Friday, March 20, 2009

San Diego Care Package + Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Thanks to BA Engebrits for another awesome box of SD brews. It was nice to get my hands on a few KBS but not nice on the old wallet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How to do a multi rest infusion mash

This is for fellow Home Brewer Blake who was curious how I do protein rests or multiple rest mashes with a cooler mash tun. Since I do mash in a LARGE cooler I can not raise the mash by direct heat. This involves a few extra calculations if your doing more than a single infusion.

To get started we need to know several variables, grain mass, grain to water ratio(lb to qt) and ambient temp of grain. I am going to use my Czech Pils mash program as an example.

Ambient temp of my grain is 65F, which will change throughout the year. This is important to know since you will be raising your first rest from this temp. I am using 1 qt of water for every lb of grain. There is a almost 14 lbs of grain. Since I am using continental pilsner malt we want to do a protein rest at 130F for 30 minutes and Sac rest at 154 for 60 minutes. I did not mash out but we will go ahead and pretend I did for the sake of this example.

First Rest:

Infusions Temp = (0.2/1)(130 - 65) + 130
So we divide the ration by .2 to get .2. Target Temp - Ambient Temp is 65.

Infusion Temp = (.2)(65) + 130 or 13 + 130

So out first infusion is 14qt at 143F. This should allow for us to meet our target temp of 130F.

Second Rest:

Crank your burner up during the first rest and get your water to a boil. We are going to ad smaller amounts of near boiling water to move our temperature to the saccharification rest temp of 154F.

amount of boiling water = (154 - 130) x (2.8 + 14) / (210 - 154)

(Sac Rest temp - protein rest temp) X (grain mass + water) / (infusion temp - sac rest temp)


amount of boiling water = (24)(16.8) / 56


amount of boiling water = 403 / 56 or the amount of boiling water is 7 qt to reach 154F.

Third rest:

No we are going to end conversion by mashing out or bringing the mash up to 170F.

So far we have added 14qt + 7 qt for a total of 21 qt of water. This is the main reason I do not mash out unless I have enough room in my tun. Sometimes on larger beers this is not a possibility but I just lauter with 170F water to compensate.

amount of boiling water = (170 - 154) X (2.8 + 21qt) / (210 - 170)


amount of boiling water = (16) X (23.8) / (40)


amount of boiling water = 380 / 40 or 9.5qt of near boiling water to reach 170F.

So far we have added 32.8qt of water to the tun or 8 gal. This is why I often forgo a mash out and just start the lautering process.

If you want a great introduction please go to HOW TO BREW , this is where I learned this equation. John Palmer gives a very understandable introduction to the mashing process.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rye Pale Ale Recipe

Style: American Pale Ale
Batch Size: 5.5
Boil: 60 min
Efficiency: 70% (first time with the rye)
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.014
IBU: 53 (but I am First Wort Hopping, so maybe 45)
SRM: 12
ABV: 5.6%

8 lbs 2-Row 63.4%
2 lbs 8 oz Rye 19.8%
1 lb Carapils 7.9%
8 oz Crystal 40L 4%
8 oz Rice Hulls 4%
2 oz Black Malt 1%

.75 oz Cascade FWH
.50 oz Magnum 60 min
.50 oz Cascade 15 min
.50 oz Cascade 5 min
1 oz Cascade Flame Out
1 oz Cascade Dry 5 days before bottling

Mash at 152F for 60 minutes 1.25qt to lb of grain
Spike Mash according to your water chemistry to control PH

I wanted to keep this recipe as straight forward as possible. The 2 oz of 540SRM black malt is strictly for color. It should not impart much flavor. Originally I wanted to have spicy Saaz and spicy/citrusy Cascade fight it out in the aroma department. I could not get Saaz in time, so it looks like it will be a single hop in aroma/flavor realm. Which I am OK with, I am interested to see how the rye flavor goes with Cascade blast. I know I am heavy handed with the hops, thats how I get down, you can lower the IBU to your tastes. I also figured that the rye would absorb .30 gal of water per lb and figured that into my water volumes. Finally, I did not want to make this one too boozey, keep it drinkable.

As always, any experienced criticism will be taken seriously. Thanks!

