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Sunday, December 29, 2013

S.O.S. Smoked Oatmeal Stout

Hmmmm..... I thought to myself.  I tasted the Weyermann Oak Smoked Wheat Malt and really liked the nutty, oaky flavor it has.  It has a subtle smoke flavor but very rich and multidimensional.

Which beer style could I use this in?  Lots of breweries make smoked porter.  What if I made a smoked oatmeal stout?  I think the oak smoked wheat will lend the flavor of the oak, similar to an oak-aged stout with a light smokiness.

I'll post on brew day.

CHEERS!

Wholly Smoke v2.0

This recipe is finally dialed in!  I'm very happy with the results!  This beer turned out quite nicely!

Most German smoke beers are lagers, but I have finally made a big, smoky ale.  7% ABV and 43 IBU's makes it nicely balanced.  I used a combination of Weyermann Rauchmalt and Briess Cherrywood smoked malt to achieve a good smokiness, but not too much smokiness.

This beer pairs well with barbecue and charcuterie quite nicely.  It goes well with strong cheeses such as aged cheddar and blue.  I have even used some in making chili to add a little smokiness and richness.

I've found that most American's palates are not accustomed to such intense flavor.  One either loves smoke beer or doesn't.  There is no gray area in between.  Although,  some like smoke in other styles of beer such as Porter, and it seems to be making appearances in other styles as well.  In fact, I will be experimenting with a smoked oatmeal stout on New Years Day for my first brew of 2014.  (Next Post)

CHEERS!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wholly Smoke v2.0

FG: 1.016 placing ABV at 7%.  Aroma is fantastic!  Sweet smoke almost campfire like.  (YUM!)  Medium body, flavor of sweet malt, moderate bitterness from the hops, rich smooth smokiness on the finish.  This is what I was aiming for!  I can't wait for this one to carbonate!  (The downside of bottling, though I find bottling fulfilling as it symbolizes the final stage of creating a great beer!)  45 bottles of beer on the floor, 45 bottles of beer......
CHEERS!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wholly Smoke v2.0

I am on a quest to make a great smoke beer.  One of my favorite styles, I like nothing more than to enjoy a great smoke beer or Rauchbier, original German beer. I am huge fan of smoke beers and can't get enough of them.  I don't mind smoke flavored styles like porters and stouts, but prefer the German versions of Rauchbiers much more as they have a more intense flavor.

My beer has been fermenting for a week and a half, but I think I am going to keep it in the primary until Sunday, then bottle it.  I haven't checked the gravity as I don't want to break the seal on the fermenter.  I aimed a little higher for the mash temp to create a little more body, but we'll see how it goes.  I am really excited to see how the flavor compares to my last batch.  I bumped up the percentage of Briess Cherrywood smoked malt just a tad to give a little more deep smokiness on the finish.

The Weyermann Rauchmalt is great as a base malt and is smoked over Beechwood.  It has a sweet, smoky flavor with a nice richness to it.
The Briess Cherrywood smoked malt adds a little more of the bacon-like, almost barbecue-like smokiness on the finish as it kicks in on the back-end.

My favorite German Brewery is Aecht Schlenkerla and they make the best Rauchbiers on the planet!  So rich and intense, I think the American palate just can't handle them, but I LOVE them.  The Germans cherish this style of beer as it is made the traditional way by drying the malt over open Beechwood fires.  Most beers in Germany originated this way but only one brewery continues the tradition.  Aect Schlenkla Brauerei.  The Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock is one of my favorites and I keep looking for Eicht, but have yet been able to locate it.  It is an 8% Rauchbier produced by Aecht Schlenkerla.  There is also an Oak smoked version that comes out at Christmas time, that is hard to find as well.  It is also rated at 8% ABV.

Another smoke beer version I enjoy is Gratzer, which is made with oak-smoked malt which adds more layers of flavor and depth through the smoking process utilizing oak instead of Beechwood.  Quite delicious when brewed properly!

If you are looking for a unique beer experience, please check out Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier.  There are styles ranging from wheat beers, to Marzens, to Urbock and beyond.

CHEERS!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wholly Smoke v2.0

In my quest for a great smoke beer, I'm at it again.  I tweaked the recipe only slightly to see how this one will go.  97% smoked malts with 3% roasted malt for color.  I did a small adjustment with the smoked malts to get a little more smoke on the finish.  Recipe OG - 1.074.  Measured OG - 1.070.  IBU's - 43.  All in all, a good brew day.
CHEERS!

