Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tripel Double - Split batch Tripel, Half Brett, Half "Clean"

Brewing a golden strong has been on my to do list for a while now.  In fact,my to do list is getting pretty long and looking at it is getting kind of overwhelming!  When I was getting ready for this brew I knew that I wanted to do a few beers with a fairly similar profile, but with moderate amounts of differences between them.  I generally do very few high ABV beers, so while I was preparing starters/etc I decide to compromise on a two of the batches and knock them both out at once.

My original intention was to do two beers
  1. A Belgian Strong, fermented with 1388 to emphasize the pear esters, possibly using pear juice, and a small amount of Nelson Sauvin hops late in the boil or at flame out
  2. A Pils based malt bill, Brett Trois or Sherry flor, pear juice, vanilla, almond liqueur, French Oak?
After thinking about the best way to approach doing both of these beers in a single go I decide to go with a Pilsner base using fuggles for bittering, and adding sugar to both to help dry them out, but adding it post-boil to use different types in each batch.  I also skipped the Nelson for the time being, I plan on tasting the Brett version to see how it tastes prior to bottling, and if the flavors mesh I will dry hop with 0.5oz.

For the sugar additions I wanted to use something flavorful in the "clean" batch and something neutral in the Brett batch (wanted to make sure nothing overshadowed the pear juice addition).  For the "clean" batch I went with coconut palm sugar, which has an amazing depth of flavor and is quite dark (see pic); while in the brett version I went with plain old table sugar.  Each of these beers has been fermenting now for about a week at 65F in my chest freezer.  I also ended up having about 2.5gal of extra wort with a slightly lower OG that I added about 24oz of Marionberry Jam.  The jam is just about the best I have ever tried, lots of blackberry flavor, with hints of blueberry and uses more fruit and less sugar than most.  From what I'm told is seems to be regionally available in the early part of the year and then quickly disappears.

Tripel Double
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
Coconut Palm Sugar - "Clean" half
Table sugar - Brett half
TBDPear Juice Syrup - Brett Half
Amt (oz)TypeTime
3.0Fuggles (4.2%)60
Mash Schedule
170F2qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBelgian Strong Ale WY1388 (2L Starter)
Brett Trois WL644 (400mL yeast cake)
79% eff**IBU26
7.5gal BoilFG-
Notes: * - OG prior to adding pear juice syrup, ** - efficiency was much higher if you take the extra 2.5gal into account (94%), Pear juice syrup will be added once primary fermentation has died down; vanilla, almond liqueur(homemade), and/or oak will be added at a later date and the post will be updated to reflect the amounts used

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dunkelweizen Redux

Not much to say about this beer.  It is basically a redo of one I did last year that I really liked a lot.  The only difference is that I decided to take the OG up a bit. In hindsight writing about it Im not sure that I like the idea of that as much as I did when I brewed it. Only time will tell if this beer will have the great balance that the previous one did.

One thing I have noticed on the past two wheat beers  Ive done is that my efficiency dropped a bit on both.  Now I don't do many wheat beers (malted at least) so it may be that I'm not crushing the wheat malt quite as finely as I need to get my efficiency up where I like it (high 80's).

When I use unmalted wheat, and well, really any unmalted grain I tend to grind it to flour.  I guess my question to those malted wheat beer aficionados out there is, how fine do you grind you wheat malt? And are you getting a different efficiency with those types of beers than you normally do?? Its more of a curiosity to me than anything else.

Dunkelweizen Redux
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
5.75Vienna (Weyermann)
5.75Pale Wheat (Weyermann)
3.0 ozCarafa II
Amt (oz)TypeTime
3.0Hallertau Mittelfrueh (3.3%)60
Mash Schedule
170F2.0qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastGerman Wheat WY 3333 (750mL starter)
79% effIBU18
7.25gal BoilFG

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Brett T. Nelson - Brett Trois IPA

I know I'm not the first person to put this combination together, though I must admit I'm not entirely sure where I came across the mix.  Whoever or wherever my source of inspiration for this beer is, I appreciate it! Something about the mix (grapey, tropical fruit, gooseberries, and white wine) just sounds amazing!

Its been a bit since my last 100% brett beer.  In fact my funky, wild and sour brewing in general has been a bit lacking in the last year or so.  I plan on changing that in the next few months with lots of ideas I've been saving up during my brewing hiatus over the last year, though I will sprinkle in some "normal" beers to keep the taps flowing.

For this beer it couldn't be more simple, a grist of Vienna, copious amounts of Nelson Sauvin hops and Brett Trois. I'm expecting this to be a introduction to Brettanomyces for all the new hop-heads I've met since I moved to the Inland NW. I think this recipe is more of a bridge between a 'normal' beer and a wild and funky one (Brett T is just too fruity and un-brett like when the beer is young).  Slowly I hope to bring other local homebrewers over to the funk.

From an otherwise very simple recipe, I did decide to take the complexity up one notch; I adjusted the water profile.  For this beer I wast targeting a profile to provide a relatively balanced beer (Malt:IBUs), though slightly tipped towards the malt. To do this I adjusted the water profile by adding some gypsum and calcium chloride.

One thing that I really do wish is that we could get whole leaf NZ hops here in the States.  I know that shipping hops over seas makes this unlikely due to the shipping costs, but I really do hate pellets.  Ive always avoided them because of the mess of dealing with the sludge.  Now I suppose I could use a spider or a hop sock, but that's extra equipment and mess to deal with. To top it off I far and away prefer the extra filtering capabilities that whole hops offer, which really help me to keep junk out of the fermentor.

One really nice thing about this brew day was that unlike my other recent brewing attempts this brew day went off without a hitch.  No mid-mash soldering, no boil overs, no leaking HLT fittings, no missing equipment or broken wall warts. All in all it was actually kind of enjoyable for once! I think the best part of the day  though was when I got a good laugh from my dogs.  They hung out with me in the garage because it was raining and I hadn't really paid any attention to them.  Towards the end of the day I looked over and them and realized I had created the first two dog centipede! bwahahaha.

Brett T. Nelson
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)60
1.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)15
1.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)5
2.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)0
2.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)Keg Hop
Mash Schedule
170F2qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBrett Trois WLP644 (2L stepped starter)
84% effIBU55
7gal BoilFG

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