Pilot 8 – Desolation Ale

This one is inspired by two names and two labels:

I read about Odell‘s Isolation Ale in Brew Your Own magazine and was intrigued by it. I’m not sure why but I do know that I loved the label. I can totally see myself sitting in that cabin sipping on a winter warmer in front of the fire. However, for some reason I also imagine that the beer will taste like Hibernation Ale from Great Divide, which of course is not very probable given the very different recipes (both available in the great Big Book of Homebrewing).

My idea here is to brew a bigger version of Isolation Ale. I depart from the recipe in Big Book of Homebrewing, adjust it to my inventory and bump it up to OG1,075:

Style: Not sure. 6 liters. OG 1,075/ FG (est.) 1,019, 51 IBU, 72 EBC, 7,4 % ABV.

0,94 kg (37 %) Pale malt
0,63 kg (25 %) Vienna
0,25 kg (10 %) Munich
0,25 kg (10 %) CaraPils
0,15 kg (6 %) Crystal 240 (100L)
0,10 kg (4 %) Carahell (10L)
0,10 kg (4 %) Chocolate malt
0,05 kg (2 %) Crystal 120L
0,05 kg (2 %)Crystal 100 (40L)

Mash in a bag with 12,5 liters of water (I think Tasty McDole’s “other” beer water works fine here: Ca 75, Mg 12, Na 35, So4 120, Cl 100) @ 67 degrees for 60 minutes. Collect 10,3 liters of wort with a pre-boil gravity of 1,061. Boil for 90 minutes and add

30 IBUs (8 g @ 8,1 % AA) of Cascade at 60 minutes
21 IBUs (8 g @ 11,1 % AA) of Chinook at 30 minutes
Protofloc and yeast nutrient at 15 minutes

Chill to 19 degrees and pitch rehydrated Dry English Yeast (Danstar Nottingham or Fermentis S-04 if you like dry yeast). After fermentation is complete raise to 21 degrees for a few more days.

Package and carbonate.

Pilot 7 – Imperial Stout

No fuss here. This is a straight up clone of the great Yeti from Great Divide in Denver, Colorado. I love big proters and imperial stouts but I hava a hard time finding great

examples. Or rather, the examples that are supposed to be great do not taste the way I want them to. So I buy everything that comes out and cellar it, but very few of the beers I have sampled, either fresh or about a year old, have met my expectations.

great-divide-236x300

Two imperial stouts do though, even straight off the shelf: Poppel’s Russian Imperial Stout and Great Divide’s Yeti. For me, the latter is a benchmark.

Style: Russian Imperial Stout. 6 liters. OG 1,090/ FG (est.) 1,021, 60 IBU, 100+ EBC, 9,2 % ABV.

2,5 kg (80 %) Pale malt
0,16 kg (5 %) Crystal 240 (100L)
0,12 kg (4 %) Chocolate malt
0,09 kg (3 %) Flakes oats/oatmeal
0,09 kg (3 %) Wheat
0,08 kg (2,5 %) Carafa III Special/Black malt
0,08 kg (2,5 %) Roasted barley

Mash in a bag with 12,5 liters of water (I think Tasty McDole’s “other” beer water works fine here: Ca 75, Mg 12, Na 35, So4 120, Cl 100) @ 67 degrees for 60 minutes. Collect 10,3 liters of wort with a pre-boil gravity of 1,061. Boil for 90 minutes and add

26,5 IBUs (5 g @ 11,9 % AA) of Magnum at 60 minutes
9,6 IBUs (10 g @ 8,1 % AA) of Cascade at 15 minutes
11,1 IBUs (10 g @ 10,3 % AA) of Centennial at 15 minutes
Protofloc and yeast nutrient at 15 minutes
6 IBUs (10 g @ 8,1 % AA) of Cascade at 5 minutes
6,9 IBUs (10 g @ 10,3 % AA) of Centennial at 5 minutes

Chill to 19 degrees and pitch rehydrated Dry English Yeast (Danstar Nottingham or Fermentis S-04 if you like dry yeast). After fermentation is complete raise to 21 degrees for a few more days.

Package and carbonate.

Pilot # 6 – Belgian Tripel

Recently, the Swedish government alcohol monopoly (the last bastion of Swedish socialist tyranny?) decided to extend their catalogue with Westmalle Tripel, arguably one of the better decisions they’ve made lately.

westmalle_tripel_900

This is a fantastic beer. Both the style as such but also the example. Even though the alcohol is a bit too high for a session, the beer is so drinkable.

