2021-06-18

27A - Historical - Roggenbier

BJCP Style: 27A (Historical) - Roggenbier

I think of Roggenbier as a Dunkels Weissbier/Weizen with roggen (rye) instead of weizen (wheat). It has the same basic makeup and I'm using the same Weihenstephaner weizen yeast as I did with the Dunkels Weizen

Because of a mixup with MoreBeer (bonus yeast I didn't order? ok!), they sent me a liquid pack of White Labs WLP300 / "Hefeweizen Ale." For all of my other German wheat beers I have used a dry version from Lallemand: Munich Classic. These should both be the same Weihenstephan 68 strain. 

Like many of the other beers in the historical section of the BJCP list, there are no available commercial examples to compare this to, so here goes!

Full Recipe is on BrewersFriend, but here's the TL;DR:

  • 2021-6-17: Brewday
  • Malts: Rye (50%), Munich, Chocolate
  • Hops: [Magnum] (Styrian Goldings)
  • Yeast: WLP500
  • OG: 13°P
I used 2.5kg of pre-milled rye ordered just for this beer, plus 1kg unmilled I had in my grain collection. Everything went through the mill but the pre-milled helped things along since rye is really hard and not so good for the mill. 

Crush looking good

Mash temp

Brew session beer: House IPL DDH'd with Galaxy

grain bag was super goopy. Rye turns into a gelatinous blob when mashed and takes much longer to drain than barley. 

still going...

Floor Manager Steve in a box

Mash finally drained and onto the boil

into the fermenter. This was a quick chill - I took it down to about 45°C or so and will let it chill overnight then pitch yeast tomorrow. 

The yeast

2021-6-18 (+1): Finally chilled down to 22°C so yeast is pitched and away we go.

2021-06-02

31A - Alternative Grain

BJCP Style: 31A - Alternative Grain Beer 

Since having the Bierstadt and Finn's Manor collaboration from May I've been wanting to do a blue corn lager. This beer has just over 20% blue corn from the southwestern US. I'm hoping for some blue/purple/pink color in the final product but not expecting much in the way of flavor contribution. 


This will be the annual MURICA lager to be served on 7/4. Based on a Pre-Prohibition framework it contains as many American ingredients as I could acquire. Finding American yeast is tricky so I'm using Lallemand Diamond which is a German lager strain. 

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR:
  • 2021-6-1 brew day
  • Malts: Rahr Premium Pils, Proximity Munich 10
  • Other Fermentable: SW grown Blue Corn Meal
  • Hop: Sterling
  • Yeast: Lallemand Diamond
  • OG: 13.4°P
2.3kg Blue Cornmeal

grains milled, heating mash water

Cereal mash for the cornmeal. it's t h i c c c 

Added some mash water to help with dumping - don't want it all coming out in a block

Mash temp 

Brew session beer

Mash complete. Quite a bit of color from the blue corn!

Floor Manager Steve was late to the shift

Late hops in and ready to chill

Chilling setup with recirc pump and immersion chiller

Forgot to get an OG pic (it was 13.4°P; 75% efficiency), but here's a wort sample

2021-6-2 (+1): I did a 'quick chill' and left the window open in the brewery last night to chill the last bit. This morning it was around 18-19°C so I pitched the yeast. 

And away we go - already got some airlock bubbles about 4hrs later

2021-04-21

27A - Lichtenhainer

BJCP Style: 27A (historical beer) - Lichtenhainer

From BJCP: "Smoke and sour is an unusual combination that is not for everyone."

Smoke and Sour? What is this wacky business? Let's do it!

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR

  • 2021-4-20: brew day
  • Malts: Weyermann Wheat, Pils, Munich, Rauch (beech smoked)
  • Hop: Magnum
  • Yeast: Lallemand Philly Sour
  • OG: 9°P; FG 2°P; ABV: 3.7%
  • 2021-4-28 (+8): transferred to keg secondary
  • 2021-5-2 (+12): moved to keezer
Weyermann Rauch malt made up 13% of the total. In the past I found that to contribute a good smoky flavor without being too overpowering.  

Grains: all Weyermann: Pils, Wheat, Munich, Rauch

Milled

Mash temp

Boil

I've been doing a "fast chill" on brews I can pitch yeast the next day. It's super fast and saves a ton of water. By morning it's chilled to where it needs to be and I can pitch yeast.

OG right on target at 9°P - although I ended up with 1L more wort than expected so looks like efficiency was higher than expected. 

2021-4-21 (+1): Yeast pitch time and Floor Manager Steve is here for it.

Philly Sour yeast has been producing some pretty tasty quick sours. A bit of a cheat, but it's super easy and doesn't add to the typical brew process. The sourness level it has produced has been adequate at times, and not perceptible at others. If the yeast fails to get the desired sourness level I can adjust with lactic acid. 

One might argue that if you're adjusting with LA anyway why not use a clean yeast and add all the sourness with LA? My only reason for using Philly Sour at this point is to A: try it out for the sake of science, and B: sometimes it does do fine on its own.   

Yeast pitched and away we go

2021-4-28 (+8): Fermentation complete and transferred to keg secondary. And a pH check. Uh oh. basically no sourness. This is even higher than when I repitched for the Cheater Flanders which ended up around 4 pH. It's possible my fermentation room was too cool at 15-16°C while Lallemand recommends 20-25°C for Philly Sour yeast. Looks like I'll be adjusting with lactic acid again. 


2021-5-2 (+12): Last pH check before moving the keg into the keezer. Still about the same so I added 30ml/1oz of lactic acid which seems to have put it where it needs to be sour-wise. There's light smoke on the nose and flavor and the sourness is a pleasant compliment. Actually liking this more than I thought I would. 