VanUrfa Chile Vanilla Oatmeal Stout

Sorry for the delay.  This stout turned out exactly as I wanted it to.  Aromas of chocolate, vanilla, and some earthiness from the chile.  Flavor: chocolate, chile, and vanilla, with a slight warmth from the chile on the finish.  Slightly chewy body.  Could use more warmth from the chile.  Tasty brew.
CHEERS!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chile Vanilla Oatmeal Stout

Bottled today.  FG was 1.022, projected was 1.013, but with all the flaked grain I expected it to be higher like it is.  ABV 5.5%.  At bottling: Aromas of chocolate, dried chile, and vanilla.  Flavors of chocolate, chile, vanilla, and finishes with a slight cocoa and chile bitterness.  Very little heat if any.  In two weeks I'll post an update on the finished product.
CHEERS!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chile Vanilla Oatmeal Stout

Finally, another brew day!  I decided to do an oatmeal stout with a twist.  I discovered some Turkish Chile called Urfa. Rich chile flavor with a little smokiness, moderate heat, and cocoa notes.  I built my recipe for the stout based on the chile flavor profile.  I opted to use only chocolate malts, instead of roasted barley to bring more chocolate/cocoa flavor to the brew to enhance the chile.  I don't want the chile to overpower, so I went light to start.  The chiles provided a little more bitterness and with the IBU's at 29-30, the brew is slightly bitter.  When it comes time to bottle, I will prime with vanilla sugar for balance and to enhance the chocolate/cocoa flavor and aroma. 
Brew day statistics:  OG projected: 1.058, OG actual: 1.064.  4.5 gallons into the fermenter.  Mashbill: Gambrinus ESB Pale, Weyermann Dark Wheat, Weyermann Carawheat, Briess Chocolate, Weyermann Chocolate Wheat, flaked oats, and flaked barley.  I opted for a flavor neutral yeast so I chose Fermentis US-05.  With the use of flaked grains and a mash temperature of 157, the unfermentable sugars should provide a big, smooth mouthfeel.  I'll be bottling in two weeks.
CHEERS!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Doppelsticke Altbier

FG ended up at 1.014 with ABV at 7.9%.  Not quite a Doppel so it will be a Sticke Altbier.  I decided the name is going to be Doppelganger.  Aroma at bottling: malt and slight caramel notes with floral and spice aromas from the hops.  Flavor at bottling: slightly sweet caramel/malt up front gives way to moderate bitterness, but balanced, with a slight lingering bitter hops finish and a warming sensation.  I can't wait for this one to carbonate! 
PROSIT!    

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Doppelsticke Altbier

Racked to secondary onto Hallertau hops.  Gravity is 1.014 placing ABV at 7.9%.  Aromas of sweet malt and some hops spiciness.  Flavor: mildly sweet with a slight nuttiness and pronounced slightly lingering bitterness.  Another week or two awaiting the hops to fall out, then into bottles it will go.
PROSIT!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Doppelsticke Altbier

Test run at a new one for me.  If you know me, you know I love my Altbier so I decided to go big this time.  Projected OG was 1.083, measured 1.074.  (These last few batches seem to have dropped in efficiency and not sure where the problem is.)  Four ounces of hops in the boil and 1 ounce to go for dry hop.  Smelled great on the boil.  Used German Magnum, 2 ounces and German Spalt, 2 ounces.  Going to dry hop with Hallertau.   
PROST!

Oh My Giddy Aunt, English IPA

Bottled today.  Gravity has not changed.  Still at 1.030.  I heard Windsor yeast finishes a little high, but o.k.  The UK Phoenix hops smell and taste great.  Two weeks to go before testing.
CHEERS!   

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Oh My Giddy Aunt, English IPA

Looks like my posts are not in chronological order for some reason, but, meh.  My day starts out at 6:00 a.m.  (Why can I not sleep in on my days off?)  Anyhow, I'm racking to secondary onto 1 ounce of UK Phoenix hops.  The gravity after 1 week primary fermentation is 1.030 placing ABV at 4.75%.  Seems like it is a bit high yet, considering it has another week or two to go.  (I mashed at 155F)  Another 1-2 weeks in secondary on the dry hop to see where it will finish up.  Current aroma: toffee/caramel notes with floral and spicy notes from the hops.  Current flavor profile: mildly sweet, malty, caramel/toffee with moderate hops bitterness, some hops spiciness, and bitter cocoa/coffee notes.  (At 7:00 a.m. this actually quite appealing!)  Well, now the clean up begins. 
CHEERS!   

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Oh My Giddy Aunt, English IPA

Time to try brewing a new style.  I'm going to go simple on this one, a sometimes simple is better.  My mash bill consists of Gambrinus ESB Malt and Bairds Carastan Malt.  I'll use a single variety of hops for the entire batch.  British Phoenix.  First brew with these hops and I am very interested in the flavor profile.  Should have some spice, floral, and chocolate notes, which should pair well with the toffee notes from the Carastan Malt. 
CHEERS!