Brewing With Malted Rye

In getting ready for the iPhone or Brew Pal RyePA, I needed to do a little more research on our special ingredient to insure success on the first go around. Side Note, looks like my Twitter Friend @blakejarolim will also be brewing this recipe, we will swap, compare and enjoy. God Bless Web 2.0 for its many beer blessings.

I will be using Malted Rye. If you have done any basic brewing reading you know that malted barley is a partial modified grain. The Malster has kick started the germination process and then "paused" it as the best possible moment for starch to sugar conversion. This is great, cause it means I can throw it in with the rest of my grist and use a single infusion mash. EASY..but wait..

Rye kernels are smaller than barley and do not have husks. When we mill barley we leave the husks partially in tact to act as a filter bed for lautering. If I mill my rye at the same gap as my barley i will not get the appropriate crush. So I will need to crush my normal grist and then change the gap for the rye. If you mill at your LHBS then you can place your rye portion in a sturdy Zip Lock bag, steal grandma's rolling pin and carefully crush your rye. Also, similar to Wheat, Rye has a much higher beta-glucan content. This can gummy up your mash in grist's portion's over 10%, possibly resulting in slow run off or the dreaded stuck mash. Using rice hulls as a filter bed will combat this problem. I also read of raising the mash temp by a few degrees to allow for easier run off. Apparently Rye is a little more thirsty than your typical grain. I usually multiply my dry grain weight by .20 to figure for quarts lost in grain. You might raise that slightly to accommodate for water volume.

From what I read most Pro Brewers use Rye in portions of 10-20% to act as flavor enhance to an established style, ie RyePA or Rye Stout. 30 - 50% to dominate a style, like Roggenbier or American Rye Ale. Imagine replacing the wheat with rye in a typical Heffeweizen malt bill. Sounds delicious to You and I but not for everyone.

I hope this summary helps anyone using Rye for the first time. If you have experience with the grain and you would like to correct my information, please comment.


Brewing With Rye by Rosannah Hayden

Brewing With Rye; Tips From The Pros by Glenn BurnSilver

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Deep Recipe Calculator for Your iPhone

I have had Brew Pal on my iPhone for a few weeks now but really had not had a chance to put it to use. I did not think you could get a terrible amount of functionality for .99 cents. I use a similar software on my iMac, which is great, I can have this with me when inspiration hits or to take advantage of downtime. It will export the recipe to any email address and can also save on the iPhone. It will calculate basic gain/hop/yeast recipes with adjunct promised on a future update. Calculate for mash infusion temps and water volumes. BJCP style guidelines and many more small helpful tools. So to take it through the real test, I am going to write a basic pale ale recipe and brew it using only this application. Sounds like a fun excuse to make some beer, right!

India Pale Ale Night

Here are the suspects before the night began. The real standouts for me were Nøgne Ø "India Pale Ale" and De Rank XX Bitter. Of course Pliny and Gordon were true stand outs but I have had them a few times now. To celebrate it's return to Chicagoland We added Two Hearted to the mix. We also had a some SN Pale's for standards.

The De Ranke XX Bitter was a highly hopped Belgian ale with emphasis placed on the bittering additions. The aroma was light citrus with serious Belgian yeast phenol's in play but not in abundance. The flavor was pale malt with citrus rind and a bitter blast. Bitter almost on the sour end of the scale. It was fantastic and I kept going back to this one in my mind. It was similar in style to the Houblon Chouffe but more pale and less American hops.

Nøgne Ø
"India Pale Ale" was fantastic. Last week we tried the "Pale Ale" and we also had the "Dobel India Pale Ale" this week. The Nogne IPA was a a deep brown amber with plenty of haze and sediment. I had to go on a nerd tangent and try to guess the malt bill. I was right on with crystal and Munich, I detected chocolate but that was not the case. Slight Amarillo in the nose along with Maris Otter breadiness. The flavor was a mix of cascade and Amarillo, sweet toast from the specialty malts. I will seek this one out, a really great IPA and a great change from 98% pale malt hop bombs.

Overall a great night a beer. Next week we will be focusing not on style but a single ingredient. With all the great Rye beers we have been trying, nod to Goose Islands Rye Stout, we are rounding up some Rye Selections. Maybe even some Fago "Rock And Rye".

