Wednesday, July 21, 2010
• Moisten/soak the malts in cool water.
• Build a small smoke source as avoiding cooking the malt is very important.
• Smoke according to your tastes. If you enjoy heavily smoked foods, go heavy, if not smoke lightly.
• Measure out the desired weight of base malt. There will be no weight loss/gain during this process.
• Soak the malt for 15-30 mins in cool water.
• While grains are soaking start a small fire in your grill using 8-10 charcoal briquettes. If at all possible do not use lighter fluid to start the briquettes.
• Scoop grain out of water and place in aluminum pan. I used brownie pans which were great.
• Place chunks of your favorite wood onto the small mound of charcoal and place pans on grill, close lid.
• Keep a careful watch on the grill to ensure it is smoking.
• Open the lid on the grill every 15-25 minutes to stir the grain, stir well.
• Any time the grill stops smoking, adjust the wood/fire to produce smoke. This is an important step to keep your time to a minimum and gauge the correct amount of smoke you want.
• Once the malt has reached a level of smokiness, 20 mins to 2+ hours, remove the grains from the grill.
• Spread the moist grains out on cookie sheets and place in the oven on lowest setting, under 200 F.
• Stir the grains every 10-25 minutes, more frequently as the grains get drier.
• Once dry, allow to cool and place in a good quality storage bag.
• It's VERY important to allow the malts to rest before using for at least 2 weeks, preferably a little more. This allows the smoke character to mellow avoiding harshness.
That's the whole process. It looks like a lot, but it's SUPER simple as the most work is building a tiny fire & stirring grain.
Pictures of the process
Sorry for the poor pic quality - my fault and sorry for pics being the wrong size - photobucket glitch.
Grains being moved from the soaking to brownie pans for smoking.
The small fire/smoke source.
Grains on the grill.
Smokem if ya got'em!
Smoked malts drying in the oven.
IBU 25 (taste more like 35, used Rager formula)
189 Calories per 12 oz.
Mash Efficiency 85%
Malt and Fermentables
% LBs OZ Malt
61% 6 4 British Pale (Maris Otter)
19% 2 0 Smoked Malt (homemade)
7% 0 12 American Crystal 80L (homemade)
5% 0 8 American Chocolate
3% 0 5 Flaked Wheat
2% 0 4 Black Patent Malt
2% 0 4 Pale Chocolate Malt
boil 60 mins 1.0 Willamette pellet 4.8AAU
boil 15 mins 0.5 Willamette pellet 4.8AAU
1st Yeast - Edinburugh (which started slow)
2nd Yeast - Nottingham Dry
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I believe it was actually 2007 when I first had Bigfoot, a bier the likes of which had never tasted before. It was a 'one hit hook' of sorts and now I annually either pick up a couple sixers or have a friend do it from a neighboring state where the bier is available. In my meager cellar (aka a box or 2 in the closet) I now have 2008 - 2010 Bigfoot editions. When I get the 2012 edition I'll probably host a 5 Year vertical tasting of this classic American Barleywine.
Here's a pic or 2 and a brief review of this year's installment of Bigfoot.
A heavenly aura surrounds this sainted bottle o'ale!
I found the 2010 Bigfoot seems a bit larger than in years past. What I mean is that it's quite hoppy & bitter but also seems to push more malt backbone forward. It seems quite similar to last years version but I would say more bitter hop centered than 2009 Bigfoot which had more flavor/aroma hopping. Since I've been drinking Bigfoot for 4 years now and have had 4 or 5 editions I'd put the 2010 version at the bottom of that list. However it's still a VERY fine bier with tons of upside, complexity, & definitely a must have every year. I'm sure it will age very nicely and I look forward to having it in the coming years as it improves. Note the lacing was exceptional in this years version.
