Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lambic Brewday

I finally got around to racking off the previous lambic (half saved for bulk aging and blending down the road, and half on to sour cherries), and putting another batch onto the ECY20 yeast cake. Those sour cherries are the bomb! And yes, putting the bulk aging beer into the one three gallon carboy with a thermometer strip was a stupid, stupid idea. But I’ve still got the beer and you don’t. So hurry up and wait.

168. Lambic
7 lbs. MFB Pilsen
5 lbs. Best Malz Spelt

Mash @ 150° F for 90 minutes w/ 3 ¾ gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ gallons @ 1.076
Batch sparge @ 175° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.026

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/90 to go: 1 ½ oz. Williamette leaf 7.8% AA

w/10 to go: 1 White labs Servomyces capsule

Chilled & racked onto ECY20 Bug County from 134. Lambic

Primary: 1/29/2014
Secondary: 12/8/2015 @ 1.004

Split on 1/1/2016; 168a. Lambic; three gallons for bulk aging and blending

168b. Wild Raspberry Lambic
Secondary: 1/1/2016; racked onto 2 lbs. 10 oz. bike path wild raspberries
Bottled: 2/21/2016 w/ 1.6 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Alan McLeod’s 2013 Yuletide Photo Contest

A belated shout out to Alan McLeod’s 2013 Yuletide Photo Contest; you can check out all of this year’s entries posted here and here. While we were again not one of the winners, one of our pictures, taken by my sister-in-law Kerry, made the shortlist. Oh, and here is the list of this year’s winners. This picture was taken on Anderson Island in Puget Sound this last summer; we were down at the beach, and didn’t have a cooler, so we improvised. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the beer is underwater—that 50° F water kept the beers nice and cool while we buried random related nieces and nephews in the sand. Bonus points go out to the first person to correctly identify the two cans!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

More Sour Brett Beers w/ Brett Brewday

Since the first one got moved over today, time for another Brettanomyces and coffee beer collaboration with Brett Barker from Press. This time, however, there will be no lag time for the Lactobacillus, as once mixed, all that yeast ain’t coming apart. We’ll figure out some sort of fruit to throw in the secondary; I believe the Sauce Boss is leaning towards raspberries. Sauce Boss. So awesome.

167. More Sour Brett Beers w/ Brett
7 lbs. MFB Pale
4 lbs. Breiss White Wheat 
1 lb. Weyermann Acidulated 
½ lb. rolled oats

Mash @ 152° F for 60 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.076
Batch sparge @ 165° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.032

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 ½ oz. EKG leaf 5.41% AA

Chilled; added 10 ozs. Press concentrate @ 120° F, & racked onto yeast cake from 163. Sour Coffee Brett w/ Blackberries

Primary: 1/7/2014 @ 66° F

OG: 1.052

Tasting Notes:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rockit Cup Robust Porter Brewday

Time to get back to the magic of the Rockit Cup. Because nothing creates brewing knowledge like brewing itself. Sure, thinking about brewing is nice, as is theorizing about it. Reading and research can help too, but let’s he honest, actually brewing is where it is at. So here’s to brewing. And the Rockit Cup.

166. Rockit Cup Robust Porter
9 lbs. Breiss 2-row
1 lb. Weyermann Dark Munich
½ lb. Crisp Crystal 45L
½ lb. Crisp Pale Chocolate
¼ lb. Breiss Black Patent

Mash @ 152° F for 60 minutes w/ 3 ½ gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ gallons @ 1.076
Batch sparge @ 170° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 gallons @ 1.024

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added: 

w/60 to go: 1 ½ oz. EKG leaf 5.41% AA

w/ 15 to go: ¾ oz. Fuggle pellet 5.3% AA

w/0 to go: ½ oz. EKG leaf 5.41% AA
¼ oz. Fuggle pellet 5.3% AA
1 White Labs Servomyces capsule

Chilled, racked to carboy, and pitched 2 packets of US-05

Primary: 1/5/2014 @ 68° F

OG: 1.052

Tasting Notes:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Great Brett Experiment II, part 2: Tasting Starters

