Saturday, May 7, 2016

Superfidy Blood Orange Pale Ale

  1. duplicity; betrayal.

Ever since Elysian Brewing decided to join the "big leagues" and sell to InBev, I've been looking to cut ties. You won't hear me praise the brewery I once hailed as the best of Seattle. I gave my Elysian hoodie to the thrift store. I actively avoid Elysian when buying beer. Except -- I can't seem to quit Superfuzz. So, I needed to find a good alternative to Budweiser.

I started with a great clone recipe from 12 Angry Brews. I've got a baby under a year old, so I went to my mom's house and we scaled this one up to 20 gallons - 5 for her, 15 for me. 12 Angry brews asked me to zest blood oranges - I opted to make an oleo saccharum of the peels (a skill I learned from David Wondrich's book, "Punch") to maximize the oil extraction. In an attempt to retain more of the complex aromas of the peels I will add the oleo saccarum to one of the fermenters in the secondary, and see if it does better than that of the one I added along with the yeast in the primary. I did find the blood orange puree at Pike Place as mentioned in the 12 Angry brews article - a $25 concentrate from "The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley".

After the break, you will find the recipe.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The State of the Brewhouse

It's been a long time since I have given an update of what I am up to on the homebrewing front. So I wanted to share a little of what I currently have set up to make brewing convenient and enjoyable. With two young kids, it's all about being able to squeeze in a brew session at the drop of a hat. When brewing all-grain beers, the first thing you need to brew on a whim is a grain mill:

Oh, and the drill or a motor of some kind to drive it is a big plus. With this in place, grain in stock, and some dried yeast in the freezer, I am ready to brew on a moment's notice. This is a Monster Mill. It has put up with some abuse, keeps a good grind locked in, and has been a solid addition to my brewery for the 5 years or so I've had it. I should note that the drill is from a pawn shop. Great resource for cheap tools.

Molly Stout

Molly's birthday was just a few days ago and this momentous occasion called for a good spring beer to offer party guests. Sadie was kind enough to grace the brewhouse as I brewed Molly Stout:

The beer is ok - it kind of has that nutty taste I'm not too fond of in browns and darker beers, but usually only on the first few sips.

I put some cold brew coffee into half of it, but I haven't got around to kegging that portion, so I'll have to report back on if that was a good idea.

Vitals after the break:

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Return of the Rhubarb

My Rhubarb is coming in nicely this year. That can mean only one thing:
It's time for Rhubarb Farmhouse Ale.
This beer is the perfect balance of easy drinking and complexity. You get the wonderful mix of a straightforward, light, easy drinking grain bill, but then you add the wonderful yeast blend of WLP670 that lends a subtle funk provided by a dose of Brettanomyces. The funk leans toward the sour spectrum and steers clear of the more leathery aromas, which I love. It gives the beer a clean taste with just a twinge of sour in the aftertaste. But that alone, of course, is not good enough for me. The icing on the cake is 2 pounds of chopped rhubarb added to the secondary. This kicks up the tartness to just the right amount and makes this beer both unique and absolutely wonderful.
BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Rhubarb Farmhouse Ale
Brewer: Alex Shafer
Asst Brewer:
Style: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)
Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 13.84 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.44 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 10.53 gal
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 23.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 85.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 89.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
14 lbs 5.2 oz Pilsner (2 row) (Gambrinus) (1.6 SRM) Grain 1 85.0 %
1 lbs 11.0 oz Wheat Malt (Gambrinus) (2.3 SRM) Grain 2 10.0 %
13.5 oz Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.0 %
1.00 oz Goldings, B.C. [5.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 8.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 9.3 IBUs 1.00 oz Goldings, B.C. [5.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 6 5.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg American Farmhouse Blend (White Labs #WL Yeast 7 -
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 16 lbs 13.6 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 21.46 qt of water at 158.9 F 148.0 F 75 min
Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (3.63gal, 6.97gal) of 168.0 F water

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rhubarb Saison FTW

I finally got down to brewing up some more beer. I was spurred on by the latest issue of BYO. There is a new yeast out. It is amazing. I haven't even finished a beer with it and I am already drooling. White Labs 670 - American Farmhouse Ale - is a Saison yeast with a surprise. It's spiked with Brettanomyces. I made a yeast starter on this bad boy and the yeast starter beer was awesome! Just Light DME and yeast - and I was loving it! I can't wait to see what it can do for a proper beer.
Just to make things interesting, I went down to my parent's house and picked a couple pounds of rhubarb to kick up the tartness. I'm pretty sure this will be a noble experiment.

