Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Brew Day: 100% Centennial IPA

I had a Bell's Two Hearted Ale early on in my beer journey.  It was at 3 a.m., at a diner. I wasn't a fan.  It must have been the timing.  Recently though, I enjoyed an afternoon at the local watering hole quaffing multiple pints of the delicious ale. The bite of lime zest flavor in the finish (from 100% centennial hops) is very refreshing on steamy February afternoons in Florida.

The local home brew shop is having a single hop IPA competition. I was tempted to go all simcoe, but that seemed to trendy.  Maybe amarillo? Nah, too much amarillo gets plastic-y. Cascade? Old news. Centennial was my choice.

Brewed this one with the Old Man.  He loves IPA's, and seems to want to buy some fancy equipment. My frankenstien system should be enough to push him over the edge. We all win. Here's the recipe.

6 gallons

OG 1.063
IBU:     50
SRM:    6.2

5 gallons of RO water for mash
3 gallons of RO water for sparge

Mashed at 152 F

 8    pounds Great Western 2-Row
 4    pounds Munton's Marris Otter
.5   pound Briess C-40
.75 pound Cane Sugar
1 tsp Gypsum in mash
1 tsp CaCl in mash

.5 oz Centennial @ 60 minutes
1 oz Centennial @ 20 minutes
2.5 oz Centennial @ 10 minutes
1 oz Centennial dry hop
1 tsp Gypsum in boil

1 Pack of Wyeast 1056 @ 88% viability + 9 grams re-hydrated Safale US-05 @ 71 % viability for a total of 218 Billion Viable Cells as suggested by Mr. Malty.

Filled Headspace with O2 and shook for 30 seconds twice.

Pitched at 63 F

Fermented at 65 F

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Brew Day: Blacksod


When I started brewing I was really into Murphy's and Beamish nitro stouts.  I brewed a few of my own attempts at the Dry Irish Stout with less than stellar results.  The first batch was overcarbonated and very acrid. The second batch was much better, but not quite perfect. I've always wanted to brew a stout for St. Patrick's Day, and this year I'm finally going to get it done.

The starting point for this recipe was the traditional 70% pale malt, 20% flaked barley, 10% roasted barley recipe. However, to boost the body, I'm going to swap half of the flaked barley for malted rye.  I've never used rye in a beer, but I've heard so many brewers talk about the oily fullness rye imparts. That should be perfect for a low gravity dry stout. Also I've added some chocolate malt and boosted the gravity a bit.


6 gallons
45 IBU

   8 lbs Marris Otter
   1 lb   Flaked Barley
   1 lb   Rye Malt
.625 lb   Roasted Barley
.375 lb   Chocolate Malt

1 oz Target @ 60 mins
.5 oz Goldings @ 20 mins

Wyeast 1469

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Brew Night: Three Strikes

Faux Beer Barrels in Gaston's Tavern
It's 1:15 and I've just hit a boil 10 minutes ago.  Its going to be a late one. With a grist of 12 lbs of Weyemann Pils I'll be boiling for 90 minutes. There are a lot of hurdles for this beer to overcome. But nothing is impossible. First, plan on force carbonating and serving this at a super bowl party 2 weeks from tomorrow. No wait today. Tripels are usually conditioned for at least a couple weeks. Secondly, my homebrew shop only had one 3 month old White Labs WLP 530 Abbey Ale. I only have a 2 L flask so that's as big a starter as I could make. I was just reading a great article by Stan Hieronymus about Belgian fermentations from a 2006 BYO article. Westmalle pitches at about .25 Million cells per mL per degree Plato. Huh, good news for me. Too bad they are using top cropped well acclimated yeast. We'll see how this sucker turns out. Last tripel I made ended up a bit sweet. So this time I cut the gravity down, hoping for higher attenuation but arriving near the same ABV. Recipe anyone?


6 gallons
OG 1.068
FG  1.008 (hopefully)
35 IBU

12 lbs Pilsener Malt
  2 lbs Cane Sugar (added to boil)

1 oz Mt. Hood @ 90 minutes 5.2 % Alpha Acids.
1 oz Tettnanger @ 45 minutes 3.9 % Alpha Acids.
1 oz Tettnanger @ 15 minutes 3.9% Alpha Acids.

WLP 530 - Abbey Ale 2 L starter

RO water with 1 tsp Gypsum (4g), 1 tsp Calcium Chloride (3.4g), and 5 mL Lactic Acid

Leftover Wort Fermented with Red Star Montrachet.