Canadian Bacon 2023

>> Sunday, December 17, 2023

L to R, Irish, Canadian, Maple Canadian

I haven't posted much lately because I haven't brewed much lately. Long story short, too many things going on and I just haven't had the time to brew. That said, I have a few things planned so I should have a brewing post in the not too distant future. 

For today, I have a food-related post. I bought a pork loin and I'm going to be trying three variations on Canadian Bacon.  The first two are based on the recipe from Amazing Ribs and are essentially the same recipe, but one is Canadian style and one is Irish style with the Irish style being roasted in the oven rather than smoked. The last one is one I found online that sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. I plan to use these in one of our favorite dishes, Eggs Benedict but will use them in other things like breakfast sandwiches, pizzas, etc.  

Canadian Bacon based on Amazing Ribs recipe
3.0# Pork Loin, about 3.5" thick

9.6 Cups RO water
8.74g Prague powder #1
90.0g Sugar
104g Kosher salt
5.83g Garlic powder
  1. Mix all ingredients and stir until salts and sugar are dissolved.
  2. Chill brine.
  3. Add loin to chilled brine and brine for 6.5 days in the fridge.
  4. Rinse the loin.
  5. Optional: truss your pork loin so that it ends up more round than oblong.  
  6. Smoke at 325F until the internal temp in the middle of the loin reaches 145F. I used apple wood and smoked it on my kamado smoker with acacia wood charcoal.


Acid Tripp Experiment - Fruited Kettle Sour

>> Monday, July 03, 2023

I've been super busy this Spring so I've barely even brewed lately. I recently picked up a pouch of WLP6420 Acid Tripp which is the house kettle souring culture at Tripping Animals out of Doral, Florida. I reached out to White Labs because there seemed to be some contradictory information on their website, but I confirmed it's a blend of bacteria and does not contain any yeast. 

I'm planning on this being a very fruit-forward kettle sour, but I haven't settled on which fruits I plan to use. I may split this up into smaller sized batches and put them on a couple different fruits. I have a bunch of freeze-dried strawberries, and that's definitely the frontrunner right now. Anyway, here is some info re Acid Tripp from White Lab's website:
For the first time, Tripping Animals Brewing in Doral, FL is giving you access to one of their hottest house strains! We’re so excited to partner with our passionate and creative friends at Tripping Animals to bring you WLP6420 Acid Tripp, the ultimate blend of organisms perfect for your next kettle sour. 

This proprietary house blend is used in all of Tripping Animals’ renowned sour ales, and is now available to you!

This culture is unlike any other and offers an extraordinarily complex flavor profile resulting in balanced acidity with moderate tropical and pomme fruit aromas. This complexity allows for a range of flavor profiles that can be achieved depending on how it is blended with other yeasts or added to different beer styles. 

Optimum fermentation temperature range is between 40-43℃/105-110℉ and typically sours the wort within 12-24 hours. 
Complex flavor profile resulting in moderate tropical (pineapple) and pomme (apple) fruit aromas.

An extremely quick pH drop! Souring is typically achieved in less than 24 hours, dropping the wort from a pH of ~5 to ~3.5.

It is recommended to add hops after the lactic acid fermentation so the organisms are not inhibited.
One note, I believe this blend contains at least one heterofermentative strain that will produce a small amount of ethanol, so don't let it go too long as you'll end up boiling off any of the ethanol that's produced. 

Target OG 1.058
Target FG: 1.011
IBU: 11.2
ABV: 6.2%

8.0# Rahr North Star Pils
3.0# Spelt Malt
2.0ml Hopshot (60 min)
WLP6420 Acid Tripp
Wyeast Nutrient
Fruits TBD

Day 1
Single infusion mash at 154F. Collect ~6.75 gallons. Bring to 170-180F and hold for about 15 minutes to pasteurize. Chill to 110F before pitching Acid Tripp. Check pH at least once in 24 hours.

Day 2
Check the pH at least once in the first 24 hours. Proceed with boil when you've reached your target pH (I'm shooting for 3.50). 90 min boil, then chill to 67F and aerate well before pitching yeast.
Water Profile
Nothing fancy here, just 50/50 blend of carbon-filtered tap water and RO water.

Brewing Notes
I got distracted and held the mash around 125F for about 10 minutes before ramping it up to 154F for the duration of the mash. I created a 1L starter of Acid Tripp, partly because I wanted to save some of the blended culture in case I really liked the results. I ended up collecting right about 7 gallons that was chilled to about 110F before pitching 500ml of starter at 7pm on 7/2/2023. I kept the souring keg in my garage because it has the warmest consistent temps right now.

