Friday, 27 December 2013

Happy New Year

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a good Christmas and Safe new Year, it's been quite a year here at the brewery. from infection to shoulder surgery, and for those of you who read this, thanks for you support.

Last update prior to my first batch in the new year, which will be a patersbier, low Alcohol Belgian beer with the WLP530 i picked up recently, this will then be pitched into a Belgian IPA, and Tripel as well.

my current brew... The Legacy of Wallace is still going, but the disappointing MJ burton yeast, hasn't moved to where it should have. Beer has finished at 1.024, which again continues to lead me to the requirement of a new thermometer.
anyways, it'll be bottled not long after the new year, if it stays sitting at 1.024 it'll be a scottish export 80/-  at 4.3% abv.

Some exciting stuff in 2014, a kegging system, and some work in the brewery, as its pretty messy. so I'll see you all in a couple of weeks, be safe and have a HOPPY New Year...

Oh and Mountain warrior is good... Very Good.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Carbonation experiment

so I overcarbed the beer. i used 126g of dextroze for 2.55 volumes, but used 20 litres of beer instead of the final volume of 19litres... I need a kegging system.
So heres my actual results:
Week 1: Creamy head some hop aroma, not jumping out of the glass, similar to Zombie dust, which was undercarbed for style. nice solid pale ale type beer.
Week 2: (ok Thursday) so a few days, good carbonation, slightly tart, maybe getting too bitter, but all in all around the correct level, i would has at a guess m,aybe 2.5-2.55 volumes at this point. Aroma jumps out and smacks you in the face. Girlfriend was mighty surprised...
Saturday around 2 weeks, fully carbed I think? the warmth is good for it, and well as above grossly overcarbed, not gushing or anything, i initially suspected a small infection (this is still a possibility) but I think its just too fizzy and the bitterness fro mther beer is smacking everything, and theres no taste except a harsh tart hops bitterness,  this relaxes a bit when some of the fizz disappears,  I did have 1 or 2 bottle infections by the looks, so maybe I'm getting ahead of myself? Who knows, I'm gonna give it a third week and crack one open. see the final result...
A final question to those out there reading this; what level do you carb at for an IPA style, and if overcarbed what do you do to rectify the situation?
Food for thought. Mountain warrior will be carbed to an estimated 2.5 volumes of co2, and if i do the same thing again it'll be ok, i'll probably get the carbonation correct...

Monday, 9 December 2013

Priming and Bottle Carbonation

Hi Everyone,
As mentioned in my last post, here is the first of a series of informative pieces, taken from numerous souces around the web. along with some advice direct from my friends on
This will be a long post so bare with me:
First up I've been thinking a lot about the affect of carbonation for IPA's and Pale ales, as it seems to affect the perceived bitterness of the final product and the "Zing" from the hops flavour. So in retrospect of this, I brewed the recent smell the Roses, and the even more recent Mountain Warrior, and will be carbed to their respective CO2 levels based off Beersmith 2 for the volume of beer being bottled. both beers will be carbedat very slightly different levels to test the difference in taste, and bitterness/flavour.

So firstly, the process:
2 cups of water brought to boiling point, the appropriate amount of sugar is added using the various calculators available online. (I'm currently using Beersmith 2), this is dissolved into the warm water and boiled for 10-15mins for sterilisation.
Next: The sugar solution is added to your sanitised bottling bucket, and the beer is siphoned/racked on top of it. Be careful not to splash it round, as oxidation can occur.
Then: makes sure the solution is dissolved into the beer, either by a gentle stir with sanitised spoon, or using a whirpool motion from the racking (this is normally what I do, as I can get a pretty good whirlpool motion going). I stirred the most recent one, to ensure even carbonation.
then bottle as usual with bottling wand attached.

