Monday, April 29, 2013

Going to the 2013 National Homebrewers Conference in Philadelphia?

Yes - 26%
No - 73%

When I posted the poll, my plan was to use this recap post to announce that I’d be attending the National Homebrewers Conference… sadly that doesn’t look like it’ll happen. I fought through the internet congestion and bought my tickets the day they went on sale. However, a good friend of mine is getting married in San Diego the weekend prior to the conference, and it proved impossible to resist sticking around town to help out at Modern Times.

I’ve never attended NHC, and I was happy that it was finally within easy traveling distance of where I live (it was in Baltimore the year before I moved to DC). I’ll be there (Grand Rapids) in 2014, I promise. The Publisher for Brewers Publications has been encouraging me to put together a presentation for next year as well. So I’m sorry I won’t get to meet the 46 of you who responded that you’ll be attending, but hopefully I’ll get to meet many more of you while I'm at Modern Times during July and August!

The Modern Times crew has been talking about getting a batch of my 100% Brett IPA into a tank soon after the brewery opens. It’d steal some Citra from Fortunate Islands (hoppy American wheat), but we should still be able to make it until the fall harvest. In other news the pilot system is up and running, with multiple test batches of the Lomaland saison currently fermenting. We’re trying the same blend of saison strains (Dupont and French) that Odonata pitched during their brief run, as well as a combo of Dupont and American ale, which I am less optimistic about.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has already supported the Modern Times Kickstarter, making it the most successful campaign of any brewery to date! This is the last call as it closes Tuesday night. Earlier today the last brew day with me was claimed, but there are plenty of other rewards left (including one to design a recipe on the pilot system). Jacob recently added a few new ones too, like being a brewer for a day on the big system, and a mega LA bar crawl.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DCambic (DC Lambic) Tasting

Of the beer styles I’ve brewed multiple times, lambic is the one where success has been the slowest to come. Most likely because the skills I pick up brewing pale ale translate to porter, IPA etc. Lambic brewing on the other hand doesn’t even share much in common with other styles of sour beer. Whether it’s the turbid mash, aged hops, spontaneous fermentation, or aging on the primary yeast cake, lambic stands alone.

My first two attempts at lambic were lackluster at best, while the third was solid. It seems like the more traditional my process is, the better the results. So for this fourth attempt I went whole hog, the biggest change being a modified spontaneous fermentation. Rather than simply expect wild yeast to land in the cooling wort, I built up three spontaneous starters, eventually pitching the ones I exposed in my backyard and barrel room. Two years ago my goal was to create a drinkable beer, and by that marker this batch was a remarkable success!

Microbes from my backyard, separated by two years.DCambic #1

Appearance – 18 karat gold. Remarkably clear given the starchy wort and spontaneous fermentation. The head doesn’t last more than 30 seconds, quickly dissipating to a few hardy bubbles.

Smell – The aroma is fruit forward: cherry, pear, and lemon especially. Slight mineral, with some dusty basement funk. Still tastes vibrant at two years old, fresh cut hay and sea air. Reasonably balanced with no major “off” aromatics (e.g., acetic, diacetyl, sulphur). That said, the aroma doesn’t leap from the glass, despite the relatively warm (60F) serving temperature.

Taste – Tart, but not sour. It certainly could be more lactic, but probably isn’t too far off from the softer commercial gueuzes (lie Lindemans Cuvée René). Similar volatiles in the mouth compared to the nose. In addition to the fruit and funk, it has a slightly toasty character (from the grain or the bugs I can’t be sure). The flavor is intricate, but subdued, with lots of elements popping in and dropping out.

Mouthfeel – Carbonation is far too low for a gueuze, and the result is a surprisingly full bodied compared to my expectation. On the positive side it isn’t thin (despite the 1.002 FG) or tannic, very pleasant!

