R&D

Dunsmuir-Weisse

Greetings,P1020562

 

It took me a bit longer than I had hoped to get this project (beer) going, but I finally got it brewed, and will be anxiously awaiting the results. But, before I get too ahead of myself, lets take a step back.

As in most cases, this idea sprung up after a conversation with one of the many interesting and imaginative customers we have come by the homebrew shop. This particular individual makes his own Sauerkraut and sells it at local farmer’s markets. Well, as it turns out, the same lactic acid producing bacteria (Lactobacillus) responsible for souring sauerkraut, is also used in the production of certain sour beers, particularly those of German tradition, like Gose and Berliner Weisse. Naturally, I encouraged him to bring any left over juice he might end up with after packaging his Sauerkraut, and he was nice enough to do so. I was given two jars of leftovers to play with. One jar of juice from some Red Cabbage/Ginger Sauerkraut and another jar with Caraway.

Seeing as I am a bit of purist when it comes to brewing, especially when it comes to these styles with rich historical backgrounds, I wanted to keep my Berline-Style Weisse (it’s not technically a Berliner Weisse unless its brewed in Berlin) as close to what is considered traditional as possible. The most memorable Berliner Weisse I have tasted was the 1809 Berliner Weisse, designed by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens Institute, so naturally I took my inspiration from this beer. 50% Pils malt, 50% Wheat malt. Mash hopped with aged hops, with a single decoction. The biggest difference in my version of the beer, is that I actually boiled the wort for 1-2 mins, while tradition calls for “no-boil.”

I guess that’s not the biggest difference … I am adding leftover juice from sauerkraut for fuck’s sake

 

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------

Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.032 SG
Estimated Color: 2.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 0.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 1 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
3 lbs 8.0 oz          Pilsen Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.0 SRM)     Grain         1        50.0 %        
3 lbs 8.0 oz          White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         2        50.0 %        
1.00 oz               Revolution [3.60 %] - Mash 10.0 min      Hop           3        0.9 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               Lactobacillus Bacteria                   Yeast         4        -             


Mash Schedule: Decoction Mash, Single
Total Grain Weight: 7 lbs
----------------------------
Name              Description                                Step Temperat Step Time     
Protein Rest      Add 16.00 qt of water at 102.2 F           100.0 F       20 min        
Saccharification  Decoct 8.12 qt of mash and boil it         150.0 F       45 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.45gal, 3.41gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
------



Sept 20, 2014:

Late night brew. Things went pretty smooth in that I hit my temps and volumes. Sparge 
runoff got a little sticky, and I didn't use any Rice hulls for filtering, as I usually photo (9)
don't use rice hulls. 
Six gallons total - OG-1.031 
Collected into two 3 gallon fermenters. Did not aerate as Lactobacillus is a facultative 
anaerob, and I am certain there is some Acetobacter in the mix, so I want to limit its 
progression as much as possible.
Sept 21, 2014: 
Less than 24 hours after adding Sauerkraut dregs to each carboy, visable fermentation 
taking place. The Red Cabbage/Ginger portion took off a little quicker, but the Caraway 
was not far behind.

 

Rye Saison Mk. III

It’s been getting warm here in the Northern Sacramento Valley, to say the least. Temperatures touching 107 F (in the first week of June), have many fearing mass extinctions, global warming, and the ever present flaming fucking hot steering wheel. When I see the thermometer getting up there I get excited, as this is the ideal time for me to brew up some tasty Saisons. I will forego the well-repeated history of the style, rising out of the Belgian-French border, Wallonia, and Les Saisoneres. A very useful resource for the history of Saison is Farmhouse Ales, by Phil Markowski, and my personal favorite. My first heat-defying brew, of what is sure to be a long and dry summer, is my third rendition of a Rye Saison that has quickly found a place in my heart… and my liver. This variation of the Rye Saison will utilize a different strain of yeast. In batches past, I used my go to farmhouse yeast, which is a bit of a mystery strain, isolated from bottles of Sierra Nevada’s Ovila Saison (the original Ovila Saison, not that Abbey Saison Mandarin Orange nonsense). This time I will be using Wyeast 3463 Forbidden Fruit. This is the same yeast I used in my Belgian Wit, Hermine, some posts back. It gave a lot of interesting characters of tart acidity, fruitiness, and a bit of spice in the Wit, and I am anxious to see how this translates with some Rye and Spelt. In a few weeks I plan to rack a portion into a secondary fermenter with four pounds of Mirabelle Plums taken from a tree in my back yard… and another tree, in someone else’s yard. The portion not added to secondary will go straight to bottle for control tasting. P1020516




Recipe Specifications
--------------------------

Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.044 SG
Estimated Color: 3.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25.3 IBUs