I wanted to try to brew one of my own and after having reviewed the sources (opinions on recipe formulation vary) I formulated this recipe (no, it’s not a clone):

Style: 26C Belgian Tripel. 9 liters. OG 1,078/ FG (est.) 1,009, 35 IBU, 10 EBC, 9,1 % ABV.

2,05 kg (82,9 %) Pale Ale Malt
110 g (4,4 %) CaraPils
110 g (4,4 %) Carahell 10L

plus 210 g (8,3 %) clear Candi sugar added 15 minutes before flame out.

Mash in a bag with 11,6 liters of @ 67 degrees for 60 minutes. Collect 10,2 liters of wort with a pre-boil gravity of 1,048 (that’s without the sugar). Boil for 90 minutes and add

12,5 IBUs (10 g @ 2,8 % AA) of Styrian Golding at 60 minutes
18,2 IBUs (25 g @ 4 % AA) of Hallertauer Mittelfrueh at 22 minutes
Protofloc and yeast nutrient at 15 minutes
210 g clear Candi sugar at 15 minutes
4,8 IBUs (25 g @ 2,1 % AA) of Saaz at 7 minutes

Chill to 18 degrees and pitch rehydrated Lallemand Abbaye yeast. Raise the temperature to 21 degrees over the course of one week and hold there for another week.

Bottle and add priming sugar to achieve a carbonation level of 3,0 vol (about 2 weeks in room temperature. Mature at fridge temperature for a month.

 

 

 

Pilot #5 – Shark Attack Clone

When I discovered real beer, which is not that long ago, two beers made a significant impact.The first was Brew Dog’s Punk IPA. Me and the wife sat on the front steps one warm spring evening and discovered a scent that we decided was passion fruit. How on Earth could a beer smell like passion fruit without having passion fruit in it? The other beer was also from Brew Dog (this was in the very beginning, mind you) – 5AM Saint. It was so attractive with its beautiful color ,the caramelly maltiness and the lovely hop character. Since then, I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with a good amber ale, but with limited success I must say. Actually, it’s hard to find great commercial examples too. It’s an elusive style.

During my amber endeavors I have gravitated towards the bigger examples, beers that go under such unofficial labels as imperial or double red ales, Red IPAs or West coast ambers. Jamil writes well about the latter in Brewing Classic styles and talks about it on Brewing with style. However, the more aggressive amber, either West coast or Imperial, is no easier than the amber to brew. But – there are great examples out there, like Bear Republic’s Red Rocket and Port Brewing’s Shark Attack.

port-brewing-shark-attack-double-red-ale

theperfectlyhappyman.com

Shark Attack is fantastic but there’s limited information on the recipe. So yesterday I took a chance and wrote to Port Brewing and asked for hints on how to make a great red ale at home. Less than 24 hours later I got this:

Magnus,
You are correct in assuming that our malt bill is not overly complex. The specialty malts are C120/C77/C60 with about 80 percent of the grist being base malt (pale 2-row).  The hop scheduling is also fairly simple with additions at 90mins, 45mins and Whirlpool on the hot side.  We also dry hop the beer with about 1/lb of hops per barrel (31 gallons) of beer.
Hope this helps!
Cheers,
Steve Burchill, Lead Brewer

That there, besides good beer obviously, is what separates craft beer from industrial/marketed big beer. Thanks Steve!

So here’s a tentative recipe for a double red, or actually a Shark Attack clone:

Style: Imperial red ale. 6 liters. OG 1,088/ FG (est.) 1,020, 70 IBU, 47 EBC, 9,1 % ABV.

2,45 kg (79,8 %) Pale Ale Malt
370 g (12 %) Crystal 100
180 g (6 %) Crystal 150
70 g (2,2 %) Crystal 240

Mash in a bag with 12,5 liters of Teaspoon water for @ 67 degrees for 60 minutes. Collect 10,6 liters of wort with a pre-boil gravity of 1,058. Boil for 90 minutes and add

34,5 IBUs (8,18 g @ 10,3 % AA) of Centnnial at 90 minutes
26,8 IBUs (8,18 g @ 8,1 % AA) of Cascade at 45 minutes
Protofloc and yeast nutrient at 15 minutes
8,18 grams of Cascade and whirlpool/hopstand for 10 minutes for 4 IBUs
8,18 grams of Centennial and whirlpool/hopstand for 10 minutes for 4,6 IBUs

Chill to 19 degrees and pitch rehydrated Dry English Yeast (Danstar Nottingham or Fermentis S-04 if you like dry yeast). Ferment. Dry hop (1 lb/bbl) with:

17 g of Cascade for 7 days
17 g of Centennial for 7 days

Package and carbonate.