Oh My Giddy Aunt, English IPA

I'm going to rack to secondary on Saturday.  I wanted to see what UK Phoenix hops flavor and aroma profile is as some say yay, and some say nay.  The hops smelled great going into the boiling wort.  I'll dry hop in secondary with 1 ounce of hops, so that will make 3 ounces total at 10.2 AAU.  IBU's should be around 51 or so.  I'll take a gravity reading after racking.  Stay tuned.
CHEERS!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Oh My Giddy Aunt, English IPA

Brew day is over.  Projected OG 1.071.  Measured: 1.066.  I ended up with about a quart of leftover wort, hence the lower OG.  Must have over measured somewhere.  Color is a beautiful orange/amber.  I used Gambrinus ESB malt and Bairds Carastan Malt.  Hops is 100% UK Phoenix.  I will dry hop with Phoenix as well. 
CHEERS! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

SMaSHing German Blonde with a Perle Necklace

This beer is taking longer to ferment than planned.  I've never used Kolsch yeast before so I checked for some advice on brewing forums.  The yeast is still suspended in the beer after 3 weeks and I still have some minor airlock activity.  I was thinking with a low gravity brew like this, 1.044, that it would have fermented quickly.  Advice from the forums is to let it go longer until it clears, then bottle.  Some say that when using this yeast it takes 7-9 weeks to complete.  Some go ahead and keg with cloudiness.  I just checked the gravity to see where we're at.  1.010!  That places the ABV at 4.5% which is right where I want it.  It's settled.  I will bottle today!  Aroma of pilsner malt and herby/spicy notes from the hops.  Flavor is very reminiscent of American Pilsners, but has more body, is quite smooth and clean, with a balanced and slightly lingering hop bitterness at 24 IBU's.  This beer is much lighter than I am used to but should be quite refreshing during those hotter summer days.  And for those friends and family of mine that like American Lagers, this will be right up your alley!  Off to bottle!
CHEERS!   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

SMaSHing German Blonde with a Perle necklace

Racked to secondary today.  Gravity reading 1.014 placing ABV at 3.9%.  Aroma is slightly yeasty  / bready but pleasant.  The flavor of straight pilsner malt is nice, smooth, slightly malty, and reminiscent of a lager.  Perle hops provide a light, sweet floral aroma and flavor on the palate.  At 24 IBU's this will be a most quaffable brew after mowing the lawn or working in the yard.
One more week to clear up in secondary, then into the bottle it goes.
CHEERS! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

SMaSHing German Blonde with a Perle Necklace

Brew day complete!  Measured OG at 1.044 making 84% efficiency.  7.5 pounds of Weyermann Pilsner malt and 1 ounce of Perle hops make for a darn delicious smelling brew!  The Kolsch yeast is dropped in and awaiting airlock activity.  This should be a good summer brew to enjoy after a hard day of work outside.  I was also influenced by my brother-in-law to make a "lighter" style brew.  So I agreed and told him in the craft beer world it is called session beer.  (Also I am awaiting my hops order for my ESB.)  Only four weeks away from the final result of this one!
CHEERS!

Friday, April 12, 2013

SMaSHing German Blond

Going session on this next brew since the weather is warming up.  Single malt and single hop utilizing Weyermann Pilsner malt and Perle hops.  Decided to go with Wyeast Kolsch 2565 yeast for a change.  I am an advocate of dry yeast, but we'll see how this goes for my first use.  This will be an easy drinking lightly hopped brew for summer quaffing. ABV should be around 4.3% with 24 IBU's.  Planning on brewing tomorrow afternoon (4/13/13).  Attached is a link to the recipe.  Cheers!    http://hopville.com/recipe/1687009

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dusseldorf Altbier

Bottled this morning.  FG of 1.011 placing  ABV in the 5.6% range.  This is an experimental batch utilizing grain I have not used before at the maximum recommended usage rate.  I increased my hops schedule to 40 IBU's to keep up with the expected malt flavor increase.  Aroma at bottling: Sweet malt/graininess/slight nuttiness with German noble hops aroma, (Spalt).  Flavor:  Slighty sweet maltiness, slight nuttiness, lingering hop bitterness on the dry crisp finish, but balanced.  Two weeks until the next taste test.
PROST!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Altbier

Brewing went very well.  Efficiency once again at 83% versus 75%.  OG is 1.054 instead of projected 1.049.  WOOHOO!  Aromas of toasted malt, nuttiness, caramel, and toffee in the boil.  3 oz of German Spaltz hops in boil gave a slighty piney, citrusy, spicy aroma to the brew.  I'm thinking this will turn out to be a tasty brew!  Only a month to go to find out!
Cheers! 