A new year means it is time for the second round of GBE II starters. Like last time, I mixed 375 g. of DME in 1.2 gallons of water, boiled it, and split it into 4 half gallon growlers, with the aim of creating a 1.030 OG; I also added a White Labs Servomyces capsule. I will most likely bump these up again before pitching, as they’ve been sitting around longer than the previous four. And again, I procured a small sample before swirling the yeast into suspension and adding it to the growler. For those keeping track at home, previous The Great Brett Experiment II posts include:
The Great Brett Yeast Experiment II
The Great Brett Experiment II, part 1: Tasting Starters
The Great Brett Experiment II, part 1 Brewday 

EBY010: The nose is surprisingly neutral; there is light wood pulp and glue with hints of metallic sharpness behind it. Flavors are only slightly more interesting, with lemon and citrus followed by cracker and dirt. There are some hints of acidity in the finish, and maybe a touch of solvent. He mouthfeel is also less watery than the last round, which is a nice touch.

EBY019: In the nose is mainly band-aid and adhesive along with some musty old barn. It verges on goat-y straw, but falls short. Flavors start with candy and over-ripe citrus fruit—like in clausenii—followed by band-aid and earthiness. There is some refreshing acidity and tartness in the finish, leaving the mouth clean with just a touch of paint thinner bite.

EBY035: The nose is mouse-y with hints of dirty barnyard. Put in more graphic terms, it smells like old used straw mixed with dirty socks. The body is stale cracker with some cardboard and candy mixed in. There might be some sourness/acidity developing in the finish, but overall less exciting. Oh, and this one does taste watery.

EBY038: Slight band-aid and lacquer in the nose, along with some grape and general fruitiness, while flavors are mainly candy and citrus. There are also biscuit and cracker hints in the middle, and some citric acidity in the finish. And maybe some more grape.

As a whole, these four were far more interesting than the last four. I like 010 and 038 the best—010 for the acidity in the finish and 038 for the fruit flavors and brightness–but if the flavor cleans up on 019, it will be in the mix as well. As it is, 035 is a bit weak compared to the other three, but it does have potential.


585. Bruery Sour in the Rye

Two Bruery beers two days in a row! What are the chances? Actually, we planned to drink this last night, but didn’t get to it, so that means it is up first tonight. This certainly puts us north of a baker’s dozen with the Bruery, including Tart of Darkness, Oude Tart, Rueuze, 5 Golden Rings, Marrón Acidifié (a collabo with Cigar City), Autumn Maple, Humulus Session, 3 French Hens, Saison de Lente, Rugbrød, Hottenroth, Orchard White and Saison Rue. Ring in that New Year!

Sour in the Rye pours a hazy but brilliant burnt orange with a dazzlingly white head that rolls down the side of the glass when swirled in creamy bright swirls and also has intense orange highlights coming through the glass. There is citric and lactic tartness mixed with spicy oak and rye in the nose followed by loamy earth; it is really quite splendid. Flavors start with young oak and fruit—pear and apple—followed quickly by lactic tartness that transitions into a brighter citric bite towards the finish. There is also some candy and biscuit buried underneath the other flavors in the front and middle, and a decent tannic bite from the oak in the final third of the beer. The vitamin C citric bite and the spicy rye with oak combine nicely in the finish; both linger a bit, but leave the palate mostly clean with only a slight mineral grit on the tongue. The body is medium and slightly chewy with bright, clean carbonation that, combined with the tartness, draws out the other flavors. I like this beer quite a bit more than the Tart of Darkness from last night, mostly because it is brighter and more bracing; while it provides an equal amount of blushing on the cheeks, the tartness is clean and sharp without the lingering acetic burn. There is also more body to balance the tart components of the beer, and more depth of flavor to carry the beer as a whole. I’ll be looking for another bottle of this to see how it ages.

From the bottle: “Deliciously sour, bursting with spicy rye notes and hints of oak from the barrels it was aged within.”

From the Bruery website: “We brewed this ale with around 40% rye as a base malt and let our sour yeast and bacteria eat away at it in oak barrels for over a year creating a sour ale with a complex character of rye spice, oak and a subtle funk.”

ABV: 7.8%