CS Brett Expirement

>> Saturday, May 16, 2015

I've been on a brewing drought lately because I've been busy with a variety of projects. A buddy of mine moved to Denver earlier this year and was in town for my daughter's wedding (one of the things that kept me busy) and he brought me a vial of Brett Barrel III yeast from Inland Island. He got it at his LHBS in Denver and they indicated this is a brettanomyces strain from Crooked Stave.  Needless to say, I'm excited to brew a batch and give this yeast a try.

I'm a huge fan of all the CS beers I've been able to try, but I especially like some of the darker wild/sour beers (e.g. Nightmare on Brett Street, Motif Reserva, etc.), so I decided to go with a darker base beer for this experiment. Brett alone won't really sour a beer, so I'll probably pitch some dregs from one of my other sours once primary is done.

Here's the recipe as I made it:

6.0 # German Munich
3.0 # German Pilsner
1.0 # Chit Malt
0.5 # Flaked Oats
0.5. # Special B
0.5 # Carafa II
0.25 # Pale Chocolate Malt
28g Aged Hops (60 min)
INISBC-913 Brett Barrel III
Wyeast Nutrient
1.0 # D-180 Candi Syrup (rack onto syrup in secondary when pitching sour bugs)

Mash at 156F for 60 min. Ferment at room temp. I'll be saving this blend to use in other beers, so I'll rack to secondary, save the primary cake, then pitch some lactobacillus and pedio in the secondary.


Gose 2015

>> Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lacto fermentation 24 hours after pitching
Today I'm brewing a Gose. This beer is a sour beer native to Goslar, Germany and is one of the few German styles that was exempt from the strict German Beer Purity law (Reinheitsgebot).

At one of our recent brew club meetings, one of our members brought an example of a Gose from Westbrook Brewing. The tartness level reminded me of a Berliner Weisse but it had added complexity from the salt and coriander additions. I decided to give this one a go so here's my first attempt at the style.  Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it:

3.0# Weyermann Pilsner Malt
4.5# Weyermann Pale Wheat Malt
0.5# Weyermann Acidulated Malt
0.5# Rice Hulls
14g Aged Hops (60 min)
28g Coriander (whirlpool)
21g Trader Joes Himalayan Sea Salt (whirlpool)
0.5t Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
Wyeast 5335 Lactobacillus pitched for 4-5 days before yeast (same as my Berliner Weisse process)
WLP029 German Ale/ Kölsch Yeast

Mash at 149F for 60 minutes, 90 minute boil, ferment at 67F.

Update 3/27/2015
I went ahead and pitched the Kölsch yeast today.

Update 4/7/2015
Pulled a sample tonight. It definitely has some sulfur notes from the yeast, but that's very common with this strain and it should dissipate over the next few weeks. The sourness level is lower than I was shooting for, but it's noticeable. Coriander is a little lower than I wanted too. Saltiness is probably just about right...it's noticeable, but it's not overpowering. I'd like more tartness and coriander, but this is probably much closer to style than what I intended. 


Little Giant Pump

Today I'm doing another little equipment write-up. I recently managed to get my hands on a Little Giant 3-MD-MT-HC pump. I don't want to brag, but the normal price on these is in the ballpark of $180. I found this one at a local discount store for $69.99...then I found out at the register that it was on sale for $49.99; score! I'm sorry to say it was the only one on the shelf or I may have picked up a couple for spares.

The main reason I wanted this pump was to pump wort from the mash tun into the boil kettle. I've been gravity feeding to the boil kettle which means I had to lift the full BK up onto my burner. It wasn't so bad when I was doing 5 gallon batches in my old 8 gallon pot, but the keggle is a back breaker even with 5 gallon batches; 10 gallon batches are pretty impossible to lift without a helper.

I decided I wouldn't mount this pump to my brew stand. Instead I made a little portable mount for it so I can move it wherever needed. The mount is made with some scrap 1.5" square tubing, 1/8" plate, and 7/8" OD round tubing. It was finished off with a coat of red paint, a handlebar grip, some stick on silicone feet and a few square tubing caps. I didn't include a splash guard on the pump mount. The reason is I figured the way I plan on using this pump, I probably won't need one. The only time I've needed on with my current setup is when I have a boilover, something that's easily remedied by paying attention during the boil.
I outfitted the pump with cam locks and a ball valve just like my March pump. Also like the March pumps, this pump uses a magnetic coupling so it's no problem to use a ball valve to throttle the output which I'll have to do to avoid pulling mash liquor too fast and compacting the grain bed.

To control the pump, I added a switch to my control panel. The pump is then plugged into an outlet controlled by the switch on my brew stand. 

One nice feature with this pump is it's very easy to disassemble the pump head for cleaning. Simple remove the four wing nuts and the pump head slips right off; that's all there is to it. The March pumps aren't too difficult either, but they're not quite as easy (or tooless) as the LG pumps.

That's about all there is to it...it's pretty self explanatory, so I'm not sure what else to say about it. Here are some pics that might help others considering something similar.


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