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day of the Living Ales

Sorry for the Delay in postings. This has been a hectic week, with a Stout tasting on Monday, Co-Worker outing on Wednesday, BA Swap/CBS First Thursday and ending with DotLA on Saturday. This has been a great week for beer and has not allowed time to update.

Another year and another Night of the Living Ales from the fine folks of CBS(Finally purchased that couples membership, so folks is folks). This is a cask ale festival, so the casks are brought in weeks in advanced and cared for by a volunteer "publican". That way the casks are allowed to stay at an ambient temperature and any sediment from the "living ale" is allowed to settle in the bottom of the cask. For those of you not familiar with Cask Ale, out friends at wikipedia describe it as ...

"Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. Cask ale may also be referred to as real ale, a term coined by the Campaign for Real Ale, often now extended to cover bottle-conditioned beer as well."

...What this means to the beer drinker is a naturally lightly carbonated beer that allows for the true flavors of the beer to come through. In my opinion most beers fare better of cask or "beer engine". It also fun to compare beers your familiar with on Draught vs. Cask.

This year they split it from a single 4 hour session to a Day and Night of the Living Ales. As you all know I am a HUGE fan of "day drinking" and prefer to go to day sessions of any festival. There seems to be a higher caliber of drinker at the day session as opposed to the night. Because they casks can not be disturbed, the fest goers must come to the casks. With less people it was easier to get to the casks and makes for a better experience in general. We were able to go to the cask room and return to the main room with ease. Please note this is the courteous thing to do, CAMPING in front of the casks in rude and makes you seem like a fat asshole, sorry, had to call you out.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you got a live play by play of the beers sampled and the top three I voted for. Here is the list in ordered sampled. Keep in mind these are 3 ounce pours, unless you get a real great volunteer who double pours you.

#1 Bear Republic "Apex", nothing on the malt side and I LOVE IT. Just pale malt and west coast bittering hops. Imaging taking a Mid West IIPA and stripping it of all its specialty malt and leaving the hop bill the same. Hop Head delight. Had this Twice.

#2 Three Floyds/Dog Fish Head "Popskull", the obvious go to beer. I want to have this on draught before I pass judgement. Lots of banana esters.

#3 Surly Brewing Co. "Tea Bagged Furious" Double Dry Hopped Amber IPA, had this last year and it seemed less hoppy. Maybe I am drinking more extremely hopped beers. Still great none the less.

#4 Rock Bottom - Orland Park "Abominator Double IPA", Standard IPA with a grainy after taste.

#5 Rock Bottom - Chicago "Zwickel-Licker: Dry Hopped Yellow Bier - Like a macro lager with American hops. Reminded me of the Flossmoor best bitter but without the overdone hop character.

#6 Moylans Brewing "Batch #1000 Double Kilt Lifter with whiskey soaked American oak chips" - Nicely done, no whiskey punch in the face, the Scottish ale is still in tact with a real fruity yeast effect. Loved this one, A LOT!.

#7 Goose Island "Bourbon Sherry Beer", oh so boozey but good. This one was a slow sipper, night ender. I can imagine having more than a small snifter of this.

#8 Piece Brewery "Moose Knuckle", never had this out of the cask. Quality barley wine from piece. I really did not see a huge difference from the flavor at the brew pub.

#9 Lakefront Brewery "Oak-aged Bridge Burner Strong Ale", Best in show! ! Citrusy hops mix with barrel hints on a medium body. Oh so flavorful. I really like this one, had it twice.

#10 Rock Bottom - Lombard "ShamRock Stout", the volunteer called in a Francol mint. It tasted like a liquid York Peppermint Patty. Yuck.

#11 Lunar Brewing CO. "Moondance IPA", standard.

#12 Piece Brewing "Big Black Mariah Smoked Porter", excellent, what would you expect from Piece.

#13 had the Lakefront one last time to affirm that it was my number one pick.

I voted Lakefront Bridge Burner, Moylans Batch 1000 and Bear Republic Apex. Sorry Chicago, you did not bring it as strong as your out of town peers.

Overall it was a good experience. Minus the campers and beer farters, you know who you are.