Monday, 29 April 2013

Belgian IPA

Well, I changed my mind again.... So Many Recipes such little time.
I wanted to brew my Belgian Red Ale, but I wanted something Hoppy again, so I decided to combine the 2. and I've had this recipe on the "to do list" for quite sometime. And as I'll be going for surgery soon, and have plenty of hops etc. I thought , why not.
Now I don't have access to Honey Malt, which is a shame, as it sounds damn tasty. So I've subbed it with Some Melanoidin, and the left over Cara-Belge I have left (which isn't much).

The other sub I need to do is Simcoe, as I dont have any and can't be bothered buying 50 grams to only use half of that anyways. so I'm using Amarillo, which I have plenty of anyway. The recipe will be posted new Week, but its on anyways.

I'm mashing low at 65 deg C, and doing Partial Mash.

Separate note, I have an issue again with my Backup Plan, theres some white specs appearing, which mean I may have another infection developing, but it still tastes ok. So, I'll scoop this stuff off tonight, and Dryhop it with Nelson. and bottle over the weekend, I'm not overly fussed with this beer now, so I'll use 24 330ml bottles and the rest of the beer can be chucked. I'll be using Carb drops to bottle cos its super easy, and there little clean up to do as well.
I'm thinking its less of a cleanliness thing and more of a I'll rack and add some random yeast to try to get more out of it, its a 1.018, which gives me about 2.3-2.4% abv, might be good for all the pain pills I'll have after surgery. lol.

and Lastly, I'll be posting some photos of the Hard work I've been doing building a brewery... i.e putting power in etc.
I really hope my Belgian IPA comes out well, after the recent disasters I've had. fingers Crossed.
Yeast Cake (Provided it works will be used for the BigBelgian Beer I've been planning to condition while I can't lift things). Will be good to see if I can do it...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Poor Yeast Viability

SO, it seems I have a poor yeast Viability issue, the 1214 I am using for my Backup Plan, is not running, it started bubbling about 6 hours after pitching, then 8 hours late that was it, so i left it and left it, hoping it was still doing something, it stopped at 1.020, yet another stuck fermentation on a small 12 litre batch!
I figured out that the viability may not be quite so good on the yeast and I guess that my own fault, as there wasn't a whole lotta activity, during the starter time.

So, I re-pitched a Dry Yeast packet of T-58, and it seems to be doing something, which confirms the yeast were a bit pooped, it'll be interesting to see what it tastes like at the end, I'm fermenting on the upper scale of this T-58 yeast.

Basically, its not going to taste anything like the commercial version of Plan B, but here's hoping it has a slight taste or something close-ish.

Next up, anotherchange of plans: I'll be making a belgian Red Ale, I've been working on a recipe for it, sessionable at around 5.5-5.7 % abv. With a new packet of 1214, I'm hoping this will work and I'll finally get my yeast cake for the KWAK Clone recipe I've got on the cards, Hopefully before Surgery. I'm still waiting for ACC anyways, So, I kinda figure I can get another brew or two in. In particular If I can get the KWAK clone down and maybe I'll get a helping hand from a local brewer to do some heavy lifting. once its racked over to another vessel.

Friday, 19 April 2013

What do you do on a rainy day??

Me? I brew....
i just mashed in on my Plan B Clone, I've appropriately named it Backup Plan, which is exactly what it is... a bakc up plan for not being able to put power in my garage, because of the rain, too wet to do it, so I've set my grage up to mash and boil, i measured everything in prepaation, in case of such an occasion...
here it is

Secondly this is the update on the electricity... nothing, we wired up my temp controller for the fridge, and I had everything ready to go, but good old new zealand really turned on the weather.

Rugby tonight, just me and the old man by the sounds. I'll be interested to see how this recipe comes out, I'm not sparging this beer, so efficiency may be an issue, but the est efficiency at 70% is 1.038, which is dead on, fingers crossed i hit it or at least get 1-2 point near., mashed at 70.5degrees for 60 -70 mins, tempted to mash longer maybe 15 mins then remove grains and mash out, then re-add and dunk the grains to remove additional sugar.

