Friday, December 11, 2015

home roasted grains .. lager... continued crazy from the kitchen

So I brew a lot.  I brew a lot with my brew crew, but we also all brew some on our own.   This brew day was on my own.  An all grain standard american lager with home roasted grains.   I have been reading recently on barleypopmaker's blog about roasting your own grains and about making specialty grains right at home.   It is a great read.   I have also been reading on makingbeerthehardway about malting.  But we are experiencing a richness of malt right now due in part to the support of BSG and Rahr.  So malting will have to wait for another day.   I want to encourage you again if you haven't checked out BSG, you should.  They are the premier wholesaler of products to your local home brew store.  But if you know what they carry you can encourage your local homebrew store to order it for you... and they carry everything.

So, back to home roasting grains.   I believe that fresh ingredients make a huge deal...kinda...  here is what I mean.   Fresher hops are always better, fresher specialty grains are always better,  fresher base malt... doesn't matter that much.  After all, kilning, and drying grains were originally methods of preserving grains.  They last for years, when properly stored.   Or so I have heard... I brew so much I wouldn't know.  a 50 lbs sack of grains lasts about 2 months around here.  inspired by barley pop maker I decided to follow his process for making golden roasted malt, I took .5 lbs of two row and paved it on a cookie sheet.  I put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 300 f.  The whole house smelled amazing.

No flavor or aroma can truly describe the snell.  Bread and nuts and roast.  Amazing. 
It should have been a 20 lovibond grain.  I thought it looked like 20.  But i was way off.  It had to be closer to 60 lovibond.    My oven must be a beast.   Because my standatd lager looks like a bock.  But I am undeterred, I will be roasting more grains myself. But I will add them to the mash differently, later in the mash to control color.   And I will be using an oven thermometer when I roast.     Making adjustments and learning is essential to getting better. 

I followed my standard brew in a bag with sparge rinse procedures.    I mashed at 152 for 60 minutes, then sparged to volume.  I then began the boil as normal. Added noble hops 3xs, chilled with 50 l ft of dual coil action. 

The brew came out way darker than anticipated.   So what to call it... it isn't technically high enough to be a bock, but it is clearly way way to dark to call a standard american lager.   So Im open to suggestions.

By the way, I hope you when you chill your stuff, you save as much of your water as you can.   I use the water from chilling to clean my gear.  To sanitize the fermenter,  to clean other brew gear. I'm not exactly a big environmentalist but... one planet, one chance...

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