Thursday, May 21, 2015

German Pilsner

Ruh roh.  As if I didn't have enough things to work on in my brewing skill set, I decided I needed to tackle lager brewing.  I recently gave up on hoppy beers (spoiler alert, that beer is drinkable but mediocre at best) and have enough sour beer in the house to kill someone, so I didn't know what to brew for a summer drinker.  I had a bit of a falling out with my kolsch last time I brewed it, so I didnt want to do that.  I nixed a wheat, thought about a blonde/golden but then started reading about quick lagers (Tasty McDole first brought this to my attention on the Brewing Network) and thought, why not?  

So I'm leaving ales behind for a batch and jumping into lagers.  I think this comes from the desire to have a super crushable beer for the summer.  Oh and it doesn't hurt that I had Firestone Walker Pivo Pils for the first time and fell in love.  Now I'm off to create something in a similar vein.

I want this beer to be crisp, lower ABV, and slightly hoppy.  Something you could put away a few of.  I'll be following the following quick lager profile:

-Pitch massive starter into 50F wort.
-Bump the temperature up 5F every 12 hours once 50% attenuation is hit until you reach ~68F.
-Diacetyl rest
-Cold crash, gelatin fine, bottle.

I'm expecting this to take a few weeks.  I'm not in a rush so I have no problem with this taking longer, but I would like to see how fast I can turn around a decent beer for future reference.  

German Pilsner

2.5 Gallons
74% efficiency
90 minute boil

4.5 lb Best Malz Pilsner
0.25 lb Carapils

0.5 oz Tettnang (60 min)
0.5 oz Spalter Select (15 min)
1 oz Tettnang (Flameout)
0.5 oz Spalter Select (Flameout)

Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager @50F.  Mashed at 148F.

OG 1.050 | FG 1.010 | ABV 5.2% | IBU 29

Ca 70 | Mg 2 | Na 0 | Cl 90 | SO4 26 | HCO3 38

5/17/15: Brewday.  Pitched 2L starter next morning after cold crash.  OG 1.049.  Mash pH 5.35.

5/21/15: Gravity down to 1.024.  Bumped ambient up to 58F.

5/22/15: Bumped ambient to 68F.

5/26/15: Gravity down to 1.007.  Began ramp down to <50F to gelatin fine/lager.

6/1/15: Gravity down to 1.004.  Lagering at 40F.

6/11/15: Bottled

Friday, May 8, 2015

Scrappy Hound House IPA #1

Homebrewed IPAs.  My nemesis.  I've brewed quite a few, I've tasted quite a few, and they're always lacking something from top tier commercial examples.  It's a brightness, a cleanness, something that I can't ever achieve in a homebrew setup.  It's happened so much that I'm convinced you can't homebrew a top tier commercial quality IPA (and you DEFINITELY can't if you bottle condition).  

That being said, I'm an idiot and stubborn and tried to brew one.  I was shooting for a Hill Farmstead style IPA.  High mineral content, back loaded hops to produce a very light bitterness, and a smooth drinking experience.  I also took a page out of Noble Ale Work's Shower series which I believe are 100% golden promise malt, or at least they lean heavily on it.

This might be my last hoppy beer for awhile.  I'm tired of being disappointed, these beers aren't cheap and there are a ton of locally available hoppy beers that will quench my thirst.  

IPA #1

3 gallons
74% efficiency
60 minute boil

7 lb Golden Promise (100%)

0.5 oz Chinook (60 min)
0.25 oz Citra (15 min)
0.25 oz Amarillo (15 min)
0.25 oz Centennial (15 min)
1.75 oz Citra (Whirlpool)
0.75 oz Amarillo (Whirlpool)
0.75 oz Centennial (Whirlpool)
1 oz Citra (Dry Hop)
1 oz Amarillo (Dry Hop)
1 oz Centennial (Dry Hop)

Wyeast 1318 @ 66F.  Mashed at 150F.

OG 1.063 | FG 1.011 | ABV 6.9% | IBU 58

Ca 176 | Mg 2 | Na 62 | Cl 110 | SO4 254 | HCO3 203

4/18/15: Brewed

4/29/15: Gravity down to 1.018.  Cold crashed and added gelatin.

5/4/15: Dryhopped

5/10/15: Bottled.  FG 1.011.  6% ABV.