Thursday, June 28, 2012

Citrusy Hopped Wheat Beer Tasting

Jacob just showed me the first concept label art for Modern Times. Sadly I can't post them yet, but what I can share is tasting notes from the most recent test batch. We aren't sure whether a hoppy American wheat will be a summer-seasonal or a year-round, but it will be in the lineup somewhere.

This is my first batch, with the goal being a citrusy/fruity leaning hop character in a sessionable beer. In addition to two of my favorites, Citra and Amarillo, I used Calypso for the first time. Much like my first time using Galaxy in a double IPA, my first impression of Calypso isn't highly positive. Although I have enjoyed samples of commercial beers hopped with both of these new-ish varieties, in my own brewing I've used whole cones that probably weren't in perfect shape.

For once Jacob was actually in DC to taste this batch when he visited me a couple weeks ago. In addition to getting to drink a bunch of great beer together (homebrew and otherwise), we also started getting down to some serious business like estimating the hop contracts we'll need for the first year. We're also both planning to go to GABF this year (my first time), so let me know if you're going to be headed to Colorado!

The more refreshing the beer, the bigger the glass.Hold the Orange Slice

Appearance – Pale yellow, although there are some golden tones that make it darker than the common straw-yellow color of many American wheat beers (although it isn't nearly as amber as the picture appears). The thick white head is rocky and sticky (lots of hops and plenty of wheat make a great combination when it comes to foam stability). The body is a bit hazy, but not muddy or murky.

Smell – Big fruity-hoppy nose, but not as much citrus as I intended. This beer has never had quite the big orange nose that I wanted it to. There is a slight resiny-complex hoppiness behind the fruit that plays a good counterpoint.

Taste – The hop flavor isn’t as bright and fresh as the aroma. It has an overripe pear component that I am assuming is from the Calypso. The balance is a bit drier than I would prefer. Overall the fermentation character is pleasantly clean, and the malt character is lightly bready. The moderate hop bitterness lingers for a few seconds after each sip.

Mouthfeel – Nice medium-low carbonation, could be a bit higher, but I like it as is. Slightly tannic.

Drinkability & Notes – Not a bad first attempt at a hoppy American wheat, but I still have quite a bit of work to do. Jacob shipped me the Calypso, and they may not have been in the best shape after a warm week traveling cross-country without being vacuum-packed. I think the next iteration of this recipe will be all Citra and Amarillo. Then maybe I’ll see if we want to work in something Southern Hemisphere like Riwaka or Rakau on subsequent batches.

Monday, June 25, 2012

100% Lactobacillus Berliner Weisse

Making a large Lactobacillus starter is one of the keys to making a good Berliner weisse.About a 125 years ago when pure culturing techniques were developed it was originally intended to isolate and propagate pure ale and lager yeast cultures for breweries. In the last 10 years an increasing number of breweries have used those same techniques to produce 100% Brettanomyces beers. One brewery, Crooked Stave, is even basing their lineup nearly completely on Brett as a primary fermenter. While Brett is a different genus than brewer’s yeast, it is still yeast. For my most recent batch of Berliner weisse I decided to brew my first yeast-free beer, relying on only bacteria (Lactobacillus).

Lactobacillus is an interesting organism. It is known for its rapid fermentation in dairy products, producing all the required acidity for yogurt in just a few hours at high temperature (115-120 F). The problem with using Lacto is the huge range the genus comprises. For example, the strain sold by Wyeast (5335) is only capable of fermenting about 10-12% of the carbohydrates in a standard wort, not nearly enough attenuation for something resembling beer. Luckily White Labs’ 677 strain is capable of producing an enzyme which allows it to ferment maltose, maltotriose, and raffinose, ensuring a dry finished beer without aid. In addition to lactic acid, WLP677 also produces both alcohol and carbon-dioxide, so the result should be similar to a beer fermented with yeast. Even if my attempt to use this particular strain doesn’t work, it may just mean that I have to find a strain that is better suited for the task.

The confidence to try this technique was inspired by a conversation I had with Tyler King, of The Bruery, while researching my book about American sour beers. He told me that Hottenroth (their Berliner weisse) is fermented almost exclusively by Lacto. There is also a small amount of Brett in their house culture as well, but every time it is plated out the yeast represents a smaller and smaller share of the cells. For early batches it took about two months for reduction of the sulfur compounds to palatable levels, but the culture has adapted and now the beer only takes a month before it is ready for packaging.

