Brew Day: Easy Belgian

This brew is my first hurrah into using a Belgian Pilsner malt, and should make for something interesting.  Since I typically make up my own recipes (I keep it simple, no worries!) I figured I would just use the Belgian and some 10L and go for some sort of Belgian Blonde.  So, using my handy dandy Brewr app on my Android, I came up with something just within that style.  I also mixed it with the hop additions suggested by my Brooklyn Brew Shop recipe book for the “Well made Trippel” – Kent Golding and Saaz hops.

Recipe:

2.25 lb Belgian Pilsner
0.25 lb Caramel 10L
9g Kent Golding @ 60min
4g Saaz @ 5min

After setting up my corona mill next to my brand new (to me) Stainless Steel prep table, I got to grinding the grains!  I tried to grind them a little more fine than I usually do – my low efficiency is being caused somewhere in my process and I figured I would start fine and work my way up.

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Love the smell of ground malt!
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Mash and sparge, and sparge again for good measure

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I should get a slightly smaller boil kettle, I think I am a little too shallow – and barely came up with 1 gal wort this time around.

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Since I starting saving ice in 1 gallon bags, my wort chilling time dropped to less than 20 minutes.

I checked the gravity and I was kind of low, so I added some honey (1/2 cup, .25 lb) to boost it to 1.055, still 5 pts less than I wanted, but that 1/4lb honey was nearing the 10% adjunct level.

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The fermentation station!

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24 hours later, check out the foam from the bubbling sanitizer.

I hope you enjoyed the post, I will update when I bottle and eventually drink this tasty creation. Feel free to comment if you have questions, thanks for reading!

Brew Day: Chocolate Maple Porter

Today I am brewing a Porter, not that I am a big fan of dark beers, this recipe just sounded tasty. It is a blend of malts including American 2-row, chocolate malt and crystal 10 and 20. Yes, I changed the recipe. I didn’t have the exact malts (black patent) so I played a little. This porter will use fuggle hops and real Michigan maple syrup to (hopefully) create a nice, easy to drink beginner dark beer.

Recipe: (coming soon)

Since I recently discovered how little efficiency I’ve been getting, I multiplied the grain bill by 40% in hopes of hitting a reasonable OG.

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The first step in homebrewing is to pour a homebrew. Not sure who came up with the rule, but I plan on following it for now…the last thing I need is for the brewing police to show up….

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Mashing is done, sparge is done, time for the boil…

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Just like lobsters, hops scream when you boil them, but it’s ok – they taste better this way.

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At about the 59 minute mark, i poured in the maple syrup. After the wort was cooled, I racked it into my nice one gallon fermentors and took a gravity reading with my handy dandy refractometer…1.058! My goal was 1.048…but I’ll roll with this one, it’s better than being 10 points under!

Time to ferment!

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The yeast took a little while to get rolling, but just 24 hours later the krausen had peaked right at the top of the jug. Yay beer!

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Brew Day: Simply Blonde Ale

Well, the brew day started off great although it was quite warm outside and since Ashley was baking, it was about 90*. This makes using my new refractometer difficult….but I’m not an extremely scientific brewer anyways.

Alright, so a blonde ale (from my short amount of research) is a very basic ale, light in color, with very few outstanding characteristics. Not malty, but not very biter either. But this changes from brewer to brewer. I set my recipe up to be a little on the malty side. I also used two hop additions of cascade hops – hoping for a slight citrus tang.

Recipe (One Gallon)

1.75 lbs American 2 row
0.25 lbs Crystal 10
4g Cascade @ 60 min
3g Cascade @ 10 min
American Ale Yeast (SO-5)

The entire brewing process wasn’t too bad. A major downside I discovered was that I only hit about 50% efficiency in my MLT. So being quite short of my planned original gravity, I added some honey to bring my OG to 1.040.

Being my first post, written entirely on my phone, this is the only picture I have today. But I will add more if I get around to it.
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This it’s just 24 hours later. The beer on the right is Apple Crisp Ale.

Update!
I cracked open my first bottle today! Pouring it into a glad I was greeted with a perfect fluffy head that lingered a while before forming a nice 1/4″ foam cap that lasted longer than it took me to drink it! It had a pleasant balanced taste, free from most weird flavors – finishing with slight citrus notes. The citrus wasn’t quite as strong as I was hoping, and it did have a slight “leafy hoppy” taste that I am not particularly find of. All in all, I think I will tweak the recipe a bit a brew a new batch this weekend!