Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A couple other things

Katie is a wonderful person for 1) buying me beer supplies and 2) supporting my habits.

Not exactly brewing.....

I also found a recipe for making Bailey's Irish Creme from scratch. Looks like we're going to be having home made car bombs! WOO HOO.

Amber and Stout

Sooooo in preparation for St. Patrick's Day in March, David and I brewed a batch of Amber that only took around 30 minutes to brew. We started with a True Brew "Amber" kit and added some black patent and honey malt for a little more flavor. I had a lot going on after we brewed, so once it went into the secondary fermenter, it stayed there for a while. The beer was impressively clear since it had so long to clarify. It's sitting in my bedroom closet getting carbonate and delicious. Thanks to David for not helping me completely destroy my kitchen this time.
The stout I have currently in the primary fermenter was showing a lot of activity and CO2 production from the air lock. Unfortunately I didn't think that the brew was going to need any extra care during the primary fermentation, but that wasn't the case. I checked in on the beer during day two and found the air lock clogged and beer on the top of the outside of the fermenter. A little foam block and we're back in business!
The only problem I am having now is.....where to put all the beer!

Lets try this again....

Imperial "5400" Pale Ale
I started with a clone recipe for Dogfish Head's 90 minute pale ale, and came up with:

9.0 lbs Pilsner Dry Malt Extract
1.5 lbs British Amber Malt (20-35 lovibond)
1.75 lbs Pilsner Malt
2.0 oz Amarillo Pellet Hops
0.75 oz Simcoe Pellet Hops
0.50 oz Warrior Pellet Hops
1.0 oz Centennial Hops Plug
1.0 oz Chinook Hops Plug
1.0 oz Simcoe Hops Plug

I steeped the grains in 2 gallons of water at 150-160 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. I added the malt extract and started adding hops that were separated into 90 medicine cups, one cup every minute for 90 minutes. The addition of drinking a shot of Sam Adams Octoberfest with ever medicine cup of beer was wonderful, until it digressed into drinking a few big sips out of the boot once a minute. After straining and cooling the wort into the fermenter, I took a gravity reading of 1.076.
The my local home brew store sells this amazingly magical product called foam block. I have no idea what it is, but it will stop a brewing pot of beer from boiling over, and it also stops fermenters from exploding. After about 24 hours I added the foam block and not a moment too soon. The foam had almost breached the air lock. After the gravity readings leveled out, I transfered the beer to the secondary fermenter and added the plug hops. I've never worked with plugs before, and they are quite potent.
Bottling blah blah blah and wow a few weeks later this is one amazing beer! I don't think it's quite as hoppy as the Dogfish original, but the bitterness is definitely present. The finish on my version is incredibly floral. The color has really cleared with age, and the addition of a wirlfloc tablet with about 15 minutes left in the boil.
I went with a Wyeast Whitbread yeast (1099), which imparts a "mild and slightly fruity fermentation profile," according to the Wyeast website. There was a lot of discussion online about using the Ringwood yeast. I don't know how much of a difference it would make, but the whitbread really works with the hop and malt profile I was looking for.