That is what a 100% Lacto fermentation looks like 24 hours in.When I mentioned the idea to Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave, he mentioned an interesting conversation he had with Burghard Meyer. Luckily for me, when I did a search for this respected VLB professor, I found a presentation he gave at CBC this year about Berliner weisse. The relevant point was that Lacto produces a protein degrading enzyme which is active at higher pH values. By lowering the pH (e.g., acid malt, or food grade acid) to 4.5-4.8 pre-pitching you can yield better foam stability. I decided to skip this technique on my first attempt however to see if it is a necessary step.

The large active starter I pitched produced rapid and energetic fermentation at a warm temperature (pitching close to 100 F). After the start of fermentation I left the fermentor in my basement where the ambient temperature this time of year is around 75 F. I did not apply any additional heat (as I did for the starter). Surprisingly though, after a couple weeks the beer has only minimal tartness. I was hoping to find a way to produce a brightly acidic beer relatively quickly, but the results so far are a bit puzzling. My initial plan was to add a large dose of citrus zest (orange and grapefruit) to the beer as it carbonated (and maybe a touch of citrusy hops) to create a craft shandy. Depending on how the flavor progresses I’ll make a determination on how to proceed.

This batch is yet another test batch for Modern Times Beer. As a result I did away with my usual decoction mash schedule because the necessary equipment isn’t part of the brewery plan. I made a 10 gallon batch, fermenting the other half with my usual combination of US-05, Lacto, and Brett. This will determine if skipping the decoction has a negative affect the final result. If it does, I may need to change from my standard no-boil to a short one as recommended by a number of brewers.

Berliner Four

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 11.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.75
Anticipated OG: 1.032
Anticipated SRM: 2.4
Anticipated IBU: 1.4
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71 %
Wort Boil Time: 0 Minutes

62.7% - 8.00 lbs. German Wheat Malt
37.3% -  4.75 lbs. German Pilsener

1.50 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.00% AA) @ Mash Hop

Safale US-05 Chico
White Labs 677 Lactobacillus Bacteria

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 30 min @ 147 F

5/14/12 Made a 2 L starter with 4 oz of light DME and 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient. Cooled to 115 and pitched a tube of Lacto. Applied a heating pad to keep the temperature warm. First visible signs of fermentation took 24 hours, not bad considering the amount of growth required.

Brewed 5/17/12 By myself

Switched from my usual single decoction to a single infusion to see if the same method would work on the commercial scale. Added pellet hops after doughing in.

Double batch sparged, collected 9 gallons of 1.040 wort. Enough for 11 gallons.

Heated wort to 210 F, then chilled.

5 gallons (including 1 gallon of spring water top-off), 100% Lacto (1 L of starter), pitch at 100 F. Left at ~75 F to ferment. Dry hop with Citra and orange and grapefruit zest? Serve on tap. Mimosa per Shaun Hill ~.5 g/L of zest, which is about 10 g in 5 gallons.

5 gallons standard, chilled to 72 F, topped off with 1 gallon cool spring water to chill it into the high 60s. Pitched 7 g of US-05 and .75 L of Lacto starter. Left at 70 F to ferment.

Good fermentation on both by 24 hours.

Lacto only version blew-off hard at 75 F ambient, clean version waited until after I left and as a result sat open to the air through most of primary.  At 65 F ambient.

7/1/12 Pitched about .1 L of Brett Trois starter into normal Berliner weisse and racked to secondary.

7/21/12 Racked the Lacto "only" version to a five gallon secondary.

11/10/12 Bottled 2 gallons of the Lacto-only portion with 2.5 oz of table sugar. Aiming for 3.4 volume of CO2. Racked the rest into keg with the remaining two gallons of the dry hopped wine barrel solera, and .5 oz of whole Comet hops.

12/10/12 Tasting of the blended and dry hopped version.

5/27/13 Tasting of the 100% Lacto version. Solid, but not too exciting. Sourness is lackluster, but otherwise the character of the fermentation is pleasant.

9/22/13 Bottled 2.6 gallons of the "normal" portion with 3.25 oz of table sugar. Aiming for 3.5 volumes of CO2. Racked the rest onto 3.25 lbs of defrosted rhubarb I'd cleaned/chopped/frozen a few months earlier. Originally planned to use it in Dark Saison V, but it was already tart enough.

12/7/13 Bottled the Rhubarb portion, 2.5 gallons, with 3 oz of table sugar and a gram of un-rehydrated Pasteur Champagne yeast. Aiming for 3.4 volumes of CO2.