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
4 lbs 10.8 oz         Pilsen Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.0 SRM)     Grain         1        51.9 %        
2 lbs 15.6 oz         Rye Malt (Briess) (3.7 SRM)              Grain         2        33.1 %        
13.6 oz               Spelt (3.0 SRM)                          Grain         3        9.4 %         
1.00 oz               East Kent Goldings (EKG) [6.70 %] - Firs Hop           4        23.9 IBUs     
8.0 oz                Candi Sugar, Clear (0.5 SRM)             Sugar         5        5.6 %         
1.00 oz               Crystal [3.50 %] - Boil 3.0 min          Hop           6        1.4 IBUs      
1.00 oz               Crystal [3.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           7        0.0 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               Forbidden Fruit (Wyeast Labs #3463) [124 Yeast         8        -             


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs
----------------------------
Name              Description                                Step Temperat Step Time     
Protein Rest      Add 8.12 qt of water at 125.7 F            113.0 F       30 min        
Peptidase         Add 4.00 qt of water at 180.4 F            131.0 F       20 min        
Sacch             Add 4.12 qt of water at 210.3 F            148.0 F       30 min        
Mash Out          Decoct 6.38 qt of mash and boil it         168.0 F       15 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge with 4.72 gal water at 168.0 F

June 12, 2014: Brew Day: pretty straight forward brewday and it wasn’t even that unbearably hot. I guess brewing butt-naked wasn’t absolutely necessary, but hey, why not? OG – 1.046 5.5 Gallons collected, aerated for approx. 5 minutes (aquarium pump), yeast starter pitched, and carboy left to ferment at ambient temperatures in my spare bedroom (approx. 83 F) Fermentation took off in less than two hours.

 

June 29, 2014: 

Final Gravity down to 1.008

Bottled half of the batch with 5 tbsp of clover honey.

The other half of the batch was racked onto 4 lbs of Mirabelle Plums that had been sanitized, then frozen for a week, thawed, smooshed, and then dumped into a 3 gal carboy.

 

July 2, 2014:

P1020520                                             “We like plums.” – Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Blondie with no name

A patron of the Homebrew Shop I am currently employed at has asked for some assistance in developing a few recipes for a brewery he is hopeful to open up in the next year or so. I agreed to help him out with some recipe formulation and some R&D. As if I needed any more excuse to brew.
This batch, a simple blonde ale (light hybrid, not Belgian) is the first recipe I have come up with. There is nothing off-the-wall about this one, as I am just looking for a solid, light-drinking beer, that hits on all the important aspects of a solid beer (maltiness, hop profile, clarity, etc...).

Recipe Specifications

--------------------------
Boil Size: 6.73 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.98 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.046 SG
Estimated Color: 4.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 23.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
7 lbs 8.8 oz          Brewer's Malt, 2-Row, Premium (Great Wes Grain         1        80.0 %        
15.1 oz               Barley, Flaked (Briess) (1.7 SRM)        Grain         2        10.0 %        
7.6 oz                Aromatic Malt (Briess) (20.0 SRM)        Grain         3        5.0 %         
7.6 oz                Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM)              Grain         4        5.0 %         
0.50 oz               Palisade [7.50 %] - First Wort 60.0 min  Hop           5        15.0 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Sonnet [3.75 %] - Boil 20.0 min          Hop           6        8.2 IBUs      
2.00 oz               Sonnet [3.75 %] - Boil 0.0 min           Hop           7        0.0 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               Irish Ale Yeast (White Labs #WLP004)     Yeast         8        -             


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 7.0 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                                Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 11.00 qt of water at 175.4 F           153.0 F       60 min        
Mash Out          Add 6.00 qt of water at 200.9 F            168.0 F       15 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge with 4.11 gal water at 170.0 F


A pretty basic and straightforward grist for this one. 2-row as the base, 10% Flaked Barley for some body and head retention. I also threw in 5% Aromatic to increase the maltiness of this beer, as the focus with blondes should be on the malty side, as opposed to being intensely hoppy. In addition, 5% carapils for some dextrins. The grist is actually based on a beer I brewed last year, which was meant to showcase a newer hop variety at the time, Belma. While the hop characteristics were lost overall in that batch, the beer in general turned out great. 
This go-around I decided to use Palisade for bittering. I don't have a good reason for this, only that it is a hop very rarely used by homebrewers in this area, and I think it deserves a shot. I am also using a newer hope variety for the flavor and aroma. Sonnet, which is bred from Saaz, and exhibits a lot of Goldings characteristics. Sonnet was a hop I used in the Le Fou, and really like what it had to contribute to the aroma of that particular beer. 
As for the yeast, I really like WLP004 Irish Ale for a more neutral yeast character. In my opinion, it lends a nice balance between the malt and the hops.

I plan to leave in primary for ten days, cold crash, and the keg this one up. 

Brewed on May 17, 2014: 

Mash efficiency was a little better than anticipated: 75% rather than 70% I calculated for. So, original gravity came in a few points higher, 1.051 rather than 1.046. Not the biggest difference, but noteworthy. 
Collected 5.25 gallons of wort, chilled to 69F, and placed in fermentation chamber, which is set to 64F