Sunday, June 7, 2015

Saturday Brew Session Champagne Lager and a Cascadian IPA

 Your brew day should always begin with a clean kitchen.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  If you want SWMBO to appreciate your brewing hobby, it begins and ends with cleaning the kitchen.  After a crazy Friday night our kitchen was a disaster, if you look closely you can see half of a 6 of Genesee Cream to the right of the stove.  The pink pitcher,  is my one gallon brewing pitcher.
 I have some fining and bottling to do today to, it is going to be a very long home brew hobby day. (In fact is was a long day.  Started cleaning at 8 am finished cleaning at 8 pm.  But took a break for a 2 hour movie in there, and a trip to the LHBS.  But I walked away with 6 gallons of great beer,  I bottled 5 gallons, I fined 10 gallons.) You know you're a home brewer when... You have empty glass carboys in your breakfast room, and a bucket of sanitizer...
 I always organize and then re organize my stuff.   I keep a brew log and check off my boxes. I find that when I don't follow my brew log... I screw up.  Even after 20+ years.   Our hobby has lots of little details that make big differences.  You can't screw them up if you want to make truly excellent beer.   As you can see this is  a partial mash batch.
 Headed to strike temperature,  My brewery was suddenly invaded by hobbits.  "hobbits my precious...what are hobittses? filthy breakfast making dont clean up after themselves little creatures ...Hobbitses ar our friends.... not on brew day."  What are they doing up early?  They're never up before noon.  There must be some dumb "one direction" special on Nickelodeon.   Oh no maybe that one guy got a hair cut...

 Warming on the stove are my DME pot and my rinse sparge pot.   When I do large batches it is almost always partial mash.  5.5 Gallons is large for me.  So I add the DME with a whisk to a pot that I can gently heat.  I don't add the DME until after the mash.  You have to calculate your mash water correctly, and to do that you need to see how much water the grain absorbed.  The other pot is heating to 168 for rinsing the grains. A very easy repeatable way to make good beer.

After dough in, pretty much spot on.  I was at 153, but 5 ice cubes solved that.   "Listen to me young padawan... If can mash at correct temp good beer will you have... if too HIGH VERY BAD."  You can accidentally "fix" the fermentability of your wort. Not fix as in repair, fix as in affix, fasten, glue... Your best strategy is to dough in low around 135 F for a protein rest and rise to your mash temperature.  Multi step mashing is a key to excellent beer. Doughing in low cant hurt anything, doughing in TOO HIGH, can ruin a batch.  And btw, when did it become a big deal to nail your saccrification rest temp? No Belgian brewer ever tweeted about nailing his strike temp. How dumb is that, just add a protein rest.  It improves your beer, and eliminates the risk of overshooting strike temperatures.

 These warriors are ready for service.  California Lager Yeast.  A lager yeast that thrives at ale temperatures.  And you can make just about any full bodied lager with it.  I'm not kidding on this one, it makes great lawn mower lager, great steam beer, great bock, and great Oktoberfest.  Give it a try if you are an ale brewer.

The boil. Nothing too exciting here, as you can tell from the leavings on the side of the pot, I had a near boil over.  So yeah, clean up sucked.
Chilling on the patio.  Large batches get chilled on the patio.   Need the full power of the garden hose to cool them faster.  They still take 25 -30 minutes.  I hate that water waste, so I have to improve my immersion chiller in the near future.  I may just buy a Jaded chiller. Or I may turn mine into a double coil, I haven't decided yet.
 I like to use my grains again for a second 1 gallon batch.  Here you see the one gallon fermenter the cascade hops, the S04, and the strike water coming up to temp.  There have been many days where the 1 gallon batch was the better of the two batches.  In this case the grains and a pound of DME were turned into a pretty big cascade hopped APA.  1.068 OG.   .4 oz at 60, .3 at 15, .3 at flame out.  It will have .125 of cascade, and .125 of centennial for dry hopping.   It should be a tongue stinger.  It's kinda for a friend at church who loves the big APAs and IPAs.

I suggest that if you are a partial mash or small batch all grain brewer you should almost always do a partiguyle batch when you brew.  Its fun, easy, and only adds about an hour to your brew day.
Here is the carbonated and pretty clear result of the partial mash "every day pale ale" from a couple of weeks ago.  It is dang good.

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