Monday, June 25, 2012

Beer VS Wine throwdown

The Southern Great Lakes Symphony Beer VS Wine Throwdown fundraiser has come, and gone. Results?
Beer won 4 rounds, and wine won 3.

Here's the courses....
Chicken Cesar salad.
BEER StMartins Abbey Blonde Ale (Belgium)
WINE Karantes 2010 Rose de Karantes Langedoc.

"Very Veggie" Italian Pasta with Tomatoes
BEER Moretti La Rossa Doppelbock (Italy)
WINE Di Mago 2010 Sangiovese Terri Degli Osti

Bohemian Keilbasa & Kraut
BEER Veldensteiner Munich Dunkel (Germany)
WINE Pine Ridge 2010  Chenin Blanc & Viogner

"Doug's Famous" Pulled Pork Sliders
BEER Motor City Honey Porter (Michigan)
WINE Plungerhead 2010 Zinfandel Lodi

Slows To Go Macaroni & Cheese
BEER Saugatuck ESB/Amber (Michigan)
WINE M Lawrence - NV "Sex" sparkling rose.

Bodacious Brownies
BEER Atwater Vanilla Java Porter (Michigan)
WINE Grahams 6 Grapes Reserve Porto
 (Editor's note. They were all wrong!!)

"My Big Fat Greek Bakalava"
BEER Detroit Brewing Radler
WINE Tintero 2010 Moscato D'Asti Sori Gramela
WINNER - WINE! (Wrong again!)

A great time was had by all, and the event netted the symphony a bucket of cash. Yay!
We ABSOLUTELY have to do an event like this again. And soon.

Summer Love

Grilled octopus and Jolly Pumpkin's iO Saison......

Friday, June 22, 2012

Brew Day, Batch 371: Return of Atmospherium

My original attempt at Atmospherium missed the target a bit; instead of 6 to 6-1/2% alcohol I ended up with 8.1%. Tasty as it was, it really was too much for a hot summer's tipple. Today, I am attempting to learn from my previous errors, and make something more 6ish. The key elements are intact: a portion of malted rye to accentuate the spicy, peppery phenols from the French Saison yeast; a wort designed to attain very high attenuation through a multi-step, low temperature mash and the use of 6% table sugar AKA Atmospherium; and lots of spicy Saaz hops throughout.

Here's today's take:

(10 gallons yield)

10  lbs. Weyermann Pilsener malt
2   lbs. Briess rye malt
2   lbs. Weyermann Munich Type 2
1/2 lb.  Weyermann Cara Munich
1   lb.  table sugar (cane)

  • Doughed in with 13-1/2 quarts of 134F liquor for 124F protein rest; rested 30 min.
  • Infused with boiling liquor to 147F, rested 75 min.
  • Vorlaufed, lautered, sparged to collect 12 gallons of wort. Terminal runoff gravity 1.011.

90 minute kettle boil

-Sugar added at 30 min.
-1.3 oz. Perle 9.3% alpha acid at 30 minutes
-1   oz Saaz 5.1% alpha acid at   75 minutes
-1   oz Saaz 5.1% alpha acid at  ~90 minutes

Calculated BUs ~30

Wort was chilled to 65F, yielding 10 and a skosh gallons at 1.050, which was pitched with Wyeast 3711 slurry. This should hit the ABV target nicely....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brew Day, Batch 369: Munich Dunkel

Dark Munich-style lager beer; it is possibly the very epitome of maltoliciousness, and one of the first classic beers that I strove to make for myself when I began homebrewing almost 25 years ago. The first recipes were based mostly on the contents of my hinder parts, using domestic ingredients, and the wrong ones, mostly. We still got beer out of it, just not real Munich beer; it didn't have the intensity of malty, bready, toasty, caramelly flavors the real thing has. Over the years, increased access to quality information and German malt led me to the promised land. And unlike say, pale ale, hereabouts there is a dearth of these hearty lagers, so it still really pays to make your own. This is a recipe that I've frozen, and won't change unless I can't get the Weyermann malts someday.

(10 gallons)

Target OG, 1.054, 24 BUs

15  lbs. Weyermann Munich Type1
2   lbs. Weyermann Munich Type 2
1/4 lb.  Weyermann Carafa 1
1.2 oz.  Perle 9.3% alpha acid -60 minutes
1/2 oz.  Saaz 5.1% alpha acid  -20 minutes
Wyeast 2308 Munich lager yeast starter

Scaled-down decoction mash:

Doughed in 1 qt./lb. at 132F for 125F strike. Rested 10 min.
Pulled 9 qt. thickest mash for 1st decoction. Heated to 155F, rested 15. Heated to boil, held 15.
Returned to main mash for 154F (needed to infuse 2 qt. boiling liquor,) rested 40 min. After a negative starch test, pulled 7-1/2 qt. thin mash and boiled 5 min. Returned for 165F mashout.

Vorlauf/lauter/sparge until runoff drops to 1.010; collect 12 gallons sweet wort.

Boil/hop as noted above. Total boil time is 90 minutes. Chill to 70F (best we can do this time of year,) and pitch yeast. Place fermenters in 45F cooler to finish attemperating. Rack and lager like the dickens when fermentation subsides. (Note: with this yeast, a diacetyl rest is necessary; allow temp to rise to mid-60s for the last few days of primary fermentation.)

Looking forward to drinking big mugfulls of this while eating barbecue....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Brew Day, Batch 367: "Session IPA"

Today's beer is a command performance: Mrs. C commanded me to make a "session IPA," that is, a low-gravity pale ale with very high bitterness and hop character. She did not have to command too stridently, though, as I think it's a capital idea. We are currently enjoying a very citrusy 5.9% v/v IPA, but a pint of that stuff before dinner makes Mrs. C's head spin. Thus, I'm looking to produce an amber beer of around 3.5-4.0% with around 55 BUs. Here's what I'm going with, straight from the back of the envelope:

(10 gallons final volume)

11  lbs. Great Western 2 row malt
1   lb. Weyermann Melanoidin malt
1/2 lb. Briess Victory malt
1/2 lb. Dingemans Special B malt

Single infusion mash, 1 qt./lb., at 154F

90 minute boil

1     oz. Columbus 13.0%           60 minutes
2     oz. Northern Brewer 10.0%    30 minutes
1-1/2 oz. Willamette 5.2%          10 minutes
1     oz. Bramling Cross 4.7%       5 minutes

As you can see from the hop bill, this will not be a citrusy one. Seemed like a good idea to change it up a bit- the previously mentioned IPA, plus the Dynamomium uber-IPA which is citrusy and fruity as well, have that covered. I'm hoping for a wee bit of piney-ness to carry through from the Columbus, add a bit of wood, mint, and tea from the Northern Brewer, some nice clean spiciness from the Willamette, and a nose full of currant from the Bramling Cross. Wyeast 1098 British Ale yeast will be doing the real work on this one, which we hope to be drinking within 3-4 weeks.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Brew Day, Batch 366: Ginger Wheat Ale

Summer weather is here, and I'm a bit behind- this is one of our favorite summer beers, and it'll be weeks until we have any to drink. I guess we'll have to make do with two varieties of Pils, and some IPA. Nothing new about today's beer; it's the same as detailed here. I'm using one kettle addtion of Crystal, with 4 oz. of chopped ginger in the boil for 60 minutes and 10 oz. for 10 minutes. Top-fermenting Wyeast 1007 will do the honors. Stay tuned....