21 February 2010

posted by benjy edwards

The Galena IPA has had eight days in the primary, so it was time to rack it.  A sample taken on Saturday showed that it dropped from 1.067 to 1.013, so it’s well over 7% ABV.  I racked both primaries to corny kegs, dry-hopping one with three ounces of Galena grown by our fried Brian Tuwalski in Portland, Oregon.  The other keg was dry-hopped with 1.5 ounces of homegrown Galena and the other 1.5 ounces were commercially-grown Galena.  Both kegs were force-carbonated and put in cold storage until a spot opens in the co2-dispense cooler.

13 February 2010

posted by benjy edwards

The last batch using the current culture of English Ale yeast is an IPA made primarily with Galena hops.  We could have brewed it as a single-hop beer, but given the quantity of hops needed I wanted to use some pellets to reduce the amount of whole hops in the kettle, since they do absorb wort when used in large amounts.  Total weight of hops used in the boil was 20.5 ounces.

The mash was Golden Promise, kiln amber, vienna, carapils, and wheat.  The plan was to add a pound of brown sugar in the boil, but since extract efficiency suffers at higher wort gravities, we were short on our pre-boil target gravity, since up to now we’d been brewing ales at lower original gravities.  To make up for the low pre-boil gravity I used more brown sugar than planned, and also supplemented with some corn sugar so as not to darken the IPA too much if I had used all brown sugar.

Galena whole hops and Target pellets were added at 60 minutes, and then more Galena at 45, 30, 15, 5 and 0 minutes thereafter.  The gravity was 1.067, only one point shy of our 1.068 target.  Post-boil volume was good, about 5.75 gallons in each primary, including the substantial yeast cake from prior batches.  Fermentation got off to a strong start, with one of the fermenters foaming into the airlock despite the use of anti-foam, which has not happened in quite a while.

The Snowbound Stout brewed a week ago was racked out of the primaries, half into a corny and the other half to a secondary fermenter.  Gravities were 1.029 on both, which is consistent with the last batch.  The plan is to serve half of the batch on handpump and the other 5 gallons via co2 dispense.   We have not served a milk stout through the handpump before, but at 4.5% ABV it should make a nice cask beer.

6 February 2010

posted by benjy edwards

We got a foot of snow yesterday, but we didn’t let that stop us from brewing.  I shoveled a path through the snow from the back door to the winter brewhouse and another path over to the water tap.  The propane supply was a bit low, but we got through the brew without running out.

The recipe is the third batch of milk stout, which in honour of the weather will be called Snowbound Stout.  Despite cutting back the total malt bill by a pound and a half, we achieved the same original gravity as the second batch, 1.062. The grain was the same, Maris Otter for the base, plus dark crystal, chocolate, and roast barley.  Two and a quarter pounds of lactose were added with 15 minutes left in the boil.

Hops were Bramling Cross and Goldings at 60 minutes, 30 IBUs, with no flavour or aroma hops in the stout.  The Simcoe Pale Ale brewed last week dropped to 1.012 and it was racked to a couple of corny kegs, each dry-hopped with an ounce and a half of more Simcoe.  One keg will condition naturally for serving on an engine, and the other was force-carbonated for co2 dispense.

Our now three year old son Colin continues to play an ever-increasingly active role in the brewing process.  He enjoys weighing and grinding the malt very much, and his favourite part, no matter the weather, is to be in charge of the wort chiller water output, helping to rinse out the brewing vessels.  He even helps scrub the hot liquor tank when we clean up!