Wednesday, February 26, 2014

April Rockit Cup Imperial Stout Brewday

So I erred on the water volume calculations, which left me with a little over 3 gallons going into the carboy, hence the low OG of this beer. Still, a fun experiment trying to brew a half-sized batch of a bigger beer—certainly something to revisit in the future. Because let’s he honest: the Rockit Cup doles out knowledge like bakeries dole out free day old bread. Simile me some of that! On with the learning!

171. April 2014 Rockit Cup Imperial Stout
5 lbs. Muntons Maris Otter
2 lbs. Breiss White Wheat
1 lb. Muntons Chocolate
1 lb. Muntons Roasted Barley
½ lb. Crisp Crystal 77° L
½ lb. Dingemanns Special B
¼ lb. Muntons Dark Crystal
¼ lb. MFB Kiln Coffee
Mash @ 149° F for 75 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water & 5 g. gypsum; collected 1 ¾ gallons @ 1.082
Batch sparge @ 163° F for 20 minutes w/ 2 ½ gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; added ¼ lb. each of Muntons Chocolate and Roasted Barley to sparge; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.032

Collected 4 ¼ gallons; brought to a boil (60 minutes) & added:
w/60 to go: 1 oz. Northern Brewer leaf 9.9% AA
w/ 30 to go: ½ oz. Northern Brewer leaf 9.9% AA

w/15 to go: ½ oz. EKG leaf 6.6% AA

w/5 to go: ½ oz. Northern Brewer leaf 9.9% AA

w/0 to go: ½ oz. EKG leaf 6.6% AA

Chilled, racked to carboy to chill to 60° F, then pitched on yeast cake from 169. Rockit Cup No Name Best Bitter

Primary: 2/26/2014 @60° F; rose to 66° F
Secondary: 3/17/2014 @ 1.024; dry hopped w/ 1 oz. Northern Brewer 9.9% AA
Bottled: 3/26/2014 w/ .75 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.082
FG: 1.024

Tasting Notes:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Barrel Project w/ Jake Browning Brewday

A while ago, Jake Browning approached me with a conundrum: he had a 10 gallon barrel that had been handed down to him, but didn’t know what to do with it. I happily volunteered to help brew something to fill it, since collaborative beer projects are usually fun. Then a bunch of time passed. Which is generally how such things work. And then Jake reminded of my promise. So I  made us a recipe, and we each brewed a five gallon batch to put into the barrel. We weren’t super-fastidious as to adhering to the recipe, as the barrel itself—through lack of actual use—may be a bust, but if the first beer turns out, we’ll certainly have a second beer ready to go into the barrel. Oh, and since Jake is scared of introducing wild microbes into his house, he brewed his version with a clean, neutral yeast, and convinced me to keep the barrel at my house.

Via the dubious history connected to said barrel, we did want to take steps to help—as much as possible—produce a “positive” result for the beer that was going into the barrel. With that in mind, prior to racking the beer into the barrel (which smelled like blue cheese and vinegar), we filled it with boiling water and let it sit for 30 minutes, at which point we drained the barrel and then filled it with beer. Will this work? We’ll certainly find out! But our hope is that by killing off as much as possible whatever current organisms were residing in the barrel will give the Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois, and Brettanomyces custersianus a chance to successfully colonize the barrel.

170. Barrel Project w/ Jake Browning
7 lbs. MFB Special Aromatic
4 lbs. Breiss White Wheat
½ lb. rolled oatmeal
½ lb. rolled barley

Mash @ 150° F for 90 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 5 g. gypsum; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.090
Batch sparge @ 167° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.026

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/90 to go: 2 oz. EKG leaf 5.41% AA

Chilled, racked onto yeast cake from 167. Brett Beer w/ Brett & Coffee

Primary: 2/21/2014
Secondary: 2/28/2014

OG: 1.052

Tasting Notes:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rockit Cup No Name Best Bitter Brewday

This beer is intended to build up a big enough cell count to brew next week’s the Rockit Cup Imperial Stout, although I’ll undoubtedly enjoy the actual beer itself as well besides the mere use value connected to the yeast cake I’m growing. [Update: this beer got infected in the secondary—after two weeks, a small steady stream of tiny bubbles began creeping up the side of the carboy, and that was a month ago—so once I empty the first Barrel Project beer, I'll taste this and if it is not terrible (I’m guessing one of the many and numerous Brett strains in the house found a new home) this one is going to get put in the barrel. I blame the corn.]

169. April Rockit Cup No Name Best Bitter
7 lbs. MFB Pale
¾ lb. Weyermann Caramunich I
½ lb. Breiss flaked maize
½ lb. Amber
2 oz. Breiss Chocolate

Mash @ 156° F for 60 minutes w/ 2 ¾ gallons RO water & 8 g. gypsum; collected 1 ½ gallons @ 1.076
Batch sparge @ 166° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 4 ¼ gallons @ 1.024

Collected 5 ¾ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 oz. Challenger pellet 8.9% AA

w/15 to go: ½ oz. EKG leaf 5.41% AA

w/3 to go: ½ oz. EKG leaf 5.41% AA

Chilled, racked to carboy, and pitched WLP007 Dry English Yeast

Primary: 2/19/2014 @ 168° F
Secondary: 2/26/2014 @ 1.016

OG: 1.042

Tasting Notes:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Rockit Cup Robust Porter Recap

A smaller, more intimate Rockit Cup this month, with three contestants: Wes Davis, Matt Young, and John Hoke. I was out of town for the Craft Writing: Beer, the Digital, and Craft Culture conference in Lexington, KY, so my version of the Rockit Cup was forced to stay home and pout. Actually, it had just been bottled, so it wasn’t really ready to go. But this is more of that digression stuff. Narration of the evening’s events are provided by Wes:

“John’s was light in color because he did not have enough dark malt, and it was also a bit more hoppy on the nose. Matt’s and mine looked identical, but mine had more head because it was over-carbed. In the end, the rankings were unanimous.”
And those rankings are:

1st: Wes Davis
2nd: Matt Young
3rd: John Hoke

I’m not sure how over-carbonation led to a victory for Wes, but then I am merely reporting the facts. Please do not, as they say, kill the messenger. I’ll make sure to bring a bottle of my now-carbonated Rockit Cup Robust Porter as a wonderful door prize to all three of our lovely contestants. After all, someone needs to help me drink it!