Monday, January 26, 2009

Revolution Brewing, Chicago's latest Brewery Pub.

I had been hearing rumor's about this for awhile, no one was ever able to give me the complete story. Check out Revolution's blog and follow the construction progress. Looks like more options are on the way for Chicago beer fans!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let them try before you buy.. Hopcast..

I had the pleasure of sharing some home brew with the fine hosts of this video podcast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder. They review several beers per episode, often with special guests, exotic beer locations and rare finds. You can check them out on itunes or HERE. Ken made a great Licorice Stout with medium body and good balance between the malt and licorice flavor.

Maibock in the chamber..

I am worried that the lag time was not enough, I pitched at 2 pm yesterday and at 10 am we had a developed krausen and a steady rhythm of co2 release. I normally aerate with an aquarium pump and stone set up, This time I put my LARGE starter and racked on top of it while rocking vigorously. I had read that there is not difference in the amount of oxygen you can get in the wort unless you shoot pure oxygen in from a tank. So either I over pitched or I oxygenated well. Only time will tell with this guy, he is starting on a 3 month journey.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Finally, MAIBOCK!

"The maibock style is a pale version of a traditional bock. It is a fairly recent development compared to other styles of bock beers, frequently associated with springtime and the month of May. Alcohol content ranges from 6.3% to 7.4% by volume. The flavor is typically less malty than a traditional bock, and may be drier, hoppier, and more bitter, but still with a relatively low hop flavor, with a mild spicy or peppery quality from the hops or alcohol content. It is a clear lager, deep gold to light amber in color, with a large, creamy, persistent white head, and moderate to moderately high carbonation. There is some dispute as to whether the Helles ("pale") bock and the Mai ("May") bocks are the same style, but they are generally agreed to be the same. Examples include Hubertus Bock, Einbecker Mai-Urbock, Augustiner Hellerbock, Hofbräu Maibock, Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock and Abita Mardi Gras Bock." - from

We have had a nice break from the otherwise crap winter, so I am sneaking in a brew day today. I have been looking forward to this one for some time as it is my favorite style of lager beer. Malt forward, dry, with barely noticeable hop present. This one is great for spring nights when its just warm enough to be out on the deck in a hoody and jeans.

Fresh's Maibock

6 Gal
OG: 1.068
FG: 1.017
(however I am hoping to get a bit more attenuated as per my taste. Most of my beers finish drier than the recipe I write)

12 lbs German Pilsner Malt
5 lbs Dark Munich Malt

1/2 oz. Magnum Hops at 90 min

Mash at 130F for 30 minutes, raise to 156F for 60. I used 30% Chicago water and 70% Distilled to soften my local water.

Pitch LARGE starter of Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager at 55F. Over 2 week dial down to 45F. After primary raise to 65 for diactyl rest for 2 days. Rack to secondary. Lager 2 months at 35F. (I am considering rekrausening this beer with fresh yeast and sugar. I am going to research this more before I decide.. or I may just keg it)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's that time of year!

Hopslam time!! I really look forward to this incredible Double IPA every year. Last year I had to get mine from fellow Kansas Citian NCTRNL but Bell's is back in Chicago this year. Read more about that here. This beer come in packing a hidden 10 % abv, piney citrus hops in the nose. The taste is full of piney hop resins, crystal malt and honey (not honey malt). The mouth is very dry, which lends to the extreme drinkablity of this bad boy. I hold all 2XIPA's against this one shining example of humulus lupulus bliss. My batch was bottled a little over a week ago, which is great since you want to drink IPA as fresh as possible. Hopefully all of you can pick this one up and enjoy a break from the RIS and Belgian Quads that have been keeping you warm this winter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brewing Seasonally

Severe cold strikes again. I have been preparing a large starter for my an upcoming Maibock but the weather is not cooperating this week. Tons of snow, which is manageable but the temperature will dip into the negatives this next two days. So I was "re-upping" my yeast starter today, the slurry was dense, just begging to be pitched. Since I will be possibly delayed a week, i may split the starter into to two and make 8-10 gallons. I have room for two 5 gal carboys in my lager fridge but i doubt i could get two 6.5gal..

The reason for the pose was to really celebrate brewing for the season. This Maibock will ferment for a month and lager for 2 months. Should be ready to drink by late April or may. I get satisfaction from preparing my brew schedules to have beer ready for certain times of year or holidays. Amber's, IPA's and Wit's will need to be produced for summer quaffing, soon Saisons for later summer.. mmmm..

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Beer Advocate Home Brewed BIF (Beer It Forward)

I am taking part in a home brew trade and judge. Everyone sends home brew to one person on the list, they enjoy and judge, then send you back the results. I do not know who is sending to me but I am sending mine to BA "jetanbass9" in PA. Looks like he is getting a Czech Pilsner, American Amber and Brown Ale. I will let you know the results in a month.