2021-5-4 (+14): Sample. This carbed up pretty well in keg secondary so I'm setting it to low and slow at 14psi. 

2021-5-8 (+18): Full pour. The smoke seems to be fading and this might end up as a Berliner Weisse with some subtle smoky complexity. And I'm here for it. This is really delicious! 

2021-6-2 (+43): Adding another sample shot since it has started to clear up. Tasting nice and although the smoke flavor has faded it's still noticeable. 

2021-04-01

28B - Mixed Fermentation

BJCP Style: 28B - Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer

Treasure trove of info from Milk the Funk

Here's the thing. There's no category specifically for "I harvested some wild yeast and wanted to make a beer with it" in the BJCP. So I'm making this a mixed fermentation with some wild yeast I harvested then hitting it with some bugs from the bottom of a bottle of a commercial American wild. Because I harvested some wild yeast and wanted to make a beer with it. 

I'm using my house saison for the base with a simple grain bill: some leftover CO Proximity base (500g), Maris Otter (the rest), 1kg of honey, and Sorachi Ace as the only hop. 

As for the primary yeast: this is a wild strain I harvested from a jug of Kirkland apple juice a few months ago. I noticed the half full container was building pressure in the fridge so I took it out, added an airlock, and let it do its thing. After a few days it slowed down, and after a couple of weeks the resulting cider had dropped clear. I took a sample (for science) and gravity reading. The gravity put it at around 7% which is what I would usually get from a batch of cider with store bought juice, my house cider yeast (Belle Saison), and nothing else. The taste was surprisingly clean. 

I saved the yeast from the container and a couple of weeks later put together a batch of cider and made a starter with the saved yeast and apple juice. It fermented up and looked to be healthy so into the cider it went. The result was a clean but slightly funky cider that dropped super clear after a few weeks in the keg. 

Knowing yeast behaves differently for cider than beer I wanted to give the "wild basement yeast" a go in a beer. And here we are. It's been almost 4 months since the cider batch so the starter was very slow to get going. It has now been 36hrs on the stir plate and is finally showing signs of activity. Tonight I hope to pitch into the wort I made last night. UPDATE: pitched after 48hrs on the stir plate at 30°C

I'm expecting funk. I'm hoping for funk. I just hope it's the pleasant wild fruity funk and not the baby diapers or vomit kind. This will be a "wait and see" project. I have a bottle of Russian River Beatification in the fridge which I will use for the sour bugs (after drinking the beer for science), and dedicated sour keg where this will sit for several months for its "mixed fermentation" phase.  

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR:

  • 2021-3-31: brewday
  • Fermentables: Maris Otter, CO Proximity base (leftovers), Honey
  • Hop: Sorachi Ace
  • Yeast: ^see above^ We'll call it the wild basement yeast
  • OG: 13.2°P
  • 2021-4-5: kegged with oak spiral and dregs from Beatification 
2021-3-30 (-1): Using some starter wort I had saved in the fridge 

It's been in there a while so I gave it a quick boil

Saved wild yeast from the cider

away we go on the stir plate

2021-3-31: all Sorachi Ace hops - first wort and flameout. This has been a favorite for the house saison. 

1kg honey

Floor Manager Steve

Used up 2 bins of grain and got 500g of CO Proximity and 3.5kg of Maris Otter. Time to restock.

Crush

Mash temp

Mashing in the electric kettle. I have a 2 vessel system but it's unnecessary for lighter beers when I can easily lift the bag. Single vessel is much more efficient and faster than having to mess with all the transfers. 

Boiling the things

Brew session beer. 

Late hops ready to go and set to chill. Since the yeast was still thinking about getting going I didn't need to chill to pitch temp. I probably spent all of 5 min getting the wort down to 40°C then sent it to the fermenter where it will hang out till time to pitch the yeast.

OG looking like 13.2°P. A bit higher than expected; fine crush and 1kg of honey resulted in 80% efficiency. 

And we're ready

2021-4-1 (+1): 36hrs in and the yeast is doing things. Hoping to pitch tonight. 

2021-4-2 (+2): Yeast pitched last night after about 48hrs on the stir plate and this morning it's bubbling away in the fermenter.

2021-4-5 (+5): Transferred to keg-secondary 

2021-4-5 (+5): gravity check - still has a bit to go. looking like 1.013/3.3°P. Tasting funky but should be a good starting point for things to come. 

Russian River Beatification will provide the extra wild yeast and bacteria for a long ferment 


Oak spiral and a some goodies from the bottom of the Beatification bottle added

Away we go (again). Currently just a pressure gauge but I'll switch this out for a spunding valve or airlock when it starts building up with some consistency.  

2021-4-18 (+18): Things are happening in there and it's producing some pressure. Spunding valve set to just under 15psi. 

2021-5-6 (+36): 1 month sample. It's tasting not like garbage! Actually it's surprisingly good especially for only one month in. The Russian River bugs are doing their thing and it's got a little funk and a little sourness. So far so good! 

2021-5-19 (+49): Kegged up what was left of the base beer (1.5G) a while ago and finally moved it to the keezer. It had well carbonated itself and was looking like it would be a keg-o-foam, but it is possible to get a decent pour if I dump a bit of foam first. This is the base "wild saison" with no extra bugs added. Taste is saison-y with light funk and notes of lemongrass. Quite tasty! FG check came out to 2.3°P and 5.8% ABV.

2021-5-20 (+50): realized I forgot to do a pH check on the last sample so here it is. Looking very good at 3.4. Hoping it won't go much lower than that, it's already nice and tart. Tasting very good, same mild funk and noticeably more sourness than the last sample about 2 weeks ago. For comparison, the non-soured base beer came in at 3.75, which is surprisingly low and it does have a slight tartness to it, but nothing like the sour keg version.