Smoke Jumper Rauchbier

>> Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love smoked foods...ribs, pork shoulder, fish, brisket, cheeeeeeeese. Basically I've never had a smoke food that I didn't like. The first smoked beer I tried was Rauchbier from Eisenbahn Brewery located in Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil. With the cooler months approaching it's time to brew up a batch of this flavorful beer.

I made this recipe for the first time last year and it turned out great. Last year I used Weyermann Rauch malt. I don't know if the grain was on the old side, but I couldn't detect any smokey aroma when I got it so just to be safe I ended up smoking it over hickory for about 45 minutes. This resulted in a nice smooth smoky flavor in the finished beer. This time I'm using Briess' Smoked Malt. It's smoked over cherry wood and Briess says it contributes a smooth sweet smokiness.

This is a lager and as such it's best to pitch a good sized starter. I started my yeast starter a few days ahead of brew day following John Palmer's instructions for a lager yeast starter. I believe there are a few commercial beers named Smoke Jumper. This is not intended to be a clone of any of the commercial offerings.

6.00 lb Smoked Malt (Briess)
4.00 lb Munich Type II (Weyermann)
1.00 lb Carared (Weyermann)
0.50 lb Caramunich II (Weyermann)
1.00 oz Tettnanger [4.50 %] (60 min) Hops
1 Pkgs Bavarian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2206) Yeast-Lager

The first time I made this I used a single infusion mash @153 for 75 minutes. I've been wanting to try a step mash so this time I mashed at 122 for 20 min, 149 for 30 min, 158 for 30 min and mashout at 170 for 10 min.

Pitch at 58 F and lower temp to 48 F over two days. Hold at 48 F for two weeks. Rack to secondary and lager at 35 F for 6 weeks.

Updated 11/13/2010 - I kegged this one this week. Sad to say but I'm very disappointed. I'm picking up some off-flavors in the form of band-aid like flavors. II think I made a critical error in the step mash by not first boiling the hot liquor water. As a result, I believe there was chlorine in the mash which resulted in unwanted phenols. On the upside, I've added a carbon water filter to my equipment list so hopefully I'll be able to avoid this in the future. I'm going to let this age a bit more and cross my fingers and hope for the best. First taste impressions give it an F grade.

Updated 12/12/2010 - I took some of this with me to the 2nd Annual Big Ass Holiday Beer Tasting last night. I'm pleased to say that the band-aid-like phenol has subsided, so this beer has definitely improved over the last month. This is an intensely smokey beer. It's not harsh like a peat smoked malt would be, but it is unmistakeably smokey for sure. The next time I make it, I'm thinking about a blend of traditional rauchmalt with the cherry-wood smoked malt, or perhaps increasing the Munich to try to give it a little more malt/smoke balance. At this point I'd give it a B-.


Cali Trip

>> Monday, August 23, 2010

We just got back from a family vacation to Southern California. While we were there we had a BBQ at my in-laws and my brother-in-law was nice enough to bring a couple growlers from TAPS Brewhouse in Brea, CA. Brewmaster Victor Novak makes some great beer so if you're in the area, I highly recommend checking them out. They'll also be at the GABF, so check them out.

I also made a trip to BevMo and picked up a few beers. Whenever I'm in Cali (or anywhere else) I always try to find some beers that aren't distributed in Utah.

  1. Allagash Curieux - A Tripel Ale aged in Jim Beam oak bourbon barrels for 8 weeks - 11% abv
  2. Dogfish Head Red & White - Malt beverage brewed with coriander & orange peel with Pinot noir juice concentrate added with 11% aged in Pinot noir barrels and 89% aged on oak barrel staves - 10% abv
  3. Rodenbach Classic Ale - Flanders Red-Brown Ale composed of three-quarters young beer and one-quarter beer matured for two years in oak - 5.2% ABV
  4. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer) Urbock - A full bodied smoked bock beer for Bamberg's strong beer season (October through December) in fall. Brewed already in the summer time, it is matured for months in the ancient Schlenkerla rock-cellars underneath Bamberg. - 6.5% ABV
  5. Stone Cali-Belgique IPA - A California style IPA brewed with a Belgian yeast strain. Not your typical IPA - 6.9% ABV
  6. Stone Smoked Porter - As the name implies, a Smoked Porter. I love smoked foods and not to toot my own horn, but I have a smoker and I make some pretty mean smoked ribs and a real nice porkvshoulder. I definitely likes the smoked beers as much as I likes a good smoked pig.


Great American Beer Festival 2010

>> Sunday, August 08, 2010

My wife and I just ordered tickets to the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. 2008 was the first year we went and the plan is to go every other year. When we went in 2008 my wife was fresh out of knee surgery so she was still on crutches. We rented a Rascal-type scooter for her to ride around the festival (I'm surprised she didn't get a DUI). It was a blast but it would have been more fun if she was more mobile. I got to try Sam Adams' Utopia which was awesome. Other notables were Maui Brewing Company's Coconut Porter, and orange blossom ales from several different breweries.

This year she's totally healthy so we're really looking forward to it. Some of our friends are joining us so that's an added bonus. In 2008 we did the Saturday Member Session. This year we're doing the Thursday night session. I've heard people say that sometimes the Friday and Saturday night sessions can turn into drunken frat parties, so since the Member Session was sold out, we opted for the Thursday night session. If you've never been the the GABF, I highly recommend it. It's a great time for serious beer enthusiasts and a great way to introduce newbies to the world of craft beer.


New Domain!!...and Turbodog update

>> Monday, August 02, 2010

So I finally bit the bullet and sank a whole whopping $10 to register the domain. .com was taken, but maybe it'll be available at some point.

Turbodog Update: The Turbodog turned out really well. My friend from Louisiana said flavor-wise it was indiscernible from the commercial version. The only real difference was he said the body/mouthfeel was slightly lighter than the commercial version. That can be tweaked fairly easily, so I'd call this a success.

I really liked this brew. I was a little concerned about tannins since the sparge was a few degrees higher than other recipes I've made. There are definitely some chocolate notes here, but it's not overpowering. The hops are there as well, but in a very complimentary way and not overpowering either. There are some really balanced flavors going on here. I'd give this brew a B+