Drinkability & Notes – Considering the way some gueuze brewers and blenders talk, the fact that I produced something drinkable on my first try without blending is a miracle. I think many people would be surprised how reminiscent of a lambic a spontaneous American fermentation can be. Honestly I think this is closer to a lambic than anything you could brew with an unaugmented packaged microbe blend.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Four Stages of Homebrewing

After a post busting homebrewing myths, I wanted to  put together something a bit more positive. So I came up with four sets of brewing techniques/equipment that fit together. The categories start with the basic stuff that I think all beginning brewers should do at a minimum, and progresses to the expert level of complex, expensive, and difficult.

I don't intend this to be a map from where you are, to where you "should" be. I don't do all of the things in the Expert category, and probably never will. Hopefully this list will help you to identify gaps in your process. If you are already dabbling in some of the Advanced or even Expert topics, but still not doing some in the Beginner and Advanced Beginner levels, you might want to consider investing in some relatively simple/inexpensive things that can really improve the quality and consistency of your homebrew.

The Four Stages of Homebrewing

Shaking to aerate wort.Beginner (I hope it turns out well...)
Recipe: Recipe from a trusted source or high-quality kit
Wort Production: Steeped specialty grains and malt extract
Water: Chlorine-free water (carbon filtered, well, spring, RO, or distilled)
Boil: Partial boil (staggered extract additions for pale beers)
Chilling: Ice bath and top-off with chilled sterile water
Aeration: Shake chilled wort
Yeast: Rehydrated dry yeast
Fermentation: Monitor ambient fermentation temperature, brew seasonally
Packaging: Bottle conditioning using a priming sugar calculator, sugar measured by volume
Other: Focus on cleaning and sanitizing
Other: Take notes on each step of the process

My standard chilling rig in action, with ice water recirculator.Advanced Beginner (I think I know what I'm doing.)
Recipe: Tweaking a trusted recipe
Wort Production: Partial Mash (measure the gravity pre-boil and adjust extract amount as needed)
Water: Simple water salt additions for flavor (knowing your water's profile)
Boil: Full wort boil
Chilling: Immersion wort chiller
Aeration: Filtered air aquarium pump
Yeast: Liquid yeast with a starter
Fermentation: Monitor the actual temperature of the fermenting beer, control with swamp chiller
Packaging: Bottle conditioning using a priming sugar calculator, sugar measured by weight
Other: Evaluate ingredient quality
Other: Using non-Reinheitsgebot ingredients (fruit, coffee, spices, sugars etc.)

My fermentation fridge, before I removed the shelf.Advanced (I make excellent beer!)
Recipe: Design to-style recipes
Wort Production: All grain (single infusion mashes)
Water: Water adjustments, including monitoring mash pH
Boil: Full wort boil
Chilling: Counter-flow wort chiller
Aeration: Estimated pure oxygen aeration
Yeast: Repitching yeast
Fermentation: Electronic fermentation temperature control
Packaging: Kegging
Other: Purge everything the fermented beer touches with CO2
Other: Check finished beer pH

My advanced, plate-chilling rig in action.Expert (Why aren't I brewing professionally?)
Recipe: Design your own not-to-style recipes
Wort Production: All grain (single infusion, step, decoction, turbid etc.)
Water: Water adjustments, including mash pH
Boil: Monitor/adjust the boil pH
Chilling: Pump, plate chiller, hop-back etc.
Aeration: Measure dissolved oxygen
Yeast: Microscope to check cell count and viability
Fermentation: Temperature controlled conical fermentors
Packaging: Counter-pressure bottling
Other: Tests (wort stability, forced fermentation etc.)
Other: Barrel aging, sour beers, etc.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Modern Times Lomaland Saison #2 Tasting

Wyeast 3711 French Saison is simultaneously maligned and celebrated. It is probably the easiest saison strain to work with, fermenting rapidly and completely regardless of wort fermentability and fermentation temperature. However, it can be over-attenuative, and the flavor tends to be fruitier than the Belgian saison strains. For this beer (my second test batch of Modern Times Lomaland) I kept the temperature lower than I would for something like Saison I, and I avoided stressing the yeast (I didn’t under-pitch or under-aerate).

