Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dandelion Flower Saison Brewday

The dandelion saisons I made last year were all delightful, so it is time to start another round of them while all the flowers are bright and fresh and plentiful. In last year’s version, I was also experimenting with corn; I’ve dropped the corn for now to focus on making a table-strength version of this beer. I also cut the flower petals off of the head/stem for this year’s version to try and emphasize the flower-based contributions to the beer, and to minimize some the green/grassy flavors found in last year’s version.. This is the first in a run of yard-inspired table saisons to start off the spring in the correct manner.

227. Table Saison w/ Dandelion Flowers
Mash:
4 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. Best Malz Wheat
½ lb. Acidulated 

Mash @ 152° F for 70 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water, 4 g. gypsum, and 3 g. CaCl; collected 2 gallons @ 1.058
Batch sparge @ 167° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 gallons @ 1.012

Topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 oz. Azacca leaf 9.9% AA

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/0 to go: 3.15 oz. dandelion flowers (snipped off base so mainly just petals)
1 g. coriander
1 g. grain of paradise

Let stand for 20 minutes, chilled, & pitched vial of Wyeast 3276 from Brett Smith

Brewed: 4/24/2016 @ 69° F
Secondary: 
Bottle: 

OG: 1.030
FG:

Tasting Notes: 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Barrel Project Lambic Solera First Pull

Today was the inaugural pull from the Lambic Solera Barrel. I didn’t realize that it was one year to the day from the last addition until I got home and started bottling the first three gallons. Anyway, we pulled six gallons total, three which got bottled straight, and three that got put onto three pounds of Michigan tart cherries. The smaller pull was to see where the beer was at; it seems headed in a positive direction currently (see below), so the plan is for a larger 20-25 gallon pull later in the summer. After the the initial pull, we topped the barrel off with almost ten gallons of 221. New Year’s Lambic and 222. Lambic Party

As to the beer coming out of the barrel, it was bright, tart, and crisply acidic. There is still a fair amount of bourbon in the beer—that will most likely take several more pulls to completely work itself out—but it is balanced by the tannic oak character. It was not as funky or developed as some of the other lambics I’ve made that were of a similar age, but we can wait and how this plays out over time. Certainly a very drinkable and enjoyable beer, even flat straight outta the barrel. I’m looking forward to seeing what it tastes like when it is carbonated.

Solera 1: Three gallons
Bottled: 3/20/2016 w/ 2.5 oz. table sugar

Tasting Notes:

Solera 2: Three gallons racked onto 3 lbs. of Michigan tart cherries
Secondary: 3/20/2016
Bottled:

Tasting Notes:

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Old Beer Blending Party

Sometimes, things get put on the back burner of the list of brewing projects to fulfill, or just plain get lost in the shuffle of brewing. Maybe you dont brew enough to have that problem, but I certainly do. I’ve been trying to clean up and organize the numerous carboys gracing my dining room (at some point, I’ll actually start calling the room what it actually is: our bicycle and carboy room), and I realized that tucked in amongst the all the various current projects were several older carboys that had fallen by the wayside. So I pulled them out, tasted them, and decided to try my hand at blending. You know, to get things moving again, and away from their current de-railed project trajectories. Several of these were quite acidic (both versions of 165 had dry airlocks) and sharp; I decided to incorporate batch 203 to bulk up the overall volume, and give me enough to try two different blends. 

The first blend went into the 10 gallon oak barrel that also lives in the bike/carboy room.

10 Gallon Barrel Blend:
151b. ECY05 Brett Blend #9: approx. 1 ½ gallons @ 1.000 (July 2013)
165. The Great Brett Experiment II 005/008: approx. 4 gallons @ 1.006 (December 2013)
196b. Rueuze Lambic: approx. 1 ½ gallons @ 1.000 (February 2015)
203. One Last Lambic Hurrah: approx. 3 gallons @ 1.000 (March 2015)

The second blend went onto the wild raspberries that were previously used in 168b. Wild Raspberry Lambic; I bottled the beer and then added this beer to it. Im hoping to pick up some tannic skin character to round the beer as a whole; the left over beer mixed in with the fruit was more than enough to already give the beer a pinkish hue.

Second-Use Wild Raspberry Blend:
151b. ECY05 Brett Blend #9: 1 gallon @ 1.000 (July 2013)
196b. Rueuze Lambic: 1 gallon @ 1.000 (February 2015)
203. One Last Lambic Hurrah: 1 gallon @ 1.000 (March 2015)

I’ll probably rack the barrel beer onto fruit before bottling it, and possibly try and finish it with champagne yeast since I want to make sure there are no post-bottling surprises. 

10 Gallon Barrel Blend
Barrel: 2/21/2016
Secondary:
Bottled:

Second-Use Wild Raspberry Blend
Blended: 2/21/2016
Bottled:3/20/2016 @ 1.000

Tasting Notes:

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cleaning Up Brewday

Today was about moving stuff along; after two weeks, nothing had happened with the two cakes from the Great Brett Experiment II that were on the better tasting side, so I racked both onto the yeast cake from 203. One Last Lambic Hurrah after the Old Beer Blending Party. However, what I am really interested to see is what becomes of the wort that got dumped on the remains of 132a. Wild Yeast Lambic Raspberry, which had done something since the last time I checked; the previous beer on that cake got racked onto the yeast cake from 196a. Yeast Bay Lo Christi. Buncha fucked up stuff that will most likely get dumped. Still, gonna play that game.

224. Cleaning Up
Mash:
4 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. Best Malz Wheat
1 lb. MFB Vienna
½ lb. Acidulated 

Mash @ 153° F for 80 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water, 4 g. gypsum, and 3 g. CaCl; collected 2 gallons @ 1.062
Batch sparge @ 168° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 ¼ @ 1.012

Topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 oz. Choice debittered hops

w/10 to go: 1 oz. Comet pellet 8.6% AA
5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

Chilled & split into 3 gallon carboys between 165 002 Great Brett II, 165 009 Great Brett II, and 132a. Wild Yeast Lambic Raspberry

224a. Great Brett II 002/224b. Great Brett II 009
Brewed: 2/7/2016
Secondary: 2/21/2016; nothing happening, so dumped both 3 gallon carboys onto yeast cake from 203. One Last Lambic Hurrah
Bottle:

OG: 1.038
FG:

Tasting Notes: 

224c. Wild Yeast Lambic Raspberry
Brewed: 2/7/2016
Secondary: 
Bottle:

OG: 1.038
FG:

Tasting Notes: 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Flanders Red Brewday

Another rift on a similar yearly theme. The main changes to this one were to raise the mash temperature and use a half pound of caramel malt, mostly because last years version was called thin and over-carbonated by AHA NHC First Round Judges. While I know the contributions from the caramel malt will ultimately disappear—as will the long-chain dextrins from the higher mash temperature—via the slower acting wild yeast, I figured experimenting and waiting to see the end results was the best path forward. See you next year! 

223. Flanders Red
Mash:
4 lbs. Best Malz Pilsner
4 lbs. Weyermann Vienna
1 lb. Weyermann Dark Munich
1 lb. Best Malz Wheat
1 lb. Special B
½ lb. Maltexco/Patagonia Caramel 70-80 L. 

Mash @ 158° F for 60 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water, 4 g. gypsum, and 2 g. CaCl; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.076
Batch sparge @ 160° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 gallons @ 1.028

Topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 ½ oz. Choice debittered hops

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

Chilled and pitched mason jar of ECY 02 Flemish from 195. Flanders Red; added .55 oz. Hungarian oak, house toast

Brewed: 1/23/2016
Secondary:
Bottled:

OG: 1.056
FG:

Tasting Notes:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lambic Party Brewday

Slow and steady wins the race. Once this beer and 221. are ready, they will be the replacement beers for the first small pull from the Barrel Project, the goal being to see where the barrel is at, and to then start planning for the next larger pull later in the year. I’m guessing the pull will be three gallons to bulk age and five gallons on sour cherries, but we’ll make the specific call on game day. 

222. Lambic Party
Mash:
7 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
5 lbs. unmalted wheat

Mash @ 158° F for 90 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water, 4 g. gypsum, and 4 g. CaCl; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.064
Batch sparge @ 169° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 gallons @ 1.024

Topped off to 7 gallons; brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 oz. Choice debittered hops 

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient (added w/ boiling water after beer racked to carboy)

Chilled and racked onto ECY01 Bug Farm yeast cake from 181b. ECY01 Bug Farm

Brewed: 1/14/2016
Secondary: 2/28/2016 @ 1.002
Bottle: 3/20/16

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes (2/28/2016): Tart and game-y; lemon zest and pith up front, followed by earthiness and game-y brett funk. Looks like the unmalted wheat is paying off. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year’s Lambic Brewday

Time to start out the New Year right, and get back to massively over-producing lambic. In part, this is because I am thinking ahead to the first pull off of the Barrel Lambic Solera, which should happen in a month or so. But also because I am ridiculously intent on building up a massive reservoir of lambic and gueuze, and that requires having plenty on hand. We’re getting there. Happy New Years, everyone. 

221. New Year’s Lambic
Mash:
7 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
5 lbs. unmalted wheat

Mash @ 158° F for 90 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water, 4 g. gypsum, and 4 g. CaCl; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.070
Batch sparge @ 170° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 gallons @ 1.024

Topped off to 7 gallons; brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 oz. Choice debittered hops 

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

Chilled and racked onto ECY Bug County yeast cake from 201. Post-Barrel Lambic 

Brewed: 1/1/2016 @ 64° F
Secondary: 2/27/2016 @ 1.004
Barrel: 3/20/16

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes (2/27/2016): Bright and tart going into the secondary; lemonade-like with some funky undercurrents and light spritziness from the CO2 still in solution.