Monday, September 12, 2016

Pints: Munich Helles #1

I don't have much in my pipeline now, and since I have plenty of time, I thought, why not make a lager.  I decided on a munich helles as the style; a fairly simple recipe based of of Brulospher's recipe here: and lagered roughly according to the quick lager method detailed here:'s still hot out, so it should make for a very refreshing beverage for hot days. 
Ingredients for 2.5 gallon batch, 70% efficiency
4 Lbs Pilsner Malt
.5 Lbs Munich Malt Malt
1 oz Saaz (2.8% AA)
1 packet S-23 or W-34/70 Saflager yeast
Treat 3.25 gallons of softened tap water with 1/2 campden tablet.
Mash at 150F
Mash out at 170F
Boil 90 minutes
1 oz Saaz @ 60 mintues
Finishing and Fermentation:
Rehydrate the yeast in warm water per instructions.  Once wort has cooled reasonably, add the yeast and aerate well with immersion blender.  Ferment starting at 55F and ramp according to the Brulosophy quick lager schedule.
8/6/2016: Brew day.  Using my new kettle koozy to help with heat retention.  Heated to roughly 155F before adding the grain.  Seem to have nailed the mash temperature.  Using S-23 lager yeast today because the LHBS didn't have any W-34/70. Gravity going into the boil is 11 brix.  After the boil, cooling, and topping off, gravity was about 1.048.  Aerated and pitched 1 packet of rehydrated yeast.  Setpoint on temperature control set to 55F. Thermometer reads 77F.

8/9/2016: Checked gravity, looks like it was about 1.04.  Hard to tell with the relatively thin foam cap.

8/10/2016: gravity is around 1.034.  going to give it until tomorrow morning or so to before ramping the temperature.

8/11/2016:. Put the setpoint to 65F in the morning. 

8/12/2016: gravity is about 1.016.  no off flavors in the drop or so that was on the hydrometer.

8/14/2016: gravity is about 1.013

8/16/2016: gravity is about 1.013.  Changed setpoint to 70F

8/20/2016: gravity is about 1.01.  cold crashed with gelatin. kegged around this time.  Force carbed for 12 hours.  Left in the keezer at 40F.

9/11/2016: first tasting.  
Color is very light.  It's the lightest beer I have made I think.  Slight haze, most of what is in the picture is from condensation.
Smell is slightly fruitly.  None of the chunky smell present at kegging is left.  Very slight mustiness.
Taste is also slightly fruity.  A slight yeast unless is present too.  Quite refreshing.  Might have a touch of green apple flavor.  No butteriness.  Very light on the tongue.  Slight astringency.
Overall it is very tasty for a first lager.  Not sure what I would do differently.  Next time I might leave it at room temperature for an extra day or so, just to be sure everything is cleaned up.
A small glass.  The condensation makes it look

Friday, July 15, 2016

Pints: Jarrylo Ale #2

No special goal for this batch.  I wanted to use up my last packet of jarrylo, but did not want to recreate exactly jarrylo ale #1 (even though it was delicious!).  Although, in retrospect, it would have been a good test of my process; to see if I can make the same beer twice and have it be consistent.  To make it a little different, I used pilsner malt and threw an ounce of citra into it.  I was originally going to use the citra for a dry hop, but decided at the last minute to throw it in at the end of the boil.  The end result will probably be a little closer to a pale ale than a blonde, but I think it will taste okay in either case.  This beer will be the second I've brewed with the Omega labs Hot head yeast.  I was quite pleased with the results of the first batch, even though I have not tasted it chilled and carbed.  It fermented quickly and cleanly at quite a high temperature, and it had a very tasty fruit character in the uncarbed samples I tried.
Ingredients for 2.5 gallon batch, 70% efficiency
4 Lbs Pilsner Malt
.25 Lbs Acid Malt
.25 Lbs Honey Malt
1 oz Jarrylo (14.2%AA)
1 oz Citra (14.1 AA)
Omega Labs Hot Head Ale yeast (something like a vitality starter...)
Treat 3.5 gallons water with campden
Single Infusion BIAB, 148F for 60 minutes
Mash out at 170F and squeeze the bag
45 minute boil
.33 oz Jarrylo @ 30 minutes remaining
.66 oz Jarrylo and 1 oz Citra @ 3 minutes remaining
Finishing and Fermentation:
Dump into fermentor and add yeast psuedo-starter.  Ferment at room temperature (75F+).
6/11/2016: brew day.  Started at 12:30PM. Going into the boil the gravity was about 10.5 brix. Finished at 3:30pm.  Had about a quart or so too much.  Gravity in the fermentor was 1.045.  2Tbsp of omega slurry.  Aerated with the immersion blender.  About a quart too much in the fermentor as well.  Added 5 drops of fermcap as well.  Leftover wort was stored in the fridge.  it will be reboiled, cooled, and added to the fermentor when fermentation dies down.  Fermentation started quickly.

6/12/2016:  Because there appeared to be no risk of blowout, I re-boiled, cooled, and pitched the saved wort.  Checked gravity.  It was already about 1.012.

6/16/2016: gravity is about 1.012.  Krausen is gone, but it is still bubbling slowly.

6/20/2016: gravity is about 1.011.  cold crashed.

6/21/2016: Dissolved .25 tsp of gelatin in a bit of water, heated to near boiling, and stirred in.

6/23/2016:. Put on gas to force carb for 12 hours at 35psi.

6/27/2016:. Tasting. Very light looking with a white head.  Good lacing.  Bit of pear or Apple on the nose with some a touch of must.  Very light flavor, first a juicy hop flavor comes through with the expected tropical fruitiness of citra.  Very little bitterness.  Grainy breadiness on the back end.  Slight astringency...over pretty good.  Very refreshing.

7/11/2016:. Another tasting.  Crystal clear at this point.  Really doesn't have much smell.  I think the citra has subsided now.  Kind of tart now, definitely a flavor of lime rind in it with the bitterness of it as well.  Almost tastes like a mild sour... not sure if it's just the yeast esters or there is a slow infection.  If there is it is the good kind, not nasty at all.  Quite refreshing, light and drinkable. The breadiness has almost completely faded.  Slightly concerned that the slurry is contaminated.
Again, at least it looks nice...