Not saying that Modern Times definitely will or won't use WY3711 for Lomaland, the West Coast division had great luck with the Dupont strain, and is also putting a blend of White Labs Saison II and Saison III through its paces. Our Kickstarter campaign is down to less than two weeks. There are still two brew days with me available on the Modern Times pilot system, and just seven  League of Partygoers & Elegant People memberships (your best shot at drinking my first batches of commercial sour beer)!

A glass of my second test batch of Modern Times' Lomaland Saison. Given that it is mostly Pilsner malt and Saaz hops, appropriate that I'm drinking it from a Pilsner Urquell glass!Lomaland Batch #2

Appearance – Hazy golden-yellow body with a stiff white head on top. Good retention and excellent lacing. Certainly looks like a saison.

Smell – Solid yeast presence, fresh bread dough, and white pepper. Some fruit, but the restrained fermentation temperature kept it from being a fruit-bomb in the way 3711 sometimes is. The classic Saaz hop herbal-spice comes through complementarily.

Taste – Dry, but not desiccating. The yeast, especially the pepper carries through the flavor. Very fresh tasting, Solid bitterness in the finish, but it isn’t rough or harsh. The lingering flavor is yeasty/doughy/wheaty. Slight tartness. Not hugely complex, but it has all the elements I want in a saison.

Mouthfeel – The body isn’t as thin as you’d expect, but it isn’t thick by any stretch of the imagination. Solid carbonation, but I would expect more from a bottled (or canned) saison.

Drinkability & Notes – For such a simple recipe this beer has a lot going on. The nose could be a bit more complex, but considering the moderate gravity and mono-culture fermentation it is hard to complain too much. I’m excited to see how the half of the batch that was bottled with Brett turns out!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nanus, Naardenensis, and Custersianus (Three New Brett Species)

East Coast Yeast ECY19 B. custersianus, ECY24 B. naardensis, and ECY30 B. nanusThe nomenclature used to sell Brettanomyces can be confusing and can sometimes a bit misleading. Currently essentially all of the Brettanomyces strains used in brewing belong to just two species, B. anomalus and B. bruxellensis. Like Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer's yeast) there is a large amount of variability between different members of the same species.

Rather than using some other naming convention (e.g., origin, brewery, sensory etc.), in the case of Brett, two older species names (B. lambicus, and B. claussenii) have stuck around as strain names even though they aren’t used scientifically anymore. When you see a strain marketed as B. lambicus it is B. bruxellensis, while B. claussenii is B. anomalus. However, I think it is more helpful to talk about the individual strains. For example, Wyeast and White Labs both sell “Brettanomyces lambicus” but these two strains produce very different flavor profiles.

Notice earlier that I didn’t say that bruxellensis and anomalus are the only species of Brettanomyces? Bug guru Al Buck of East Coast Yeast has been feeding me information for my book about three other species he has obtained samples of. A few weeks ago vials of B. nanus, B. naardenensis, and B. custersianus arrived in the mail. Al’s given me a wide range of flavor descriptors for each (some more positive than others), but I wanted to try brewing with them for myself.

Saison finished with a variety of Brett species.A few weeks ago I pitched a few drops from each vial respectively into a quarter of the bottles of Lomaland #2 saison to see how each performs as a secondary fermenter. The technique was similar to what I have done in the past to trial a variety of Brett strains. I’ve opened a few of these bottles already, and so far the Brett character has been unsurprisingly too subtle to describe.

This past Sunday I brewed 7.5 gallons of wort that I split three ways to try these strains out for primary fermentation. The recipe was very simple, sharing many similarities with both the first 100% Brett beer I brewed, and the Russian River Redemption inspired single our barrel crew soured in a red wine barrel. The small amount of acid malt was to reduce the mash pH, and to provide the Brett with lactic acid for the production of the fruit ester ethyl lactate.