Each different style requires a different level of carbonation to bring out some of the flavours, whether it be hops, yeast, malts etc.
So here is a general list of the recommended volume range for each individual style:
American Lager - Light/Standard/Premium (2.57-2.73) American Lager - Dark (2.5-2.7)
American Lager - Classic American Pilsner (2.3-2.5) European Pale Lager - Bohemian Pilsner (2.3-2.5)
European Pale Lager - Northern German Pilsner (2.52) European Pale Lager - Dortmunder Export (2.57)
European Pale Lager - Muenchner Helles (2.26-2.68) Light Ale - Blond Ale (2.3-2.6)
Light Ale - American Wheat (2.3-2.6) Light Ale - Cream Ale (2.6-2.7)
Bitter And English Pale Ale - Ordinary Bitter (.75-1.3) 
Bitter And English Pale Ale - Special or Best Bitter (.75-1.3)
Bitter And English Pale Ale - Strong Bitter / English Pale Ale (.75-1.3)
Scottish Ales - Light 60/- (.75-1.3) Scottish Ales - Heavy 70/- (.75-1.3)
Scottish Ales - Export 80/- (.75-1.3)
American Pale Ales - American Pale Ale (2.26-2.78) American Pale Ales - American Amber Ale (2.26-2.78)
American Pale Ales - California Common Beer (2.4-2.8) India Pale Ale - India Pale Ale (1.5-2.3)
Koelsch And Altbier - Koelsch-Style Ale (2.42-2.73) Koelsch And Altbier - Duesseldorf Altbier (2.16-3.09)
Koelsch And Altbier - Northern German Altbier (2.16-3.09) 
German Amber Lager - Oktoberfest/Maerzen (2.57-2.73) German Amber Lager - Vienna Lager (2.4-2.6)
5Brown Ale - Mild (1.3-2.0) Brown Ale - Northern English Brown Ale (1.5-2.3)
Brown Ale - Southern English Brown (1.5-2.3) Brown Ale - American Brown Ale (1.5-2.5)
English And Scottish Strong Ale - Old Ale (1.5-2.3)
English And Scottish Strong Ale - Strong Scotch Ale (Wee Heavy) (1.5-2.3)
Barleywine And Imperial Stout - English-style Barleywine (1.3-2.3)
Barleywine And Imperial Stout - American-Style Barleywine (1.3-2.3)
Barleywine And Imperial Stout - Russian Imperial Stout (1.5-2.3)
European Dark Lager - Munich Dunkel (2.21-2.66)
European Dark Lager - Schwarzbier (Black Beer) (2.2-2.6)
Bock - Traditional Bock (2.2-2.7) Bock - Helles Bock/Maibock (2.16-2.73) Bock - Doppelbock (2.26-2.62)
Bock - Eisbock (2.37) Porter - Robust Porter (1.8-2.5) Porter - Brown Porter (1.7-2.5)
Stout - Dry Stout (1.6-2.0) Stout - Sweet Stout (2.0-2.4) Stout - Oatmeal Stout (2.0-2.4)
Stout - Foreign Extra Stout (2.3-2.6) Wheat Beer - Bavarian Weizen (3.6-4.48)
Wheat Beer - Bavarian Dunkelweizen (3.6-4.48) Wheat Beer - Berliner Weisse (3.45)
Wheat Beer - Weizenbock (3.71-4.74) Strong Belgian Ale - Dubbel (1.9-2.4)
Strong Belgian Ale - Tripel (1.9-2.4) Strong Belgian Ale - Belgian Strong Golden Ale (1.9-2.4)
Strong Belgian Ale - Belgian Strong Dark Ale (1.9-2.5)
Belgian And French Ale - Belgian Pale Ale (1.9-2.5) Belgian And French Ale - Witbier (2.1-2.6)
Belgian And French Ale - Biere de Garde (1.9-2.5) Belgian And French Ale - Saison (1.9-2.4)
Belgian And French Ale - Belgian Specialty Ale (1.9-2.4)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Straight (Unblended) Lambic-Style (3.0-4.5)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Gueuze/Geuze-Style Ale (3.0-4.5)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Fruit Lambic-Style Ale (2.6-4.5)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Oud Bruin (1.9-2.5)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Flanders Red Ale (1.9-2.5) Fruit Beer - Fruit Beer (2.0-3.0)
Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer - Spice/Herb/Vegetable (2.0-3.0)
Smoke-flavored Beer - Classic Rauchbier (2.16-2.57)
Smoke-flavored Beer - Other Smoked Beer (2.16-2.57)
Specialty/Experimental/Historical - Specialty/Experimental/Histroical (2.2-2.5)

