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Belgian Tripel update

08-09-02The Belgian Tripel is fermenting away and is my most active fermentation to date. Most of my brews go crazy for a day and a half and then the bubble subside and the yeast start working on all of the tough sugars left. The Tripel on the other hand, has been bubbling like crazy for the past two days and shows no signs of stopping.

What I generally do with my brews is take a clear bottle and put a small sample of wort into it. I then seal it up with a rubble stopper and airlock. Of course all of this is sanitized. I do this for two reasons, the first of which being that I can see what is going on in the fermenter on a small scale because it is all based off of the same wort and yeast in the larger fermenter. The second is that I don’t have to waste wort getting samples out and don’t have to risk contamination in doing so. My refractomer only requires a few drops of wort, so it does not make sense to open up the whole thing to get a little bit out. You can read more about my “mini fermenter” here.

08-09-01

When I first put the wort in the mini fermenter I noticed some seperation happening towards the bottom. I believe that it was the wheat malt dropping out and some of the reminents from the hop pellets. When I check the mini fermenter today there was no sediment at the bottom. There was a very active fermentation going on, almost violent. I was and still am thrilled that the fermentation seems to getting along so well with my concerns about the yeast. As of this morning, the fermentation seems to have peeked and the bubbles as coming to a slow (but the violence happening in the bottle is the same). I still haven’t taken any gravity readings yet but that should be coming along soon. I want to wait for all of the activity on the top to subside before doing so. I’ll update in a few days on the progress of the beer.

07-31-01

Belgian Tripel Recipe

07-31-01Now that I am finally established in Texas I can get back to homebrewing again. It has been a long time since I brewed the SB Birthday Beer. Does the date of that post really go all the way back to Feburary. That sucks. I’ve been really digging Belgian beers for the past few months and have been coming up with ideas in my head about what all I need to do to make it as good as it can be. So I came up with the following recipe:

  • 12 lbs Belgian Pils
  • .5 lbs Belgian Pale
  • .5 lbs Wheat malt
  • .25 0z Tettnanger (4.5% at 120 mins)
  • .25 0z Tettnanger (4.5% at 90 mins)
  • .25 0z Tettnanger (4.5% at 60 mins)
  • .25 0z Tettnanger (4.5% at 30 mins)
  • .5 oz Saaz (5.0% at 10 mins)
  • Yeast: WLP530 (Abbey Ale) or another Belgian Strong if unavialable

I plan on mashing the grains at 152 degrees for 90 minutes to try and get as much sugar out of them as I can. I hope to collect a total of 5 gallons of wort for boil when all is said and done. I then want to boil for two hours and bring down the level of wort to around 3.5 gallons. I haven’t brewed here before and I am almost 3,000 ft. higher in elevation so I don’t know if the boil time will need adjusting.

I will ferment in the primary for a week, switch to a secondary for another week, and then bottle and contition for 2-3 weeks. I hope to have a nice estery beer that comes in between 9.5-9.7% abv. My SG goal is going to be 1.090, maybe a bit higher or lower depending on my effiency.

My hop choices came down to English (Fuggles and Goldings) or the German hops I picked. Saaz hops has a history of being a bit more fruity and I want those esters to shine. With such a long boil I wanted to strech out the primary hops and split them up into four small additions. It might add a bit of complexity but will make it not overpowering. I am still considering just a single addition at the hour mark, but I still can’t make up my mind. The final IBUs should come in at about 28 IBUs. I’m going to ferment on the upper edge of the recommended temperature at 75 degrees or so.

Is there anything I missed or any other considerations I should look at before brewing this bad boy up. I’m hoping to make a go at it this weekend or next depending on how fast the ingredients ship and how fast I can build my mash tun.

09-06-25-02

Rouge Brutal Bitter Beer Review

09-06-25-02I’m a big fan of Rogue Ales. So much of a fan in fact that my future wife and I are toasting with a Shakespear Stout this Saturday at our wedding. I love the Dead Guy Ale and have tried to get as many of their beers under my belt as I can. One of the “normal” onese that has always eluded me was the Brutal Bitter. But alas, finally, I got a chance to try it. Here’s what the brewery has to say,

Tasting Notes:
An Imperial bitter with exotic traditional floor malts, citrusy, hoppy flavor, stupendous hop aroma.
6 Ingredients:

Malts:
100% Floor-malted Maris Otter, Cara Vienna, Cara Wheat.
Hops:
Crystal.
Yeast & Water:
Rogue’s Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.
Specs:
15º PLATO
59 IBU
76.1 AA
14.2º Lovibond

09-06-25-03Upon popping the top you are hit with hops, big shocker. It pours a nice hazy brown and had a nice lasting head with great lacing. The nose with hops, hops, hops, with a little malt mixed in there. Tasting is a kick in the mouth. I know I;ve been doing a lot of IPAs for the past little bit, but this thing was the strongest hops I’ve expreinced yet. After a few sips you actaully get some flavor as you adjust to the hops.

It had a decent malt backbone, but the hops were just overpowering. If you read this blog you should know by now that I am all about a balanced beer. This beer isn’t meant to be, but that is what threw it off for me. This is probably the first Rogue beer that I will not be buying again. If you like hops, you will like this beer. It was just a bit too unbalanced for me to enjoy fully. (more…)

09-06-11-02

Troegs Brewing Company Nugget Nectar Ale Beer Review

09-06-11-02

Troegs is one of my favorite breweries. For the past five years I have lived in Lancaster, PA, which is about 20 minutes away from Harrisburg, PA, home of Troegs. So needless to say, I made a few trips out there during my time living near it. Feburary is one of my favorite times for beer. The spring beer are beginning to come out and Troegs releases their Nugget Nectar Ale. Let me start off with what the brewery has to say:

Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Hop Bitterness (IBU’s) : 93ish
Color (SRM) : Straw-Orange
Availability: 1/2, 1/6 and Cask Conditioned kegs, 12 oz. bottles
Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich
Hops: Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade
Yeast: Ale

09-06-11-05Squeeze those hops for all they’re worth and prepare to pucker up: Nugget Nectar Ale, will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience.

On the nose, this beer is hops, hops, hops. Citrusy and wonderful. It pours a nice orange color and has a decent amount of head, that lasts through the entire drink. As the brewery claims, it is like their Hopback Amber Ale, just an intense version.

It is nicely balanced and has a great malt backbone to support the hops. If you like IPA’s you will dig this beer. I f you can get it in Feburary do it. It is fresh and wonderful tasting. I had this in a 22 oz bottle in Feburary. I just found this at a local bar, on tap, and it is not as fresh, but still good. I wish Troegs made this year-round instead of just one month of the year. Again, if you are a hop head, go get this if you can find it. (more…)

Spontaneously fermenting

Basic Brewing Radio recently did an interview with one of the brewers at Allagash Brewing Company about spontaneously fermented beer. You can see the video below that started the whole conversation. I think it is pretty cool and an awesome experiment for a production brewery.

YouTube Preview Image

Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine has built a cool ship for spontaneously fermenting beer. This is a traditional method for brewign in Belgium. This is the inaugural use of the cool ship. You can see that the beer is coming from inside the brewery. At this point it has just been filtered in our whirlpool. the beer passes through the sieve so that there are no pieces of spice or hops in the cool ship. The beer will sit in the cool ship overnight, allowing the beer to cool. When the temperature is right ambient yeast will begin to ferment the beer, in this way it is spontaneously fermented.