7:20am 7/3/2023: 12 hours in and pH has dropped to 3.66 while gravity has dropped to 10.2 (1.039*). This is a pretty impressive pH drop. I just use ambient temps when kettle souring and with my typical cultures (Yakult and GoodBelly) I often do the first brew day on Sunday, then the second brew day on the following Friday or Saturday by which time I usually hit a terminal pH of 3.2-ish. I tasted the sample and there's some nice tartness and I can pick up some pineapple and pomme fruit character.

5:00PM 7/3/2023: 20 hours in and pH is at 3.41. I lost a few points during souring (I suspect due to heterofermentative strain(s) in the blend). I'm guessing if I caught it at 3.5 the gravity drop would have been reduced. My boil also wasn't quite as vigorous as normal, so that also factors into the lower than target gravity. On the plus side, the tropical fruit aroma was super intense (more so than earlier in the morning) with huge passion fruit, guava, and pomme fruit. Based on aroma alone, I would say this blend is much more complex than a typical kettle sour culture. I think I'll try this culture in a future batch as more of a traditional post-boil sour giving this culture a 12 hour head start followed by a sacc/brett blend.   

Session Readings
Beginning mash pH  5.60 
Ending mash pH  5.56 
1st running gravity  16.2 (1.064) 
Pre-souring pH 5.66 
Pre-souring gravity 10.7 (1.042) 
12-hour souring pH 3.66 
12-hour souring gravity 10.2 (1.039*) 
Pre-Boil pH  3.41 
Pre-Boil gravity 9.7 (1.036*) 
Post-Boil pH 3.42 
Post-Boil gravity 11.7 (1.046)
*Corrected gravity

Update 7/4/2023
I was only able to chill down to about 75F, so I left it overnight to get down to 67F. Yeast was pitched this morning.

Update 7/9/2023
Fermentation has slowed so I pulled a sample this morning. The tropical fruit character is amazing on this beer; definitely much more complex than your typical kettle sour. I’ll probably let this go for a week then I’ll transfer onto fruit. I may even leave part of it unfruited as the base beer is really interesting.

Updated 7/15/2023
I kegged this beer into two 3.5 gallon kegs that are fitted with dip tube screens just like my Kegmenters that I use for fruiting. It's based on Scott Janish's method for dry hopping in the keg and really helps minimize losses due to clogged dip tubes and/or posts.

Keg #1 that I'm calling Citra Tripp got treated with 0.33g lime zest, 0.33g orange zest, 0.66g grapefruit zest, and 3g Citra hops in 2.25 gallons of base beer. Basically I'm looking for some interesting citrus and Citra hop character to compliment the big tropical fruit character from the souring blend. Since there aren't additional sugars being added to this version, it should be ready to drink as soon as it carbs up.

Keg #2 that I'm calling Strawberry Tripp got treated with 1# of freeze dried strawberries (10# fresh fruit equivalent) into 2.5 gallons of beer. I most worried about this one due to the issues in fruiting beers with strawberries. I'm really hoping the strawberry character doesn't turn into something farty or fade too much. I should get a secondary fermentation from all the sugar in the fruit, so this will probably go a few weeks to allow that to wrap up and maximize extraction.

Update 7/19/2023
I pulled a small sample of Citra Tripp. I went pretty conservative on the citrus peels primarily because I just want some fruity complexity rather than it being a citrus bomb. So far so good, there's pleasant citrus character but you don't feel like you're drinking furniture polish/stripper.

I pulled a small sample of Strawberry Tripp the day after transferring onto the fruit, and both the aroma and flavor were great. The secondary fermentation kicked off pretty quickly and I haven't tried it again since then. I'll probably let it go a few more days before trying it again.


Golden Solera 2023

>> Sunday, April 02, 2023

Today I'm brewing another 10 gallons of my Golden Sour Solera. This will be the "fresh" beer that's replacing the ~10 gallons I'll soon be pulling off the barrel for the next variant. For anyone stumbling across this recipe, you'll want to plan on fruiting and/or dry hopping the finished beer as this recipe is boring without some kind of secondary treatment. Think of it as a canvas that works really well with secondary treatments.

I'm mixing up the yeast a little on this batch. I'm using Wyeast 5112 but I also have some Embrace The Funk Culture from Bootleg Biology that I'm planning on using this round. 

