Monday, February 25, 2013

Wife Slayer!

     So my next brewing goal is to make beer SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) will like. I looked around on the internets and decided I would go ahead with an all grain kit from Midwest Supplies. This is actually a cheap all grain kit and should come in around 6.5%. As a precaution, I went ahead and ordered some light malt extract to deal with any efficiency problems like I had with the IPA. My wife also gave me the go ahead to start kegging, so I ordered that last night with some random things, like an American Ale kit. The American Ale kit I ordered is a cheap extract kit that I ordered to test out the kegs on. I bought a 2 keg system, so I will probably just keg the IPA anyway. I'm really looking forward to my next brewing session, but I'm not sure when that will be. I really want to just get home from work and starter up! However I have the wife, kids and work the next day. 

The Recipe I took from a gentlemen on the Homebrewtalk forum named BierMuncher and he said he bought it from Midwest, so I did the same. Originally I  could have pieced it together for about the same from the LHBS, but I figured I would try Midwest out, since the last time my efficiency sucked, I figured I would give someone else a chance.

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Belgian Wit WP400
Yeast Starter: Yeast Cake From Prior Brew
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.25
Original Gravity: 1.057
Final Gravity: 1.008
IBU: 18.9
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 4.9 (SRM)
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 Days (65 degrees)
Additional Fermentation: One week chilling in keg
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 Days (65 degrees)

Style: Belgian Blond Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (45.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.25 gal
Boil Size: 6.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.053 SG
Estimated Color: 4.9 SRM
Name:  Belgian_Blonde_Color.jpg
Views: 22057
Size:  873 Bytes
Estimated IBU: 18.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 60 +/- Minutes

Amount Item
5.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
4.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)
0.50 lb Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)
0.25 lb Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM)
1.00 oz Williamette [5.50%] (60 min)

1 Pkgs Belgian Wit Ale (White Labs #WLP400) Yeast-Wheat

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body (154-156 degrees), Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 10.25 lb

This is a basic Belgian Blonde AG recipe kit I got from Midwest. Awesome beer. I ended up pitching this onto a Belgian Wit (WL400) yeast cake from a prior session. This was a long primary. 14 days and very vigorous.

I named it the SWMBO Slayer because it is decievingly potent. A very smooth, mellow tase with a medium body and just a hint of the fruity flavor from the yeast. Very refreshing.

My SWMBO loves this beer, but one glass on an empty stomach and she was out like a light at 7:00PM. I'll definitely do this one again and may back off on the Pale by about a pound to bring the ABV down a bit.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

IPA All Grain

Nailed the Temps!

Looks dark but it actually was a normal pale color

Latest and great All Grain Batch - a 15 lb monster of an IPA! At least that is what it was supposed to be. For some reason, my efficiency hit an ultimate low - 57%. I hit 1.054 or possibly even 1.052. I was shooting for a 1.071, but ended up with a really low number. I hit all my numbers almost perfectly. Was shooting for 152 on the temp, hit 152.7. I really don't know what happened, I opened it up after 1 hour and it was at 151. So my temps were right on. According to the internets, it always seems to be the crush. I always use my LHBS (Local Home Brew Store) to crush my grains and so far I have gotten 72% and 74%. I narrowed it down to what I believe the problem is: no salt pellets in the soft water softener. We have really hard water here in San Antonio, so I think that is what it is. I'm really bummed, but on the plus side, originally it was a big beer, so efficiency only turns it down to a normal beer at around the 5.5% side. Well within the standards of an IPA. I'll be entering this into a local home brew competition here along with my English Special Bitter, which turned out amazing! The ESB is the best beer I have ever made. I was worried it would be too sweet, but it turned out perfect.

Here's the recipe I used with some notes from brewday:

13 lbs Pale Ale malt 2 row (US)
1 lb Munich Malt (German 1)
8 oz Carafoam/Dextrine
8 oz Crystal 40L
1 Tab Whirlfloc

1 oz Cascade @ 60
1 oz Palisade @ 20
1 oz Ahtanum @ 15
1 oz Summit @ 5

Yeast: Wyeast American Ale 1056.

Will Update with pics of the brew and a pic of the ESB - which like I said earlier, is amazing - after I get my cell phone charged up.
**And here it is! I'll enter this in the local home brew competition.  Hopefully I'll be able to say award winning ESB soon! As you can see, its definately not clear, it is a dark beer. I was worried about the sweetness, but it actually came out okay. It may be a little on the sweet side, but definitely good. I will make this again, but I think I'll go about the crystal a little differently, maybe 1 lb of crystal 60 and a little less on the Maris Otter. The flavors are bold and do really come through, so I don't know. This beer is really good and gets your pretty drunk after a few (7.1%).

Monday, February 4, 2013

2nd All Grain! Bottled...

Uncarbonated beer!

1.012! ABV = 7.1%
 Ok, so as you can see from the pics above - we bottled the 2nd All Grain beer last night!  It tasted pretty good. I can't believe it tasted that good, I can't wait to see what it tastes like when its carbonated and cold! So a few things, I got a little lazy and my brewing partner called me on it last night. I have been bottling using the my old method from Kansas, where I would just add about 1/2 teaspoon of Dextrose to each 12 ounce bottle. It works great on the Cooper's kits I made. It didn't work very well on the Edwort's Hauz Pale Ale (1st All Grain). Although Edwort's recipe did taste good, it was not carbonated very well. I also used Irish Moss, and it seems the beers I don't use Irish Moss on seem to carb up nicely. My buddy pointed out that we should probably just boil the water and use the 5 ounces per 5 gallon batch of beer. It's all about improvement right? I mean it does make sense, I spent about 5 hours on the all grain batch and now I'm going to cut some corners on the carb process?  I really want to just get a kegerator, but I need more time brewing before my wife will "let" me get a kegerator. Oh well, overall it's a pretty good night, the beer I made tasted pretty good and its going to be 7.1% ABV! No one understands how cool that is, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) just didn't get it, I mean - 7.1% and it doesn't even taste like a strong beer at all. Oh well...also, my brewing partner and SWMBO decided I can't be trusted with the beer we brew, so they took the beer to his house and we'll drink it when it's ready. Also, I used some 1 liter bottles that a friend gave me from a Mr. Beer Kit, they are plastic. Did I tell you the beer tasted awesome and I can't wait to drink it?