Follow up on double deutsch

Fermented, fined, and carbonated.

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.

 

Here’s picture (Super dope ps skills right?!)

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lacto basilius ain’t all that!

I find that the sour beers done with sour mashing or post boil fermentation with lacto basilius lacks the dryness and crispiness true lambics have. It’s a freshness thing, a geuze never stops being refreshing. Only too refreshing.

I believe one of the many differences is that not enough of the sugars are eaten by the yeast and the lacto.

I believe these beers would benefit from using adjuncts like maize and rice as well as sugars an low mash temps.

The beer shown below is a black current berliner weiße brewed by Dugges. It showcases a lot of the nice things these kinds of beers usually does. Low ABV, refreshing tartness, fruity esters and fruity fruit (or in this case berries). But there is also some residual sweet maltiness that fucks everything up. Excuse my language but I am serious, there is always this tiny portion of sweet, malty, left over scrap of I don’t want you there lurking. I guess it’s my new mission… terminate it!

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Disclaimer: Beer infused brain wrote this post.

Kegerator build: The tap

UPDATED 2015-05-23 / check bottom

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way my home brewing hobby will keep me interested is if I solve the dispensing problem. Here’s some background for y’all. I brew at my mom and dads place. They have a big house and a garage where all the stuff fits very well. Since I live in a small apartment brewing at home is not worth the hassle since my parents only live 15-20 minutes away. See this intro as the reality for people with a brew club with their own brew house.

Even though it’s very nice to have a place to brew it comes with some problems:

  1. I can never monitor the yeast activity as detailed as I want. I have to disturb my dad whenever I wanna check fermentation status. I’m lucky he is very ambitious and committed to home brewing.
  2. Spontaneous brew session seldom happens. I know would happen if I still lived at home, since that was what I did when I lived there.
  3. The third big down side is what this post is all about. Since we don’t bottle much these days I have to bring home keg to enjoy beer. This is not a big problem during late fall and early spring since I can keep the beer cool on my balcony. But during winter and summer it’s either too cold or too hot to keep the kegs outside. Therefore even when I have finished beer I sometimes can’t enjoy it.

The solution to all this is a new way of dispensing. A kegerator! I have a great girlfriend who have a high tolerance for my crazy ideas. I live in her apartment which makes me not wanna modify stuff too much since. Even though I want, it doesn’t feel right to tear down walls and install fossball tables (all original ideas of mine). But one thing we’ve decided on is to install another fridge where I can store and dispense my beer from.

About two weeks ago I order a beer tower from aliexpress.com and it arrived today. Pretty nice since I was expecting it to be way longer delivery time. Here’s a series of unboxing photos:

Chinese package, a bit rough upped. (compulsory unboxing knife pic)

Chinese package, a bit rough upped. (compulsory unboxing knife pic)

Lots of bubble wrap.

Lots of bubble wrap.

4 pieces. The bubble wrap between the two white boxes was just filling.

4 pieces. The bubble wrap between the two white boxes was just filling.

Two taps with springs. There were no instructions so I haven't got the faintest idea what to do with the springs. For now I put them into the taps...that was the only place they fit.

Two taps with springs. There were no instructions so I haven’t got the faintest idea what to do with the springs. For now I put them into the taps…that was the only place they fit.

Gasket, bolts and tool for tightening. The tool is "ikea-tool"-quality so for more then installation a new tap wrench is probably necessary.

Gasket, bolts and tool for tightening. The tool is ”ikea-tool”-quality so for more then installation a new tap wrench is probably necessary.

PVC tubing pre-installed.

PVC tubing pre-installed.

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Lot's of tubing. Smells very plasticy...

Lot’s of tubing. Smells very plasticy…

Insulation inside the tower.

Insulation inside the tower.

Pic 1 inside the tower from the top.

Pic 1 inside the tower from the top.

Pic 2 of the inside of the tower from the top.

Pic 2 of the inside of the tower from the top.

Top lid and insulation.

Top lid and insulation.

Taps installed.

The Styrofoam piece inside the top lid.

The Styrofoam piece inside the top lid.

Taps installed.

Short about the first impression. The first thing I notices was how the tap handles didn’t fit very snug. The threads on one of the handles was way to big, i fixed it with some regular office tape. The second thing was that the taps didn’t open and close very smooth, this was not a big surprise. I did not expect Perlick-quality from a cheap chinese product. The rest seemed ok, I guess the threads on shanks will wear down if one would work on them too much.

The cost of this was about half of what I would have to pay for it in the home brew store. I don’t know about the quality difference with the ones you buy from Swedish retailers. What I know is that when I got the money I will invest in a Perlick tower, for now this is good!

I’ll link to the aliexpress-seller on request.

Ps. if it breaks down I’ll rant about it so you wont need to!

 

UPDATE! Today I connected the ball lock disconnects to the PVC-tubing that came with the tap tower. For a while I was thinking of using the harder tubing made of LDPE more commonly used by Swedish home brewers. But I decided to try the PVC tubing and see if it works.

Here’s some pictures and comments on how I went by doing this.

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First of I cleaned the disconnects in a chlorine batch to make sure they weren’t infested with spoiling bugs. Be sure to rinse well afterwards.

I bought these hose clamps (ss w4 10-12mm) at Clas Ohlson for 19 sek. I also bought a pack of smaller ones just in case, they didn’t fit. For a more permanent and more solid installation there is a clamp called Oetiker. They make a better seal and are more compact. They are also more expensive and you need a special tool to tighten them.

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To get the PVC over the barb on the disconnects I used a hair drier and heated the tubing for about 20 seconds. It didn’t take much but made it a bit easier.

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After I heated the tubing it was a easy install, just tighten the hose clamps using a flat screwdriver.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a fridge. EXCITED!!!!

Split batch with new hop variety and seasonal yeast

Along the lines with my pilsner cravings I’ve also turned to the Belgian response to the pilsner as the the thrill seeker I am. I’m talking about Golden Strong Ale, the famous belgian Duvel. From what I’ve heard the Duvel was a darker beer in the beginning but in an attempt to compete with the lager styles the brewers decided to make the Duvel into a light fizzy brew. This apparently worked pretty well since Duvel is often one of the few brews one find in less assorted bars and restaurants. It’s also one of the beers you’ll always find if you walk into a 7 eleven in Brussels.

Enough history, now for brew plans.

This post will be divided into two parts, the first part is about some new interesting ingredients. The second part is about the brew day. Click here to get directly to the second part.

Last weekend me and my dad placed second in the peoples choice awards in the low ABV-category during the national home brew competition (in Sweden). Except for the medal and a diploma we returned home with a box of goodies. It contained a lot of stuff but most interesting was a bag of hops I’ve never heard of neither had the Internet. Also there was a vial of WLP590, a seasonal saison yeast.

After some correspondence with the kind people at humlegården I got some info about the hop. This is what they said (It’s in Swedish, scroll down for English summary)

Hej hopp alla glada SM-vinnare (c;

Fusion är en helt ny humlesort från England.

Charles Faram, CF, har i ett flertal år bedrivit en utvecklingsverksamhet ihop med Wye College med målet att ta fram helt nya humlesorter i tidens anda, dvs med bredare smakpalett och mer frukt osv

Förutom att korsa olika sorter för att få fram nya spännande smaker så tittar man oxå över tidigare ratade humlesorter i och med att men genom åren fått fram ett antal sorter som man ratat pga av deras överdrivna inslag av citrus och tropisk frukt… (c; Det var ju inte direkt sådan humle man letade efter på 70-talet då fokus istället låg på att hitta sjukdomsresistenta sorter som fortfarande gav de för England typiska kryddiga smakerna.

Hursomhelst, Fusion är såldes en humle som kommit fram via CF´s experimentodlingsprogram och därför ännu bara odlats i ganska liten omfattning hos ett begränsat antal odlare. Jag har tyvärr inte haft chansen att testa den själv men vad jag hört så skall Fusion ge arom och smak av citrus med kryddiga inslag.

Tidigare i år fick vi in 2 andra sorter från CF´s experimentprogram: Archer och Jester.

Archer ger klassiskt brittisk kryddighet / blommig humlearom men med inslag av lime, aprikos och persika.
Jester är kraftfull och ger tydlig arom av grapefrukt och tropisk frukt med inslag av svartavinbär och lycheefrukt.
Fusion skall ligga mellan Archer och Jester.

mvh,

Humletrollet Peter

The Fusion hop is a new English variety from Charles Faram experiment program. It’s described as citrusy and spicy. It’s the Sting of hops (Englishman in N.Y.). It’s not grown in big quantities so I don’t know if it’s possible to get anywhere at the moment.

