Today I met with 2 great homebrewer’s and we finalized most of the details on brewing a Flanders Red ale in a wine barrel. Looks like brewing will happen right around the 17th of December (after finals week ughh) and then rack to the barrel when I get back from Christmas break right around the 7th or 8th of January. We were lucky to snag one of 13 vials of East Coast Yeast ECY20 for the barrel inoculation. Pretty stoked about it. Now I just need to make room my portion of the 60 gallons of fermentation… right around 20 gallons. I’m far more excited about this then anything else in my life. is that sad? hahaha
I really should start brewing Kombucha. Sounds fun.
I read an article a little while back about Kombucha. For those unaware, kombucha is a fermented, effervescent, tea-based drink that is supposed to be fantastic for your health. This isn’t exactly hard iced tea. The alcohol content produced during fermentation equals less than 0.5% ABV, very minute, and it tastes a bit more like cider vinegar than tea, but don’t let that turn you off.
Being the homebrewing fanatic that I am, I immediately had to figure out how to make this. Lucky for me it was relatively simple. Brew a large portion of tea, pour into a jar, add the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), cover, and wait 2 - 4 weeks. My only problem is I don’t typically have yeast cultures lying around, not for kombucha at least. So I’ll have to make one, and that’s where this story begins…
Having a good culture of wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast on hand I decided I should brew up another English ale, this time I planned on a Special bitter but with a boost in efficiency I am calling it a lower end IBU ESB. I kept the grain bill simple, mostly base malt, and a bit of crystal 80, and a touch of dark crystal and victory malt for character. Planned on brewing it sooner for Thanksgiving break but it might be a bit tight with only 2 weeks. Will see how it goes. At least I know the kitten wants some of it… already.
OG: 1.051 FG: 1.012 ABV: 5.08% IBU: 34 SRM:11
Size:5.5 gallon Mash:152 Ferment: start at 64 slowly up to 68F avg and hold
89% Marris Otter
6% Crystal 80L
2.5% Crystal 120L
1.9oz Goldings 90min
.5oz Goldings 45min
.6oz Goldings 15min
yeast: 3rd generation wyeast 1968 London ESB
5g gypsum (suppose to be in boil,but added to mash since I’m an idiot)
11/5/11 Brewed early morning, but was not very smooth. Accidently added gypsum to mash. Was going to just add 1g but added 5. Also had my first ever stuck sparge, that I struggled with for awhile so mash was a bit low for the first bit when trying to recirc and mash. efficiency upped to 85% from planned 75. what is happening????? haha
For the last 8 month I have been telling myself I need to brew a barleywine, at first it was going to be for this winter, but in the last couple I knew if I brewed one it would be for the next one. Finally I gained motivation after trying this. After going back and forth over what kind of barleywine I wanted to aim for, English, or American, I decided as usual to take a middle ground in my approach. With a decently strong 1056 strain being built up through 2 brews I decided to use it and American hops, but aim for a malty “English esque” malt profile, with enough bitterness to balance it all out. If you will a Malty American Barleywine. To keep things basic I used 98% 2row, and a smidge 2% pale chocolate to add a very slight hint of chocolate along with bit of tobacco ish taste that I have always favored. I then boiled for 3 hours to carmalize the wort to the point I wanted it. Hops wise I decided to bitter with centennial to get a general IBU range and then added all my unknown AA homegrown centennial and cascade in the middle and late hops. I am not to concerned if my true IBU is a bit high or a bit low. So here it is:
OG: 1.112 FG: not yet ABV: not yet IBU: 93.9 SRM:estimated 16-17
Size:5 gallon Mash:145F for 75, 156 for 15 Ferment: 68F avg
98% Marris Otter
2% Pale Chocolate 200L
2oz Centennial 90min
1oz Centennial 45min
1oz Cascade 15min
1oz Cascade 5min
1oz Cascade 0min
yeast: big thick slurry of 3rd generation 1056, as well as us-05 just in case
.5oz Makers mark Oak cubes (2 in total, self made)
.25oz Oak Cube (1) will add more later if needed.
10/24/11 xfered wet hop, made 650ml starter at 1.04, added thick slurry of 1056 to it, about 350ml. on stir plate.
10/27/11 put in fridge on Tuesday night, decanted today, refilled with 600ml of 1.04 wort. Back on stirplate.
10/30/11 Brewed by myself, with a slow morning, long mash, and extremely long boil this was by far my longest brewday ever. As planned my efficiency went up from the usual 69% which is opposite of everyone else. I have learned my systems performs better the more grain I add to it. which is nice. this time 76%. Chilled, Aerated, put in ferm chamber at 68F.
11/4/11 Fermentation has slowed but is still chugging ever so slightly.
11/5/11 moved to my room to finish fermentation, right around 65 ambient.
12/4/11 xfered to secondary. SG 1.028. Color is perfect, dark ruby, with hints of brown. Just perfect. Tastes of fruit,carmel,and alcohol. Really good so far and so young. Put in .5oz of maker marked bourbon soaked oak cubes. .25oz straight oak cubes. All boiled to remove sharp oak flavor, and bourbon. I just want a hint in the back ground. Will add more later if needed.
Poor picture, but the color is amazing on it.