The results of these two experiments should give me a decent understanding of the characteristics of these three strains. However, regardless of the results, I won’t be able to make any blanket statements about the suitability of these species for brewing. Even knowing everything about a single isolate isn’t enough to know how other isolates of the same species will behave. Hopefully I'll have the results from both trials in about two months.

Three fermentors of 100% Brett beer.
100% Brett Test

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 7.50 
Total Grain (Lbs): 14.00
Anticipated OG: 1.051   
Anticipated SRM: 3.3
Anticipated IBU: 21.8
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

87.5% - 12.25 lbs. German Pilsener Malt
5.4% - 0.75 lbs. German Vienna Malt
3.6% - 0.50 lbs. Acid Malt
3.6% - 0.50 lbs. German Wheat Malt

1.00 oz. Palisade (Pellet, 7.40% AA) @  80 min.

0.75 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
0.75 Whirlfloc @ 10 min.

ECY19 B. custersianus
ECY24 B. naardenensis
ECY30 B. nanus

Water Profile
Profile: Washington, DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 75 min @ 146 F  

Brewed 4/14/13 by myself

Collected 9 gallons of 1.044 runnings. Very clean wort, left most of the trub behind. Chilled to 70 F.

Split into three 3 gallon fermentors. Shook to aerate. Pitched ~80% of the ~2 month old ECY Bretts. Left at 60 F to ferment. Decent activity by 24 hours on Nanus and Naardenensis, Custersianus took an additional 12 hours or so.

6/5/13 Bottled all three individually. 1 5/8 oz of table sugar for Custersianus (1.008) and Nanus (1.016) with 2.25 gallons, and 1.5 oz of table sugar for Naardenensis (1.011) with 2 gallons remaining.

9/25/13 Tasting notes for the B. custersianus portion. Nicely fruity, won out over a saison finished with the same strain.

9/30/13  Tasting notes for the B. naardenensis portion. Surprising amount of acidity, but the overall flavor wasn't great. Al suggests that it gets fruitier around six months, so I'll update if things change.

10/9/13 Tasting notes for the B. nanus portion. Poor attenuation led to excessive sweetness, but the strain provided a big white grape juice nose. Interesting, but not great.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Galaxy Dry Hopped Wit Tasting

A glass of Galaxy Wit on a sunny afternoon.Sorry for the lack of tasting notes posted recently, I’ve been fighting off a nasty cough for the last couple weeks. This batch of wit was brewed as a double proof of concept for Modern Times. Five gallons was infused with hibiscus, while this half was dry hopped with two ounces of Galaxy from Australia.

Galaxy Wit

Appearance – Hazy lemon-yellow. Head retention is solid, but unremarkable. The airy head trails handsome white lacing as it slowly recedes.

Smell – Aroma is big citrus, along with tropical hops, moderate peppery yeast, and light fruity coriander. The orange/tangerine zest really comes across well, although I suspect some of that aroma is from the Galaxy hops. The aromatics from the various sources are all working on the same team.

Taste – Flavor is bright and vibrant. Orange leads with some freshly cracked wheat in the finish. The flavor is really snappy/crisp thanks to the acid malt. Minimal bitterness, but with how dry the beer is it come through. Quenching and bold, but not the most complex wit I’ve tasted thanks to the hold spices/hops.

Mouthfeel – The mouthfeel is fairly thin, I like a wit to be just slightly creamy. Carbonation is spritzy, which works well with the flavor and balance.

Drinkability & Notes – Considering this was fermented with saison yeast, it still comes across very much as a wit (albeit one that was dry hopped). The Galaxy hops worked very well to compliment the spicing and yeast character without overwhelming them, a big improvement over a couple DIPAs I've brewed with this variety. I’ll find time to re-brew this recipe eventually, with a true wit yeast. Tasting on the hibiscus half as soon as I have a slot open in my kegerator.

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Book has a Publisher!