****

I don’t know what to do with my equipment profile in BeerSmith.

– It produces 10 liters of highbgravity wort that I have to dilute to 13 liters pre-boil.

– Post-boil I hit OG on the spot but with 9 instead of 6 liters.

So all is good, besides the fact that the internal numbers are way off. The biggest problem withthat is that I need to recalculate the hop additions (x 1.5) to compensate for the larger amount of wort. I need to figure out a way to tweek the models to fix this.

 

 

Pilot #4 – Lagunitas Maximus Clone Revisited

The post that gets the most hits – by far – on this site is my failed attempt (Batch #34) to brew a Lagunitas Maximus clone almost 2 years ago. Maximus was one of the really eyeopening beers for me and I felt it might be time to give it another try but on my pilot system that I’m trying to break in. And incidentally I happen to have almost all of the required ingredients at home.

The orginial recipe is here and I have substituted Horizon with Magnum in the 90 minute addition and Liberty with Hallertau M. in the 45 minute addition. Don’t think they will affect the result negatively. Let’s see if I can remeber that 90 minute addition this time…

6 liters; OG 1,081/FG 1,019; 20 EBC; ~100 IBU; 8,2 ABV

12 liters of Teaspoon water.

2,15 kg Pale malt (77,6 %)
0,43 kg Wheat (15,4 %)
0,11 kg Munich (3,8 %)
0,09 kg Crystal 150/~65 L (3,2 %)

Mash-in-bag with 12 liters of water @ 71 degrees C. Collect 10 liters of wort @ SG 55. Boil for 90 minutes and add:

8 g Willamette for 18,3 IBUs @ 90 min
1,8 g Magnum for 9,8 IBUs @ 90 min
9 g Willamette for 18,4 IBUs @ 45 min
4,5 g Cascade for 14,9 IBUs @ 45 min
4,5 g Centennial for 19 IBUs @ 45 min
4,5 g Hallertau for 7,4 IBUs @ 45 min
20 g Cascade @ 20 min
Protofloc and yeast nutient @ 15 min

Chill to 17 degrees and pitch rehydrated Danstar Windsor yeast (or WLP002 or 1968) and let rise to 18 degrees. Raise to 20 grader after 65 % attenuation and again to 21 degrees after fermentaiton is complete and hold to day 8. Lower to 18 degrees and dry hop (1 lb/bbl) with:

11 g Cascade
11 g Centennial
11 g Simcoe

Package and carbonate.

img_4829

Pilot #3 – Snotty Elk

I’m on a spree! Yesterday, a double IPA (that rhymed), and today an American Brown Ale. This one is based on a clone of Big Sky’s  Moose Drool from the Big Book of Homebrewing from BYO MagazineBYO Magazine. Great book. Rich and low priced. Get it.

brew-your-own-big-book-of-homebrewing

Style: American Brown Ale. 6 liters/1,6 gallons. OG 1,058/ FG (est.) 1,015, 28 IBU, 52 EBC, 5,6 % ABV.

87 % Extra Pale Maris Otter
6 % Crystal 80 L
4 % Crystal 240 (100 L)
3 % Chocolate
0,1 % Carafa III Special

Mash in a bag with 12 liters of your desired brewing liqueur (for this type of beer I use Stockholm tap water) at 68 degrees C for 60 minutes. Drain the bag to collect 10,5 liters of wort with a pre-boil gravity of 1,040

Boil for 90 minutes: Add:

15,2 IBUs of Northern Brewer @ 22 min (18 g with an alpha acid at 8,8 %)
Protofloc and yeast nutrient @ 15 min
6,1 IBUs of Cascade @ 7 min (8 g with an alpha acid at 8,1)
7 IBUs of Centennial @ 7 min (8 g with an alpha acid at 10,3)
8 g of Cascade @ flame out
8 g of Centennial @ flame out
8 g of Simcoe @ flame out

Chill the wort to 21 degrees and pitch a rehydrated package of Danstar Windsor yeastS-05. Ferment, package and carbonate.

