Saturday, February 27, 2010

Collabos with a Yard Gnome

My good friend Paul and I brewed a couple batches together recently, and I'm just now catching up to posting those recipes. Once again I have to work (occasionally) which means I don't have as much time to get cracked out on strong coffee and stare at the computer screen. The job is pretty cool so far, helping out at Green Bottling, a truck based bottling line that contract bottles bombers for over 20 breweries in Oregon. It's a cool way to see the inside of a lot of breweries, make connections with the brewers, and work with some cool people. So far I have helped them bottle at Bridgeport, 10 Barrel in Bend, and Lompoc. We are headed to Ashland tomorrow for a 4 day bottling binge.

The first brew we did was a flanders red, using Al B's "Rodenbug" blend on its 2nd generation, or 3rd if you count the starter I made in between batches. The recipe is very close to the parameters set in Jeff Sparrow's Wild Brews book, although we used flaked triticale instead of corn or flaked wheat. The fermentation got a little rambunctious in the primary and blew the tinfoil off one carboy, good thing it's a sour beer.

Flanders Red, Brewed on 1/30/10
Recipe is for 12.9 gallons pre-boil, 11.7 gallons post-boil, all grain
O.G. 1.060 IBU's 16

12.25 lb. Vienna Malt
5 lb. Flaked Triticale
2 lb. Aromatic malt
2 lb. Caravienne
1.5 lb. crystal 15
.75 lb. Special B
.5 lb. crystal 120
.5 lb. crystal 75

52 gr. Willamette whole 4.7% AA 60 min

Mash 7.5 gallons water with the following additions:
5 gr. chalk
1 gr. gyspum
2 gr. calcium chloride
2 gr. baking soda

Mash in to 156
Forgot to put in the triticale! Put in at 20 minutes, dropping the temp to 148.
Pulled .75 gallons of mash liquor and heated to boiling, adding back to mash.
This raised temp back to 158
Total mash time 75 minutes

Sparge with 8.5 gallons at 170

Collect 12.9 gallons at 1.054 = 81% efficiency

Boil 60 minutes
yeast nutrient at 10 minutes

Chilled to 70, aerated by shaking for 2 minutes
pitched a slurry of AlB's Rodenbug blend / cali ale yeast
Fermented in the mid 60's for about 3 weeks, then racked to secondary for aging. Gravity was at 1.020.

The second brew was a baltic porter, a style that we both like a lot, and Paul's first lager. We started off with an intensive baltic porter tasting at Belmont Station, but sadly most of the beers were overly aged and overly oxidized, tasting of nothing but prunes and cardboard. The best one we had is the one I have repeatedly poked fun at Paul for drinking, Black Boss, because I'm of the opinion that there's no way they could sell it for $2 for 16 oz. in the states and actually put quality ingredients in it. But actually it tastes great, striking a similar flavor balance to a Belgian Dark strong, in that the alcohol warmth helps to keep it from being overly sweet or syrupy. I'm pretty sure there are almost no hops in Black Boss , which is probably one way they pinch the pennies in making it. Either that or it's government subsidized!
We tried the Fuller's London Porter too because of a note in the BJCP style guidelines about Baltic Porters sharing some malt similarities to brown porters.

Paul took some nice photos of the brewday and you can see them here. Note the cold steep on the carafa malt. That was a first for both of us.

Unfortunately, the first 2 lagers I made this year seem to have some DMS issues, which has to be from the long time it took me to chill the wort (about 40 minutes with a plate chiller). I'm going to try to alleviate some of the corny DMS aroma by bubbling CO2 through the beer repeatedly. I'll post an update if that process helps at all. We cooled the baltic porter using an immersion chiller to get it to 90 or so to avoid DMS formation, and then ran it through a plate chiller to knock out to pitching temp.

Baltic Thunderbolt!
Recipe is for 13.5 gallons pre-boil, 12 gallons post-boil, all grain
O.G. 1.076 F.G. 1.015 ABV 8.1% IBU's 30

19 lb. Weyermann pilsner malt
6 lb. munich malt
3 lb. caramunich 60
1.5 lb. crystal 120
(2 lb. carafa special 550L, steeped at room temp for 12 hours in .5 gallons water)

37 gr. Yakima Magnum whole 13.5% AA 60 min

7.5 gallons plus:
7 gr. chalk
3 gr. calcium chloride
3 gr. baking soda

Mash in all grains except the carafa at 150 for 70 minutes
Add the cold steeped carafa and stir in, rest 10 minutes

Sparge with 8 gallons at 168, recirc 5 qt.
Collect 12.75 gallons at 1.072 = 79% efficiency
Topped up to 13.5 gallons

Boil 90 minutes
yeast nutrient & whirlfloc at 10 minutes

Chill to 52 degrees, using immersion chiller and then plate chiller
Aerate by hand for 4 minutes (ran out of oxygen)
pitched 1/2 yeast cake per carboy of wyeast 2124 from the smoked helles
Fermented at 52ish for 3 weeks, then a D-rest at 62 for 1 week
Racked to keg on 3/24, tastes great and none of the DMS flavors that the previous batches had.

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