Wyeast describes 5112 as follows:
This strain of wild yeast was isolated from brewery cultures in the Brussels region of Belgium. It produces the classic “sweaty horse blanket” character of indigenous beers such as gueuze, lambics and sour browns and may form a pellicle in bottles or casks. The strain is generally used in conjunction with S. cerevisiae, as well as other wild yeast and lactic bacteria. At least 3-6 months aging is generally required for flavor to fully develop.
Bootleg Biology describes BBXETF as follows:
Source: A unique blend of ale yeast, Brett and restrained LAB curated by Embrace The Funk – Yazoo Brewing in Nashville, TN, USA. This is a specially curated blend of house saison yeast and multiple Brettanomyces strains that creates a floral bouquet of tropical fruit and black pepper.
Hopefully the combination of these two plus the resident barrel cultures will result in some complex funky character in the final beer. Here are the details for today's brew session:

Target OG 1.044
Target FG: 1.005
IBU: 0
ABV: ~6.0%

12.0# Weyermann Barke Pilsner Malt
3.0# Spelt Malt
56g Aged Hops (60 min)
Yeast Nutrient
Wyeast 5112 Brettanomyces bruxellensis
Bootleg Biology BBXETF – Embrace The Funk Culture

Mash at 160F. Collect  ~10.0 gallons, then top up to ~12 gallons. 90 minute boil, ferment at room temp.

Water Profile
50/50 blend of carbon filtered tap water and RO water.

Brewing Notes
No issues. The first mash pH sample was a little higher than I prefer. I rarely document exactly how much phosphoric acid I use to acidify my mash, but based on experience I typically add ~1.5ml for pale beers (per 5 gallons). Since this is 10 gallons, I initially added ~3ml. After the 5.47 reading I added an additional 1ml.

Session Readings
Beginning mash pH  5.47
Ending mash pH  5.35
1st running gravity  21.8  (1.088)
Pre-Boil gravity  10.2 (1.040)
Pre-Boil pH  5.35
Post-Boil gravity  11,4 (1.045)
Post-Boil pH  5.45

Update 4/7/2023
This fermentation took a bit longer to get going than I’m used to. I forgot to mention, I’m fermenting this at room temp in a 15 gallon Kegmenter fitted with my spunding valve. Yeast was pitched late Sunday and it seemed like there was a little bit of positive pressure developing over the next few days, but it was a very small amount. I was starting to worry a little and even started to propagate a Bootleg Biology Black Project pouch, just in case it was needed. Then this morning I noticed a jump in pressure in the kegmenter. I dialed it in to about 6PSI and it seems to be happily fermenting away.


Homemade Refried Beans

>> Monday, February 20, 2023

One more food-related post today. This one is for Homemade Refried Beans. This dish is super easy to make, it just takes a little bit of prep time, and while I don't think there's anything wrong with a can of Rosarita Refried Beans, these are definitely better.

These are great as a side dish (we had them with lobster tacos). They're also really good paired with a can of Stokes Ranchero Sauce for a semi-homemade take on huevos rancheros.

1# Dried pinto beans (or black beans)
2 T Vegetable or olive oil
1 Large sweet onion
6 Garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c Cilantro, chopped
1.5 t Chili powder (e.g. McCormick chili powder)
1.5 t Cumin
0.5 t Cayenne pepper
3 Cubes pork bouillon (substitute chicken or vegetable if you can't find pork)
2 T Lime juice
0,5 t Salt

  1. The day before, place dried beans in bowl and cover with 1" or so of water.  Allow to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, drain off any excess water.
  3. Using a large saucepot, heat oil over medium-low heat then add onion, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. 
  4. Sauté for about 15mins, remembering to stir frequently to avoid burning.
  5. Add beans to pot along with bouillon, 8 cups of water, and salt.
  6. Cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2.5 hours, stirring occasionally to avoid burning the beans on the bottom of the pot.
  7. Remove the lid and continue to simmer at least 15 minutes or the desired amount of liquid remains.
  8. Use a potato masher or hand blender to mash the beans to the desired consistency. 
  9. Stir in lime juice and add additional salt and pepper to taste before serving.


Mexican Style Rice

Here's a Mexican-style Rice recipe I stumbled across recently when I decided to make lobster tacos for my wife's birthday dinner. I really liked how this turned out, so as usual, I'm posting the recipe here so that I don't run the risk of losing it. 

One thing I particularly like about this recipe, even though it incorporates tomato sauce, the finished product isn't saucy. Super saucy Mexican rice kind of grosses me out; if you feel the same way, give this one a try. One note, the first time I made it I didn't use low-sodium broth and I felt like it was too salty right after it came out of the pan. It seemed better the next day, like it had mellowed a bit. Either use low-sodium broth or skip the Kosher salt until you've had a chance to taste it.

