Brewing for an Occasion


Well, a friend of mine is just about to graduate from the University of Montana. Party at my place. And what’s better for entertaining than homemade beer? For mass appeal among craft beer drinkers, I’m thinking an American pale ale. Brew along at home, reader.

This beer was sort of a spur of the moment in-store recipe idea. I believe it was about 95% American 2-row and the remaining grain was Crystal 60L. Kettle hops were low-alpha german hops to ~50IBU’s. Dryhopped with an ounce each of Galaxy and Comet.

Here we go

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It’s very cold out so I’m using hot tap water to preheat my mash tun

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Mashing in at about 152F. Multiple hot water additions were made to maintain temperature. I brewed this almost as a no-sparge batch.

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Vorlauf here. Just about the color I was hoping for!

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Cold Break

 

 

It All Works Out

I’m not a perfectionist. That much is certain. After boiling 1.5 gallons of wort of the side of my brew kettle, I topped off with tap water and let it do it’s thing. A few weeks later, I’m sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a nice bubbly pint of the stuff.

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Such a nice color. While it’s not what I wanted, I’m happy to have it. As it stands, malty and flavorful, not hoppy but a bit bitter, I’m tempted to call it a Blonde Ale. Fermented down to a fairly dry 1.010, and it is crisp and smooth.

 

Winter is Coming (Making Brown Beer)

Most of the beer I make is yellow. And I like my yellow beer. But as it gets colder, I find myself craving roasty flavors and dark beer. How about a brown ale?


“Big Brown” Brown Ale/Porter? 6gallons, All-Grain

Grain:                                                                                                                                                                     8lbs. Montana 2-row barley                                                                                                                              5lbs. Munich Malt                                                                                                                                                  1lb. Chocolate Malt                                                                                                                                                  4oz. Crystal 80L                                                                                                                                                        4oz. Roasted Barley

2oz East Kent Goldings @60mins

Wyeast British Ale II


 

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watching the pot this time…

Original Gravity measured @ 1.057. We’ll see what happens.

So What am I doing here? Part 1.

A good question to ask my self, in many ways. What am I doing making a blog? Well, I’m hoping to use this as a place to keep track of my home brewing progress and brew logs, if that’s even a good reason. I also intend to use this as a place to think and write about a hobby I love, and perhaps whatever else comes to mind.  It’s an excuse to write more and possibly to brew more beer.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

As winter approaches, and the mercury drops, I find myself wanting a strong beer. For whatever reason I’m thinking, American Strong Ale?

Is that a real thing? Whatever. I’m imagining something that’s golden in color and malt-forward. Maybe in the form of a Single-Malt and Single-HOP(SMASH) beer? Lets make something up.

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5 Gallon batch

Grain Bill:                                                                                                                                                   14lbs. American 2-Row Barley

Hops:                                                                                                                                                                2oz. Centennial @ 60 minutes

Yeast:                                                                                                                                                           Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Mash                                                                                                                                                              Single Infusion 152 for 60minutes

 

Now, I’m imagining something that has a lot of body and smooth malt flavor. But of course, I’m not expert.

My kettle is too small. I know this. I’ve been working on upgrading my original 3gallon setup, which was a bucket inside another bucket, to a serviceable 5gallon batch system. Thus far, that consists of a 10gallon Igloo cooler with a false bottom, and a 6gallon stainless steel kettle. In order to boil this considerably larger volume of liquid, and to take my brewing out of the house, my latest addition is a Dark Star 2.0 propane burner. This gives me a lot of heating power, which I can ignorantly underestimate.

As the wort reached a boil, it was still at full blast(a rookie mistake). And of course I was boiling 5.5gallons of wort in a 6gallon kettle. I realize that sounds like a dumb thing to do, and it is. But bigger pots are expensive and will have to wait. So in a matter of moments, as I watched in horror and fumbled for the burner control, more than 1.5gallons of wort boiled over the pot’s rim in a matter of seconds. Shit.

Well, I’ve still got 3.5gallons of wort, now with hops and cooled for fermenting, so we’ll make due eh? I measured the gravity at 1.080, around my target, but my volume is too low. I think that I’d rather drink more beer than have the strong stuff, and so I add 1.5gallons of boiled and cooled water. Siphoned into fermenter and yeast pitched.

The new gravity is 1.050, and we’ll see what happens.

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Haphazard because…

…I like it that way.

Making beer when low on funds, inexperienced, and self taught.  I’ve been brewing  All-Grain beer with my own recipes for about two years now. I thought I might find somewhere to keep track of them. I suppose that is the purpose of this blog, but I can’t promise that it will be entirely about beer…