Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Märzen with Kiln Amber Malt

I was recently chewing on a bit of Franco-Belges Kiln Amber malt, and the flavor was absolutely amazing.  I knew right away I had to brew something up to highlight the great flavor of this malt.  Right around this same time I tapped a keg of Schwarzbier that a I brewed last spring (double batch) and the extended aging time (~8mos) has made this beer even better than it was early on.  This flavor epiphany has made me really want to brew up a few more lagers while the weather is still cold, so that come fall time I have some amazing well-aged lagers on tap for the holidays, but I digress....

What better way to showcase the toasty/nutty/light roast flavor of a malt like Kiln amber than a well aged lager!?!  The aging will smooth out the flavor and really let the lightly roasted  and toasty flavor come to the forefront.  The timing also seemed perfect (its March after all) to brew up my first Märzen.

One thing I did out of the ordinary was adjust the water profile a bit differently than I normally do.  This time I targeted a bit higher calcium, and tipped the chloride/sulfate ratio a bit more towards the chloride (1.6 Cl: 1 SO4) so this should be a fairly malty beer in the end.

Amber Märzen
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
9.0Vienna (Weyermann)
3.0Kiln Amber (Franco-Belges)
Amt (oz)TypeTime
0.50Magnum (15.5%)70
Mash Schedule
132F0.75qt/lb15 min
152F1.25qt/lb45 min
170F2.0qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastSaflager W34/70 - x2 & rehydrated
83% effIBU24
7gal BoilFG

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Moszaccalype - Review

Appearance - Extremely dense white head that is at least 1 finger thick until the glass is empty (gotta love all those hop oils!), very clear golden color with orange highlights (sorry the pic is of an almost empty glass, I couldnt help myself!)

Aroma - Tropical fruit bomb! Tangerine, pineapple, some mango and candied fruit, with a finish of apricot and grapefruit. The aroma is out of this world awesome!

Taste - Just like the aroma huge candied fruit flavor (berry), tangerine, apricot and a hint of passion-fruit.  A nice malty backbone and an exceptionally smooth bitterness (back of tongue/throat) that does not linger and makes you beg for another drink.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. When I first started drinking this the carbonation was very low and the passion-fruit and tangerine flavors were amplified, now with a higher CO2 in there the beer displays more berry and apricot than before.

Drinkability - Halfway gone as I type this, this beer is awesome.  The only reason I have half the keg left is because I am babying it and only drinking it occasionally!

Brewday 1/3118/2062 - Recipe & Notes
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Le Bâtard - a Petite Belgian Golden

Originally this beer was supposed to have pear juice mixed in at a relatively high proportion (2-3 gallons), but my normal source of pear juice no longer carries/makes it, leaving me with few options.

The only thing I could find locally was Knudsen pear juice, but it was unbelievable cloudy, and the ubiquitous Vinters Reserve bases.  I've used the Vinter's pear base before and found it not only lacking in flavor, but it fermented completely dry (~1.000) which shouldn't happen if its only pear.  Pear juice contains a high level of unfermentable sugars and should finish, in my experience, in the 1014-1020 range at a bare minimum.  The dry finish left me thinking something funny is going on with their "Pear" base.

I originally wanted to add the juice to emphasize the pear esters that the yeast I picked produces (WY1388).  Instead I guess I'll just rely on the yeast.  This is a relatively simple beer, single malt, single hop, little bit of sugar to dry things out.  Not quite what I originally intended, but I already had the yeast starter made and with the pending arrival of a baby I have to be on a schedule to get my kegs filled in short order.
This beer cause me a lot of headaches during the brewing session.  The day was a double batch day, with this beer the second of the day.

I re-gapped my mill for my first brew and got great efficiency, however for some reason the mill couldn't grab the Castle barely malt (maybe its plumper?) so I had to re-re-gap my mill, then then my manifold in my MT came loose......three times........but that was after the fiasco where for some reason it didn't look like I was getting conversion and the pH was somehow only 5.1??!!?! (cloudy and full of starch - ended up adding 1# more malt) so the mash turned into a 2.5hr mess.......This beer really was a bastard to brew

Once I find another source for quality pear juice/concentrate, I plan re-brewing this beer and mixing in the juice i at a high concentration, adding a touch of vanilla and finishing the beer with a bit of a roasted almond extract that I make using my fat washing process.  That sounds like an amazing beer to me, as I write this I'm thinking I might even use Sherry flor instead of 1388. Using the flor Im thinking I might be able to pull some nougat flavors out of it again like the last time I used it........

Le Bâtard
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
11.0Belgian Pils (Castle)
0.5Table Sugar
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Nelson Sauvin  (11.4%)20
Mash Schedule
170F2qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBelgian Strong Ale WY1388 (600mL starter)
Fermentation Temp66 ± 2°F - 7 days
84% effIBU21
7gal BoilFG

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