Although I am very much wanting to spend time not doing anything right now (I blame the holidays), it is brew night yet again. I am now working on the American Wheat. I just started the mash as I begin to write this post. The joy of how cold it is outside is I have moved the mash tun inside to help it maintain temp throughout the mash (having a temp controlled mash tun will be great one day). This brings the sweet smells of brewing back into the house again.
I transferred the brown to secondary earlier. So far I am digging it. As always I am anxious to get it finished so I can sample it in its full glory. It does look to be finished out at roughly 6%.
I still have to keg the pub ale. I will probably be doing that in the morning tomorrow. I will also be bottling cider and some of the Oatmeal stout.
Wow, I don’t feel like I have really written much tonight. Most likely I just haven’t started drinking yet so I am slightly less verbose than usually (oooo lookie, I used a big word). The holiday season is only starting to get underway and already it is draining me.
I think its time for a pint…
Yep, its brew night. So far I have kegged both the Kolsch and the Emo IPA, and transferred the Pub Ale to secondary. And now it is time for the Brown. Actually, I am coming to the blog a little slower than normal tonight. I have the brown working with the wort chiller right now so that I might be able to pitch some yeast and get some sleep sometime tonight.
I will say I really like the look of the wort for this one. I find myself in a stasis moment currently. I have at least 4 beers now that are in various stages but not a single one of them is ready for drinking. Mind you I do have beers to drink but still, I am like a kid in a candy store with a Nun looking over me with a ruler ready to smack my hand if I touch anything.
The samples on both the IPA and the Kolsch yesterday were tasty. I will be setting up the new conditioning area for them tomorrow (or today depending on how you read a clock). Its interesting to note that out of six kegs I only have one that is empty currently. I probably should bottle the cider soon so I can free up the keg space.
Looking into the rest of this year (wow, we are close to the end already aren’t we), I do believe that the American Wheat will be the last beer I brew this year. With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year I really don’t see myself brewing then. Just too much stuff going on around the holiday. Mind you, I can very well see myself brewing on New Years day. I think the Dunkelweizen is going to be the perfect beer to brew that day.
Well, its time for another pint… go find your own.
I know, its come and gone. But this isn’t necessarily about repeal day. So why did I headline this post with that simple two word statement? Actually, I find my current readings revolving around Prohibition sorta. I am in the middle of the book “History of Beer in America” by Bill Yenne. Good book, great historical pictures, a worthy read if you can find it.
The section I am digging my way through currently, feels like I am reading someones family tree. (Seth begot Sorba who wed Taro and beget Platius). Ya, something like that. Mergers and brewery births abound. It is interesting to see which breweries that existed before prohibition survived and flourished after repeal.
A couple interesting facts stemming from US beer history…
Adolphus Busch actually owned two different breweries. We all know the one in St. Louis. The other was Lone Star brewery, opened in 1884 in Texas. Although, this one closed with Prohibition.
Mississipi never had a commercial brewery till the era of the craft beer revolution.
Many of the original East Coast breweries carried names reminiscent of Europe. Many West Coast breweries carried names reminiscent of the East Coast.
If it hadn’t been for the Chicago fire, Schlitz and Strohs might never have made “Milwauke Famous.”
Enough for now … lets find a pint
Oddly, I have been working in the brewery most of the day today and I haven’t had anything to drink yet. Well, I did sample the IPA when I transferred it. Its quite nice so far. I feel so educated, I am actually checking how well my yeast attenuates to see that it performed as it should now. Going into secondary the IPA has a bit more body than I expected but when I compare my yeast attenuation to what I should expect from the yeast I can see that it is still within expected parameters. I also checked my brew sheets and found that I set myself up to have a little body on this brew. It wasn’t really anything different than what I have done in the past. But now I have a bigger picture of how everything inter-relates (isn’t science fun).
So far today I have transferred the IPA and kegged the cider. I am now working on the Pub Ale. I started using some crystal malt in my batches again. Not in all of them, only in some beers where I find it appropriate. The IPA was one of the first to get some crystal recently. If nothing else it helps to bring some body into the beer. I am also using a bit of crystal in the Pub Ale. The last time I brewed it the body was not near enough to what I want it to be. I am hoping that this change will help to make it a bit fuller. I also changed it from a special bitter to an ESB (extra special bitter). Basically I made it a bigger beer. I am thinking I should end up around 5.5 to 6% alcohol when it is done. Just as the last time I brewed it, the beer is single hopped again. I find I really like fuggles for this beer.
I am thinking that coming up next month I will be adding a Saison to the brew schedule. It has been on my mind for several days now. I plan to bottle it in champaign bottles and naturally carbonate. It seems so long ago that I used natural carbonation in bottling. I may do some other Belgian styles around the same time. I am not sure yet how I will handle those when it comes time to finish them.
I just realized that the bottle of Murphy’s wheat I put in the freezer to chill and drink has been in there long enough to freeze. The power of the Murphy’s I guess. And on that note its time to find some semblance of a beer cause I am moving on to wort boil time.
Let’s go find a pint…
Again it seems that my schedule is getting fuller and fuller. It has come to a point where I am now scheduling my weekly brew session essentially a month in advance.
After some deliberation the schedule sits like this…
Pub ale this weekend. It is to remain as a single hop ESB currently but I haven’t decided yet if I will switch out the yeast to either Irish ale yeast or London ale yeast.
This of course will tie in to the beer next week. Northern English Brown ale. I should use a yeast that will works well for both beers. I may do some searching on the White Labs site to see what might work well with both.
The American wheat will be showing up in the third week out. This one will work well no matter what yeast I choose for the other two.
And finally we come to the fourth week out. I will be brewing the Dunkleweizen here. With the snow that Michigan is now getting it, we are definately coming into the right time for a nice dark wheat. Of course, I am also considering a wheat bock to follow the Dunkle so I already have some plans flowing out even further.
The joy of all of this of course is always trying to figure out how to have enough space for them all. Does this mean I need to drink more?