1/14/14 Tasting of the rhubarb portion. Sensational! Great "fruit" flavor, beautiful color, quenching, interesting etc.

12/2/14 Tasting of the base beer, after so many variations. It really didn't hold up especially well.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Toasted Oat - Coffee Stout

Not every new idea is a good idea. Adding oats to the boil of the first iteration of the Coffee Oatmeal Stout resulted in a nice oat-aroma, but the mouthfeel lacked the silky/oily texture that a hearty stout demands. For this second batch, my primary alteration to the recipe was a switch from half of a pound of oats added to the boil, to two and a quarter pounds in the mash.

No need to mill grains that have been rolled, like these toasted quick oats.In addition to changing the way and amount of oats that were added, I also switched the type of oats. Flaked or rolled grains, which are steamed, don’t make a big flavor contribution compared to grains that have been roasted or toasted as a result of Maillard reactions. Initially I planned to toast the rolled oats in my oven (as I did with my failed Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale), but Jacob suggested buying commercially toasted oats to avoid the task of toasting ~400 lbs ourselves every time we want to brew a 30 bbl (930 gallon) batch. A quick online search turned up Country Choice Oven Toasted Quick Oats. It turns out that these oats are rather lightly toasted, not much darker than the usual Quaker Oats, although they do have a slight oatmeal-cookie aroma. It will be interesting to see how much of that comes through in the finished beer.

Note the combination of small bits of grain, and relatively intact husks.Other than the changes to the oats, the rest of the recipe received just a few minor tweaks. A slightly higher gravity, and more bitterness to match. I added more CaraMunich and chocolate malt, to complement the higher gravity. I also pitched S-04 because I didn’t have time to make it to the homebrew store for a pack of WY1968. Although that may not be a problem again since a new homebrew store recently opened just a few blocks from my house (in what will be the tasting room of 3 Stars Brewing).

I'm amazed how much character we got from two ounces of coarsely crushed coffee beans in the first batch. If anything the perception has grown more potent as the beer sits on tap. Rather than reducing the amount of coffee for this batch, I am planning on shortening the time spent in contact with the coffee beans (24 hours instead of 36). This beer may yet need another rebrew or two, but if the sample I pulled after a week of fermentation is any indication, we may be down to subtle tweaks (like coffee variety).

Some video from the brew day of the first oatmeal stout made it into a short documentary about the DC Homebrewing Scene (as well as some passion about the topic from Nathan, Thor, and myself).

Black House #2

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.38
Anticipated OG: 1.060
Anticipated SRM: 40.9
Anticipated IBU: 41.9
Brewhouse Efficiency: 77 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

60.6% 7.50 lbs. Maris Otter
18.2% 2.25 lbs. Toasted Oatmeal
8.1% 1.00 lbs. Briess Roasted Barley (300 L)
6.1% 0.75 lbs. Briess Chocolate Malt
4.0% 0.50 lbs. CaraMunich Malt
3.0% 0.38 lbs. Crystal 90L

5 ml HopShot (Extract) @ 55 min.

0.50 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
2.00 oz Coffee Beans @ 1 days

DCL Yeast S-04 SafAle English Ale

Water Profile
Profile: Washington, DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 65 min @ 154 F

Brewed 6/9/12

Pre-toasted oats, Country Choice Organic Oven Toasted Quick Oats

Added 3 g of chalk and 2 g of baking soda after mashing for 15 minutes because the pH was about 5.1 at room temperature (4.8 at mash temp). This brought the pH up to about 5.4 at mash temp (5.1 at mash temp).

Slow sparge, should have picked up some rice hulls... runnings looks a bit milky at first, but cleared up eventually. Still collected gallons of 1.052 runnings from a double batch sparge (didn't drain entirely due to the slow runnings).

Added one 5 ml HopShot of hop extract for bittering. Not much of a hot break.

Chilled to 65 F, pumped in 45 seconds of pure oxygen, pitched 1 packet of (rehydrated 105 F water) S-04, and left at 63 F ambient to ferment.

6/15/12 Boosted temp to 65 F to ensure it finishes out. Looks a bit paler than expected.

6/23/12  Added 2 oz of crushed Mocha Java Blend coffee beans in a sanitized hop sock, not weighted. Racked to a flushed keg 22 hours later.

8/9/12 Really close to my ideal coffee oatmeal stout. Could be a bit thicker, and slightly lighter on the coffee aroma though.

1/12/13 Brewed a third iteration of this recipe.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Homebrewing Gear - Refractometer, Therminator, HopRocket etc.

I’ve never been an equipment-nerd brewer. Yesterday I brewed a batch of coffee-oatmeal stout using the same mash-tun I used for my first all-grain batch seven years ago (although I recently replaced the original tubing that runs the wort from there into the kettle). I use my original kettle to heat sparge water, and my second kettle, only a few months newer, is still in service. Same goes for the copper-coil immersion chiller I built, although I now have a recirculating pump that I use with ice water to chill the last few degrees. It is appealing to keep using the same equipment because I know how to hit my numbers, I trust it. However, recently I’ve made a few changes that are making other aspects of my brewing process more efficient.

Gamma Seal bucket filled with Maris Otter malt.I’ve used hydrometers for measuring runnings and gravity since I started brewing. They are usually pretty accurate (although I always check a new one in water first), but they can be a pain to use because the sample needs to be cooled to take an accurate reading. This delay makes it more difficult to hit a target OG, or keep an eye on the gravity near the end of a fly sparge. I grabbed a refractometer, the advantage of which is that it only requires a few drops of hot wort to take a gravity reading. The dropper can suck wort directly from the kettle and dispense it onto the main prism, flip down the daylight plate, and look through the eye piece to read where the border between blue and white falls on the scale. Refractometers can be used for final gravity readings as well, but the presence of alcohol requires a conversion formula (and honestly I am happy to have a sample to taste after I take a reading).

AC unit in the barrel room with new insulation.Grain storage is another one of those things that I’ve been meaning to improve for awhile. Most of my base malt, bought in bulk from North Country as part of a group buy, has been stored in a few large bins that probably aren’t as air-tight as they should be. The buckets I do have are sealed with snap-on lids that can be tough to remove. I’ve never had issues with bugs or rodents, but it is a concern. The last time I was at Home Depot they were selling five gallon HDPE (food grade) buckets for $2.50 and Gamma-Seal lids for $7.00. The adaptor ring has to be knocked onto the bucket with a mallet, but after that the lid screws on/off easily. I bought four initially, but for less than $10 per I’ll be getting a few more sets.

Initially I was pretty lazy with the insulation around the window air conditioner I installed in the basement “cold room.” The window frame is so small that I had to remove the tilting window completely to get the air conditioner into place. I used Styrofoam and bubble wrap to insulate around the unit. It worked alright, but it left some gaps and didn’t look great. Last weekend I finally bought some one-inch foam insulation board, cut two layers to fit, and then sealed the whole thing with foil tape. Hopefully this will cut heat loss in both the summer and winter.

So much good beer and equipment, plus some Cascades from Indie Hops!While those three improvements are to peripheral gear, I’m also slowly working on upgrades to my core brewing rig. My first paycheck from Modern Times Beer arrived a few weeks ago in the form of a Blichmann Therminator and HopRocket (along with some awesome West Coast beers - Alpine Duet/Nelson, and Logsdon Seizoen Bretta, plus the not so awesome Karl Strauss CBC Sypsoium DIPA). An inline chiller and hop-back will give me another way to infuse hop character into my aromatically hoppy beers, and a faster way to chill wort in general. Exposing hot wort to hops briefly before immediately chilling extracts highly volatile aroma molecules that are driven-off during a traditional late-boil addition. Sadly my tap water is pretty warm during the summer (72 F yesterday already), so I may need to rig up a multi-stage chilling system to use them this summer. Having to assemble and sanitize the additional equipment will require more diligence during the boil, but it is a good excuse to finally start using the March pump I bought a few years ago.

No matter how good your golf clubs are, unless you practice using them you won’t hit the ball where you are aiming. Homebrewing is similar, an experienced brewer can produce good wort on pretty much any equipment, but it may not be quite as repeatable or polished as it would be with more advanced gear. With the test batches I am brewing, being able to generate repeatable results has become more important for me than it was in the past. Hopefully the new gear won’t cause a temporary setback while I learn how to adapt my process to them.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

English Porter Parti-Gyle Double Tasting

One of the things I hate most about bottling, is bottle conditioning. Having to pick a target volume of CO2 at bottling and then rely on the yeast to get there. I’ve had a handful of over-carbonated batches during the last few years. A couple were the result of Brettanomyces (or other) contamination, a couple my fault for adding too much priming sugar, and one batch I did a poor job mixing the beer with the priming solution.

