Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scottish Ale on Tap, Smoked Brown Fermenting

Last weekend and this week have been busy at the home brewery.  With the help of some friends, I finished off the Bohemian Pilsner.  This opened up a tap for my Scottish 60/-.

Not the best picture, but if you want a better look your just going to have to stop by and see it.  This beer, in my opinion, fits the style quite well. 

Aroma : Nice light malty smell with a hint of earthiness to it.
Appearance: Dark Amber with a small off-white head.
Flavor: Pronounced malty flavor with a hint of smokey/peaty trailing right behind it.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

I've brewed this once before as an extract kit from MidWest Supplies and both the extract and all-grain are excellent. 

I also brewed my Smoked American Brown Ale this weekend.  I changed up the recipe a little from when I last posted about it.
  • 3.5lbs - German Pilsner Malt
  • 3.5lbs- Marris Otter
  • 2lbs - Home smoked malt (Hickory)
  • 8oz - Home toasted malt (60min @ 350F)
  • 8oz - Crystal 60L
  • 8oz - Pale Chocholate
  • 8oz - Special B
  • 0.5oz - Cascade (First Wort Hopped @90 minutes)
  • 0.5oz - Centennial Hops (60 minutes)
  • 0.5oz - Centennial Hops (15 minutes)
  • 0.5oz - Cascade (First Wort Hopped @2 minutes)
  • Wyeast 1332 - Northwest Ale
This was a single infusion mash at 154F for 60 minutes with a 90 minute boil.  BeerSmith is estimating this to be:

  • OG - 1.058
  • Bitterness - 38 IBUs
  • Color - 24 SRM
  • ABV - 5.1%
This is also the first beer in which I reused washed yeast.  The yeast have been in the refrigerator for 3 months, so I made a 1.5L starter.  The yeast were so active they actually made it out of my 2L Erlenmeyer flask.  It's a good think I used aluminum foil to cover the flask instead of an airlock or I would have been in trouble.

I also kegged the Apfelwein I made on September 10th.  That gave it 6 weeks in the fermenter.  My hope is that it will be ready in two weeks for our annual Thanksgiving party at work.  I'm not holding my breath on this since its ABV is around 9% and it usually takes a couple more months to age.  If it isn't ready, I can always take the APA I brewed in the middle of July.

Friday, October 14, 2011

APA tasting and Scottish Ale Kegging

With the help of some others (thanks Brian and Chris), I finally finished off the Saison.  After cleaning the keg and lines, I tapped my APA.
This isn't the best picture I could do but I was in a hurry.  This is Great Fermentation's BrewBQ Pale Ale.  This beer has amazing hop flavor and aroma without the strong bitterness of an IPA.  I absolutely love this beer and plan on making a few modifications and make it my house pale.  If you notice from the picture, this beer is as darker or darker than some of the other beers I've brewed.  The term Pale Ale appeared in the early 1700's and denoted a beer that was pale compared to other beers of the day such as porters and stouts. 

I've made this as an extract kit and all-grain, both taste nearly identical and are well worth trying.  This beer has small hop additions at 60, 45, 30, 15, 10, 5 minutes as well as an ounce dry hopped.  It uses Cascade, Columbus and Amarillo hops.  I think I'll keep the Cascade and Columbus and replace the Amarillo with Citra and see what I get.  Experimenting is fun!

I also kegged my Scottish Ale.

This is a picture of it in the secondary fermenter right before kegging.  After fermentation, it is racked into this fermenter and I added oak chips soaked in Scotch (thanks for the scotch Chris).  I was originally going to sanitize the oak chips by boiling them in a little water but was inspired to soak them in Scotch/Bourbon after having a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Pale Ale.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Weekend Projects and Portable Kegging

I got all the equipment I need to make a keg portable this last weekend.

It includes a KEGlove insulated sleeve and ice blanket, a CO2 regulator, a 20oz CO paintball tank with adapter and the hoses and fittings to attach to a keg.  This should keep a keg cool for up to 24 hours outside of the kegerator.

I also smoked two pounds of pilsner malt with hickory chips and toasted 1/2 pound of malt as well.
Here is a picture of regular pilsner malt and then the toasted below it.  I toasted it at 350ºF for 1 hour.  The smoked malt was split into two 1 pound amounts and wrapped in burlap and put in the smoker for a couple of hours.  It darkened a little but not as much as the toasted malt.

The third project for this weekend was my first attempt at a home made tap handle.  Tap handles cost $30+ for even the most basic handle.  The one I made cost just over $5.
I left room at the top to place a label with either the name of the beer or a more generic beer style label.  I haven't decided which I'm going to do.  This was pretty easy to make.
  • 1 - Pine block - $1.48
  • 1 - Pine spindle - $1.98
  • 1 - 1/4" dowel pin - $0.10
  • 1 - Tap Handle Ferrule - (Lowe's Part# 137397) - $1.51
  • Paint of your choice - ???
It's been about a month since I last posted a message and I still haven't finished off any of my kegs.  It helps that I tend to only drink 1 beer a night.  The Saison should be empty fairly soon which will open up a tap for my American style Pale Ale.  Once it is tapped, I will post a picture and the recipe.