Thursday, July 24, 2008

Football and Beer, Beer and Football

Alright guys...

College football season is almost upon us. I gradutade from NC State and that makes me a pretty big Wolfpack fan. Granted we haven't had alot to cheer about in the last few years, but I think Coach O'Brien has the Pack poised to make significant improvements this year. And I am doubly excited for NC State to be kicking off the NCAA season with the first nationally televised game versus the USC Gamecocks on ESPN. This all leads me to beer (as usual).

I will be working on my supply stocks for the fall season, espcially kegs that I can carry to Raleigh for tailgating. I'll be starting with a Kolsch that I'll brew this weekend, fermenting and then lagering it until Sept 6 when we kickoff our first home game against the mighty William and Mary (insert jokes here). I picked a Kolsch because, let's face it, it will still be 90+ degrees in NC thru the first month of the season. I'll probably follow the Kolsch up with an ESB and then a nice roasty Porter for when the weather starts to turn cool. You can see my Kolsch recipe below. Go Pack!!!

Recipe Specifications--------------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.049
Estimated Color: 3.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 23.2 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

8 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) German
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Ger
1.50 oz Saaz [3.00 %] (60 min)
1.50 oz Saaz [3.00 %] (15 min)
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min)
1 Pkgs German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029)

Mash Schedule--------------------------------------
Saccharification: Rest 50 min at 152.0 F
Vorlauf: 1-2 gallons as needed for clarity
Fly Sparge: 45 min at 190.0 F

Monday, July 14, 2008

American Brown Ale

I had a great brew session yesterday. I built a slight redesign of my MLT manifold in order to get better efficiency out of my system, and boy did it work. In three batches of fly-sparging, and a re-build of the manifold, I am up from 70% to a new high of 82%. This is all very good stuff to me, but back to the beer at hand.

After much research and several very average attempts at a good brown ale, I came up with the following recipe. I really hope this one lives up t my expectations. American Brown Ale is one of my favorite styles (and very under appreciated by most) and all I want to do is make one that is good. Anyhow, my fingers are crossed!

Recipe Specifications------------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 14.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 24.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 82.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

9 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine
8.0 oz White Wheat Malt
3.0 oz Roasted Barley
2.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt
1.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (FWH)
0.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (2 min)
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet
1 Pkgs SafAle American Ale

Mash Schedule------------------------------------
Saccharification: Rest 50 min at 152.0 F
Vorlauf: 1-2 gallons as needed for clarity
Fly Sparge: 45 min at 190.0 F

UPDATE 8/4/08:
English / American Brown Ales are a vastly underrated style in the world of craft beer. And I actually think its difficult to brew a really good one. But I think I have finally created a Brown Ale recipe that I like. This was my fourth attempt and I am actually really impressed with the results so far. It has a great creamy, smooth textured. The flavor is of sweet chocolate, with just enough bitterness and earthyness to balance out the malt. Its been carbed and on drought for just a few days, but it is really beautiful. This might be my best overall batch to date.