I have to bottle tonight (Amherst Imperial Stout + Sea Gull Dreams Mild… the imperial stout is tasting great – very Tempest-ish), so I’m going to throw together a quick beer to keep me company. I’ve had a giant 4 oz bag (pillow?) of whole Citra flowers forever (I ordered them assuming they’d be 4 individually packaged oz) that I’ve been hesitant to open and half a pack of S-04 from the mild, so I’m going to brew something like this Zombie Dust clone.
Just doing 10L of it. I cannot seem to brew with citra without huge grassy flavours, so this is my attempt at redemption!
First Wort Hops
I just made a massive run to the home-brew shop to pick up a 25kg sack of 2-row. Since I have to mail order usually (which can cost up to $10 a batch!) and this time my friend offered to drive, I picked up enough supplies to give me leeway when further designing some of my brewing ideas. Ended up with about 85lbs of grain and 1.5 lbs of hops! Here are some of the ideas that I’m working to refine based upon what I picked up today.
A Christmas Gift!
I started this blog a year ago to document my attempts to get better at homebrewing. I have to say, 2013 has probably been the most productive and educational in my homebrewing career. I brewed styles I hadn’t brewed before, learned a lot about water chemistry and ph management, tried new yeasts, hops, and malts, and generally just brewed more than I ever had before. In what follows, a summary of the beers I brewed this year, what I liked about them, what I’d change and my plans for the new year.
Ubiquitous glass of grain.
I love big, roasted imperial stouts, so for this brewday I wanted to try brewing one. It had been planned to be my highest gravity brewday ever with a targeted OG of 1.111. I didn’t get there. For Christmas (I got it early) I was gifted a grain mill and this beer was my first time using it to crush my base grain. Well, the mill-gap was far too wide and I didn’t get a good crush. As a result, it ended up with a gravity of 1.085. Still within the style, but not ideal.
Seagull Dreams, named for a lyric in a Ron Hynes song (“And the seagulls were all dreaming, seagull dreams on Amherst Rock“), is a mild I wanted to brew using the second runnings from the imperial stout. Well, since I was frustrated with my gravity and since I batch sparge, I decided to pitch in some grain I was using to test the mill gap (after reading my low mash gravity) into the tun. So it ended up being 1.055! In short, I got a weaker imperial stout and stronger mild! Oh my…
Planning on brewing a small holiday inspired small batch (one gallon) this evening. Got inspired by seeing some holiday pomanders and though that maybe I’d take a second run at a stout with orange. This is just a “stove top” recipe, meaning that I’ve brewed this volume at friend’s houses who have no actual homebrew equipment aside from something to ferment this in (Brooklyn brew kit fermenter, for example). It’s no more complicated than a stew! Here is a little more on the method.
Image from wikipedia.
For my birthday this year I was gifted this lovely poster from the Single Hop Project. Well, to celebrate the poster and the great year 1985, I decided to order a pound of Ontario grown Chinook hops from Clear Valley Hops and to brew up a American Black Ale (Black IPA).
The NewfoundLambic Project is my first attempt at a long-termed soured beer. I’m trying out White Labs Belgian Sour Mix 1.
Here are the basic vitals:
Mash 11L at 148F for 60 minutes
6 lbs 2-Row (or a Belgian-ish pale pilsner malt) – ~65%
3.5 lbs Wheat Malt – ~35%
Two step batch sparge (15 minutes each) 6L and 13L at 168F.
Boil 75 minutes. At 60 minutes add 18g Saaz (or other nobel hop).
OG: 1.048, 5 gallons.
Going to pitch a vial of White Labs Belgian Sour Mix I and then pop it in a closet in my parents house in Newfoundland for around a year (or until I’m home again). Might pitch in some dregs of any other lambics I drink along the way to introduce some other bugs into the mix. I’ll bottle it after a year if its tasting good and let it bottle condition for another couple years after that.
Update: December 27, 2013. Home for Christmas, so I got a chance to look at the beer. The beer is still aging well and has some veiny pelical growing nicely on top.