Saturday, May 31, 2008

Suprise...From the Czech Republic

I was kind of baffled when I picked up a package from the post office today from the Czech Republic. When I found the package slip in our PO Box I figured it was something for the baby from my mom, but was a mystery. But then I remembered I submitted a haiku to a beer poetry contest from the Beer Culture - The Czech Beer Blog. I couldn't find a link to my poem on the blog but I won a T-Shirt from the Staropramen Brewery in Prague! I'm wearing it in the photo which is an action shot of me checking out the Cascade hops in my garden. The giant beer conglomerate InBev distributes Staropramen, so there is a chance I could find it in the States. Let me know if you see it somewhere. Also FYI, a Euro XL T-shirt = US Large. The haiku:

A flower you say?
What a glorious blossom
crowns my IPA.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

2008 Batch #6 Recipe: Waiting, Waiting, Wheat

I was asked to make a batch of brew for a baby shower of some friends of ours, since my wheat is turning out quite well and they are generally crowd pleasers I though I would take another crack at the wheat paying more attention to the sparge this time around.

RECIPE: See Trout Lily Wheat.

CHANGES: I used 4 Gallons of sparge water which seems to be the correct amount. Also I borrowed an outdoor propane burner from a friend (Thanks Keith!) which cut down on the time to boil significantly. I forgot to start the yeast the night before, so I started it before brewing and it was ready to go by the time the wort was cool. This Safbrew T-58 is some active stuff (or just very fresh). Brix = 12.6; OG= 1.050

Monday, May 5, 2008

Kalamabrew Feature

I was recently featured in KalamaBrew post about growing your own hops. The folks at KalamaBrew do a great job of posting about all sorts of things-brew, so if you haven't checked them out yet, you really should. Thanks for feature guys (and gal).

Saturday, May 3, 2008

2008 Batch #5 Recipe: Trout Lily Wheat

Happy Homebrew Day!

I brewed two weekends ago so, this weekend will be dedicated to gardening and enjoying already brewed homebrew. If you are looking for a recipe to brew today, why not try this wheat beer? I learned a few things about wheat malt that I'll report. The yeast starter did a bang-up job (it was down to 1.013 in 3 days) and this beer tastes great young, warm and uncarbonated (dare I say better than the Oberon I had last night?) so I can't wait to get it into the keg.

Erythronium americanum - The trout lily, my favorite spring wildflower.

RECIPE: Trout Lily Wheat

  • 6 lbs US pale malt
  • 4 lbs wheat malt
  • 1/2 oz cascade - boil
  • 1/4 oz cascade - aroma
  • 1/4 oz centennial - finish

2.5 gallons of H2O at 130
º add grain and hold at arpox. 122º for 30 minutes. Add 5 quarts boiling H20 to bring the temperature up to aprox. 155º. I mashed for 30 mintues (iodine stayed orange after 15 minutes). Transfered to Lauter Tun and spraged with 5 gallons 170º H20. This is where things started to get interesting. I was worried about a stuck run-off due the the high amount of wheat malt (no hulls like like barley to make an appropriate bed) and in fact that is what happened. So, I just gave the malt a stir and WHAM it started flowing again. This was probably not the best way to filter your beer, but what else can you do (any ideas?)? THEN, I made another mistake by using too much sparge water. I ended up with 8 gallons (I need to work on my lautering technique) which I used to top off my brew kettle (sigh...why did I do that). I believe this is partly due to the wheat malt not retaining as much water as barley (correct me if I'm wrong). Anyway, I boiled the wort down until my refractometer said my wort was at 1.043 and then I started my boil.


Add 1/2oz Cascade at the start of boil. Add 1/4oz cascade at 40 min and the 1/4oz centennial when you turn the heat off before chilling.

OG= 1.044
Yeast = Safbrew T-58 dry yeast started the previous day with 1.5oz malt extract and 12 oz H20 in a small single malt scotch bottle (very important detail).