In the case of this parti-gyle (combined grist brewing) English ale I have no idea what caused the excess carbonation. The beer tastes clean after four months in the bottle at cellar temp, so maybe 15 days was too quick to crash chill the beer (although White Labs Yorkshire Square, is supposed to be quick to reach its attenuation limit and then flocculate). The gravity on the small portion dropped from 1.009 (80% AA) at bottling in February to 1.006 (87% AA) today, a good illustration of how little fermentation it takes to over-carbonate a batch (and surprisingly high attenuation given the strain's usually low attenuation). It could be that somehow another brewer’s yeast strain got into the culture, who knows?

Second Runnings Brownish Ale

Stole Audrey's half pint for this picture of the low gravity brown ale.Appearance – Right out of the fridge this brown-amber ale has significant chill haze. As a result of excess carbonation I’ve had to keep and pour both of these beers much colder than I usually would for English ales. The moderate white head stays for a few minutes, but falls apart relatively quickly.

Smell – The most prominent aroma is the distinct slightly burnt-toast character of brown malt. A bit of English yeasty-fruit character comes out as the beer slowly warms in the glass. English yeast fruitiness tends to not be as distinct as say the banana in a hefe weizen, but in this case it is somewhere around fresh red apple. Not much going on, but what is there is pleasant enough.

Taste – Like the nose, the flavor is relatively straightforward. English yeast, along with toasty and bready malt. Minimal hop bitterness, but there is hardly any sweetness to be balanced. The finish is long and slightly minerally, a nice boost to the complexity. From the malt bill I was expecting more caramel.

Mouthfeel – Starts with too much carbonation, but given 15 minutes to warm up and degas it isn’t annoyingly high. Still tastes a bit thin despite the oats, which is probably a result of the high attenuation and the fact that it is mostly second runnings.

Drinkability & Notes – Overall a relatively clean session-y ale. Pleasant enough, but the excessive carbonation does detract from my overall enjoyment. I do enjoy the flavor of brown malt, but I might back down on it slightly if I brewed it again.

First Runnings Strong Porter

Strong Porter... a bit over-carbonated I think.Appearance – Pours with a dense light-tan head about four fingers thick… that proceeds to grow to six fingers thick, protruding in a mound above the rim of the glass. The opaque brown body hides the haze better than the smaller beer.

Smell – Big nose of brown sugar, caramel, baked figs, vanilla, and a bit of alcohol heat. It almost smells like it spent a month or two in a rum barrel. It is amazing to think that these two beers, with such different aromatic profiles, came from the same mash and were fermented with the same yeast.

Taste – Sadly the flavor no longer has the sweetness to support the intensely complex aroma. The dryness leads it to almost taste more like a Belgian dubbel, intense malt-fruitiness, but without the sweetness of a strong English ale. Like the lower gravity portion of the batch there is nothing seriously off about it, but the high attenuation has disrupted the balance.

Mouthfeel – Similarly over-carbonated (if that massive head wasn’t enough of a clue). The beer comes across as thin and a bit seltzer-like.

Drinkability & Notes – I like this half more than the small beer, but the excessive carbonation means I won’t get to hang onto it to see how it changes over the next few years. I may have to brew something similar again to see the result with proper carbonation.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dank Amber IPA - Rebrew

For those of you who have followed the blog for the last few years (or looked at my list of recipes), you have probably noticed that I’m not the type of homebrewer who puts a lot of effort into refining a recipe with repeated brewings. I enjoy making a huge range of styles, and when I rebrew the same one it is usually with the intent of trying out a new ingredient or technique. However, over the next year I am going to be spending quite a bit of time honing recipes for Modern Times Beer. Rather than deciding which of these will be year-round and which will be seasonal in advance, Jacob and I are brewing the sorts of beers we enjoy drinking and letting the flavors, and eventually consumer reaction make that determination for us.

The original batch is on the right, this batch is on the left. This is pre-dilution, but I may have overdone the pale chocolate.This batch of amber IPA is the first rebrew of a batch I initially dubbed Nelson Nectar (although that name will obviously change). There are many well respected brewers who say that when refining a recipe you should only tweak one variable (e.g., ingredient, time, temperature) between each batch. I think this is good advice, but only once you get close to your intended target. When you first brew a recipe you may miss on several areas, and it is not worth taking four or five batches to correct them all.

While we really liked the result of the first batch, the color was not quite dark enough for a beer we'd like to describe as amber. To remedy this I swapped out the 2.5 L French Vienna malt, for 3.5 L German Vienna malt. I also almost tripled the amount of pale chocolate malt. Despite the ProMash estimate of 14.5 SRM, the wort almost looked brown. If that holds true into the finished beer I will back-off on the pale chocolate on the next batch.

Although I prefer my hoppy beers on the thin/crisp side, Jacob wanted to add a bit more body to this beer (without making it sweet). To achieve this, I eliminated the small amount of completely fermentable table sugar that I had added to the first batch to increase the percentage of dextrins in the wort. Higher efficiency from my recently tightened grain mill replaced the lost gravity.

Hop stand addition of Columbus, Nelson Sauvin, and Simcoe.The first batch had a firm/smooth bitterness, but I wanted more. Several friends estimated it at closer to 50 IBUs, rather than the 80 I expected from 8 ml of hop extract. For this batch I increased that to 10 ml, and included a mid-boil addition of Simcoe. When a beer has a big hop aroma that doesn’t match the balance of bitterness to sweetness, the beer can taste a bit disconnected.

Jacob and I are planning on producing several hoppy beers (since we both love them), but we want some range in the hop aromatics displayed by the lineup. We decided to make this the “dank” beer, so we swapped Ahtanum for Columbus in the aroma hopping (keeping the Nelson and Simcoe). The current plan is for a wheat beer with fruity hops (like the one I posted about last week), a rye IPA with some spicy hops (like Sterling), and a hoppy pale ale that is classic American citrus and pine (Cascade et al.). On a commercial scale this goal will be complicated by the current scarcity of some cutting-edge varieties caused by the booming craft beer market, but before we know what we can actually get contracts for I’ll be brewing with whatever I can get my hands on. Modern Times won’t be all about hoppy beers though, I recently brewed a test-batch of Berliner weisse that has a few twists of its own.

It doesn't take that much thick yeast slurry to ferment even a strong beer like this.Blazing World #2

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 15.13
Anticipated OG: 1.073
Anticipated SRM: 14.3
Anticipated IBU: 115.5
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72 %
Wort Boil Time: 65 Minutes

79.3% - 12.00 lbs. German Vienna Malt
16.5% - 2.50 lbs. America Pale Malt
 2.5% - 0.38 lbs. Crystal 120L
 1.7% - 0.25 lbs. Pale Chocolate Malt

10 ml    HopShot (Extract) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole, 14.00% AA) @ 20 min.
2.50 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ 0 min.
2.00 oz. Columbus (Whole, 14.00% AA) @ 0 min. 1.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole, 14.00% AA) @ 0 min.
2.50 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Dry Hop
2.00 oz. Columbus (Whole, 14.00% AA) @ Dry Hop
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole, 14.00% AA) @ Dry Hop

0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
 0.50 Whirlfloc @15 min.

WYeast 1056 American Ale

Water Profile
Profile: Pliny the Water

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 60 min @ 154 F

Brewed 5/13/12 by myself.

Mash water 2.5 gallons filtered DC tap, 1.5 gallons distilled. 4 g gypsum, 1.5 g CaCl. Fly sparged with 3 gallons DC tap, 2 distilled, 4 g gypsum, 1.5 g CaCl. Slow runoff, but I collected 7.25 gallons of 1.065 wort.

Added 10 ml of hop extract (two HopShots) after the first 5 minutes of the boil.

Added half the 0 min hops at flameout, saved the rest for 15 minutes into the hop stand (when the wort had already cooled to 180 F). 30 minute rest total before I started chilling. Chilled to 67 F using a combo of ground water, and recirculating ice water.

Harvested 1/2 cup of dense slurry from the 1.045 American Wheat. Racked beer onto slurry, then oxygenated for 40 seconds. Ended up with 5 gallons of 1.081 wort. Left at 62 F to begin fermenting. Topped up couple hours with .5 gallons of distilled water to bring the gravity down and the volume up. Start of fermentation by 16 hours.

5/15/12 Boosted temperature to 64 F ambient to ensure a strong fermentation.

5/19/12 Raised temperature to 68 F to make sure it finishes out completely.

5/28/12 Kegged with the dry hops. Down to 1.016 (78% AA, 7.6% ABV). Left at room temperature until a spot opens up in the kegerator. Color might be a shade or two darker than I was aiming for. Maybe back down to 3 oz of pale chocolate next time? Tastes and smells really hoppy even before the dry hops.

6/1/12 Put into the fridge to chill down, spot should be available on tap soon. 6/3/12 Hooked up to CO2.

 7/11/2 Color and flavor ended up about right, good color, nice aromatics. It could have been more DANK, but it was still really good.

1/16/13 Brewed a third iteration of this recipe.