Pilot #2 – Magnus the Elder

Walk with me.

plinyelder

Pliny.

For beer geeks Pliny the Elder is the world’s most famous and perhaps the world’s best double IPA, brewed by Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa  Rosa, CA.

To others, Pliny the Elder was a roman guy who lived in the first century.

His real name was Gaius Plinius Secundus.

He died when he tried to rescue one of his buddies from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79, the eruption that destroyed Pompeii.

220px-hw-pompey

Magnus.

Another guy who lived about a century earlier, before Christ and Ceasar and all that, was known as Pompey.

He ruled the Roman Republic for a while.

His real name was Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and a guy named Sully though he was a great military commander and gave him the nickname Magnus.

Magnus means “the great”.

My name is Magnus.

My next batch on the pilot system is a double IPA named Magnus the Elder.

It resembles Pliny the Elder. The beer.

Regardless of this remarkable chain of events and causal relationships, my next batch is merely the next step in tweeking my new BIAB pilot system. The purpose is to meassure the effects of the changes I made after Pilot 1 and my initial idea was to brew a semi-clone of Port Brewing’s Shark Attack but I hadn’t aquired the required crystal malts even though I was wuite sure I had. But the double IPA is another style I’d like to take on and this is the perfect size to do it in.

Style: Double IPA. 6 liters/1,6 gallons. OG 1,073/ FG (est.) 1,011, 100+ IBU, 10 EBC, 9,2 % ABV.

82,7 % Pale malt
6 % CaraPils
4 % CaraHell/C10L

Mash in a bag with 12 liters of your desired brewing liqueur (For this type of beer I use a real simple profile that I call “tea spoon IPA”: Ca 118, Mg 4, Na 10, SO4 260, Cl 14, HCO3 50 which I get by adding 4 g, or one tea spoon, Gypsum per 10 liters of Stockholm tap water) at 66-67 degrees C for 60 minutes. Drain the bag to collect 10,6 liters of wort with a pre-boil gravity of 1,041 (that’s without the simple sugars that come later).

Boil for 90 minutes: Add:
42 IBUs of Chinook @ 90 min (8 g with an alpha acid at 11,1)
27 IBUs of Cascade @ 45 min (8 g with an alpha acid at 8,1)
18 IBUs of Centennial @ 30 min (8 g with an alpha acid at 10,3)
Protofloc and yeast nutrient @ 15 min
4,6 IBUs of Cascade @ flame out (10 g with an alpha acid at 8,1)
5,3 IBUs of Centennial @ flame out (10 g with an alpha acid at 10,3)
6,5 IBUs of Simcoe @ flame out (10 g with an alpha acid at 11,4)

Chill the wort to 20 degrees, add:
7,3 % Dextrose.

Pitch a rehydrated package of Safale US-05. Ferment. After fermentation is complete, dry hop for 7 days with:
10 g Chinook
10 g Cascade
10 g Centennial
10 g Simcoe

Package and carbonate.


D+16. Packaging.

Final gravity = 1,002. 97% attenuation and 9,2 instead of 8,2 % ABV.

Got 7 liters out of the 9 liters I put in the fermenter.

Pilot #1 – Arrogant Bastard

I just had an epiphany. Again.

Over time I have moved from 10 liters to 20 liters, continusously adapting my equipment. When I brew a 20 liter batch, splitting it or not, I occupy my one fermentation fridge for 2 weeks, which means I can brew one 20 liter beer or two rather similar 10 liter beers every two weeks. However, cold crashing and kegging often means that there’s 3 weeks between brew sessions. And furthermore, there are so many things I want to try and som many styles I want to brew that but I seldom want to spend 20 liters on those trials.

Then it hit me, as I saw an Instagram post by AHA yesterday: I could learn BIAB and use that method for all the trials I want to make and dedicate my 20 liter system to the more solid beers I want to drink and give away. The great thing about that is that I can run these two systems in parallell, that is brew 20 liter batches every two weeks, like on Sundays, and brew small BIAB batches on the kitchgen stove practically any time I want.