Move over Rolling Stones because Bigfoot is 'Satisfaction' in a bottle!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
I hope you enjoy the rather simple video below and are motivated to try a mixed bier of a different kind soon!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I'm currently working on a short video of a fruit drink I made using the Explication wheat ale. Also I've got baby chicks hatching and will probably post up a few pics on them and perhaps an article on farm life. Might be nice to catalog my little homestead!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
This was taken on my birthday as just a first sample of the Motherland Imperial Stout from below. The apple flavor I mentioned isn't an acetaldehyde flavor but rather a young beer flavor, I suspect from the priming sugar. Overall this bier should age well and round into a beautiful elixir of the soul! Overall it's very well bittered yet malty the way a good RIS should be. It's a split between an Am. vs Eng. version of this bier probably leaning more toward English.
My next RIS attempt will have 2-4% more roasted malt to bump up that character substantially and a clean American ale yeast with prominent C-hop character. Just go in a different direction for the experience of it!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
What's a bier lover to do when one of your favorite brews is no longer available? Make it yourself of course! My attempt at cloning this fine krystalweizen, currently ranked as the 2nd best krystalweizen in the world on Ratebeer.com, was set in motion on a visit to the brewery last fall. I asked and the brewer gladly shared what yeast they used to ferment the bier. Blue Heron is best discribed as a maltier more banana forward version of a fresh Paulaners, only filtered for clarity.
The recipe is as follows, yes it's this simple!
6 lb 11 oz Marris Otter Pale Malt
4 lb Wheat Malt
4 oz Aromatic Malt.
.6 oz. Tradition @ 60 mins
.2 oz. Tradition @ 5 mins
Mash at 130 degrees farenheit for 30 minutes.
Raise the mash to 152-153 for 30 minutes.
I had an original gravity of 1.056 (I believe)
Make sure to include extra fining agents in the boil and or secondary and make plans to lager the bier to aid in clarity.
Voila almost instant krystalweizen.
The bier is still bottle conditioning so I don't have a final verdict, but the early returns are pretty good. Did I mention you let this bier ferment at it's own pace. The brewer said they let it go as high as 80-85, YIKES! My fermentation was at ambient temps and reached as high as 80-81 degrees briefly. My first impressions are that I've at the very least ballparked Blue Heron. Mine is certainly banana heavy but there is some nice clove and spice underpinning. Here's a video I made showing the making of the bier and a few pics of the first sample. Note the video is wrong on the amount of wheat malt, I actually used 4 lbs as in the recipe above.
Final gravity was 1.011, very drinkable brew that continues to impress. Clear!!!
Another pic showing the clarity/color. It's a solid 4 srm and clear, not quite brilliant.
Of course I have to share the label with you as well. I've been wanting to do something a bit more elegant for a while and this seemed the perfect opportunity.
% LB OZ MALT OR FERMENTABLE PPG °L
71% 9 8 British Pale (Maris Otter) 37 3
8% 1 0 Molasses 36 80 (Note I used 12 oz. Molasses & 4 oz. Steens Pure Cane Syrup)
7% 0 14 British Crystal 95-115L 33 105 (Actually used my homemade crystal malt)
5% 0 10 Roasted Barley (Thomas Fawcett) 34 559
3% 0 6 Pale Chocolate Malt 34 165
2% 0 4 Flaked Wheat 34 2
2% 0 4 American Black Patent 26 500
2% 0 4 American Crystal 60L 34 60
1% 0 3 American Chocolate 34 127
Total 13 5
Batch size: 4.5 gallons
Boil: 6.25 avg gallons for 90 minutes
Original Gravity 1.090 (1.082 to 1.095)
Final Gravity 1.021 (1.023 to 1.029)
Color 46° SRM (Black)
Mash Efficiency 84%
USE TIME OZ VARIETY FORM AA
Boil 90/FWH 0.6 Nugget pellet 13.0
Boil 20 mins 1.5 Cluster pellet 5.9
Boil 20 mins 1.0 Amarillo pellet 7.5
Bitterness 73.5 IBU
BU:GU - 0.80
Yeast - Windsor Ale Dry Yeast
Alcohol 9 % A.B.V.
Calories 302 per 12 oz.
USE TIME AMOUNT INGREDIENT
boil 15 min 1 Whirlfloc Tablet