Thursday, December 17, 2015

This weekend... Stella Clone

We make lagers in the winter here for consumption in early spring.  We like to take advantage of the cold Kansas winters.  Our basements and garages turn into perfect places for lagering.  In truth  I can lager small batches year round... well to be honest I can lager a full 5 gallon batch but that is another story.   The point of counterbrew is to help new and intermediate brewers grow into some of the more intimidating aspects of home brew.  To help remove the fears associated with all grain brewing, with partial mash and with things like lagering.  If you like me have a spot or two in your home that stays around 52 F all winter long... make some lagers.

For me, on top of the fridge in the garage is the perfect spot.  It stays right at 50-54 all winter long.  it doesn't seem to matter if it is 32 F or -4 F outside.  It stays right around 50.   How do I know?  Simple, I put a thermometer up there.  When I walk out to the garage fridge, I check the temperature.  Last year, it stayed right around 52 all winter long.  I think in part it is from the heat coming off the Refrigerator, and from the kitchen, which is just on the other side of the wall.

So this weekend, MA and I intend to put up some Stella Clone, that we are calling Soldier Svejk.   Soldier Svejk is a Czech legend.   Not a true legend, but still an inspiration to the Czech people.  So why are we naming an American Lager, made in Leuven, packaged in Germany, by a company from Belgium / St Louis, after a Czech Legend?   Simple, originally Stella was Belgium's answer to the growth of Bohemian Lagers.   It is light, and crisp and assertively ( although no aggressively) hopped with Saaz hops.   And Saaz hops are Bohemian, and Bohemia is Czech.  So there.

This beer will be a partial mash.  My favorite way to brew.  Here is the recipe.

If you have never checked out brewtoad.  You should.  It is the easiest brewing software I have ever used.  The tools and calculators continue to improve.  The customer service is fantastic.

Some quick updates for you.

  • My golden bret beer has started bubbling away again.  Not aggressive action but some.  Everytime I drink a sour I pour the dregs in... I know that flies in the face of what you have read... but the choices were pour it out, or pour in the bret... I chose the later.
  • My Champagne Lager has finished primary and is ready for transfer into secondary.  Ill handle that this weekend.  I want it off of the yeast.  Ill save the 2112 yeast one last time.  That makes 4 batches out of that yeast.  I never go more than 5. I dont think I posted about this one.  Think it was just for me.
  • The groups, Belgian Strong Dark ale, with brown sugar, d180, pureed dried plums has finished primary.  It needs also to be racked and aged.   MA and I will probably handle that.  Ill save what I can of the yeast.  Probably give to friends and any one who wants it in KC.  We don't get WLP 500 year round so you make it last. 
  • The 2.25 gallon  light lager is force carbing right now, in 3,  2 liter bottles.  You may recall that was one of the batches made with 34/70 at ale temps.  It takes longer when you force that yeast to perform at 64 F.  But it does ok and eventually cleans up into a great lager.  
That's all for now.... Prost!

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