2 c Long grain white rice
1/8 c Vegetable oil
8 oz Tomato sauce
6 Cilantro stems, chopped
1 t Kosher salt
1 t Minced garlic
4 c Low-sodium chicken broth
1/8 t Cumin
1/8 t Garlic pepper

  1. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add rice and cook until golden brown
  3. Add remaining ingredients to pan, and mix well.
  4. Bring to a simmer then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Fluff with a fork before serving.


Chinese Take-out Fried Rice

Here's a really good Chinese Take-out Fried Rice recipe that I originally saw on a sub-Reddit a little while back. I've made it once so far and it's really good. It may look complicated, but it's actually a fairly simple dish to make. 

Credit to Jason Farmer for doing a bunch of research into the recipe and for documenting it very well on his YouTube channel. Here's the link and I recommend watching it all the way through before attempting the recipe. The key to this recipe is preparation. Things move quickly as you start cooking, so have everything ready to go before you start.
Ingredients - Here's everything you'll need. You'll only need small amounts of the soy sauces, so I'd recommend getting small-ish bottles rather than Costco-sized ones. Also, as noted in the video, you want Chinese style soy sauce, not Japanese style.
  • 2 parts standard long grain white rice
  • 1 part Jasmine rice
  • Lee Kum Kee or Pearl River Bridge light soy sauce
  • Lee Kum Kee or Pearl River Bridge dark soy sauce
  • Shaoxing Cooking Wine
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 - Chicken breast
  • Baking Soda
  • Sugar
  • Corn Starch
  • Kosher Salt
  • MSG
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sugar
  • White pepper
  • 2 - Eggs, beaten
  • 1 - medium onion, diced
  • Diced carrot
  • Frozen peas
  • Bean sprouts 
Prepare Rice - The recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked rice. Since 1 cup raw rice is ~3 cups cooked rice, we need about 2/3 cup uncooked rice. That means 4/9 cup long grain white rice and 2/9 cup Jasmine rice. Since I've never seen measuring cups in the ninths, I just convert it to metric volumes. In this case it's 105ml of long grain white, and 52.5ml of Jasmine. Update: To be more precise, I converted volume to weight; use 47.3g Jasmine and 94.6g long grain white rice.
  • Wash rice under water until it runs clear.
  • Cook rice 1:1 with water (142ml)
  • Cool to room temp then chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Prepare Chicken
  • Slice chicken into small pieces.
  • Wash chicken under cold water and squeeze out excess water.
  • Add 1/2 t baking soda to chicken and mix in.
  • Add 1/2 t light soy sauce to chicken
  • Add 1/2 t sugar to chicken.
  • Add 1/2 t corn starch to chicken.
  • Add 1/4 t Kosher salt to chicken.
  • Add 1/8 t MSG to chicken
  • Add 1 t vegetable oil
  • Mix well and marinate from 15 mins to overnight.
Prepare Sauce Mixture
  • Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl:
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 2 t light soy sauce
  • 1/2 t dark soy sauce. 
  • Stir until sugar is dissolved and set aside.
Prepare Dry Spice Mixture
  • Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl:
  • 1 t Kosher salt
  • 2 pinches of white pepper
  • 1/2 t MSG
  • Set aside
Prepare other ingredients
  • To 2 beaten eggs, add a pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of MSG.
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 T diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 T frozen peas
  • Handful of bean sprouts
  • 2 T Shaoxing wine
  • 2 T sliced green onion
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
Bring It All Together
  1. Heat wok, pan, or griddle over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 1 T vegetable oil to pan
  3. Turn heat down to medium and add eggs.
  4. Cook eggs for about 15-20 second then carefully move them around to start scrambling. 
  5. Cook eggs to slightly undercooked then transfer to a bowl.
  6. Add 1 T oil to pan
  7. Cook chicken to slightly undercooked then transfer to bowl with eggs.
  8. Add 1 T oil to pan
  9. Toss in diced onion and diced carrots.
  10. Cook for a minute or two until onion is beginning to look translucent, then add garlic and saute for an additional 30 seconds.
  11. Add 2 cups of the rice and stir constantly for about 2 minutes.
  12. Add chicken and eggs to mixture and incorporate well.
  13. Add sauce to mixture and incorporate well.
  14. Add dry spice mixture and incorporate well.
  15. Add frozen peas and bean sprouts, and gently mix them in.
  16. Deglaze with Shaoxing wine and immediately stir into rice. 
  17. Cook off the alcohol for about 20-30 seconds then turn off the heat.
  18. Add green onion and toasted sesame oil and mix in.
  19. Add salt and white pepper to taste.


