Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Batch 134, 11-11-11 repeat

What a fucked up brew day. Ugh. This was supposed to be a repeat of the fabulous 11-11-11 End of the World beer, but I'll have to see how this one comes out. Like last time, this is a partigyle batch, so 5 gallons of End of the World, and 5 gallons of a smaller beer that I'm calling "Muddy Waters".

10 gallon partigyle batch

22 lbs 2-row
8 lbs wheat
1 lb crystal 120
0.5 lb crystal 60
0.75 lb chocolate malt

Mash at 152F for 60 minutes with 11 gallons of water. I'd forgotten that this maxes out my mash tun, and actually overflowed it a bit. Completely full! What I didn't know at the time was that the elbow from the valve to the false bottom fell out. When I tried to vorlauf, all I got was lots of grain and it never cleared, so I pumped it through a strainer into a bucket. I sure as hell hope hot side oxidation is a myth. Fortunately, my pump was up to the task and had no problem pumping wort and grain at the same time.

The small batch was the same, I went ahead and added 7 gallons back to the MT and pumped through a strainer into buckets, then dumped the buckets back into the kettle for boiling. What a mess. I used all my buckets for this and that. I had 6 (six!) five gallon buckets in play during the mash out.

I'm pretty sure what happened is I pump hot water from the HLT into the MT through the bottom and that blew the elbow out of the inside of the valve. Since I was using 2 boil kettles, I quickly retrofit them to use my older SS braids. Those are tried and true, and the false bottoms don't seem to work very well. As it turns out, they did a great job for keeping the hops in the kettle, but I still had a lot of wort left behind since the fucking elbow leak where they connect to the valves. I seem to have spent a lot of money on an "upgrade" that doesn't work very well.

End of the World hops:
6 oz Chinook at 60 minutes. That is all.

OG: 1.110, actual 1.090, which I'm assuming is from the screwing around with the mash.
IBU: 111 -- yeah, maybe.

Muddy Water Hops:
1 oz Galena, 60 minutes
1 oz Perle, 30 minutes
1 oz Calypso, 5 minutes

OG: 1.055, actual 1.045, and that's probably a bit generous.

I used Wyeast 1272, American Ale II in both. They are bubbling away nicely at the moment, so I'm sure there will be beer. Maybe not quite the awesomeness of End of the World, though.

Update 14 Jan 2014, put this on tap on my nitro spout. Initial taste test is pretty darn good, actually.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Batch 133, Oktoberfest

It seems a little early to brew an Oktoberfest, but I'm still drinking last year's batch because it wasn't ready until late November. This year I went with an entirely different recipe. I have yet to figure out a decent Oktoberfest. Crossing my fingers!

10 gallon batch

16 lbs Munich
10 lbs 2-row
1.5 lbs crystal 60

Single infusion mash at 154F for 60 minutes.

1 oz Magnum, 60 minutes
2 oz Magnum, 5 minutes
1 oz Magnum, flame out

Wyeast 2124, Bohemian Lager yeast. Yeah, that's not right, but I had it on hand and it needed used. It'll will make beer, regardless.

OG: 1.062
FG: 1.015
SRM: 17
IBU: 26
ABV: 6.0%

SRM is a little dark for the style. I almost left out the 2-row and went with just Munich, but thought that was a little much. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bourbon Barrel, part 4

I hauled the barrel out of my basement in the middle of the summer and put it out in the basketball area behind my garage. I brew there, so I keep a fairly close eye on it and keep it topped off with water so it doesn't dry out. It got cold, I started brewing inside the garage, and sort of forgot about the barrel. Then it snowed, and the temperature dropped to single digits. Bad news for the barrel.

The barrel was completely full of water. When it froze, it pushed out the barrel end.

I set up a tarp and a heater and got it thawed out. The head came out during the thawing.

A few of the boards making up the head were cracked, so I glued them back together. The head itself is put together dry. There are dowels, but no glue between the boards.

Since the end of the barrel was off, I took a few pictures of the inside. Here I'd pulled off the two end hoops so there will be some slack to be able to put the head back in.

I make a few new dowels to replace the ones that had broke, then pounded the boards together with a rubber mallet.

Looks pretty good. There is still a little surface splitting just to the right of the "bourbon".
Looks pretty good. Here the head is in, but the hoops are not on yet, so there are still some gaps visible.

Repaired! It still needs filled and seasoned, but I think it's good for a barleywine now.