Rhubarb Saison
Style: Saison OG: 1.043
Type: All Grain FG: 1.009
ABV: 4.45 %
IBU's: 23.24
Efficiency: 85 % Boil Size: 11.19 Gal
Color: 3.9 SRM Batch Size: 10.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes
Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp
Primary 5 days @ 72.0°F
Secondary 7 days @ 69.0°F
Bottle/Keg 4 days @ 48.0°F
Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Time Gravity
14.25 lbs 84.60 % Gambrinus Pilsener Malt 60 mins 1.037
1.75 lbs 10.39 % Gambrinus Wheat Malt 60 mins 1.037
13.50 ozs 5.01 % Briess CaraVienne 20L 60 mins 1.034
Amount IBU's Name Time AA %
1.00 ozs 8.41 Goldings 60 mins 4.40
1.00 ozs 9.74 Williamette 60 mins 5.10
1.00 ozs 5.09 Goldings 20 mins 4.40
Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.00 pkg American Farmhouse Ale Wyeast Labs 0670
Amount Name Time Stage
2.00 lb Rhubarb Primary
Mash Profile
Light Body Infusion 60 min @ 152.0°F
Add 26.95 qt ( 1.60 qt/lb ) water @ 166.8°F
Mashout 1 min @ 170.0°F
Heat to 170.0°F over 9 mins
Batch Sparge 27.16 qt of 170.0°F water over 20 mins
Amount Type Beer Temp CO2 Vols
15.3 psi Force Carbonation 48.0°F 2.40
Notes (07/27/2011)
I've had the Rhubarb Saison on tap for about a week now. It's a deliciously refreshing, sweet n' tart beer that I am really in love with. The yeast gives just a nice solid hint of sour, the rhubarb kicks in it's signature taste (and I swear a bit of a strawberry flavor as well), but none of it is overwhelming in any way. In fact, they whole thing can taste like a budmillercoors if you're not thinking too carefully about it (it did end up at 1.004 after all).
I can't wait to try some variation on this - maybe with some roasted grains for a dark/sour/rhubarb crazy. Mmm. I'll throw in the 10 pie cherries my tree has waiting for me as well.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Brewery is Finally Operational!

My dad is up at Overlake Hospital right now. I took my brand new iPod Mega (I refuse to call e product by its trade name...) up to show off. He snapped the picture here and said "this is how I fell right now."
Anyway, it has been over 6 months since the last brew, so I finally unpacked the rest of the brewing equipment and am making some beer. In honor of dad's recent surgery - we get Twisted Intestines Ale. Here's the recipe:
Based off of Nightengale's Honey Ale
Style: Kolsch
Type: All Grain Calories: 206
Rating: 4.0 Efficiency: 85 %
IBU's: 17.52 Boil Size: 11.19 Gal
Color: 5.4 SRM Batch Size: 10.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes
Estimated Actual
Brew Date: - 05/07/2011
OG: 1.063 1.061
FG: 1.016 -
ABV: 6.16 % - %
Serve Date: 05/28/2011 / /
Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp Estimated Actual
Primary 7 days @ 68.0°F 05/07/2011 05/07/2011
Bottle/Keg 14 days @ 54.0°F 05/14/2011 -
Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Gravity Color
10.40 lbs 53.61 % Pale Malt (2 Row) US 1.036 2.0
1.40 lbs 7.22 % Honey Malt 1.037 25.0
1.60 lbs 8.25 % White Wheat Malt 1.040 2.4
6.00 lbs 30.93 % Honey 1.035 1.0
Amount IBU's Name Time AA %
2.00 ozs 17.52 Cascade 54 mins 5.50
Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.0 pkg Kolsch Yeast Wyeast Labs 2565
Mash Profile
Medium Body Infusion In 80 min @ 154.0°F
Add 16.75 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 171.9°F
Sparge 35.57 qt of 170.0°F water over 60 mins
The water was at 172 deg. When I dumped the grain in, it settled out to about 159. 5 degrees too high. Added cold water to get to 156. Version: 1.440
The boil is at 30 minutes, I'm wrapping up pretty early today, pretty awesome considering I had to give everything a good scrub before I used any of it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Big Move

It's been a few months since the last post. It turns out that having your own house is a lot of work...who knew? But the brewery is finally taking shape. I plan to do the Inaugural 610 brew this coming week. I haven't decided what it will be yet, but most likely it will be in the porter/stout region - because those are the beers I have been craving lately. I've gotten my all time favorite beer, Angel's Share, a couple of times in the last month (which is awesome!) and that really makes me want to produce a complex and flavorful chocolate/coffee/grainy beer with infinite complexities. But I don't want an imperial either, but more of a sessionable beer. We'll see what I come up with.
Once there is a little more order, I will post some pictures of the new brew space. But for now, I am off to drink some beer.