Fermenter #1 Locked and Loaded

This one went off without a hitch. I knew that with 6oz total of whole leaf hops I would have to aim a bit high on total volume, since they soak up so much. Couldn’t have come out any closer, though. A little over 6 G in the fermenter. SG is at 1.052 which is a touch lower than i wanted but if I had boiled off another half gallon like I typically do, I would have nailed that too. Still, if I get down to 1.014 even, that will be OK, and still get me 5.1% ABV which will be fine. I am hoping for a little more attenuation though, and if it gets down to 1.01 , that will be about 5.6%, which is a bit more like it, and would really bring out the hops more.
I went with .75oz 14% AA Columbus for 45min (42 IBU)
2oz 5.7% AA Cascade for 10min (20 IBU)
2oz 5.7% AA Cascade For 5min (9 IBU)
2oz 9.5% AA Amarillo at flame-out
Alll that should get me about 60 IBU which is fairly modest but about right for this moderate gravity IPA. I’ll be dry hopping as well with probably an ounce each of Amarillo and Cascade for a week or two in Secondary, which will ramp up the fresh hop aroma and flavor.
I am using yeast I harvested from a pale ale I made last month. If it doesn’t show decent signs of taking off after 24 hrs, I will pitch a new vial.
I don’t want to jinx myself, but I have high hopes from this one.

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IPA Brew Day

Next batch up will be an India Pale Ale. Going with a similar recipe as I have done many times, but this time I have a lot more whole leaf hops to use. I might add a little something else there just to give it a little character. Biscuit malt, or Aromatic malt…something.
11# 2-Row
.5# Melanoidin
1# Wheat
.5# Dextrin 20L
Mash at about 151F to increase ferment-ability and keep the finished product a little on the dry side to enhance the Hop flavors. Shoot for about 1.055 SG and 1.010-1.015 FG.
1 oz Columbus 40 min
1 oz Amarillo 10 min
2 oz Cascade 5 min
2 oz Cascase 0 min
That should give me about 60 IBUs and all that Cascade at the end should add plenty of Fresh citrusy hoppy goodness. I’ll dry-hop as well in secondary for about a week.
Probly start this late Saturday afternoon. I think.

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Bourbon County Stout tasting

I couldn’t wait any longer and after nearly 48 hrs of sitting collecting dust in my “celllar” I had to crack one of these open. Lovely rich chocolaty aroma, lots or roasted, notes and a little coffee and burnt marshmallows.

The Bourbon aroma and flavor is nicely interlaced with the rest of the big up front stout characteristics. I sipped this from a snifter for a couple hours while I updated my contacts on my new iPhone and discussed basic macro economics with my 12 yr old.

As I sip this lovely smooth full Stout, I am at the same time describing and explaining at a reasonable level, the tough desicions of taxing people and businesses and at the same time encouraging growth and the counter-intuitive ideal that to increase revenue, you can’t tax business into relocating from your area, in an effort to raise funds.
Things like that.

Even if I steered her in a totally wrong direction…this beer was still divine. I would like to grab a few more and see how they do, sitting for a year or two.

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Boise tasting

so glad I made it to the tasting tonight. about 8 of us there and we got through about 15 brews. some very good stuff. much thanks goes out to Toby who hosted this one.

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New Micros arrive at Boise Co-Op

The bulletin I got from the co-op the other day was good news indeed.   A couple of arrivals that I am excited about.  The annual release of Deschutes  “The Abyss” and the Boise debut (as far as I know) of Goose Island “Bourbon County Stout” The latter is one of the best beers I have ever tasted.  Had it one time in June of 2006, and I can’t wait to pick one of these up and see if it is as good as i am remembering.   These would be an excellent choice to cellar for a year or 3. 

The Abyss is very good as well and I still have a few from the last couple of years in my “cellar”.  Compared to other highly rated imperial stouts, this one is quite sharp bitter and char-coaly.  I’ll get a few of this years as well to save.  It’s fun to bust out 3 different “editions” of the same beer and compare what age has done to each.  I will have to look into a way to post my cellar inventory on this blog somehow.

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Saturday Night Tasting

Armed with a Jumbo sized bag of Costco tortilla chips and plenty of ice water,  a friend and I are going to try to get though several eastern European beers, some of which, quite frankly that we don’t have that much hope for.  One of which claims to be a “Premium Belgian Beer”.  It must be, with a screw top and a plastic bottle.

