Sunday, February 17, 2013

Batch 4: Steamboat California Common Beer: Brewing Day

I'm really excited to be using a lager yeast for the first time--even though this isn't exactly a lager beer. I'm naming this one after my high school band, Steamboat.

I'm trying one new thing with this this batch. John Palmer suggests (p. 83 in How to Brew) that one can use sealed, sanitized 2-liter bottles of frozen water to chill the wort. I've got three in the freezer.

Here's the program:
  1. Boil 4 gallons of water the day before, and set aside to cool overnight.
  2. Steep 0.75 lb. crystal 40L malt and 1 oz. black malt in 3 gallons of water at 160º ±10º for 30 minutes.
  3. Add 3.3 lb. of pale LME, and stir till dissolved.
  4. Bring to boil until break (approx. 20 minutes).
  5. Hop.
    1. 1.5 oz. U.S. Northern Brewer hops T-60 minutes.
    2. 0.5 oz. U.S. Northern Brewer hops T-15 minutes.
      1. Add 0.25 lb. maltodextrin powder.
  6. Add 3.3 lb. of pale LME at knockout, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Chill wort with ice bath and soda bottles to below 70º.
  8. Add wort to pail, and top off with cooled boiled water to just over 5 gallon-mark (or approx. 3 inches from top of pail).
  9. Measure original gravity.
  10. Pitch Wyeast California Lager Yeast (#2112).
  11. Aerate the wort by pouring back and forth between sanitized pails.

The original gravity ended up being 1.043 (corrected from 1.042 at 66º). (The target OG was 1.052. Not sure about the discrepancy.) The frozen soda bottles seemed to work well. I put one sanitized bottle in the center of the kettle while it was submerged in the ice bath. I stirred the wort until the ice in the bath had fully melted. I then placed the remaining two sanitized soda bottles in the kettle. The wort chilled much more quickly than with only the ice bath. (I didn't have an eye on the clock so I'm not sure exactly how quickly.)

I plan to let this ferment for about two weeks before racking for secondary fermentation for at least a week.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Batch 4: Steamboat California Common Beer: Ingredients

I am basing this one on John Palmer's No. 4 Shay Steam (p. 232) as published in How to Brew. I am adding the black malt to attenuate the sweet maltiness that for me is the only shortcoming--if you can call it that--of Anchor Steam.
  • 6.6 lb. pale LME
  • 0.75 lb. crystal 40L malt
  • 1 oz. black malt
  • 0.25 lb. maltodextrin powder
  • 2 oz. Northern Brewer hops
  • 1 packet Wyeast California Lager (#2112)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Batch 3: Papa Bear Porter: Secondary Fermentation/Bottling Day

After a week in the secondary fermenter, I measured the final gravity of the beer at 1.013 (corrected from 1.012 at 69º). With an original gravity of 1.067, the alcohol by volume ends up being about 7.09%, which is about a percentage-point higher than I had planned on and puts the beer just outside of the traditional realm of robust porters. I tasted the sample from the thief, though, and it seems fairly balanced.

I primed the beer with 3 oz. of corn sugar before bottling.

I ended up with 50 bottles this time, a significant improvement of efficiency from the previous two batches.

The beer will get 19 days to bottle condition before we enjoy in it Gatlinburg. I have pretty high hopes for this one.