However after my recent failure at NHC, the feedback, mainly for the IPA/Pales Ale Categories was lack of hop vibrancy and "Zing" So I asked the question here:
One of the main bits of advice I received was  fresh hops (I freeze mine in Zip bags to keep as best I can) anmd the other was Carbonation.
Read Ralph's response about bottle carbed vs kegged, and the co2 differences between the 2 beers. very interesting.
 So here by an experiments (all be it different beers, with good similarities) read below for more.
All Priming numbers taken from beersmith by using the estimated final volume, ratherthan whats in the fermenter.
First up is Smell the roses; as I didn't want to grossly overcarb the beer and ruin my New years/Christmas beer, I figured, I'd carb up more accurately to the Numbers on Beersmith. So I decided to Carb higher than my usual, to 2.55 for 19 litres of beer. This equalled 126g of Dextrose usingthe above method of priming/bottling. Results will follow wit h1 weeks test, 2 week test and 3 weeks test
The 3 week test should be a good indication of final co2 level.
secondly the Mountain Warrior will be carbed up slightly higher (not by alot) to 2.6volumes, and the same test will follow.
My next American Pale Alewill be carbedto 2.7 in the new year. this will be my final test for bottle carbonation, although a kegging test once I complete my equipment will come up at some stage.
Here is some good tips on Carbonation:
and a good Priming calculator should you need it:

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Re-starting the Clock...

after my appaulling results in  the national competition, I've decied to resest the cloack on my brewing and establish some good process for sanitation and brewing also.
So in the coming weeks I'll be talking further about some of  processes of beer brewing.
first will be carbonation, then sanitation and so on and so forth.
Onto my brewing...
I bottled up Smell the Roses, and boy does it smell good, fingers crossed for no vege flavours. (asparagus).
OG was 1.055 - FG was 1.012, a tad drier, than i was expecting. only by a point or two, but i think it'll still be good, it'll just be more bitter. I'm ok with that.
The techniques used for dry hopping in this beer will be especially interesting, and if there is some truth behind what Kelly was saying about temperature of wort vs hop oils removed at these temps, it'll be an exciting brew. This beer will receive a full taste review, when completed.
Now I brewed another beer on the weekend, I've called it Mountain Warrior, as it loosely based off 2rowhill56 Pale Ale, from Russian River in the US of A.
A couple of minor differences in the beer, no Crystal 20, so I used Carahell.
I also has 30g of Mosaic to use, so randomly chucked it in at 10 mins left in the boil.
The rest is all simcoe, the last of my secret stash..... Looking forward to this one. although looking back at the beer its distinctly similar to smell the roses, apart from the colour of crystal, and the lack of US Cascade, plus the dry-hop techniques of course, mountain warrior will be dry-hopped with 55g of simcoe. and it'll be chucked in all at once, this will be a good test to see if the dry-hopping techniques add a different dimension to the beer. so strangely enough there is a good similarity between beers.

Secondly; I've been doing some reading on carbonation, hence the upcoming threads about it. I've talked to numerous people, and the consensus is to carb higher than i normally would for Pales and IPA's to bump the perceived bitterness and hop bite. Smell the roses was carbed at an estimated level of 2.55 volumes of co2.
Mountain warrior will be carbed to 2.6 to note any difference with carbonation (0.05 of a volume will be pretty minimal) if these beers turn out well, like i expect (mountain warrior will probably a bit cloudy)  then they will probably be re-brewed again when the new US of A harvest filters through to us here in little old NZ. then a 2.7 Volumes will be created, and taste differences will be established.

Lastly: SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY (Bookbinder type Clone). This has turned out amazingly well, and will be re-brewed using NZ Goldings in place of Fuggles early next year, difference noted. I actually sent a bottle to Manawabrew, and he loved it. the word used was "Brilliant". Which I'm pretty stoked with.

So I've found a couple of beers that I'd like to re-create finally, after much searching.
*1: Sons of Liberty Porter - I really enjoyed this beer, and still have a couple of bottles remaining to drink after all the IPA's are gone. Despite the judges saying it has phenols, it'll get a re-do in the early stages of autumn, but I'm not expecting to have Amarillo available, so Zythos is the most likely candidate ATM.
*2: Silence in the Library NW Bitter - Love this beer, easy drinking session bitter,with a good hop punch. Riwaka will be in short supply soon, but a re-iteration before it all disappears will happen pretty much first thing next year.
I'd like 3 beers that I can keep a good rotation of, so the third is up for grabs, hopefully and IPA/Pale Ale, and in all honesty, if I can nail the Bathed in Blood then i'll be happy. But that'll be down the track.

In the meantime I'll leave you with this, My next beer is Labelled "The Legacy of Wallace"... EstOG 1.063. Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe on