Monday, April 6, 2009

San Diego, Sixpoint, & Saison

Don't forget to pack your beer koozy to the beach!

I'm going out to San Diego on Thursday with my girlfriend for 5 days! This is my first real vacation in a year (besides going home for Christmas, which doesn't count) and my first time to San Diego. We'll be staying with my homebrewing friend "Chillindamos" and his wife. So, I'll take lots of pics and hit some breweries and get back to you with a blog update afterwards. This is sort of a "what would it be like to live here" trip. For some strange reason, I don't want to live in NYC for my entire life!

In other news, I've been continuing the Sixpoint internship, and really enjoying it, although I still haven't been there for an actual brewday. This Saturday, we bottled about 30 gallons of various Sixpoint beers for samples. In the past, they've actually done this from a bottling bucket with priming sugar! I'm sure you homebrewers can imagine how labor intensive this is. Also, I think that by bottle conditioning with priming sugar, the beer is subtley different from the force-carbonated & kegged product. So, Craig asked me if I could bring down my Blichman Beergun to make the job easier , and I was happy to oblige.

After using the Beergun to bottle 30 gallons of beer, I can officially give it a thumbs-up review. It took a while to figure out the pressure settings to eliminate foam. We attempted to bottle the beers at room temperature, but we experienced some pretty bad foam-up till we moved the whole operation into the walk-in cooler. After that we just hung out in the walk-in for hours, and once we got everything dialed in, our actual beer waste was less than 12 oz. per 15 gallons of beer bottled. It's not fast, but if you had 2 going at once, it would be a very efficient operation. Sixpoint is going to order 1 or 2 for bottling at the brewery now.

Then on Sunday, Ray and I brewed up a saison in his backyard. The weather was great, and Doug joined us to hang out and help brew. Both Ray and Doug had some excellent witbiers to drink during the brew session.

Saison with Demerara Sugar (all grain)
13.5 gallons pre-boil, Pre-boil gravity: 1.045 before sugar
12 gallons post boil gravity, O.G. 1.058
IBU's 30
Efficiency 71%

19.5 lb. Durst Pils malt
1 lb. Wheat malt
12 oz. Armoatic malt
8 oz. raw spelt
8 oz. flaked barley

2 lb. organic demerara sugar (like sugar in the raw, but slightly darker)

25 gr. German Magnum pellets 13.6% 60 min
28 gr. Styrian Goldings pellets 3.5% 15 min
28 gr. EKG pellets 4.8% 15 min
56 gr. Styrian Goldings pellets 3.5% 0 min
28 gr. EKG pellets 6% 0 min

Wyeast 3724 Saison yeast from previous batch

Mash in 6 gallons at 130, rest 15 minutes
Add 1.5 gallons boiling water to raise to 146, rest 90 min
Sparge with about 8.5 gallons, collected only 12.75 gallons.

Topped up to 13.5, added sugar at 90 minutes.
Boil 90 minutes, hops as noted.
Added 1 tab whirfloc at 15 min, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient at 10 min

Chilled, whirpooled, and collected 10.5 gallons
Oxygenated for 1 minute per carboy. Pitched yeast at 68 degrees.
The beer is taking off a little slowly, so I think the yeast was a little on the low-pitching side. But I'm pretty sure it will be just fine.

One of the coolest things about this beer was watching the amazing, stringy protein break due to the protein rest and the raw grains used!

1 comment:

Ray G said...

damn we brewed this beer along time ago, sure wish it was carbed up and in my kegerator.....