Cold IPA - It Just Works Clone

>> Sunday, February 19, 2023

Today I'm brewing an experimental beer, a "Cold IPA". This is an emerging style that is still being defined, even in the commercial market. From the commercial examples I've tried, I would describe the style as hop-forward with firm bitterness and with a very clean and crisp fermentation profile. Grain bills are usually highly fermentable and closer to something you'd use for a crisp lager, employing things like flaked rice and steering clear of any crystal malts. 

You may ask yourself, what's the difference between a Cold IPA and an IPL (India Pale Lager). The answer is open to interpretation, but IMO I'd say the grain bill of an IPL is usually closer to that of an American IPA, whereas the grain bill of a Cold IPA is closer to that of an American Lager. So you could probably say an IPL is an IPA fermented with lager yeast (and slightly dialed down hop character to keep it balanced). A Cold IPA is closer to an American Lager with hopping rates on par with an American IPA and fermented with lager yeast or on the cold side of an ale yeast's range. Clear as mud? 

This beer is based on Green Cheek Beer Co.'s It Just Works and the commercial version is brewed with ale yeast. Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

Target OG 1.059
Target FG: 1.007
IBU: 100+
AVB: 7.0

7.025# Weyermann Barke Pilsner Malt
3.0625# Flaked Rice
7.3ml HopShot (75 min) 
28g Pahto (HBC 682) (75 min)
4.66g BCAA
Yeast nutrient
37g Amarillo (Whirlpool)
1 Dropper of ALDC (Dry hop)
119g Ekuanot (Dry hop)
79g Mosaic (Dry hop)
40g Amarillo (Dry hop)
15ml Biofine at packaging - I've actually had better results lately with gelatin (my Biofine might be expired)

Mash at 148F, 90 min boil, chill to 64F then raise to 66F over two days and hold at 66F for an additional 2-3 days. 

On day 4-5, transfer to a purged vessel with dry hops and ALDC and hold at 68F until fermentation is complete. For my setup, I plan to use a purged keg with a dry hop screen fitted over the pickup tube and a spunding valve to regulate CO2 pressure. The ALDC isn't required, but it is intended to reduce diacetyl production when dry hopping. This will be my first time giving it a try.

Water Profile

Target Water Profile
 72.3  18.8  52  150.8  153.8 

I'm shooting for 150ppm each of Chloride and Sulfate for a 1:1 Chloride/Sulfate ratio, To 10 gallons of RO water, add:
  • 5.2g Gypsum
  • 5.0g Pickling salt
  • 7.2g Epsom salt
  • 5.6g Calcium chloride
Brewing Notes
No real issues other than I didn't realize my kettle ball valve was open when I was filling the kettle. As such, I probably lost about 4 oz of first runnings wort. Even with the target gravity exactly despite losing a little bit of wort on the garage floor. Clarity on this wort was amazing before adding the hops. As expected, the color is very light due to the pilsner and flaked rice grain bill.

Session Readings
Beginning mash pH  5.27
Ending mash pH  5.39 
1st running gravity  19.9 (1.080) 
Pre-Boil gravity  11.6 (1.045) 
Pre-Boil pH  5.40 
Post-Boil gravity  15 (1.059)
Post-Boil pH  5.32

Update 2/25/2023
I’m transferring to a keg today and adding the ALDC and dry hops. Technically day 5 was yesterday, but fermentation was a little slow to start, so I think I’m still within the 4-5 day window specified in the recipe. I realized my dry hop dip tube filter is in use, so I’m using the floating dip tube assembly that came with my Kegmenter instead. I’m planning on dry hopping for a maximum of 6 days.

Update 4/13/2023
I forgot to post an update when I kegged this beer. I really dig the way it turned out. It's very drinkable, especially for ~7%. Hop flavor and aroma are on par with a modern American IPA. Bitterness is definitely firm, but not harsh, so I'm really digging the water profile. All transfers were done closed into purged vessels so as to minimize O2 exposure. The hop character has held up really well. 
The only hiccup I had was with the floating dip tube. It clogged, so I probably lost half a gallon of beer in the keg (secondary). Next time I'll try the dip tube screen and see if it works better. Also, I tried using gelatin rather than Biofine and clarity is decent, but not great compared to most of my lagers. Next time I'll probably go with Biofine and see how it does.


