Triple Microburst DIPA

>> Sunday, July 17, 2016

I loved this beer the first time I brewed it as Galaxy Microburst. I'm re-brewing this beer with some slight modifications.

I'm planning on entering this beer in competition, so the first modification is I'm adding a dash of Carafa III to adjust the color to be more inline with the 2015 guidelines. Without adjusting color, this beer is a little too light for both the American and Double IPA styles. Also, there is a little overlap between American and Double IPA styles. I'm calling this beer a DIPA, but I'm considering entering it as an American IPA (even though it's pushing the limits ABV-wise). The Carafa III that I'm using is such a small amount that it won't really impact flavor at all; it'll just add a couple SRM points. Additionally, it'll be added to the mash at the beginning of the sparge.

The next modification, I'm using hop extract for the bittering addition. The purpose for this is I want to minimize hop debris before adding my late additions. This means less total debris so when I'm doing my whirlpool, there's less debris in the kettle and I'm hoping this means better extraction of hoppy goodness during the whirlpool. More info on the whirlpool, I'm taking the temps down to 160F - 170F as quickly as possible. These are sub-isomerization temps, so I won't be adding bitterness while I'm trying to extract hop flavor and aroma.

The last modification is I'm adding multiple hops in this version. It's not that I didn't like the version I did with Galaxy, but I'm thinking a multiple hop beer has a better chance of being positively accepted by the judges. Also, I haven't brewed as many hoppy beers this year as I was I have quite a few really nice hop varieties in my freezer.

Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

Expected OG 1.076
~51 IBUs
Est ABV 8.9%

5# 11oz Rahr 2-row
3.5# Avangard Pilsner Malt
1.5# Simpsons Golden Promise Malt
21 grams Carafa III (added before sparge to adjust color)
1.0 # 3oz Corn Sugar (boil)y
6ml Hop extract (60 min) ~ 49 IBUs
Wyeast Nutrient
112g Hop blend (1 min) ~ 2 IBUs (28g Amarillo, 28g Mosaic, 28g Simcoe, 28g Citra)
168g Hop blend (dry hop) (28g Amarillo, 46.6g Mosaic, 46.6g Simcoe, 46.6g Citra)

Mash at 149F, 90 minute boil, 60 minute hop stand at 160F, ferment at 64F, dry hop after primary fermentation slows down.

For water profile I'm going with Tasty's water again. To 10 gallons of RO water I added:

16g Gypsum (CASO4)
7g Epsom salt (MgSO4)
2g Canning salt (NaCl)
1g  Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)

Brewing Notes
No issues with brewday other than my garage is a mess right now. I'm in the process of replacing some particle board cabinets with some very sturdy custom shelves. Unfortunately this means all the stuff from the cabinets plus a whole bunch of materials were spread out all over the place.  I managed to carve out enough room to brew.

I collected a bit more volume than I planned, and didn't have quite as much boil-off to account for the additional volume, so OG came in a few points low at 1.070

Update 7/26/2016
This beer smells amazing. There is still quite a bit of krausen floating on top. I'm going to pull this out of the ferm chamber today and let it finish at room temps in my basement before dry hopping.

Update 8/4/2016
This beer was racked to secondary today on top of the dry hops.

Update 8/8/2016
This beer was kegged tonight with gelatin and placed on 20PSI OF CO2.  


Golden Java Milk Stout - Round 4

>> Sunday, June 26, 2016

Da Bomb Tincture
Another variation on the GJMS today. The last version was very popular at the Mountain Brewers Beer Fest (MBBF). I decided I needed a better name for this beer at MBBF since Golden Java Milk Stout is really just more of a description than a name, so it was served as Udder Chaos. After we got back from the fest, my buddy Brandon tossed out what I think is an even better name, albeit a long name...My Milk Stout Brings All the Boys To The Yard. Here's the latest variant as I'm brewing it today.

8.75# Crisp Maris Otter
1.00# Flaked Oats
1.00# Gambrinus Honey Malt
1.00 # Lactose (10 min)
12g Magnum (60 min)
14g EKG (10 min)
28g EKG (0 min)
Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
0.5 Whirlfloc
Coffee Toddy (at kegging)
The Bomb Tincture (at kegging)

Mash at 154F for 80 minutes, 90 minute boil, ferment at 60F, raising temps to 65F over the course of a week.

Brewing Notes
No issues. OG came in at 1.074, just a little higher than last time. That was expected since I increased both the honey malt and flaked oats but didn't decrease the base malt. I forgot to mention, I'm trying out Clarity Ferm from White Labs. I've never used it before, but I've been wanting to try it out. It's supposed to help reduce chill haze, increase shelf life, and reportedly also reduces gluten. All this without impacting flavor, aroma, or head retention.

Update 7/11/2016
Things are moving along on this beer. I ran out of my TCHO cacao nibs, but I was able to pick more up at Whole Foods in their baking section. I also decided to go with Jack Mormon Coffee's Halo Bariti which is an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee. I started on the cacao tincture with the vanilla bean last Friday (7/8). After 7 days I'll add the cacao nibs for another 4 days.

Update 8/5/2016
This beer was kegged today along with The Bomb and Coffee Toddy.

Update 9/6/2016
This beer took bronze for SHV beer at 2016 Beehive Brew-off.  Pretty stoked especially since golden milk stout is an imaginary style.


Rob's Smoke & Wood II - Smoked Imperial Porter

>> Saturday, June 25, 2016

Today I'm brewing the second edition of my Smoked Imperial Porter. Last year this beer won a gold medal, so I'm hoping this version does as well. I made some minor changes to the grain bill including Crisp Maris Otter, Briess Cherry Wood Smoked Malt, and Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt. I'll also be using a different wood (maybe cherry) for aging. This is a 3 gallon batch today.

Here's the recipe as I'm making it today:

4.8# Crisp Maris Otter
1.2# Crisp Dark Munich (20L)
0.75# Crisp Brown Malt
0.75# Briess Cherry Wood Smoked Malt
0.75# Weyermann Rauch Malt
0.75# Crisp Crystal 77L
0.45# Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt (350L)
16.8g Magnum (60 min)
8.4g EKG (10 min)
0.25 Whirlfloc
0.25t Yeast nutrient
1" per gallon HoneyComb Barrel Alternative

Mash at 154F for 60 minutes, 90 minute boil, ferment at 60F

Same water profile as last time, Beersmith London.

Brewing Notes
No issues.  Gravity came in at 1.077 with a bit over 3 gallons.

Update 7/11/2016
I decided to go with hard maple for the wood on this beer. Per Black Swan's description, hard maple has the following characteristics:
Maple candy, light spice-nutmeg, cinnamon, syrup, bread/bakery, cream hint of cocoa
Update 7/26/2016
I pulled a sample two days ago and I think it's close, but still needs a little more time on the wood. Smoke character is nice but subtle; definitely does not dominate.  I'm going to check it again tomorrow and see how it's doing.

Update 8/4/2016
This beer went into the keg today.

Update 9/6/2016
This beer took gold for the second year in a row for Smoked and Wood-aged beer at 2016 Beehive Brew-off. In fact, my homebrew club ZZHOPS, swept the category. Dallas Barlow and Mike Johnson took second with their Barrel Project and Jerry McPhie took third with his Belgian Gold Oak.

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