I decided to try this idea last night just after I got the idea and realized that I hade everything I needed to brew in a bag.

img_7167

So how should I keep track of these BIAB sesions? I’ve been numbering each beer that I’ve made on my larger system and taging then Batch #1, 2, 3 and so on, but I don’t think small stove top trials qualify for that category. So I thought I could treat my BIAB system as a micro brewery’s pilot system, which is often of the same size as my larger system is. So from now on I’ll write about “Batches” like I’ve done before and “Pilots” in parallell.

The purpose of this first pilot was to learn the basics of the BIAB method. I have never considered it before and I knew virtually nothing about it. Of course I knew that you mash with a bag in a stove pot, drain the worst somehow and then boil the wort in a regular fashion. But I had know idea how to calculate the extract or whether you sparge or not, or if you can use BeerSmith for recipe formualtion and so on. So I tried.

The great thing about this method is it’s simplicity. I can go back to using some of the older and smaller equipment I used in the beginning (Thank God I kept it!) like my Corona mill and the smaller 10 and 20 liter pots and the copper chiller . Also I can brew in the kitchen and mash in the oven. And all of this while I do other stuff. Great.

I recently listened to a TBN Can You Brew It episode where they try to brew (then) Stone’s Arrogant Bastard for the third time (there are several iterations of their clone recipe and this is the last one as presented here). Also I know that the recipe is really simple and that there was a good chance that I had all the ingredients at home. So I used BeerSmith to define my BIAB equipment profile as best I could and then use it to formualte the following recipe (the actual IBU should be 95 and I don’t know why I set it to 85…):

Style: American Strong Ale. 6 liters/1,6 gallons. OG 1,071/ FG (est.) 1,016, 85 IBU, 30 EBC, 7,2 % ABV.

My BeerSmith calculation resulted in ash the grains in 2,12 kg of grain with the following composition:
90,9 % Pale malt
7,3 % Crystal 150
1,8 % Special B

Mash in a bag with 10,4 l liters of your desired brewing liqueur at 67 degrees C for 60 minutes. Drain the bag to collect 9,18 liters of wort with a pre-boil gravity of 1,054.

Boil for 90 minutes: Add:
62 IBUs of Chinook @ 90 min (12,14 g with an alpha acid at 11,1)
15,4 IBUs of Chinook @ 30 min (11,3 g)
Protofloc and yeast nutrient @ 15 min
8,1 IBUs of Chinook @ 10 min (7,9 g)
0 IBUs of Chinook @ flame out (6,26 g)

Chill the wort to 19 degrees and pitch a rehydrated package of Safale S-04. Ferment, package and carbonate.

This was a test to learn the method and to calibrate the brewhouse. I really had no idea of volumes and weights and had no BIAB Equipment profiles in BeerSmith to help me. So I postulated.

The result was that I got 7,6 liters @ SG58 instead of 10,3 liters @ SG 49. That is 440 GU instead of anticipated 504 which means that I used too little grain. For that I have lowered the brewhouse efficiency in BeerSmith from 70 to 60 %. I should perhaps lower it even more but I’ll try this first.

So I diluted my wort with 1,3 liters of water and boiled 8,9 liters of wort/SG49 for 90 minutes. The target was (according to the recipe which was now out of play) 7,3 liters at OG71. My boil yielded 5,6 liters at OG75 which means I have a larger boil off than I anticipated with this setup. I get a more vigorous boil on the stove with a 10 liter pot than on my 5 gallon system. So I diluted with 0,4 liters of water for a green beer or 6 liters at OG71. Which in fact was the target of the recipe!

Since the pilots are trials I will hesitate to allocate fermetentation chamber space to them. Instead I will find a suitable place in the house with a descent temperature. In this case it was my son’s room since he has recently moved out. It was 22 degrees in there, which is a little too high, so I shut off the heat to let it lower to about 20. Which worked fine.

img_7198

Speaking of arrogant bastards, I just stumbled across this RateBeer post as I googled the name of the beer. You decide who’s the arrogant bastard, the subject or the object:

namnlos


February 6. Bottling.

Terminal gravity 1,008. 8,3 % ABV which is too much since the yeast went further than expected (1,016). 13 Anchor bottles = 4,33 liters. Absolutely clear with a beautiful dark amber color, like cognac or a dark whiskey. Aroma: no faults, dark fruits, grape skins. Flavor: same as aroma with a fruity beginning that turns into a marked bitter finish. Alcohol. This will be fine.

I thought I’d name it “Number 45 – An Arrogant Bastard clone”.

You do the math.