Sunday, December 28, 2008

Medium Cheddar

Success! This is the second time I've made cheese, and the first one that turned out. My first attempt followed directions that can be found here, It's actually a great resource for when your starting out, unfortunately when I tested the "cheese" after 6mos aging, it tasted and smelled like the white cheddar powder in Mac and Cheese - not very appetizing. Its unfortunate that theres not something like BeerAdvocate for cheese, there's really not much of an info base out there that I've been able to find. After the first attempt, I bought some real cheese cultures and gave it another shot. This time it turned out much better, its a really nice medium white cheddar, and I've been nibbling on it constantly since it was opened
Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Berliner Weisse

I'm supposed to be taking a break from brewing, I'm doing a massive equipment upgrade, and everything I have is spread out and in a million pieces, but I just couldn't help myself

So I brewed up a berliner weiss today with some help from my buddy Jesse (stirring the decoction), You can't beat free labor!, for those that don't know, a berliner weiss is a sour low gravity German ale fermented with lactobacillus. They are typically very highly carbonated (3.5-4vol), and a shot of fruit syrup is added to taste in the glass

I made one last year using Wyeast's Berliner Weiss 3191, unfortunately after contacting Wyeast I found out that it isn't being release this year, It made a good beer but took 3-4mos in bottle to taste great, So I'm getting started early this year so I have this one for early summer. I decided to run with US05, and WL677 Lactobacillus, the wyeast mix also has brett, but from what I understand that is not a strain that you can purchase, so I decided to skip it,

Berliner Weiss
5.5gal: OG 1044: 5IBU

5 lbs German Pils
3 lbs Wheat Malt
0.4 oz Hallertaur (20min)

WL677 - Lactobacillus Delbrueckii

10min @ 132F - Infusion
40min @ 147F - Decoction
10min @ 168F - Decoction

Notes: I didnt boil this one, the hops sat in the how wort for ~ 20min, I could've just raised the temp to 190ish to sterilize the wort, but I really didnt care that much: I also did a double decoction, I chilled to 60F, pitched the lacto, and gave it a 6hr head start on the US05, I did this hoping for a fairly sour beer, but only time will tell. The reason I did a double decoction on this one, is that with such a light beer it really helps the complexity, and you can really see what a decoction brings to a beer
Sunday, December 21, 2008

Graduation Stout

So today I racked my RIS, half was bottled and the other half is going on cherries (bing and Montmorency). It’s a recipe I've done before, but I took it up a notch this year, hoping to age this for about 2yrs (till graduation)

Graduation RIS

8.5 lbs Pale Malt
2.5 lbs Munich Malt
10. oz Chocolate Malt
8.0 oz Roasted Barley
6.0 oz 120L
4.0 oz 60L
4.0 oz Flaked Barley
8.0 oz Sugar

1.0 oz Zeus 16.4% 120 min

4 gal: 1115 SG: 68.8 IBU

When I mashed in I used ~2gal of second runnings (1020) from a brown porter I made the same day, this helped me achieve the high OG I was shooting for, I mashed a bit high (154) for this big a beer, but I'm expecting the sugar/acidity from the cherries to help to thin is out a bit. It tasted very smooth when bottling , the alcohol is very well hidden, I had to bottle some without cherries because I know I wont be able to wait for this one!
Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oaked Apple Cider 2008 - First Tasting

Just popped open a bottle of this year’s version of my hard apple cider

It was brewed last new years day (1/1/08), so it’s just about a year old, tastes great! This year I added some lactose for body, and oaked it for about a month, also I tried Nottingham for a change vs my normal wine yeast

The lactose added some needed body, and the oak is very subtle, mostly at the finish, definitely could add more in next year’s version

I really like the bit of residual sugar the Nottingham left, and the apple flavor is a bit more pronounced than when I’ve used K1V116 or D47

Fermentation was started with only a gallon of juice + corn sugar, additional amounts (0.5gal) were added once fermentation had died down. This helps to perserve much more apple flavor/aroma that letting it all go at once. This is because it really helps to minimize the scrubbing action of the CO2

For those out there using Beersmith, you can add apple juice to the ingredients list as an extract, typical apple juice is 11-13Brix, or roughly 1044. Unfortunately there’s no way to list it as per gallon and have increases in apple juice affect the batch volume, instead you’ll just have to remember that 1lb is one gallon of juice and make sure the batch size matches up

Oaked Apple Cider 2008

2.5 gal Apple Juice 55.56%
1.0 lbs Corn Sugar 22.22%
1.0 lbs Lactose 22.22%
0.5 oz Medium Toast Oak Chips

Nottingham Ale Yeast

OG 1063
FG 1010
Abv 6.9%

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