Mar 20 2019
Mar 20 2019
Brewed at MarchFest 2019 along with Karl Summerfield. The recipe was a slightly modified version of ‘Nick Danger Porter’ by Denny Conn (celebrity home-brewer and brewing author who was one of the speakers at NZHC 2018).
One new technique I tried out here was ‘No Chill’. Since we were just after experiencing a drought and were under water restrictions I though it would be appropriate to help conserve water and give No Chill a go. Not only does it save water but it saves on time and clean up so if this beer works out ok, I think No Chill might become a regular part of my brewing process.
Mar 01 2019
I took some influence from the Red IPA that I brewed back in October 2018 but was going for something a little bit lighter in colour, bitterness and AVB. I also took some influence from the recently brewed NE IPA and Lazy Hazy by including some of my new favorite hops – Mosaic. Is it a Pale Ale? Is it an IPA? Is it a Red IPA? I think it’s somewhere in the fuzzy area where these pseudo-styles overlap, so let’s call it Reddish iPA! (note the lower-case ‘i’)
Dec 03 2018
Equanot lupulin powder! 25% oats!
Lazy Hazy, which was loosely based on the delicious hazy IPA that I had at Cameron’s, turned out great and got demolished in record time so I decided to have another go at it. But this time I followed the recipe specs a bit more closely. I originally couldn’t get my head around 25% oats in the grain bill so went with a more restrained 9%. This time though, now knowing that the recipe was supposed to be in the New England IPA style, I took a chance on the original recipe specs and went with 1.75kg oats instead of the original 0.5kg. I also upped the flaked wheat a little and the pale malt, so with an extra 1.6kg of grain, this will be a bigger beer.
I tasted the sparge runnings and it was the nicest tasting wort I’ve tasted! Normally wort is a ok for a few sips but, seriously, I could drink this wort by the pint! And it was so silky from all those oats.
The hops too have been upped significantly. I loved the Mosaic in the Lazy Hazy but this time I also added Chinoook and Equanot which were actually in the original spec (although not in Cameron’s version). The Equanot came in the form of lupulin powder so I made a paste and mixed it with water (to prevent clumping) and added it at flame out. With the equivalent of 300g of pellets, the total hops has been increased by 130g so I’m expecting this to be a big hitter!
Mar 10 2018
Over 2kg or wet hops, the entire harvest, ploughed into one batch of beer in hopes that it will be ‘hoppy’!
- Big mess-up! I forgot to install the bazooka screen in the kettle (for filtering the finished wort off the hops) before the mash. To recover from this situation I had to transfer the almost boiling wort into an empty fermentor, install the bazooka screen and transfer the wort back into the kettle and bring back up to the boil. It cost me an hour extra in the brewing process plus added risk of hot side aeration which I hope I mitigated by pouring as gently as I could.
- Batch sparging the grain was made a bit difficult by the size of the grain bill (almost 8.5kg). Definately the upper limit for the smaller pot that I use for batch sparging.
- Cooling went very slowly due to the volume of solid hops material in the kettle. I got it just below 30C and refrigerated overnight to get to pitching temp of 19C.
Aug 08 2017
This one is a bit of a mix-up not following any particular style guidlines – a Belgian, amber/pale ale. Although having said that, it’s along the lines of an APA/IPA as it’s a fairly hoppy beer. Brewed with a Belgian trappist ale yeast, Safale BE-256, but fermented at 17°C for a cleaner profile. Gladfield Redback and Shepherds Delight malts add an amber/red hue. 230g of hops (Willamette and Nelson Sauvin) make it a fairly hoppy beer.
Higher boil-off rate resulted in higher OG and reduced volume into the fermentor. I added 2L of dilution water after fermentation to compensate and take the ABV from around 6.7% down to around 6%.
May 06 2017
This attempt to re-create my previous Dark Times beer went a little awry – the gravity came in much lower than expected, 1.042 instead of 1.050. At first I put it down to the no-sparge process instead of my usual BIAB with sparge process. But when I was crushing grains for my next brew, I noticed that the crush was very coarse – there must have been some slippage of the gap between the rollers. So now my suspicion is that loss of efficiency had more to do with the crush of the grain than the no-sparge process. The beer came out lacking the body of the original Dark Times and overly bitter which entirely makes sense due to the lower gravity. Still a drinkable beer though, but not even close to the original which was really good.
Apr 02 2017
This is my process for using gelatin to help clear my beer:
- Beer should be chilled to between 0° and 5°C (so that if chill haze occurs the gelatin will help remove it)
- Clean and sanitise pyrex jug, temperature probe, long handle spoon
- Measure out 2/3 cup cold water (can be pre-boiled and cooled) in pyrex jug
- Add 1 teaspoon of gelatin and stir and cover with cling film
- Optionally, leave for 20 minutes to bloom/rehydrate
- Microwave in 10-30 second bursts, stopping to stir and check temperature
- Aim to heat the gelatin to between 65°C and 70°C and hold for around 15 minutes in that range. Try not to go over 75°C.
- Dump the gelatin mixture into the beer. Gently/lightly stir, and return fermenter to fridge for at least 48 hours.
Mar 26 2017
Brewed at Marchfest 2017 Brew Zone.
Brewed this as a home brewing demo at Marchfest 2017 in Brew Zone. It deviated considerably from the plan but the resulting beer was a top notch pale ale that I was very happy with. First major deviation was I ended up with an extra kg of base malt! Next deviation was a probably a counterbalance to the previous one – my efficiency was way below expected – my mash temp ended up low (around 64 instead of planned 67) but I stuck to my schedule of a 45min mash. Another deviation was I forgot to bring my bittering hops (20g of Waimea) so I had to scavange some of my late addition and dry hops for a bittering addition. Never-the-less it turned out to be a quite hop-forward tasting brew with a mere 150g of hops. I used the American hops blends Zythos and Falconers Flight – hops character was excellent so I might just try those blends sometime again. And that wasn’t all as far as deviations from plan are conerned, I ended up with a different yeast than planned – US-05 instead of Nottingham, but you can’t go far wrong with US-05 when making an American Pale Ale so that was all good!
Mar 12 2017
Split batch at bottling time, added hops tea made with the dried homegrown hops to one batch and bottled the other batch without any additional hops. I was a bit unsure about the hops tea, hence the 2 batches, but it worked well and imparted the hops character that I felt was missing in the regular batch.
Jan 23 2017
A dark ale for dark times…
Based on a beer that I made in 2014 – Fuggles Gem Dark Ale (which was based on Hobgoblin). Similar base but with Willamette hops (the American version of Fuggles) instead of Fuggles and Pacific Gem. Came out good, can’t remember if it was as good as the Fuggles Gem though.
Dec 22 2016
A Saison with a hint of kaffir lime and chilli.
Got this one really clear by racking to secondary, then racking again at bottling time. Made a tea with 7 kaffir lime leaves and added to secondary after some taste testing to make sure it wasn’t going to be too over-powering. Soaked a chopped up thai chilli in hot priming sugar solution to get the chilli. Aimed to keep kaffir and chilli subtle.