To be up front, I got busy around the house and while my brewing hasn’t really slowed, my blogging obviously has. This brew day was done on November 25th. It is a pseudo clone of Michael Tonsmeire’s 100% Brett Trois IPA, with a different hop schedule due to a lack of Citra and a lack of a hopback. Of course, the big news that happened while I was fermenting this is that WLP644 may not be Brettanomyces at all. You can read all about that here, here, and just about anywhere else homebrewing is discussed. Bottom line is that this is still an awesome yeast to use, and a change of classification doesn’t change it’s properties or flavour contribution to an awesome tropical IPA.
I started with a stepped starter way back on November 5, pitching into 350 ml on the stire plate and letting it go for 5 days before stepping up to 1.5 litres, for another week. I reserved 500ml of this for future use, but I think I should have done an additional step as will be revealed later, as I did not pitch enough cells.
The hops for this were Chinook, Centennial and a huge amount of Mosaic in a 20 minute steep for a target of 90 IBUs. I also added aciduated malt to the mash because according to Tonsmeire it aids the Brett in creating fruity esters, specifically ethyl lactate. Due to some small astringency/tanic issues in Don Juan IPA I think that my mash PH is getting north of good as well. Recipe after the break.
Continue reading 100 %* Brett * IPA, Check Out The Big Brain on Brett!
Well, two things to take home from this beer. First, I need to spend more time with crystal malts. This beer is excellent. Second, after having written off Safale US-05 just one day before, while trying a slightly experimental IPA, I think it is the perfect yeast for this beer. The other beer I refer to is an IPA that I brewed with my 5 gallon partner to use up all our hops. It had Belgian Pale malt, a significant amount of Munich Malt and Wheat. That beer tasted “hollow” for lack of a better description. It was all hop bitterness and nothing to hold it up. I think that US-05, being so clean, almost anonymously so needs some crystal-derived sweetness to support the hops. Mitch Steele has strongly discouraged the use of a lot of crystal in IPA, and for our all-Citra beer it worked- the WLP-007 provided a lot of character for the hops to interact with. This Amber had aroma malt, crystal 60 and a little Special B, and I feel like it’s a beer that shares a soul with Sierra Nevada. It has just that classic west coast flavour. If I were to change anything about this beer, it would be to dryhop with Cascade. I specifically avoided dryhopping and thus made a beer that is really exactly what I was hoping for. That feels good. However, this beer would be next level with an extra hit of grapefruit in the nose. I will be making this again.
Update, 15/11/2014 My homebrewing partner with whom I make 5 gallon batches finally got to tatse this over the weekend and declared in the best beer either of us had ever made!
Back to basics as it were. One of the main impetuses to start homebrewing in Denmark was that the freshness of American IPA was unreliable to say the least, and in general, I don’t think Europe has produced really spectacular hoppy beers with consistency. IPA was the first recipe I brewed here, and even though my love for Saisons and sours is growing, IPA is my first love so to speak, and fresh, it is unbeatable. After reading IPA by Mitch Steele, and listening to him on the Beersmith Podcast I wanted to take this fresh information and apply it. Firstly, this is a dead simple malt bill, 86% Maris Otter, 10% wheat and 4% simple sugar for dryness. No crystal, nothing to distract from hops. This recipe will use 7 hop varieties in total, including 2 massive dryhopping sessions, the first with American hops, the second with Australia and New Zealand. It is the second in a series of beers using Conan yeast. It is meant to kick ass, and I’ve wanted to name a beer after a piece of classical music. (I am an orchestral musician by trade.) This is named after Richard Strauss’s orchestral poem, Don Juan. It’s in your face, unapologetic and something I’d like any time.
Continue reading IPA – Don Juan
My wife and I have hosted a large (American, even though I’m a canuck) Thanksgiving gathering every years since moving to Denmark. This year will be the first in our own house, and therefor a beer brewed for the occasion was definitely in order. I am a pumpkin beer hater, and also think that the beer should compliment the food, not mimic it. This beer has no spice additions or gourds. It is a rich, Ron Swanson-brown and generously hopped with an American classic, Centennial. A nice dark base goes with the season (and the lack of daylight at this time of the year) while the ~50 IBUs and copious dry hops will keep the beer refreshing, I hope, while people partake in the great American tradition of eating way too much and then going for seconds. Notably, this will be the first of two beers I am currently brewing with The Yeast Bay’s Vermont Ale Yeast, the legendary Conan. Continue reading American (Hoppy) Brown Ale – Taksgiving
I was discussing beer with another ex-pat colleague last year, he’s in his late 40’s or early 50’s, and a solid Midwestern kind of guy. He had just been back to the States to visit family and asked me “Is it even possible to get like just an ‘amber ale’ anymore?” I asked him if it meant like the one’s he drank in the late 90’s, and he said that’s exactly what he meant. It’s true that the craft beer landscape is pretty unrecognizable compared to the micro-brewery boom and crash of the late 90’s, when I got into beer in college. While I became a hop-head pretty much right from the get-go I think I understood what he was talking about.
This beer is inspired by Mark, my American colleague. I am brewing it to help overcome my fear of crystal malt and because I think it’s cool to brew something I normally wouldn’t even think twice about. I still utilized some newer school techniques like a small hop stand, but I will forgo a dryhop of any kind because I want this to be distinctly an amber, and not just a darker coloured pale ale. Continue reading Like Just An Amber Ale