Thursday, December 22, 2022

Batch 280, Panama Red

 Still trying to make decent beer here in Baja. Going for a Panama Red, going to ferment at least 10 days this time.

5 gallon batch

12 lb 2-row

12 oz Crystal 60

12 oz White wheat

2 oz Chocolate malt

Mashed at 153F, added 1 tsp phosphoric acid to the mash. Collected 6 gallons in the boil kettle.

1 oz Mt Hood, FWH

1 oz Centennial, 60 min

1 oz Cascade, 30 min

1 oz Cascade, 5 min

1 oz Mt Hoos, 5 min

2 packets of Safale-04.

Pretty easy brew day, hope this one comes out good.

Update 13 Jan 2023: it's okay, it's not quite Panama Red, but it's drinkable. A little diacetyl, but not as much as previous batches.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Batch 279, another "Smooth" IPA

 I got a new fridge to replace my busted kegerator. My local Mexican fridge repair guy was unable to fix the kegerator, so I got a new, regular style fridge and put the taps through the door. It looks nice and actually cools better than the kegerator anyway, so better overall. 

As I was brewing this, Dan and his wife stopped by. Here I am in Baja, and Dan is the guy in Boise that I bought the brew setup from in Boise. It's a small world -- he camps at the next beach south of our house.

A 5 gallon batch

12 lb 2-row

12 oz Crystal 60

12 oz white wheat

Heated water to about 168F, but only hit about 150F in the mash tun. I expected it to be a little warmer. I added 1/2 tsp phosphoric acid. I don't have a pH meter here, but that seems to be what I usually add in the other world.

I got a big bags of pellet hops from a friend camping on yet another beach. He'd stopped in the San Diego area on his way down to Baja to visit a friend who works at the 805 brewery. It was about 1.5 lb of unknown hop pellets. I gave half to my neighbors here who also brew as I'll never be able to use them all. I used them like they are Cascade hops, but I really don't know.

1 oz 60 min

.5 oz at each of 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 5 min

1 oz at flame out. I left these in the fermenter for 2 days.

I think that part of the flavor problems I've been having is overcooking the wort, so I was careful to keep this at a low simmer. My burner is one of those "jet" style burners, and my pot is quite wide (so the wort is shallow), which I think lead to the overcooking. This is just a guess, I'm still working out how to use this system to make good beer. Oddly, the boil kettle it big enough to do a 10 gallon batch, but the rest is really for 5 gallons. I may get a somewhat smaller pot for boiling.

2 packets of Safale S-04 yeast. 

Dec 16, 2022: Brewed on Tuesday, done fermenting on Friday, which seems pretty quick to me, but it was down to 1.012 already. I forgot to get an OG, math says it should have been 1.061. The hydrometer sample tasted decent, the clarity isn't too bad. Turned the temp down to cold crash and will add gelatin to the keg this time. 

Dec 23, 2022: Okay, it's definitely diacetyl. I need to ferment longer and/or do a diacetyl rest. That Tuesday to Friday fermentation isn't enough. It seemed quick, but I don't have a lot of experience with dry yeast, so I thought it's probably okay. It's clearly not. Next batch will get at least a week in the fermenter, maybe even 2 weeks just to be safe.