Altbier, again

I decided to brew another Dusseldorf Altbier based on judging results from the Brew Hut Homebrew Competition.  My ALTer Ego won a Silver medal and was noted that it needed more malt aroma and flavor as well as requiring German Noble hops.  I did use Hallertau, but the judges thought they were a Nor-Cal variety.  So, I tweaked the maltbill and will use German Spaltz hops, which are the true variety normally used for Altbier.  Since I increased the flavor profile of the maltbill, I also increased the IBU's from 36 to 40.  I'm mashing as we speak and the results will follow!
CHEERS!

Black Cauldron Dry Irish Stout

Nice roasty flavors rounded out by a little chocolate.  Target hops provide a pleasant sweet floral aroma.  Darn tasty dry stout a few fellows have told me.  It will be ready for St. Patty's Day!
Cheers! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Black Cauldron Dry Irish Stout

Bottled tonight with a final gravity of 1.020, attaining 4.3% ABV.  Target hops provide a slightly fruity/floral aroma which is quite pleasant.  Flavor of deep roasted malt, coffee, and dark chocolate.  Nice bitterness that ends with a smooth, clean finish.  I hate having to wait two weeks for carbonation.  UGH!
Cheers!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Black Cauldron Dry Irish Stout

Well, I must be doing something well!  My projected gravity for this stout was 1.047. I  measured it at 1.052.  My efficiency seems to be getting better!  It pushes it just out of range for BJCP guidelines, but how often do I stay within those guidelines?  (I tend to brew like my favorite brewery, Deschutes, and put just a little twist on my recipes, though this one was unintentional.) 
The yeast is pitched and fermentation will be starting soon! 
CHEERS! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Black Cauldron Irish Stout

I decided to brew a dry stout for St. Patrick's day.  Brew day will be starting at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  I'll be posting details on brew day.
CHEERS!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wholly Smoke II

Bottling today.  FG is 1.010 which places it at 7.35 %ABV.  Flavor: Smooth, smoky, yet not overpowering.  Right about what I was aiming for flavor wise.  Should prove to be a tasty smoke beer!
CHEERS!    

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dusseldorf Altbier, "ALT"er Ego

Bottled today with an FG of 1.010 and a final ABV of 4.7%.  Flavor is good but will need a little conditioning time.  Did a small experiment with a half gallon of the same wort.  Details to come.  (Only four 12 oz bottles of the experiment exist.)
CHEERS!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wholly Smoke II

I had really good efficiency this batch.  Projected SG was 1.062 by recipe, measured is 1.066, and ended up with 5.5 gallons instead of 5.25.  Yeast is pitched and fermentation will be starting soon! 
CHEERS!

Dusseldorf Altbier, "ALT"er Ego

Racked to secondary for clearing.  Gravity 1.012 which makes it about 4.5% ABV.  Color is deep amber/orange.  The Hallertau hops seem very floral in aroma, which is actually quite intriguing.  Body seems about medium.  Flavor is a little light yet, but I think will improve with some conditioning.
CHEERS!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wholly Smoke II

O.k.  As I am a huge fan of smoke beers, and can only find smoked porters, and Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbiers imported from Germany, the original smoke beer brewery, I am creating a smoked ale with an even higher ratio of smoked malt than my first smoked beer, Wholly Smoke.
My oringinal version had 29% Weyermann Beechwood Smoked malt, 29% Briess Cherrywood Smoked malt, 13% Caramunich, 13% Munich, 9% wheat, and 7% carapils.  It was smokey, but I figured it would have a deeper smoke flavor.  It ended up being a very balanced brew and was good nonetheless.
Wholly Smoke II will consist of the following malt bill: 57% Weyermann Beechwood Smoked malt, 36% Briess Cherrywood Smoked malt, 6% Weyermann Carafoam, and 1% Weyermann Carafa III.  So, 93% smoked malt total should make for a more pronounced smoke flavor.  This beer should pair well with BBQ, smoked meats, and charcuterie.  I'll post the specs after brewing tomorrow!
CHEERS!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dusseldorf Altbier, "ALT"er Ego

Good morning!  My brew day started at 6:00 a.m.  My mash is almost finished.  Mashed in at 161 to reach a mash temp of 148 for 90 minutes.  Smells amazing!  Nothing like the smell of mash in the morning!
At the boil I will add my hops in late additions to retain smoothness.  I will be using German Magnum for bittering and Hallertau for flavor.   
My starting gravity is projected at 1.052.  Actual is 1.046.  Deep amber/copper/light brown color. 
I'm looking forward to tasting this brew!
Cheers!