Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Saison du Bruegel

So, fancy yeasts are hard to get up here, beyond some wyeast...so when I saw that Bootleg Biology had homebrew pitches up for sale, I jumped on it; purchasing the Saison Parfait (clean), Funk Weapon 3 (a fruity and mildly funky brett), and their Sour Solara Fall 2016 (full on mixed culture).  This recipe came about by my wanting to quickly use the Saison yeast with a rustic, multi-grain saison.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Brett. C "Mild"

Well...I say mild. It is built on the grain bill and meets most of the specifications of one...but my choice of using a brett means it will be a mild in the original sense of the term. And as it ages, it should transform into an old ale, as things should. This recipe was born by my need to use and build up a healthy culture of of Brett C (wyeast) so that I would be able to pitch dregs from the carboy and bottles.

Because I planned on direct pitching, and wanted it to ferment fairly quickly, I decided on a session ale; I also wanted to get a couple of low ABV beers into my pipeline, since I normally tend to brew on the bigger end. So we have an English style session ale, with about 13% crystal malts, and 8% rolled oats to keep that body up (brett doesn't produce glycerol like sacc does, so doesn't contribute to the body of your beer). In order to keep things from drying out too much, I also decided to mash high, at 157*--100% brett ferments don't get the same crazy attenuation as using brett in secondary.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


I've never had a smoked beer, since I'm not counting an example a friend had me try, which used smoke extract.  Not a good idea, btw.

So naturally, I decided to make my own using a good amount of rauche malt--beechwood smoked malt.  And because I felt it would work nicely with the flavour--plus add body--I utilized about 20% rye malt as well.  this was further testing the Beersmith mashing calculations, with a double decoction mash.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Stirrup Cup Wheat

A while ago, somebody asked for a suggestion for a beer for an English autumn hunt.  Which naturally, got my brain whirring.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Crabapple Bier de Garde

Hopefully this works....I decided to finally break down and buy Beersmith (2.3.7).  Thus far it seems to be worth it, but I rather wanted to check how accurate it is with mash schedules.  One of the brews I wanted to do was a bier de gard; something with an extremely simple grain bill, a combination of wild and saison yeast, fairly low hop.

Then I noticed the crabapple crop on the tree, and went eureka!  This is the result; a fairly typical farmhouse ale with only three malts (pils, wheat, and rolled oats).  I should get some interesting flavours from the wild yeast, as well as some acidity.  The other thing I was playing with was a looong boil to develop some melanoidins.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Chocolate Orange Municher Alt

For the annual New Year's party, I like to brew a couple of different thing specifically for it--just to give options. I already started the first, which is my third batch of Light Cherry Cyser; so I thought--what would be a good foil--an opposite--to the cyser?

Rhubarb Wine Rebrew, 2016

So, every year I make a batch of Rhubarb wine, with slight differences in the yeast and quantities.  This year, I hit an all time high, using almost 30 pounds of rhubarb--about double the suggested 3lb per gallon, hoping to finally get some strong rhubarb flavour.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Raspberry Cane Session Ale--a full on experiment

A while back, I was reading Larsblog, a fantastic resource on farmhouse brewing written by Lars Garshol and noted an unusual brew he mentioned when taking a tour of yet another Lithuanian farmhouse brewers...it was brewed with raspberry canes in the mash.  Being as I have plenty of raspberry plants, I immediately wanted to try it as an ingredient.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Franken-beir: A Belgian Session Ale

Well, I've been saving the spent grains of my single gallon batches in preparation for this day--when I could mix them all together for a second runnings mash and get...something...low gravity.  Because I haven't done any one gallon brew days for a while--then three this week--a couple of them have been in the freezer since December.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Graveyard Gose, a WoW Racial Beer

Ok....lets be honest--I have no idea what malts are in this.  I bought them months ago, and they have been in my freezer until I could get around to actually brewing it, since at the time I hadn't yet experimented with souring.  And in a computer crash I lost all of my Brewtarget data.

So...I'm going to make my best guess that it was intended to be a dark or black gose, and that I went off of the standard 40%/60% wheat/pilsner grain bill, before adding colour and specialty malts.  Total weight was 2.6 pounds.

Near 100% Wheat

I decided I wanted to see what a wheat beer really tastes like--with the BIAB system, you don't have to worry too much about stuck sparges.  So, I went with a grain bill which was almost entirely wheat, other than colour malts (sadly, chocolate wheat wasn't available), to make something like a weizenbock.

That /was/ the plan.  Then I thought about making it into a wit beer, with only a 15minute boil.
  Then a friend sent some wild Washington bolete mushrooms to me--and a day later, someone on a homebrewing group mentioned making a bier de garde with black chanterelles.  And the new idea was born.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sour Saison, a 1 gallon Test

For quite a while, I have been wanting to make a sour saison, which is the more traditional form (either sour, or heavily hopped).  I actually want to do both, a dryhopped sour saison.  However, because I have a new yeast I wanted to play with, plus need to test the use of probiotic lacto in brewing, I decided to do a 1 gallon test first.  I originally meant to hop it to around 5 IBU, but forgot to grab my hops on brew day.  I figure I will let it ferment for a week or two, then either leave it plain, add berries, dry hops, or something else I haven't yet thought of, depending on the flavour.