When I started writing a book more than two years ago the goal was to collect my thoughts on brewing sour beer and self-publish it through Amazon CreateSpace. I wanted to pull together all the tips, techniques, and science I’d learned over the years of blogging/brewing into a single resource. I assumed it would take a year at most…

As I wrote and edited I decided it would be helpful to talk to a few other brewers (both craft and home). The generosity of the people I contacted overwhelmed me. Virtually every brewer I wanted to talk to answered my questions, although occasionally it took a bit of nagging.

A list of some of the people I talked to for the book:

Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River)
Ron Gansberg (Cascade)
Scott Vaccaro (Captain Lawrence)
Tomme Arthur (Lost Abbey)
Ron Jeffries (Jolly Pumpkin)
Eric Salazar, Lauren Salazar, and Peter Bouckaert (New Belgium)
Tyler King (Bruery)
Jeff O’Neil (Peekskill/Ithaca)
Will Meyers (Cambridge)
Jason Perkins (Allagash)
Gabe Fletcher (Anchorage)
Shaun Hill (Hill Farmstead)
Pat Mcilhenney (Alpine)
Scott Smith (East End)
Todd Haug (Surly)
Brian Strumke (Stillwater)
Alex Ganum (Upright)
Chad Yakobson (Crooked Stave)
Jason Davis (Freetail)
Dan Woodske (Beaver Brewing)
Kristen England (Pour Decisions)
Nathan Zeender (Right Proper)
Remi Bonnart, Sebastian Padilla, Ryan Ekre, Levi Funk, Seth Hammond, and Dave and Becky Pyle (homebrewers)
Chris White, and Neva Parker (White Labs)
Al Buck (East Coast Yeast)
Greg Doss (Wyeast)

In November, 2011 I emailed Kristi Switzer the Publisher for Brewers Publications and ended up talking to her on the phone. A few weeks later I submitted a proposal. A proposal consists of answers to questions about the book: target audience, content, author qualifications etc. In addition I submitted the table of content (draft table of content you can actually read), a sample chapter, and a writing sample (one of my BYO articles). I signed the finalized contract last week!

For awhile I was quite torn on if a publisher was what I really wanted. Self publishing held the allure of complete control over the process and end result. The ability to revise and update as I saw fit, not to mention about 10 times more money for each copy sold. However, the legitimacy conferred by having a publisher, and their expertise on editing, layout, publicity etc. was enough to convince me that Brewers Publications was the right choice!

Brewers Publications is the publisher of just about every book about brewing you own (from How to Brew, to Radical Brewing, to Wild Brews etc.). It is a wing of the Brewers Association, the organization that runs the Craft Brewers Conference, National Homebrewers Conference, Great American Beer Fest, Zymurgy Magazine etc. This will open up opportunities for me to speak and promote the book.

July 1st is my deadline to submit the completed manuscript, however don’t expect to be able to buy a copy of the book in August. As a small publisher, they only aim to release two books a year, and at the moment mine is slotted for sometime in 2015. However, Kristi assured me that if there was an outpouring of demand (or another book had to be delayed) mine could move up. Contractually they are bound to publishing the book within three years of when I submit the manuscript.

The bulk of the writing for the book was completed by six months ago (currently sitting at 140,000 words all told). I’m still waiting for the last couple brewers to review their sections and submit their comments/edits. Otherwise I’m working hard to fact check and cite what I have already written. Luckily for me, Audrey weirdly enjoys formatting references (one of my least favorite aspects of the process).

I apologize to everyone who was hoping the book would be published by now, but when it is finally released hopefully it will be a valuable reference for years to come. It seems like American sour beers are starting to really take off (when was the last time a brewery opened without plans for some sort of sour program?). I’m hoping my effort will produce a book that both professional brewers and homebrewers will benefit from. Something that is simple enough to help you brew your first batch of sour beer, and detailed enough that brewers who have been making sours will take away information and inspiration.