I haven’t found too much information on the WLP590 except for what’s on white labs website. It may be their response to 3711 French Saison since they share the same name but I’m not entirely sure. The 3711 attenuate higher according to the numbers and that points to WLP590 to be a separate strain.

Here’s a link to the yeast profile on white labs page.

Second part of post begins here!

Tomorrow I’ll be brewing a split batch on the new 50 L system with my dad. We’re aiming at Duvel clone with some modifications to showcase the new hops.

The Duvel is a simple beer that is hard to clone, here’s why:

1. It’s a dry beer. It’s super dry, below 1.010 and without killer yeast control full attenuation is hard to get. Solution: sugars, and lots of it!

2. It’s hard to know where to start recipe wise, the internet is full of different takes. Some with fruit additions to get the pear notes characeristic for the beer. The resources I turned to was as always brewing classic styles and the brewing network. Simple recipe, crazy amounts of sugar but most important proven.

3. The high carbonation. Not a problem if you are kegging but it can be scary to bottle ferment a brew to 4 units. Use thick bottles.

The recipe im going with is 80% German pilsner malt (w) and 20% plain sugar (beet). For hops I use herkules or another German hop 30 minutes into the 90 minute boil aiming at 32 IBUs. My modification to the recipe is a hop addition of fusion hop to try it out and showcase some flavor/aroma-properties. Depending on the aroma from the hops i’ll add around 0.4 0.8 grams per liter at 5 minutes flameout. It’s not a lot but I want a subtle hop aroma.

Before pitch I’ll split the batch in two and use wlp590 i one and wyeast belgian strong ale in the other one. That will give me a hopped up Duvel clone and a super dry saison. I’ll start at 18°c as instructed and after 20% attenuation I’ll let it rise to room temperature.

More updates tomorrow! Mash in at 9.

Disclaimer: typing on smart phone, spelling will suffer.

German Pils

For the last couple of months my go to beer has been Augsburger Herren Pils from a German brewery called Riegele. It’s not a microbrewery in any way I’d say but they do brew a really good pilsner. I’ve been pretty idle when it comes to both writing here but also with homebrewing. School, girlfriend and other interests has consumed my time and left little to no strength to brew. But another reason why I think I’ve been idle is because I’ve found this cheap, great tasting, fresh and light, pilsner that made me yearning for nothing else.

So how do one get back on the horse (the homebrew horse) from being a lager addict? One brew an even better pilsner at home of course!

So me and my dad (aka Big T.) started planning a lager brew session which ended up being, if not better, as good as Augsburger pils. There were some clear differences in clarity (pun intended) but tasting blind it was hard to tell them apart.

Here’s a picture of the Bitberger:Bitberger

 

With the beer at my dads place I wasn’t able to procure a lot of it to myself. But since then we’ve bought a Braumeister 50L which means we can brew enough for both of us.

Here’s the recipe we’ve been using:

OG: 1.048 Boil: 90 min

Pilsner (Weyermann) 95%
Munich (Weyermann) 5%
Mash @ 65°c for 60 mins + 15 min mashout @ 75°c

Herkules 60 min @ 38 IBU
Tettnanger 5 min @ 2.5g per liter

Fermentis s-23, use as instructed. Fermented at 11°c for 21 days then ramped up to 15°c for 3 days and then lagering at 4°c for about 6 weeks or more.
Update: The initial malt bill turned out great but we wanted to lighten up the beer even more. Therefore we removed the munch malt and added about 3% carapils and used pilsner malt for the rest of the bill.

 

Due to a crowded fermentation chamber I needed to speed up the fermentation process a bit. Below I’ve made a timeline for the fermentation process:

May 2 – Pitch at 11°c
May 11 – SG: 1.010 ramp up to 15°c
May 14 – Taste and check for off flavors. If clean keg. If not ramp up to room temperature (leaving the fridge free for new brews)
May 16 – Taste, if clean keg and crash to 4°c.
Minimum 4 weeks of cold conditioning.

It’s important to leave the beer on the yeast until all off flavors, such as diacetyl and acetaldehyde, are gone.