO. Thanks to Gregory Kolsto at Oddly Correct for offering up the beans! You can use your favorite locally roasted fresh beans. However what I tend to look for is the freshest beans that I can get my hands on.  I shoot for a medium roast or lighter roast that imparts milk chocolate, toffee, nuts, vanilla and some fruity notes.

WLP530 – Abbey Ale Yeast

90 Minutes at 152 Degrees F
Batch Sparge

90 Minutes
Estimated Pre-Boil = 1.088
Estimated OG = 1.111
Estimated FG = 1.025-1.030
Estimated ABV = 11-12%
Estimated IBUs = 90ish

Fermentation Plan
Ferment in 14 gallon conical fermenter. Allow to ferment for two weeks. Start at 68 F for close to one week. Then raise to 74F. After 2 weeks add vanilla beans for an additional week.

Coffee Plan
Crash cool fermentor down to 42 degrees. Drop out any yeast.

12 oz of coffee course ground locally roasted coffee as fresh as possible. Boil hop bags to sanitize. Fill hop bags with coffee and place into fermenter. Allow to sit for 24 hours and then keg the beer.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Middle States Imperial Pale Ale

Yet again I apologize for the delay in updating this blog.  My goal is to at least do an updated everytime I brew a new beer (if it's a new recipe).  However life has brought me to the middle of the country and from late last year through the first quarter of 2013 I was in the process of packing up everything we own and moving to the wonderful town of Lawrence, Kansas (my day job has brought me here).  Hopefully that helps explain the lack of attention the blog and brewing in general has recieved lately.  But enough with that, we are all settled in now and I can get back to brewing!
I will admit it, I'm obsessed with heavily hopped, clean and crisp, extremely drinkable Pale Ales (or I guess in some cases IPA's). This time around I decided to strip out pretty much all the speciality malts that seemed to be adding too much caramel notes to my IPAs.  Not sure anyone in the middle of the US (commerical brewery wise) is brewing an IPA like this.  Closest I have found is Boulevard 80-Acre (a hoppy wheat beer).  Most of the pale ales and IPA's out here still have a heavy dose of some sort of specialty or munich malt that just isn't what I like in a beer like this.  I also wanted to put some Mosaic hops to use and decided to go 100% Mosaic with this beer.  Since my efficiency was a lot better than expected this turned into more of an Imperial Pale Ale than a regular Pale Ale or IPA.

Middle States Imperial Pale Ale (aka Double Mosaic Pale Ale)

11 Gallon Batch

60 Minute Boil
Brew Day – 30 March 2013

22 lbs of American 2 Row (88%)
1 lb of Oats (4%)
1 lb of Wheat (4%)
1 lb of Corn Sugar (4%)

3 oz of Mosaic (12.8% AA) for 60 Minutes
1 oz of Mosaic (12.8% AA) for 15 Minutes

3 oz of Mosaic (12/8% AA) at KO

4 oz of Mosaic dry hop for 12 days
2 oz of Mosaic dry hop for 3 days

WLP-001 – 2 vial with large starter

Pre-Boil Gravity without sugar addition = 1.049
OG = 1.058
FG = 1.005
ABV = 7 %
IBU = 47

7.5 gallons @ 149 for 60 minutes

Fly sparge with 8.25 gallons of water @ 200

Mash & Sparge Notes
Pre-boil gravity with no sugar = Missed taking this.

Boil Notes

OG – 1.071 or 17.2 Brix

FG – 1.005
ABV = 8.8 %

OG was a little bit higher than expected. Got really good efficiency out of my mash this time around and fermentation went great and got this beer really nice and dry.