I was trying to think of something to brew for this weekend all week and I kept throwing around the idea of doing a Bell's Two Hearted clone recipe that I've been sitting on for some time now but while looking through BYO's 150 Classic Clone Recipes issue I saw the recipe for "La Folie" from the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO. Since I'm on a sour beer kick I was immediately stoked. Plus I have every thing I need to brew this including some french oak chips and the Wyeast Lambic Blend. In a year from now I am going to have about 20 gallons of sour beer to drink between this brew, the Flanders Sour Red that I brewed last week, and the All-Brett Beer that I am going to do using the B. Claussenni strain. Sweet!
Sunday, May 20 2007
It's going nuts in the primary and I will transfer this to a secondary after 10 days leaving behind as much of the trub as possible. Then I am going to pitch the WYEAST Lambic Blend and let it do its thing. It was so cold the last few days I actually had to throw the brew belt on my carboy to warm it up to 70+ degrees to get my fermentation going. I saw that my two carboys of Flanders red got down to 64F. I had to move everything so I wasn't have all my yeast poop out on me. I think I caught it in time.
Kentucky Breakfast Stout in hand, I thought I would try to brew something up for the Hereford & Hops homebrew competition coming up. Based on what grains I have on hand aside from the ones I have set aside for a batch of wedding brews for my friend Jason, I decided to brew a hybrid American Wheat Beer. Hell, it's summer. The recipe is based on the one by the same name as my title in "Radical Brewing" by Randy Mosher. Great Book. I tweaked the recipe a bit. I am adding Coriander Seed at the end of the boil and I upped the grain bill just a few pounds to compensate for my efficiency. I also don't have rice hulls to aid in filtration so I through in a pound of pale malt (unground) to help prevent a stuck sparge which can happen easily when using a lot of Wheat Malt. VORLAUF UNTIL IT RUNS CLEAR I USE A VEGGIE STEAMER TO RETURN MY CLOUDY WORT BACK TO THE MASH TUN TO AVOID STIRRING UP THE GRAIN BED I COLLECT MY CLEAR WORT IN A PITCHER FIRST SO I DON'T SPLASH IT IN THE BOTTOM OF MY BREW POT. HOT SIDE AERATION ISN'T GOOD FOR YOUR BEER ALTHOUGH IN AN EXPERIMENT ON HOTSIDE AERATION, X-BREWER COMPLETELY ABUSED THE WORT WITH AERATION AND IT WAS HARDLY NOTICABLE FROM THE CONTROL BATCH. GOOD IDEA TO TAKE PRECAUTION ANYWAY. ONCE THE PITCHER STARTS TO GET FULL,GENTLY POUR IT INTO THE BOTTOM UNTIL ALL THE WORT IS DRAINED. IF YOU ARE BATCH SPARGING, FILL UP YOUR LAUTER TUN AND DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR DESIRED AMOUNT OF WORT.
I got a yeast starter going of California Ale Yeast WLP 001 in the big 2000ml flask for the Wheat Beer. That was the deciding factor in what beer I decided to brew today, was the yeast. I didn't have any Weiss Yeast and this recipe didn't call for it so it was perfect. I am curious to see how this turns out with a highly attenuative American Ale strain. Most wheat beers that I really enjoy have that spiciness to them from the yeast that was used. My guess is that this will be a cleaner flavor which might let the Coriander Seed shine through a little more.
I had checked my mash pH about a half hour in and it was at 5.8. I checked the pH of the wort after the sparge and it was exactly 5.2 so I am good to go. I highly recommend picking up some pH strips. There don't break and they are very cheap. Cut them in half and you have twice as many. I've been using this same little tube of them since I started brewing about 5 years ago.
CAN YOU SAY BOIL OVER? Being a dad and brewing beer don't always jive. I stepped away for a second from, what I thought, was a nice steady rolling boil that didn't look like it was gonna rise. Nope. The hot wort actually removed some of the other stuff that I had been trying to get off my stove for some time now. My stove is cleaner now that before I started brewing. That last beer that I had a boil over with turned out really good so maybe this one will too.
I was just flipping through the new issue of Zymurgy (May/June '07) and there it was on page 14, a picture of my son Brice standing up next to one of my carboys. A great picture, I died laughing. I forgot that I had even sent the picture to Zymurgy. If you have the magazine, notice in the picture how I had to improvize because I ran out of thick blow off tubing.
Me and my friend Jason were sitting around having some beers last night and we had a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin La Roja sitting on the table unopened. Jason said, "well, this is the last JP beer from the stash". I immediately went to my beer closet and pulled out some DME. I figured I should probably get a starter going. We don't get Jolly Pumpkin in the U.P. anymore so it is always a treat.
I am starting to compile a list of people who are in the Marquette area and are into homebrewing or who would like to learn about homebrewing. I think that in a town like Marquette there should be plenty enough people to start a homebrew club. So if you are one of those people that were curious about homebrew clubs in Marquette and came across this site in a search to learn more about beer. Please leave me a comment letting me know so I can add you to my list of people who appreciate better beer. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and just let me know that your interested. If you want you can even leave your phone number and I will keep you informed on the progress of a club. As of right now there are only a few people and it would be great to have at least 10 or so. We'll see if we can make it happen.
Well I just brewed up my first funky beer, a 10 gallon batch of Flanders Red, now it's time to get a starter going for funk monster #2. I am getting a starter going tonight using the Brettanomyces Claussenii strain from White Labs. Before I can use this to ferment a whole 5-6 gallon batch of beer I need to grow up the amount of yeast I have. The vial that you can order from White Labs isn't intended to take care of your entire primary fermentation. It is meant to be used in conjunction with another yeast, more than likely of the Saccromyces variety. I am going to get a pint starter going tonight and in about 10 days I will pour off most of the wort trying to leave as much of the yeast behind as I can and then I will pitch another fresh pint of wort. I will repeat this a few times until I have a large enough amount of cells to take care of a 5-6 gallon batch of beer.
DO NOT SWIRL AN ERLINMYER FLASK FULL OF BOILING HOT WORT!Son of a bitch! I knew that too and I still did it. I've burnt my hands so many times that I think I am starting to get immune to it.
48 HOURS LATER It has been two days since I made my starter and I haven't seen any real activity going yet. I was hoping to see an obvious sign that everything was going smooth because I am going out of town for the weekend and I don't want to have to worry about it. I added a little bit of servomyces earlier today to help it on its way. I was glad to see that someone on the BBB website was posting about their experience with their WLP645 starter at the same time as I was doing mine because I can learn from all his posts. Everything seems to be sitting on the bottom right now.
I am 33 years old I have been brewing for about 12 years now. I love all styles of beer but I have a serious obsession with Belgian Ales and sour beer. For all of you gmail users, I am always online and love chatting beer. Feel free to hit me up with any questions or ideas concerning brewing or my blog.