The double batch faux lager experiment is about done. I’ve tried both beers and are kinda pleased. They do not taste like perfect examples of their styles but are totally drinkable and will serve their purpose.
Even though I put a shit load of hops in there they don’t have that pilsner bite. This might be the water, or the yeast.
Next batch of lager I brew will probably be fermented with a true lager yeast. It must be whats missing.
Today I brewed up a batch of german pilsner and münich dunkel.
My brewday started yesterday with me weighing out the malt. I went with a simple malt bill for the pils; 96% w. pils and 4% carahell. I also weighted out some munich II, dark crystal and black malt for a tiny mash to add to the split batch of pilsner.
So this the g(R)ist.
I went along and brewed my regular batch of german pils and divided it up into two PET carboys. In one of them I also added the tiny BIAB mash. This way I got a kinda(ish) münich dunkel as well as a Pilsner.
Tasting the two worts they did have two very distinct flavors. The pils had that aromatic floral hop character and a grassy pilsner malt background, whilst the mixed wort had a darker arak thing going on.
I added 150 grams of Hallertauer traditional at the start of the boil and the same amount at the end of it. It’s a huge amount of hops compared to other homebrew recipes (Brewing classic styles, byo, etc) but I find the Pilsner to be a OG IPA and should therefore have huge amounts of that dank green shit in it.
I rehydrated and pitched one pack of US-05 (YES I KNOW!! Wait for explanation…) into each of the carboys.
My plan is to serve this in three weeks at a oktoberfest-inspired party and needed to be ready by then – therefore the use of an ale yeast instead of a traditional lager yeast. In my defence US-05 makes a super clean beer if fermented cold and I’ve served light beers and presented them as lagers without people being able to tell the difference.
I’ll try to hit y’all back with a follow up post. No promises though.
I went ahead and bought two EKG rhizomes from willingham nurseries a couple of weeks ago. For the moment I have a saaz plant that never really took off last year (probably dead) for some reason and two Nordbrau (I’ve heard that this variety may not be the same as Northern Brewer) plants that I moved from pots to a flowerbed (the flowers suffers).
I wanted to give these hops a real chance of producing a good yield since I haven’t been too lucky with my earlier attempts. Therefore I started early with the prep work and dug holes for two big fermentation buckets (30L) which will be placing the hop plants into. The reason for this is that hops need to be held back if you don’t want your whole garden filled with hops. The 30 liter buckets will provide sufficient room for the hops.
To ensure good drainage drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom of the buckets. The hops needs lots of water but you don’t want to drown them.
Since I live near the north pole the weather is still a bit(ch) sketchy and some nights will be too harsh for the young hop sprouts. So before I fill the buckets with soil and plant my rhizomes I decided to let them start inside in smaller pots. It might be some work to acclimate the plants from the indoor temperatures to the outdoors. But when we enter May I believe the weather will be mild enough.
The rhizomes will sprout fast and quickly get some height so be prepared to have some kind of support ready for the vines.
This is how the rhizomes arrived: package, plastic bag, wet newspaper and instructions. I kept mine in the fridge for 2 days until planting them. They will hold like that for a couple of days (some people have been successful storing them longer) if you can’t plant them upon arrival.
I will keep posting more pictures and info about the development of these little bastards.
I’ve gotten pretty good at drinking sour beers. Lately I’ve been slacking though. After my trip to Belgium my respect and interest for the gueuze, lambic, framboise and kriek was very intense. But due to the prices and availability in Sweden (compared to Belgium at least) my mouth haven’t been moisten by the tart drink.
One of my spring projects will satisfy this thirst. Since lambic takes a long time to mature I will go another route to get my beer tart and sour.
This is the first post of what I will call Not IPA-series.
I will perform a sour mash and then pitch a sacch.-yeast to ferment it out. To get some more traditional Belgian feel to it all I will let the wort cool outside under the open sky to introduce some of the local bugs.
Step by step:
1.The first step of the mash will be a regular one hour mash in the lower temps to ensure a highly fermentable wort. The grist will consist (yep!) of mostly pilsner malt with addition of some wheat, malted or unmalted – haven’t decided yet. This is recognized as a lambic malt bill.
2. The souring part of the mash will start after the hour long mash rest is finished and cooled down to a more suitable temperature for the lactobacteria. Unlike yeast the lacto. thrive in higher temperatures up to 50°c. I will use an aquarium heater to hold the temperature at 40°c for 48 hours. 2.1 Adding the bacteria is very simple and consist only of adding unmashed grains to the 40° mash. The grains have lactic bacteria on them and a handful will be sufficent to start the fermentation. 2.2 To acquire the right flavors the environment has to be anaerobic which means that there’s no oxygen in contact with the lacto. The lactic bacteria I’m interested in is the L. Delbcruckii which makes lactic acid (what we want) when working without oxygen. How to create this environment is pretty simple using one of two methods. The first involves only plastic wrap and the second plastic wrap and Co2. Plastic wrap: Place the plastic wrap firmly on the grain bed and press out any occurring air bubbles. Co2 and Plastic wrap: Fill the mash kettle (or your vessel of choice) with Co2 and then wrap the plastic around the edges and fixate.
3. Wait 48 to 72 hours. Keep the temperature steady and the environment oxygen free!
So I thought it would be good time to give you guys an update on the results of my roasted porter. I have to confess I haven’t done a great job of reviewing it while it was still existing. It had a short life span. Mostly due to a very successful wedding.
Since I can’t really write as I’m drinking it i’ll just do a all in one reflection.
Before mashing the grain had a very burnt scent to them comparing with commercial brown malt. The wet version was a bit sweeter, still a bit charcoaly tough. This carried through into the beer in some degree, it got a comment along the line: ”It’s has a very burnt flavor”. At first I was afraid it wouldn’t settle enough and be to overwhelming but it did in fact become very drinkable since it was so light in alcohol.
Sessionable yes, but it could have benefited from some more residual sweetness to balance the roastiness. I think it finished at 1.014 which isn’t that low but still not high for a beer whit a lot of roast character. So I would go a bit crazy with some light crystal if I’d do it again.
The color was light brown, similar to new castle, but did not match in flavor. It was packing more dark grain punch than what it looked like.
I probably won’t roast my own grains again, it’s not worth the time if you ask me. I have yet to master the commercially available malts. But for you brewers out there still interested in roasting your grains: go for it! My only advice would be, try to use them in smaller proportions.
My recipe was: 1.9 kg each of the two roast, 2 kg marris otter and 400 grams of caramunich I.
For hops I used just some First Goldings at 60, 10 and 5 minutes – around 25 IBUs.