Thank all of you for your support you’ve shown the blog (me) over the years! The comments, emails, not to mention beers and microbes, you've sent have kept me honest and inspired many research tangents. The blog might be a bit lean on sour beer content for awhile to avoid stealing stuff from the book, but I’ll do my best to post updates about the Modern Times sour beer program (something that probably will not find much coverage in the book). There are many similarities in the book and the brewery, in both cases I am giving up control to work with people who really know what they are doing, and who have the funding to take my ideas and turn them into something wonderful (hopefully)!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Three Modern Times "West" Test Batches

Last week was the Craft Brewers Conference here in DC. I didn't attend, but I had a blast hanging out with people and drinking excellent beers. A few highlights:

On Tuesday night I spoke at a hop symposium at Smith Commons with a wide variety of other brewers and homebrewers. I had a good time, but the venue (loud) didn't lend itself to the sort deep intellectual back and forth I'd hoped for. I enjoyed drinking a glass of New Belgium Felix Love (their unblended sour base beer) for my trouble though.

Thursday I had the guys from Jester King (Jeff, Ron, and Jordan) over for dinner. We drink homebrew from Nathan and I alternating with their beer (including a test bottling of a sour with 200 lbs of raspberries in a single barrel - wonderfully jammy). Those guys are really killing it, so many interesting flavor combinations. We tried beers that melded Brett with hops, smoke, spices, plus interesting wood (Spanish cedar) and barrel (gin) treatments. We even discussed brewing a three way collaborative beer with them, Right Proper, and Modern Times!

On the way to drop Jacob (Modern Times' Founder) off at the airport on Saturday we stopped for lunch at Meridian Pint. There we sampled Nathan's first two commercial batches of WildCraft soda and a few of the many local collaborative beer they had on tap. The most interesting of the beers was Barleyweisse, a recreation of a pre-prohibition sub-3% all-barley "Berliner weisse" that Mike Stein found a reference to in an obscure book about the history of brewing in Maryland (this batch was brewed with Meridian Pint's Tim Prendergast at Union Craft Brewing).

With Modern Times getting a day closer to opening every day, the "actual" brewers have taken over brewing the test batches of clean beer (I'll get to brew more sours again, thank goodness!). Jacob brought along bottles of three of their test batches for me to taste. But before I get to the notes and recipes I need to talk about the Kickstarter campaign!

Over the last year plus, hopefully you've enjoyed following my role in the Modern Times recipe development process. The grand opening is starting to feel like it's right around the corner, the recent arrival of the brewing system was the latest hurdle crossed. Jacob did a stellar job creating incentives for the campaign. The clothing looks terrific, and the League of Partygoers & Elegant People should be a great way to get involved if you are local (including first notification when bottles of sour beers go on sale at the tasting room). There are also some eccentric rewards including getting a velvet portrait commissioned of you for the tasting room, a Christmas light tour with one of the brewers, and joining me for a test-batch brew day in DC! The money will be spent to pimp the tasting room and for two things near and dear to my heart, barrels to age sour beer and lab equipment to ensure those microbes don't cause a problem for the clean beers!

Now back to the test batches. They were brewed by two of the brewers. Alex Tweet was previously at Ballast Point, where he developed some weird/delicious beers like Indra Kunindra (he also recently let me know that his first batch of homebrew was based on one of my recipes). Derek Freese was previously the brewer at Monkey Paw (and before that an avid homebrewer). I got to hang out with Derek and drink a few of his beers while at GABF last year. I came away impressed by both by his knowledge and enthusiasm for brewing, and by what a fun guy he is. Looking forward to working with them (and with the head brewer, Matt Walsh, as well). I'll do my best to keep you updated of continued progress on the recipe front as they are brewed!

Black House Point Loma #1 (PL1)

In one day they brewed three variations on this recipe. This was picked as the clear winner by the executive tasting panel, so it is the one Jacob brought out.