Thursday, 18 April 2013


As Jeremy Clarkson would say..... POWER!!!!!!!
That's the operative word at my place, I'm finally getting mains power to the garage :)
Wish me luck, there will be a series of pictures as time progresses, the mains are being run tomorrow, and then as time goes, lights, plugs etc.
I'll be powering it up to get a fermentation fridge running, and later in life, as money and time permits a 3 vessel single tier brewery... get some more consistent brews, better efficiency, etc.

On a separate noite, my NZ IPA is almost ready to bottle, It's being cold crashed in the morning until the sunday when i get a chance to bottle, the same with the dark version, fingers crossed this turns out.
photos to come...
Oh and theres a brew planned in theory... I dont really have time, but the ingredients are there and if we finish the power earlyish, I'll crack on, with a PLAN B Clone.
this beer is from yeastie boys, and as such Stu the master brewer was kind enough to e mail through a recipe, which I have adjusted the smallest bit. with and extra 50g of pale malt, and 5 grams of carabelge.
this will make little to no difference. hops are weighed, and so on and so forth.

Exciting times for me.

Friday, 5 April 2013

NZ IPA and 2 Technique experiments...

As I drink Douglas's Belgian amber, The last Beer in our CHCH Case swap. This morning I took the time i had and made a partial mash with NZ Hops, Pacific Gem, Motueka and Cascade NZ. I beat efficiency, I find that using the Light DME helps with this. Heres a Picture of the colour I got at Transfer...
Pretty good colour, I added 1 teaspoon of Calcium Sulphate to help bring out some of that hop flavour. I used Pacific Gem for bittering,which may be a bit old? I opened the freezer and found that the Pacific Gem was open, so I took 25grams at 60 mins. along with 30g of NZ Cascade and Motueka at 10 minutes and 0 mins. I got hold of WLP090 to try and fix my Porter, but if you look at my previous post i didn't get to use it..
I made a starter for the brew on thursday night, gives plenty of time for the yeast to grow.
Now onto my experiments:
Number One:
Cold steeping - Because I had my infection, I needed to get a dark/black beer for the local CHCH Brew Competition in may. So I thought I'd give this a go. 50grams of Carafa II in 250mls of Room temperature Water. this was put in on Friday morning, mashed for 24hours approximately, then sparged with 200-250ml of 76 degree water, through a sieve. This came out a really inky Black colour, so i split off 4 litres of the finished wort, into a small Demi-John, nice and dark. when I checked the OG there was no difference though, I can't say I'm disappointed, I was just looking for that dark Colour for a Black IPA. It certainly has worked. so far so Good. Heres a Picture.

Experiment Two:
Hot Steeping Hops in 80 Degree Water, for a certain period of time.
I've read a bit about a couple of breweries who use a piece of brewing equipment called a hop percolator, so i thought I'd try  a bastardised version of it, to see if I could gain  any additional Aroma/flavour/bitterness out of the flameout hops. The process I used is to Heat 1 litre on water to boiling point for sanitation, then I let it move down to 80 degrees C and added 25g of Motueka and 25g CascadeNZ, and ad these to the hot water and let it sit for the brewing period, in this case, I probably pre-empted the situation and transferred off the  hops using a sieve and hop bag. i then added the water to the cooled wort in tbhe fermenter, time will tell if this was worth it.
I'm hoping it'll work. and it certainly saves wort/ trub losses.

OG 1.060
Est FG 1.012-4
I'll keep you posted on the results of this.
See you again soon.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

My first Infection

Well, Live and learn, don't use a kitchen cloth when your cleaning and sanitising.... This is what happens, I re-pitched the US-05, and came back from easter to find this. I have now dumped it and as such its onto the next brew..... I believe the issue lies with an unsealed fermenter after re-pitching not quite sanitary vials of yeast. bugs get in and make a bit of a mess, and also make things smell really really bad. I'm hoping to treceive my new BIAB bags x2 this week, for my next brew an NZ IPa/Pale Ale, Motueka Cascade and Pacific Jade for bittering. recipe to follow. Oh and check out the rave review from Kiwi Revo on my Code Brown Saison: