Blichmann QuickCarb Review

Unboxing the QuickCarb

Unboxing the QuickCarb

I attended my first HomebrewCon in 2016 in Baltimore. The number one thing is that I came away from at the conference was how awesome the expo was. I was like a kid in a candy store, no, I was a kid in a candy store. My money was literally burning a hole in my pocket, so I came away from this wondering what I wanted to spend my money on. One of the the most influential item that could be squeezed in my budget was the Blichmann QuickCarb. This was something that shot up to the top of my list on must haves in my home brewery. Why? Recently I have been brewing a lot for events and as most homebrewers will tell you, they are very huge procrastinators. Maybe I’m stereotyping all homebrewers, well that’s because I am. Because there is no way I procrastinate. </sarcasm>

Back onto the QuickCarb. This is something I have never seen before. My eyes widened as the Blichmann rep was explaining the product to me. The things I could do with this thing! Carbonate beers, transfer beer from one vessel to another, ok I don’t have anything else. I was pleased that the second option came up. Having this would only my feed of procrastination, I mean being a planner!

I have used it a handful of times and I wanted to share with you my pros and cons. This may end up being an every evolving list. Maybe this will show up on a Google search so if you are looking into purchasing this, I hope what I say will sway you.

I have enjoyed using this product. Looking back, is this something I would still purchase? I cannot answer that right now, but I will say that I do not regret buying this. I am glad it is in my inventory.

QuickCarb Pros:

Like the the name says, QuickCarb. Your beer will be carbonated in just under an hour.

Will not over-carbonate your beer. If you follow the procedures that are laid out, your beer will be almost perfectly carbonated.

Self priming pump. Yes, you heard me right here, SELF PRIMING PUMP! I have had so many issues with my brewing pump, this is a joy to my ears and my fingers got really excited typing self priming pump. Oh it makes things much easier. Do a quick search for self priming pumps, you’ll find that most self priming pumps are about the same price point as I say is a con.

You can carbonate a beer under an hour. Yes, this deserves two pros. Just saying.

QuickCarb Cons:

Price Point – $180 is a bit steep, but if you’re willing to pay for the convenience of carbonating your beer to a proper carbonation level, then jump onto the ship with me.

Storing – I haven’t really found the perfect way to store this thing just yet. Right now I let it air dry then put it back into the box that it came in, but the box is starting to fall apart now from getting wet. I need to find a case for it.

Bulky – All the lines coming from the keg to the pump from the CO2 tank to the pump, etc. It is just awkward.

Sour beers – Yes we all know you cannot contaminate your equipment with sour beers. I do brew a sour beer here and there, but I realize I would need to purchase another one to accommodate me wanting to quick carb a sour beer. Right now I just carbonate those like I did in 2015. Sigh.

Here is a very short video of the QuickCarb in action. This time I just had the QuickCarb laying on my kitchen counter.

Brings All The Boys to the Yard IPA / Saison

My homebrew club does a a intra-club competition that we call the Makeshift Mashout. We have everyone put ingredients into 3 hats: a brewing ingredient, a hop, and a yeast. I believe I entered oats, mosaic hops, and Vermont Ale  yeast because I’m kind of on a New England IPA kick, yes, I’m brewing with the trends these days, excuse me there. The three ingredients that were selected were oats (WOOT!), CTZ hops, and saison yeast. I started on my journey of formulating a recipe. Where do I go to none other than The Mad Fermentationist Blog. I found a recipe of his using Columbus hops and oats. I used his Softer, Juicier, and Uglier APA recipe as the basis for this beer.  I didn’t have any Nelson Sauvin hops and me being me, I didn’t want to buy a pound of them. I ordered 8 ounces of El Dorado hops. The descriptors of these hops were pear, watermelon, and stone fruit. This is exactly what I’m looking for in this IPA. I had some Amarillo stashed away in the freezer and ordered some CTZ hops with the El Dorados and now I’m about ready to fire up the kettle.

My grain bill was missing malts that would drop the mash pH in the effective range, this is why the initial grain bill called for acidulated malt. If you’re wondering no, I don’t have a reliable pH meter, I’m going all on gut instinct, which, well probably isn’t the best method. A reliable pH meter is on my wish list which will happen sooner than later. The acidulated malt I had in stock was overrun with weevils. It was disconcerting the amount of bugsthat had taken over the malt. I ditched them out in the yard and went onto something else. Since it was just for lowering mash pH, I added phosphoric acid to my mash water. At least this was a quick fix. Have I mentioned I need to go ahead and buy a reliable pH meter?

Harvester of Aqua

Also to note, I harvested my water from a spring that is 20 miles south of where I live. The water is very pure tasting and it has made some fantastic beers. I would love to get my hands on the analysis report. I do have a Total Dissolved Solids meter and it read 13 PPM. Pretty pure if you were to ask me. I built up a small water profile by using a 2:1 ration sulfites to chloride. Why the small numbers in these? Well I only had 6.6 grams of gypsum, so there you go. I wanted to use 2 grams of gypsum per gallon of water used, that didn’t happen as you see. No problem though, at the end I’ll still have beer.

Now onto my fermentation, this thing was super active which made me a happy brewer. The saison yeast was a few months past the prime, but I did a yeast starter and both yeasts were happily fermenting.

NE IPA and the “saison” fermenting away nicely. #homebrew

A video posted by wickdawg (@wickdawg) on

I can’t wait to write up some tasting notes on this bad boy. When I open the chest freezer to check on my babies in there, it smells glorious. I hope that transpires into what I am about to enjoy.

This beer has had a lot of life so far. There is a local artisan bakery in town. I sent him a text the morning of my brew day and told him this was a little different grain bill than usual and he was interested in what I had. He came by a few hours later to pick up my spent grains and he made some lovely loafs of bread. If you ever want to know what a brew day smells like, this bread delivered those aromas to his customers. It smelled of sweet grains and wort to boot. It was mighty tasty bread. I believe it might have been my favorite bread to come out of his bakery.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
11 gal 60 min 56.5 IBUs 3.9 SRM 1.061 1.012 6.4 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 21 A 1.056 - 1.07 1.008 - 1.014 40 - 70 6 - 14 2.4 - 2.9 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 14 lbs 56
Oats, Flaked (Briess) 5 lbs 20
Wheat Malt, Bel 5 lbs 20
Carafoam (Weyermann) 1 lbs 4

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Columbus (Tomahawk) 2 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 17.8
El Dorado 3 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 13.9
Amarillo 1 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 7.2
Columbus (Tomahawk) 1 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 17.8

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 6.60 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 3.30 g 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Leeuwenhoek Saison Blend (WLP564) White Labs 78% 64°F - 90°F
London Ale III (1318) Wyeast Labs 73% 64°F - 74°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

Notes

Heated 8 gallons of water in the BK to mash. Doughed in with 170 degree water. Initial mash temperature was ~142 degrees. Boiled ~1 gallon of water to add to mash to raise the mash temperature. Added to the mash, the mash was inconsistent as far as temperature, but was averaging around 152 degrees. Added 1/2 tsp of phosporic acid to mash water to help lower pH. I do not have a pH meter, just blindly did this.

Heating 8.5 gallons of water in the HLT with my immersion circulating heater covered with foil to keep heat in.

Anvil FIAK
—————
Wyeast 1318 London Ale III
12 hours after pitch - 1 ounce El Dorado Hops
1 ounce El Dorado - 14 Days
1 ounce Amarillo - 14 days
.5 ounce Columbus - 14 Days
1 ounce El Dorado - 7 Days
1 ounce Amarillo - 7 Days
.5 ounce Columbus - 7 Days

6 Gallon Glass Carboy
———————————
WLP564 Leeuwenhoek Saison Blend
1 ounce El Dorado - 14 Days
1 ounce Amarillo - 14 Days
1 ounce Columbus - 14 Days

Tart Cherry Cyser

2016-09-06-07-47-07First off, I know what most of you are thinking. He really used store bought apple juice? Yes I did. Why? In Mississippi I cannot run down to my local apple orchard and get fresh juice. I have made some pretty good ciders with store bought juice. I used to use a certain kind of apple juice in my ciders, but now I cannot find it anymore which is a bummer. I went with this Wal-Mart brand because it wasn’t from concentrate. Will this make a difference in flavor? Who knows. I know when I pulled a sample before I pitched the yeast, the flavor was really good. It was wifey approved. Also I looked up how to use apple juice in Beer Smith. From the few things I read, was calculate how much sugar is in the juice and just add it in Beer Smith as table sugar. That is what I did. I also made some notes as you’ll see.

Beer Smith said this thing would attenuate down to .988, if US-05 has 77% attenuation as it is listed in there, I would imagine it would get to around 1.010-1.013. That would be my target anyways, I do want some sweetness around. This will not be an 8.6% ABV beverage.

Yield 2.5 gallons in the keg

  • 2 gallons Apple Juice
  • 2 qts Just Tart Cherry Juice
  • 1.5 lbs honey
  • 1 qt water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient 
  • 1 pkg Safale US-05
  • 2 tsp lactic acid (added at kegging)

Procedure: Weighed honey in an empty apple juice bottle then added apple juice to mix. Added yeast nutrient to apple juice bottle to shake up and mix. Pitched dry yeast directly onto the must. 

O.G. 1.057

I made this for an event I was pouring at and of course I did not let it finish. Added lactic acid and force carbonated. It was a tad sweet, but people like sweet beverages and it was a hit. After the event, I left the keg outside for a few days to let it ferment down a touch more and it did indeed dry out some. Probably about to where I like it. Eventually this will be a staple on tap at the house. 

Forks and Corks Porter

2016-07-30 07.34.00Going back to my Busty Porter recipe I brewed at the first of this year and my other robust porter recipes, the Busty Porter was just stuff I had sitting around at home because it was not my normal porter recipe. Well, this time I made sure I had everything. This is also going to be one of the quickest turn-around on a beer I’ve ever done. I brewed this beer exactly 2 weeks before the event. Racked to the keg after being in the fermenter for 11 days, thew it in the kegerator, and used the Blichman QuickCarb the next day to carb this puppy up. I pushed this beer through Strange Brew Coffeehouse House Blend beans to have a coffee porter at the event. It turned out pretty good for such a quick turnaround beer. Would I normally do this? No, not really, but I’ve had a lot going on lately at the house (ahem, bathroom reno). This is why I went back to the cooler mash tun instead of my direct fired mash tun. I have everything stored away right now. The direct fired isn’t very portable right now, which this is something I need to change.

2016-07-30 07.36.03But why did I brew 8 gallons? Well, before I started my boil, I pulled off some wort. A friend wanted to make pastrami and wanted to braise it in beer. I suggested braising it in sweet unhopped wort. I suggested this when braising the meat you wouldn’t make the wort more bitter while letting it break down the fats. I thought this was a really cool idea. The final product was really good and interesting. I think beer wort has some potential to do some really creative things in the kitchen.

 

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
8 gal 60 min 28.1 IBUs 37.0 SRM 1.063 1.014 6.6 %
Actuals 1.063 1.01 7.0 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American Porter 20 A 1.05 - 1.07 1.012 - 1.018 25 - 50 22 - 40 2.3 - 2.9 4.8 - 6.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt, Maris Otter 13 lbs 67.1
Munich Malt 2 lbs 10.32
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 1.25 lbs 6.45
Black (Patent) Malt 10 oz 3.23
Cara-Pils/Dextrine 10 oz 3.23
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L 10 oz 3.23
Chocolate Malt 10 oz 3.23
Pale Chocolate 10 oz 3.23

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Goldings, East Kent 2 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 5
Willamette 1 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 4.8
Goldings, East Kent 0.5 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 5
Willamette 0.5 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 4.8

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Safale American (US-05) DCL/Fermentis 77% 59°F - 75°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

2 Sours, 1 Batch (Sort of)

Right when I left Michael Tonsmiere’s talk on Hoppy Sour Beers at HomebrewCon I knew a hoppy sour was going to be on my to brew list in the near future. Well, here goes nothing. I based my recipe off of his that he shared with us at his talk. I brewed 11 gallons of wort and split the batches, 6 gallons in one carboy, 5 in another. The 6 gallons will become the Hoppy Sour Beer and the 5 gallons will be a Gose (by request of the wife).

Carboys sitting in my hot storeroom

Carboys sitting in my hot storeroom

85% 2 Row
15% Flaked Wheat

Mashed at 152

Boiled for 60 minutes, cooled to approximately 105 degrees, racked to each carboy.

Both carboys were soured for approximately 24 hours. My pH meter was a cheap one and it read 3.5 or so. Hey it tasted tart enough for my taste, I continued on. I’ll need to purchase a meter that I can rely on. This one is not very reliable at all.

Hoppy Sour (6 gallon carboy)

Soured with Omega Lacto Blend
I racked the 6 gallon carboy back into kettle, brought to 180, whirlpooled hops for 15 minutes with the following hops.

  • 1 oz Citra
  • 1 oz Simcoe
  • 1 oz Mosaic

Omega Lacto Blend, yes I saved this cake, will sour with it again.

WLP644 Sacc Brux Trois for “primary fermentation.”

Dry hopped for 7 days with the same amount of hops as above.

Before I dry hopped the beer, I tasted them and the beer was just a touch bitter with a quenching tartness. The hop flavor was good, but not as quite as quenching as the sample I tasted at HomebrewCon. After I dry hopped the beers I got an overwhelming bitterness and the sourness clashed together. Very interesting that I got some bitterness from the dry hopping. I believe I am going to try to blend some of the Gose into this beer to see if it will round out that bitterness. I’m pretty upset with that, but hey you learn from these mistakes. I love the hop flavor and aroma though. Next time I will bring the wort up to 180 and start the whirlpool, once the beer is well below 180 from the whirlpooling I’ll add my hops so I don’t extract as much bitterness from the hops. I will also only dry hop with a half an ounce of the hops this time. I believe 3 ounces for this was a bit much. I’m not sure what I was thinking.

I carbonated this beer with my new Blichmann QuickCarb. I’m going to write a review on it soon. I served this beer at a local food event. I believe calling this a Hoppy Sour turned people off and it they really weren’t interested in it. That’s ok thought because it is not
my best.

Gose (5 gallon carboy)

Soured with 2 Mango Good Belly Plus Shots

Racked this beer back to a kettle and brought it up to 180, I then added 15 grams of kosher salt and 10 grams of ground coriander. Before anyone gets onto me about not using whole, I know, I know. None of my grocery stores in town have whole coriander (ooof, I forgot to check the Asian Market, I will check there). That is the reason I backed off the coriander some because I knew the ground would be overwhelming. When grinding whole coriander in a mortar and pestle, it is meant to go into a beer.

I used US05 for “primary fermentation.”

This beer is in my kegerator with 12 PSI attached to it and I’m waiting patiently for this one to carb. I didn’t need this one for an even like I had the hoppy sour beer slated for.

Experimental New England IPA

I’ve been itching to release this post for some time now. As I am writing and editing this post I am working on gathering some statistics to put in here so you will have some info to chew on. This brew was probably my most documented brew day I have ever done and I must say it is pretty nice to look back and read what all I did for it. I took lots of photos of the entire process. The reason I did this experiment is for the Experimental Brewing Podcast, it made me brew a beer I’ve been wanting to brew for some time, but really just didn’t know where to start. Where I sorta failed at this experiment is that I actually used a Conan Yeast strain, rather than Wyeast 1318 London Ale III that the recipe suggested. I hope it doesn’t throw them off with their data.

2016-06-02 21.37.38

2016-06-04 18.21.53-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brew Day: June 4, 2016

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
11 gal 60 min 38.0 IBUs 4.6 SRM 1.055 1.013 5.5 %
Actuals 1.053 1.01 5.6 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 21 A 1.056 - 1.07 1.008 - 1.014 40 - 70 6 - 14 2.4 - 2.9 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 19 lbs 82.61
Munich 10L (Briess) 2 lbs 8.7
Oats, Flaked 2 lbs 8.7

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Warrior 0.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 15.9
Centennial 1 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 10
Citra 1 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 14.1
Amarillo 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 9.2
Centennial 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 10
Citra 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 14.1
Amarillo 4 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 9.2
Centennial 4 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 10
Citra 4 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 14.1

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Calcium Chloride 17.25 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 17.25 g 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American Ale (1056) Wyeast Labs 75% 60°F - 72°F
DIPA Ale (OYL-052) Omega 76% 65°F - 72°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

Notes

Dry Hopped on 6/25/2016

Wort is chilled in the the carboy ready for pitch

6/6/2016 – 7 AM – Still no sign of activity from the Omega Yeast

6/5/2016 Evening after pitching. Wyeast 1056 took off first.

6/6/2016 – 6 PM – Omega Yeast has taken off!

6/7/2016 – 7AM – Both beers happily fermenting away

6/7/2016 – 7 PM – This is smelling super good

The lapse of time in between these two pictures was Homebrew Con. Ok guys, it was my first one to attend, I apologize for not documenting them daily while I was off drinking a copious amount of beer.

6/12/2016 – Activity is slowing down quite a bit

6/17/2016 - Looks like it's done with the super active fermentation now

6/17/2016 – Looks like it’s done with the super active fermentation now

6/25/2016

Dry hopped each primary fermenter with:
56 g. Amarillo (7.2% AA)
56 g. Centennial (10.0% AA)
56 g. Citra (12.5% AA)

7/3/2016 – These samples are from the carboy. Can you tell which one is which?

7/3/2016
Keg conditioned each keg with 3.6 ounces of table sugar and 3/4 cups of water. Simmered for 5 minutes.
Wyeast 1056 FG – 1.010
Omega OLY-52 FG – 1.012

7/18/2016
The kegs went into the kegerator to chill

7/21/2016 – First Triangle Test

Omega DIPA on the left, Wyeast on the Right

A little stats here for ya. Out of 25 total testers 20 of them picked the correct sample. I must know some people with really good palettes. Of the people who commented, it seemed that the Wyeast 1056 sample was the favorite among the two samples. Personally I like the Omega DIPA because it has a softer mouthfeel and doesn’t come across as sharp as the 1056. Me personally I think I get a slight touch of diacetyl in the 1056 sample. No one else mentioned this, but I would have written that down on a BJCP score sheet. There was a BJCP judge that tasted the samples and he didn’t mention the diacetyl either, so maybe I’m really sensitive to it.

This was a really fun experiment. I plan on doing more of these for sure. I appreciate the Experimental Brewing Podcast for pushing me over the edge and doing something scientific like this. Lets me geek out even more on beer.

2016 Boardtown Brew-Off What the Judges Said

I’ve posted just about all my recipes that I entered into my local homebrew competition this year, Boardtown Brew-Off. I want to share the judges notes with some of my tasting notes along side with it. This is standard practice of mine. I take in account what the judges said and sit back and try to evaluate my beer with a judge perspective.

Let’s Stout It Out (2015)

20C: Imperial Stout
1st Place: American Porter and Stout
Final Assigned Score: 41

Judge 1 BJCP Certified

Score 43

Very rich and enjoyable aromatics and flavors. Would prefer the malt to be more forward than the esters, but very nice regardless. I had no problem finishing it!

Judge 2 BJCP Certified

Score 39

Overall very good technically. Would like to see a little more roast (choc/coffee) in the malt flavors. Can’t see any major techincal flaws, just slight tweaking of malt bill to balance some of the dark fruit flavors. Very good beer.

This is my go to brew. I have always scored well with this recipe. Needless to say, it didn’t let me down this time. 

Gorilla Morning

23A: Berliner Weisse
Final Assigned Score: 34.5

Judge 1 Non-BJCP

Score 35

Very well made beer. Very balanced sourness. Clean aroma and taste. Great crisp mouthfeel

Judge 2 BJCP Certified

Score 34

I could kill several of these at the beach. The fruity / sourness combination comes off as orange juice. Might actually score well as a fruit sour. I think the orange juice quality if a bit overbearing. Still a nice beer.

I dry hopped this beer with 2 ounces of Meridian hops. I really liked the character of it. But I believe I want more hop flavor than aroma. I have plans to do a hoppy sour beer in the very near future. 

“Bourbon Barrel” Let’s Stout It Out

33B: Speciality Wood-Aged Beer

1st Place: Specialty Beer

Final Assigned Score: 40.6

Judge 1 BJCP Certified

Score 42

Overall pretty good. The bourbon is much more prominent than the oak. I could use slighty more oak. This beer is a little cloying, but that might be resolved by higher pitching rates or more oxygen. I enjoyed this beer. Add a touch of oak.

Judge 2 BJCP Certified

Score 40

Very good RIS with appropriate bourbon and oak additions, no major off flavors, except the phenolic, which may be attributed to wood, carbonation is low, tasty!

Judge 3 Non-BJCP: Score: 40 I feel this is a well make Russian imp. stout. a little more warmth on it. But easy to drink

Really hate to toot my own horn, but this beer here drank pretty good for a RIS. It was a touch sweet, but when I first packaged this beer the oak was in your face. It mellowed over time and the bourbon started to take over. Well, let’s just say I’m going to actually barrel age this recipe next time. 

Busty Porter

20A: American Porter

Final Assigned Score: 31

Judge 1 BJCP Certified

Score 30

I could drink a good bit of this very “sessionable.” Think fermentation profile could be a bit cleaner – maybe try a different yeast. Could also benifit from a bit more body by increasing mash temp ~2 degrees F and some more malt complexity and roast.

Judge 2 BJCP Certified

Score 32

Overall this is a very drinkable beer. A little more fruit than I’d like to see that can complicate the roasted malt flavors. Although that could be from hops choice, try a low ferm temp with earthy hops to accentuate the malts. Which the malt flavors were great!

Not my best porter by all means. My porter in 2015 scored 2nd Best in Show, but it was an easy drinker and I enjoyed it. Didn’t think it would score very well. But low 30s, think it was good. 

Wit Gone Indie

21B: Specialty IPA (White IPA)

1st Place: India Pale Ale

Final Assigned Score 42.5

Judge 1 BJCP Certified

Score 42/50

Well Done. I think the witbier characteristics take an edge over the IPA characteristics.

Judge 2 Non-BJCP

Score 43/50

Good beer. Slighty lacking hoppiness, but otherwise great to style

Ahh the beer that is going to be a staple in the kegerator. I am going to play with some hop combinations, but the Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra combination is something fierce! 

DeRego’s Rye Bread Beer

31A: Alternative Grain Beer

Final Assigned Score: 27.5

Judge 1 BJCP Certified

Score 29

Overall beer with a very “alternative” grain. The rye characteristic is good, but there is a strange sticky mouthfeel. There is also a tartness in the finish hints at possible infection, but its very low. I would also like to see more hop flavor and aroma. Good job.

Judge 2 BJCP Certified

Score 26

A good beer, no glaring off flavors, but really needs balance in flavor. Too bitter and dry without enough malt for support. Very slight sour aroma and flavor – may be infected or may be hops, too light to determine. Definitely picked up the rye spiciness.

Now I had no idea how this beer would score. It’s ok. Not my best beer, but it was definitely a fun project. I’m not sure why I haven’t posted about this beer. Took lots of notes and pictures, but just never got around to it. I think I will soon. Pretty much what I figured, mid 20s. I’m not complaining. 

Black Wit

30A: Spice, Herb, Vegetable Beer

Final Assigned Score: 22.5

Judge 1 Non-BJCP

Score 24

Nice for spiced ale, tastes clean, nice head not sure if lactose and cinnamon is from chamomile

Judge 2 BJCP Certified

Score 21

Unsure where the all-spice, almost cinnamon flavors are coming from. Difficulty to find the wit or chamomile in this beer. Fermentation seemed clean, lacked that bright carb you’d get from a wit. Could be phenolics causing the spice, but tastes artificial or on purpose.

I don’t have anymore of this beer left to drink along with their comments. This is one of those beers that I saw the recipe for and said, hey look I want to brew this. I had no clue how to describe this beer to the judges. I attribute the low score to my poor description that was given to the judges and my overall really giving a damn about it was very low. I just entered this beer to help out the club. 

Engrish Brown Ale

13B: English Brown Ale

Final Assigned Score: 34.5

Judge 1 BJCP Certified

Score 33

Light sweet malty drinkable brown ale with a toasty note. The cidery flavors detract. Watch fermentation temps

Judge 2 Non-BJCP

Score 36

A little light on maltiness but still a nice beer. Nice finish with dryness.

Something happened to this beer, I may have caught a slight infection cause it has seem to have dried out more since I have packaged it. I agree with the judges on this one. 

Wit Gone Indie

2016-05-03 18.12.12Michael Tonsmeire wrote the book on American Sour Beers. He also has a pretty slamming blog (The Mad Fermentationist). Y’all should give it a follow. Last summer he posted his Indië Wit recipe, I thought it sounded amazing. I’m not a huge IPA brewer, but I have made my share of them. Anyways I wanted a spring time beer and this is exactly what I wanted. I am very pleased on how this turned out.

Tasting Notes

Aroma- Sweet oranges (almost orange juice like), tropical fruit and citrus hop aromas. The witbier component is a bit tough to pick up in the background, but it’s there. The spices and hops are sharing the monkey bars on the playground, but the hops are the alpha of the two.

Appearance- Very cloudy, gold in color, white fluffy head that’s retaining

Flavor- very large orange, tropical and citrus hop flavors, pepper, coriander, bready malt on the verge of showing some tartness, your sour heads would even think this is tart at all. It is more of a Witbier with a large hop character. The hop stand didn’t add very much bitterness. Which leads to a very drinkable beer.

It is very interesting how different both batches are. they are both very similar, but the kegged beer and the bottled beer are different. Personally I believe the kegged version has much more hop flavor than the bottled version. I might need to do a side by side comparison soon and up date this post.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
11.5 gal 60 min 72.4 IBUs 3.5 SRM 1.048 1.012 4.6 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Specialty IPA 21 B 1.05 - 1.085 1.008 - 1.018 40 - 100 5 - 40 2.2 - 2.9 3 - 10 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 11 lbs 53.01
White Wheat Malt 5 lbs 24.1
Wheat, Flaked 4 lbs 19.28
Acidulated (Weyermann) 12 oz 3.61

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Warrior 26 g 60 min Boil Pellet 15.6
Citra 56.7 g 20 min Aroma Pellet 14.1
Mosaic (HBC 369) 56.7 g 20 min Aroma Pellet 11.5
Simcoe 56.7 g 290 min Aroma Pellet 11.6
Citra 56.7 g 9 days Dry Hop Pellet 14.1
Mosaic (HBC 369) 56.7 g 9 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.5
Simcoe 56.7 g 9 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.6

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Coriander Seed 12.00 g 5 min Boil Spice
Blood Orange Peel 1.00 oz 5 min Boil Spice

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
French Saison (3711) Wyeast Labs 80% 65°F - 77°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 158°F 45 min

Notes

Heated 7 gallons of water
Mashed at 158 degrees for 60 minutes
Raised mash temp to 170
Recirculated at mash out temp for approximately 20 minutes

Added gypsum at 60 minutes

At flame out added orange peel, coriander, and all whirlpool/hop stand hops. Whirlpooled for 20 minutes started wort chiller.

One carboy filled to 5.5 gallons
- Two yeast packs (dated 11/29/2015 & 2/8/2016)

One carboy filled to 4.5 gallons
- One yeast pack (dated 2/8/2016)

Started fermentation around 66 degrees, plugged in heat lamp and set controller to 70 degrees.

3/17/2016 – Dry Hopped both carboys
Carboy 1
28 g. Citra (14.1% AA)
28 g. Mosaic (11.5% AA)
28 g. Simcoe (11.6% AA)

Carboy 2
28 g. Citra (14.1% AA)
28 g. Mosaic (11.5% AA)
28 g. Simcoe (11.6% AA)

3/26/2016
Bottled one carboy (Gold Medal winner)
Kegged other

Engrish Brown Ale

2016-03-17 20.31.20I haven’t brewed a brown ale in a very long time. The wife asks politely multiple times for me to brew one, sometimes she wants a vanilla brown ale, and sometimes she just wants a regular brown ale. I haven’t brewed an English Brown out of Brewing Classic Styles yet. Here was my chance.

English brown ales are fantastic beers to enjoy. I am more a malty guy than a hop guy. Never do I discriminate against my beers, but I tend to lean towards malt complexities than the hoppy beers. This one is a fantastic an easy drinking beer. The clarity of this beer is pretty mind blowing.

This isn’t one of those crazy and wild beers, but it was an easy going brew day, which I tend to appreciate more and more since I have built my new system.

Cheers!

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
12 gal 60 min 20.6 IBUs 8.7 SRM 1.051 1.012 5.1 %
Actuals 1.05 1.01 5.2 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Northern English Brown Ale 11 C 1.04 - 1.052 1.008 - 1.013 20 - 30 12 - 22 2.2 - 2.7 4.2 - 5.4 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) UK 10 lbs 42.55
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 10 lbs 42.55
Special Roast 1.5 lbs 6.38
Aromatic Malt (Briess) 8 oz 2.13
Biscuit Malt 8 oz 2.13
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 8 oz 2.13
Pale Malt (2 Row) UK 8 oz 2.13

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
East Kent Goldings (EKG) 2.4 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 5
East Kent Goldings (EKG) 1 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 5

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
London Ale Yeast (1028) Wyeast Labs 75% 60°F - 72°F
London ESB Ale (1968) Wyeast Labs 69% 64°F - 72°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

Notes

Starkville Water Profile - Water machine in Wal-Mart
Recirculated Mashed at 152 degrees for 60 minutes.
Batched sparged at 170 degrees.

Brewed on 1/30/2016

Pitched Wyeast 1028 into one carboy and 1968 into the other carboy.

Busty Porter

2016-01-01 13.57.02I’ve built myself a new brewing system. It has been nothing but trial and error with it. The gas portion of the system is giving me a lot of its and I’m starting to get a twitch I believe. But all that aside, I am still making beer. Now that I’ve upgraded I’m making a lot more beer these days. Since I can brew double batches I’ve been pitching different yeasts into each carboy. It’s been very interesting to see how each one has come out.

What did I want to brew first on my new direct fired and recirculating mash getup? Something dark and something drinkable. I’m going to brew me a robust porter. I love a good porter. Here is to hoping the first brew on my new system quaffable.

Yes, I have slacked on getting my blogs up on the site. I’m going to work on a lot of them here in the next few days to get them out and caught up. Yes, this brew date was on New Years Day. But I’m still drinking this beer. I’ll have tasting notes up soon.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
12 gal 60 min 44.1 IBUs 36.0 SRM 1.061 1.013 6.3 %
Actuals 1.058 1.01 6.3 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Robust Porter 12 B 1.048 - 1.065 1.012 - 1.016 25 - 50 22 - 35 1.8 - 2.5 4.8 - 6.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 21 lbs 73.68
Munich Malt 3 lbs 10.53
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 2 lbs 7.02
Chocolate Malt 1.5 lbs 5.26
Black (Patent) Malt 1 lbs 3.51

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
East Kent Goldings (EKG) 3.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 4.5
East Kent Goldings (EKG) 1.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 4.5
Willamette 1.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 5.1

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
California Ale (WLP001) White Labs 77% 68°F - 73°F
Edinburgh Ale (WLP028) White Labs 73% 65°F - 70°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

Notes

Starkville Water Profile - Water machine in Wal-Mart
Recirculated Mashed at 152 degrees for 60 minutes.
Batched sparged at 170 degrees.

Brewed on 1/1/2016

Pithced WLP001 into one carboy
Pitched WLP028 into the other.