Tmavé Pivo - Czech Dark Lager

>> Monday, January 02, 2023

First brew of 2023 and I’m getting an early start because I want to be done in time to watch the Utes in the Rose Bowl. Today I’m brewing a style I’ve never brewed before. This recipe is based on Tmavé Pivo from Pivovar Hostomice in the Czech Republic, and it’s a Czech Dark Lager. This style is much less common than the more iconic pale Czech Pale Lagers, but I'd argue they're every bit as drinkable. Locally, Offset Bier in Park City, Utah won a silver medal at the North American Brewers Association competition (part of the Mountain Brewers Beer Fest) with their version of the style, also named Tmavé Pivo.

Here’s the BJCP description of the style:

A rich, dark, malty Czech lager with a roast character that can vary from almost absent to quite prominent. Malty with an interesting and complex flavor profile, with variable levels of hopping providing a range of possible interpretations.

This style is a combination of the Czech styles tmavý ležák (11–12.9 °P) and tmavé speciální pivo (13–14.9 °P). More modern examples are drier and have higher bitterness while traditional versions often have IBUs in the 18–20 range with a sweeter balance.

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

Target OG: 1.056 
Target FG: 1.012 
IBUs: 41 
ABV: 5.8% 

3.6625# Czech floor-malted pilsner 
3.6625# Munich I 
1.675# Weyermann Caramunich III 
1g BrewTan B in mash
2.2oz Weyermann Carafa III (added at sparge)
8.6g Magnum (60 min)
10.5g Magnum (30 min)
54.2g Czech Saaz (15 min)
4.66g BCAA
White Labs WLP800 Pilsner Lager

Keeping with tradition, I'm employing a double decoction mash for this session. If you don't want to go to the trouble of a decoction mash, I'd probably do a single infusion mash at ~149-150F.

Mash In
Mash in at 99F then raise temp to 126F and hold for 5 minutes before pulling first decoction. 

First Decoction
  1. Pull a one-third decoction, raise temp to 145F and hold for 5 minutes.
  2. Raise temp to 162F and hold for 15 minutes. 
  3. Bring decoction to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes.  
  4. Return decoction to the main mash and maintain at 144F. 
Second Decoction
  1. Pull a second one-third decoction, raise decoction temp to 162F and hold for 15 minutes. 
  2. Bring decoction to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes. 
  3. Return decoction to the main mash and maintain at 165F for 10 minutes.
Add the Carafa III at sparge. 90 min boil. Chill to about 46F then increase temp to 50F over two days.  Hold at 50F until primary is complete, then cold crash and lager for at least a few weeks.  

Water Profile
This is a super soft water profile as recommended by Gordon Strong via a BYO article.  
  • Add 2.26 ml of Phosphoric Acid per 10 gallons RO water. 
  • Add 2g calcium chloride per 10 gallons RO water.
Brewing Notes
No issues other than my arm was really tired from the constant stirring during the decoctions…I might even have a blister. For anyone interested, here's a short video I posted on Instagram for this brew session.
Gravity came in a little below target on this batch, but it’s still within guidelines. Decoction temps were pretty spot on. I love our cooktop, it provides really nice even heating. Also, my wife bought some wooden cooking spoon/scraper utensils called Spurtles and they work amazing for decoction mashes. The color on this beer is gorgeous. Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks. I chilled down to ~55F before transferring to the fermenter. I’ll continue chilling down to 46F before pitching yeast.

Session Readings
Beginning mash pH 5.24
Ending mash pH 5.29
1st running gravity 20.3 (1.082)
Pre-Boil gravity 8.8 (1.034)
Pre-Boil pH 5.32
Post-Boil gravity 12.5 (1.049)
Post-Boil pH 5.27

Update 1/2/2023 5:40PM
Yeast was pitched.

Update 1/4/2023
Fermentation was a little sluggish to get going, but I did pitch at 46F and the low temp on this yeast’s range is 50F. I finished ramping the temps up from 46F to 50F today and fermentation activity seems to be ramping up. This morning there was a glug about once every 10-ish seconds and this evening it’s closer to once every 5 seconds.

Update 1/23/2023
This beer was kegged tonight along with gelatin for fining.

Update 2/17/2023
This beer has dropped crystal clear and is a really beautiful dark garnet color. It's a super easy drinking beer, yet it has some nice malty character. I'm going to be entering this beer in two competitions, NHC and Lagerpalooza.