OG = 1.060
FG = 1.018
IBUs = 33

Batch Size: 5.25 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %

56.0% - 7 lbs US Pale Malt (2 Row) 
12.0% - 1 lbs 8.0 oz Flaked Oats
8.0% - 1 lbs Pale Chocolate Malt 
6.0% - 12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal 60
6.0% - 12.0 oz Carastan
4.0% - 8.0 oz Biscuit Malt
4.0% - 8.0 oz Debittered Black Malt
4.0% - 8.0 oz Roasted Barley
Mash 153 F

Magnum @ 60 min


1.75 oz of crushed coffee steeped for 24 hours before bottling.

Tasting Notes

Appearance – Stout-ish, decent head retention.

Smell – More coffee and chocolate than my most recent version. Could go back to 2 oz of coffee for 24 hours for more “wow!”

Taste – Thinner, more complex maltiness. Needs more sweetness, and also more hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Thinner, slight tannic. More oats (16-17%), and a higher mash temperature next time.

Drinkability & Notes – Great nose, flavor and body a bit lacking.

Blazing World PL1

With the fourth attempt overall at this recipe I think we've finally hit upon a winning hop combo. Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe have been there all along, but we tried them with three hops, Palisade most recently, without nailing it. It seems that Mosaic did what the others couldn't!

OG = 1.068
FG = ?
IBUs = 157.5

Batch Size: 6.50 gal
Boil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %

83.1% - 13.75lb Pale Malt
15.1% - 2.5lb Munich Malt
1.1% - 2.9 oz Roasted Barley
0.7% - 1.9 oz Carafa III
Mash 149 F

1.50 oz. Columbus (Whole, 15.00% AA) @ 90 min.
5 ml HopShot (Extract) @ 90 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole, 14.00% AA) @ 25 min.
3.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Hop Stand
1.00 oz. Mosaic @ Hop Stand
2.00 oz. Mosaic @ Hop Back
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole, 14.00% AA) @ Hop Back
3.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Dry Hop
1.50 oz. Simcoe (Whole, 14.00% AA) @ Dry Hop
1.00 oz. Mosaic @ Dry Hop


Tasting Notes

Appearance – Could be lighter, although just slightly. Might just be a clarity issue.

Smell – Big Nelson nose. Fruit, dank. Big “wow!”

Taste – Could be slightly drier, crisper. Saturated, very Nelson heavy. Not just fruit some pine as well.

Mouthfeel – Fuller, sweeter. For the next batch we'll either add a small amount of sugar, or reduce the Munich and mash cooler.

Drinkability & Notes – Really damn close to perfect other than the body/sweetness which should be a simple fix.

Red Rye IPA PL1

Jacob was able to procure a lot of 2012 harvest Simcoe so he wanted to see how the malt bill from this recipe would handle the switch from Cacade/Sterling to all Simcoe. The other half of this batch saw an accelerated 24 hour dry hopping on a Stirhog Black Maxx Stir Plate. Apparently the aroma was fine, but the vigorous agitation extracted some unpleasant polyphenols or tannins from the hops.

OG = 1.065
FG =?
IBUs = 91.6

Batch Size: 6.50 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %

73.8 % - 12.5 lbs American Pale Malt
17.7 % - 3 lbs Rye Malt
4.4 % - 12.0 oz Carared
3.0 % - 8.0 oz Crystal Rye
1.1 % - 2.9 oz Chocolate Rye Malt
Mash 152 F

1.00 oz. Columbus (Whole, 15.00% AA) @ 60 min.
5 ml HopShot (Extract) @ 60 min.
3.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole% AA) @ Hop Stand
3.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole% AA) @ Hop Back
4.50 oz. Simcoe (Whole% AA) @ Dry Hop


Tasting Notes

Appearance – Not as bright/red as previous batch, this one is a bit duller/browner. May just be a clarity issue.

Smell – Big pine/tropical Simcoe, not much else. Bright, fresh, not green or grassy. Very nice.

Taste – Could be stickier, nice hop character, solid bitterness. Malt comes through more than in the nose.

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation but it could be a little fuller.

Drinkability & Notes – Happy with the direction this is headed. I just worry that the Simcoe overwhelms the malt. We just need to figure out how “IPA” we want this one to be.