Awsome Easter Euro-Trash Brews

Awsome Easter Euro-Trash Brews

These are the first 3…

<edit>…

The Japanese IPA (no, I’ve never heard of one before either) is not bad.  Ugly but fairly tasty…

And this Baltic Porter has potential.  Ratebeer.com has panned it so far though.

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The quest for sourness

These pics are taken 1 week after the last ones.  Some distinct island matts of… whatever that is, making gross little bacterial bio-domes of undoubtedly noxious gasses.  I think I will need to set up some sory of more reliable camera configuration.  That way I can more precisely match the angle and light for each picture.  Ten I can put together a basic little time lapse thing.  I suspect this might be fairly entertaining process to watch.

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New Alaskan Beer

Even though there was a rating for this beer posted on Ratebeer.com in April of 2008,  Alaskan’s Baltic Porter has been available in bottles only since about last November.   I noticed them at the Boise Co-Op this evening and never having seen it before and At nearly 6$ it is a bit spendy for a 22oz but not when compared to other upper tier, “big”  beers, like Stone’s Russian Imperial Stout, for instance.  In my opinion, all of Alakan’s offerings are good, if not remarkable and this one does not disappoint.Alaskan_Baltic_Porter

It pours a dark but clear deep brown with a modest tan head  Lots of brown sugar and lots of dark pitted fruit notes are evident.  Prunes, raisins and plenty of vanilla.  There is a nice woody, slightly charred smell as well.  the flavor is a modest roasted maltiness that has a distinct toasted oak flavor.  I am a home brewer and the toasted oak cubes I have from an online HB supplier taste and smell exactly like this. Ina way, I am smewhat disappointed that I recognized a component from my own repetiore, in a commercial brew.  I guess I either I expect something more complex from a professional, or maybe I am not giving myself enough credit.

The body on this beer is nice, not the full heaviness of an Imperial stout, but some of the same roasted, very dark, slightly sweet maltiness shared of its Impy brethren.  I can’t pick out the cherries so much that are said to have been used in this, but the vanilla and oak are pretty strong.

A good beer, and I must say that I continue to be encouraged at what seems to be an increased effort at the Co-Op to expand their selection of good regional brews.

Recommended

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Boise Brewpub

A part of this site will be to plug and review the local Brewpubs of the Boise and Treasure Valley area.

The first on the list is Sockeye Grill and Brewery on Cole road.  Their Dagger Falls IPA is a regular and a favorite of mine.  I also particularly liked the Hopnixious Imperial IPA and the Split tail Stout, the latter of which I think has not returned since it’s debut in early ’08.  Josh King, the brewer keeps the regular line-up going and new seasonals are usually posted out front on the reader board when they come on.

In side it is a bit dark and has a kind of old, comfortable feel.  A couple of TVs are over the bar and are not obnoxious to those that don’t care about PAC-10 “whatevers” going on.  Friendly staff and an over all relaxed atmosphere where you are not bombarded by neon, brass, 32 flavors of Margaritas and 60″ plasma TVs.

At 8 o’clock on Tuesdays and Fridays, local bands perform and the place gets pretty rockin’.  especially in the Summer when the usually full house spills out in to the patio.

I consider it my home BrewPub.  Especially on Tuesdays where it is 2$ Pints.

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Lambic Progress

A couple weeks ago I tried my hand at one of my more ambitious Homebreing projects to date.  A Lambic.

Lambics, are a style that traditionaly are fermented using the natuarlly occuring micro-organisims in a particular region in Belgium.  technically it is an infection, something that most Homebrewers have at the top of thier list of what not to do.

Duplicating this classic technique is not very practical here in htis part of the owrld so the major HB yeast vendors have available a blend of bacteria cultures that closely simulate the same effect.  I went with the WhiteLabs offering, WLP655.

I made an otherwise typical ale with about 50% wheat and fermented with a standard clean ale yeat.  When primary was finished after a bout 10 days, I racked the beer into 2 3gal carboys and split the Bacteria blend between them.  One of which had 3.5# of raspberry puree’ added as well.

Early Lambic  without and with raspberries

Early Lambic without and with raspberries

I am leveraging pretty closely with the process/recipe on DJ’s blog, “Fermentarium

As I understand it, they will need to sit for 6-12 months, at which point I will likely keg either or both, possibly blending them.  At least a portion of it will be further flavored with raspberries and sweetened a bit somehow.  I haven’t decided for sure yet on that.

It (they) have been in secondary for about 3 weeks now at about 68F and there are now some white fuzzy patches speckling the surface of each.  If it goes OK, I should have something nice for Christmas 2010.

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