The one gallon test batch is also to serve as a starter for the full batch of sour saison, since I am not pasteurizing the wort after souring. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Radagast's Oud Bruin

Yup....three geeky beers made in two days...you are correct.

I've been wanting to make an oud bruin for quite some time, but the area I live in is decidedly deficient of mixed fermentation blends (dregs aren't really available either).  So when I saw a pack of Roeselares at the LHBS, I snapped it up and started planning.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Gaffer's Home brew: a Hobbit Beer

If you haven't figured out by now that I'm a geek, and love fantasy novels, well....you're blind.  I spent quite a while thinking on this recipe, to attempt to get something similar to an ale brewed by the residents of the Shire.  As modified by Frodo and Bilbo's comments in the movie "Have you been getting into the Gaffer's homebrew?"  "Well, yes. But that's not the point.".  Which to me says that the Gaffer's brew is something special--either extra strong, or with extra herbs. 

Wizards Wit

A couple of months ago, I tried Anchorage Brewing's Whiteout Wit; it was delicious.  Bold lemon and spice, refreshing, and only a hint of any funk from the Brettanomyces the company used in it.  Flavoured with lemon peel, corriander, black pepper, and using Sorachi Ace hops (to further the lemony goodness).

Friday, March 11, 2016

Kedrigern's Best Brown, rebrew

One of my favourite brews I have made was the Kedrigern's brown--last time, I had a couple of issues...one of which was that it was only a 3 gallon batch, and therefore didn't last long enough.  The post for the original batch can be found here

So, this time I'm fixing that and brewing a full 6 gallons (in two batches, since my setup isn't made for more than 3.5).  I've made a couple of changes to the recipe, the most significant of which is the use of actual liquid yeast for the first time.  Plus, since I will be aging in a 5gal secondary for a few weeks, I plan to take one gallon and put it through a secondary with brettanomyces.

Should be 6.5 gallons in there, bubbling happily

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Apfel Fermented Blonde Ale

I got to eyeballing the German Sweet Apfelwein the other day--there are a good couple pounds of pureed granny smith apples resting on the bottom.  And I just know that the apple cider isn't going leech all the flavour out of them--especially given that I will have to leave all that and more behind when I rack, otherwise I won't get the apfelwein to clear.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year in Brewing

2-23-15; 4 gallons of a simple hard cider, using Belgian yeast.  I lightly oaked it, and it fermented out to fairly dry.  At one point, it got infected with what I suspect is a wild strain of Brettanomyces (based on the pellicle, which is not a reliable method of identification).  The completely fermented cider was dryhopped with 2oz of East Kent Goldings pellets.

2-25-15; 3 gallons.  Kedrigerns Best Brown.  It has come out fairly tasty, even though it is not quite what I wanted.  I'll be keeping the recipe, but as a porter--it needs some tweaking to be a brown ale.

3-10-15; 1 gallon/1 quart.  My experiment with the Anchorage Brewing Dregs.  1 gallon of plain cider, and what I intend to become a 1.5 litre solera.
     The cider is decidedly interesting, and not half bad (although I have to be in the right mood).  It didn't carbonate properly, though.

5-28-15; 1 gallon.  Apple Blossom Metheglin.

6-20-15; Rosehip Tripel and Belgian Table Ale. I added the lees from the brett cider above, and intend to flavour with orange zest and chamomile, rather than the rosehips.
The table bier is made with the second runnings from the tripel, fortified with sugar, and fermented with the same yeast.  Dry-hopped with Styrian Goldings.

7-3-15; Rhubarb Wine, 5 gallons.

8-15-15; Smoked Shire Brown, 1 gallon.   A quickly thrown together brew, not bad in flavour, but needed more than 3oz rauchmalt per gallon.  Using the aged hops added a strange flavour.  I intend to use the leftovers and add brett dregs, as a base for a small solara (one of these days...)

9-13-15; The Highwayman Old Ale, 3.5 gallons.

10-3-15; Pumpkin Weizenbock, 3.5 gallons?.  2.6 bottled.

10-4-15; Garden "Lambic", 0.8 gallon.

10-12-15; Belgian Dark Candi Cider, 4.5 gallons.  Nothing special; Apple cider, dark candi syrup, and Ommegang yeast culture.

10-26-15;  Sweet German Apfelwein, 4 gallons.  Juice, sugar, and Gewurztraminer yeast (Vintner's Harvest AW4).

11-23-15; Spruced Up Quad, 1 gallon.  Belgian Strong Dark Ale, with spruce tips and Westmalle yeast.

11-24-15; Rye Tripel, 1 gallon.  A paleish Belgian ale with strong rye character.

Total: 33.25 gallons brewed (much of which is still in the fermenters).