Sunday, March 30, 2014

Many Brews, Much News

Swamped with work, and work, and more work. I didn't stop brewing, but I did stop posting about it.

Things I have done include a first lager, a robust porter, that came out just fine.

A cranberry-chipotle porter with dehusked caraffa for all the roasted malts and all nugget hops, otherwise quite like any porter out there, came out supremely pleasant and tasty. Losing coffee notes for caraffa was a wise call, as the fruit sings over the top.

I brewed and Oaked a 2nd round of the house red that was very pleasant with bourbon-soaked oak chips. I expect to do it again, to try and get it down solid. Adjusting always. Not quite right.

Witbiers are great for beer nerds and casual drinkers alike. My preferred recipe is probably the one thing I have made  most. I made it fi r Thanksgiving and it was a smash success.

Call it Simplicity
5.5 gallons spring water
2 pounds Vienna Malt
2 pounds American 6-row
2 pounds Red Wheat
1 pound Quaker quick oats or flaked oats
1 pound honey
Noble-origin, floral hop (Saaz, Goldings, Glacier, etc.) As bittering and aroma @60 and @15. Aim for 15 IBU, max 18.
Chamomile, coriander, black pepper, fresh orange peel to taste.
Wyeast Belgian Saison
Do a protein rest for 15, followed by a saccharification rest at the low end around 151-152 for 60 minutes. Mash out at 175. Add honey at the end of the 60 minute boil.
Ferment cool at first and raise the temp up to 90-95 by the end. (In south Texas, that is very easy to do...)
Simple and beautiful and easy-drinking, witbiers are homebrew winners.

It is my most-popular brew to date, and I have happily resigned myself to being ready to brew it for family functions.

Now, with my lager fridge, I have been trying my hand at lagers. I have two brews with one yeast running, both in Secondar y.

First, I brewed a Tex-Mex Vienna Lager I am calling the Possum Stomp, in honor of what I will be doing when I am drinking it in the garden...

5.5 gallons San Antonio tapwater
7 pounds Vienna Malt
1 pound flaked maize
6 ounces Honey Malt
4 ounces Caraffa I
1 ounce Santiam Hops@60
Saflager yeast
Step mash with 15 minute Beta-Glucan rest, then a saccharification of 154 for an hour.

This one is sitting in Secondary, layering in my fridge. The greatest thing about this recipe was how cheap it was. Total cost of ingredients was 18.50 at the local homebrew shop, and the dregs were quite pleasant.

With the washed yeast of that possum stomp, I put together a simple steam beer recipe, again with copious Vienna Malt.

Possum Steam
6 gallons san antonio tap water for 5.5 gallons beer
8 pounds Vienna Malt
1 pound crystal 60l
1 pound flaked maize
.5 ounce Northern Brewer hops @60
.5 ounce Northern Brewer hops @30
.5 ounce Northern Brewer hops @15
.5 ounce Northern Brewer hops @0
Washed Saflager Yeast from Vienna Lager
With a very simple, single step mash at 154 for an hour, no fuss, no muss.
Ferment at ale temperatures, like an ale.

I just racked it off this morning. It is the color of suede, and blazingly hoppy at one week of pitching the yeast. It should smooth out as it ages. I hope it does!

Dont know how to post pictures from my new phone. Hm. I hope that worked