Friday, June 20, 2014

Nelson Sauvin Belgian Golden Strong Ale

12 Degree Brewing Company in Louisville CO has brewed a Belgian Golden Strong Ale using Nelson Sauvin hops called "Full Nelson". Needless to say, the quality of this beer is amazing. It finishes dry with a subtle fruit flavor of apples, pineapple, and honey. Since they late hopped with Nelson Sauvin the white wine character of the hops meshes well with the slight fruit and phenolic character of the Belgian yeast.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

American IPA Whirlpool/Hopstand Tasting

American IPA using only whirlpool hops!
A few weeks ago I brewed an American IPA using Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus hops. I recently had a chance to taste this beer and I have to say that it is by far the best beer I have brewed to date! The hop flavor is as though someone were grinding raw hop cones against my face! I can't tell you enough how hopstanding wort makes an amazingly fresh hop flavor stand out! Brewed near 175 degrees Fahrenheit, there is plenty of bitterness to this beer. The Simcoe and Columbus pair well to make a very piney beer while the Amarillo offers a sweet grapefruit component. Here are the tasting notes:

Cloudy and hazy with a soft gold/orange color. Little head retention, though I attribute this to the beer being pulled before carbonation in the keg was completed. I am actually suprised at how hazy this beer is after holding at 33 degrees Fahrenheit for almost 5 days. Maybe whirlpooling the hops constantly increases the amounts of undissolved proteins/dextrins?

Medium- body, not watery but just a step below an average ipa's body.

Aroma(order from strongest to least):
Crushed pine needles, resin, pine sap, marijuana, grapefruit, lemon peel

Intense bitterness(though this beer is still green) that lingers after an off-dry finish. With how bitter this beer is the slight residual sweetness balances it well. Little to no malt presence, this is a very very hop forward flavored beer! Citrus, pine and dank flavors last with a considerable finish. This is hands down the best beer I have brewed in my life. Take it from me folks, hopstanding/whirlpooling is the best method for retaining the delicate hop oil aroma and flavor. Cheers!

Find the recipe here, and please brew this, you will not be let down! If you brew it, let me know what you think in the comments below, cheers!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

American IPA Immersion Whirlpool Hopstand Only

I have become damn near obsessed with the idea of capturing every drop of oil from the hops I brew with. I have really enjoyed brewing pale ales and ipa's using hopstanding or whirlpool hopping only to achieve this goal. This beer was made with no bittering hops and the hops that were added were added at flameout and constantly agitated by whirlpooling for 60 minutes at 185 degrees Fahrenheit. The theory I am testing is whether hopstanding preserves more of the delicate aroma and flavors of hops. Typically aroma hops are boiled for the last 15-30 minutes of the boil, which may very well drive off many of the volatile aromatics.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hopstand American Red Ale & Jamil's Immersion Whirlpool Chiller

Long time no post! After moving from Portland Oregon to Broomfield Colorado it has taken some time to settle and get back to brewing again. For my first Colorado homebrew I have decided on an American Red Ale in honor of the hoppy and citrusy west coast ales I have become accustomed to. With the equivalent of nearly four ounces of hops in a hopstand for 45 minutes at 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit I am looking forward to tasting this! Back in Portland the Laurelwood Brewery serves up a delicious west coast red ale that strongly balances citrus with delicious malt. 

Laurelwood Deranger Imperial Red Ale

From the brewery:  
Deranger Imperial Red Ale
Here is the beer you've been waiting for! Organic Deranger is our renowned Imperial Red Ale. It is our Free Range Red that is made much bigger, with tons of flavor and aromatic hop additions. It is a beautiful red color with a chewy caramel malt backbone that supports the complex layers of hop flavors.
8.6% ABV / 100 IBU / O.G. 20° Plato

The thing that struck me about this beer was the soft hop presence in the brew. It claims to be 100 IBU's, but tasted more like 30-40 IBU's. So I set out to brew up something similar using my Brew In A Bag setup.

BIAB malt hanging from a cabinet door.

It has been rumored that Laurelwood used an extensive hopstand on this brew and no bittering hops. I wanted some bitterness so I decided to first wort hop with Simcoe and leave the rest of my hop additions until I had cooled the wort to 160. What I noticed was that as the temp went down on the kettle so to did the hop aroma decrease. I am hopeful that more hop aromatics are staying in solution with this lower temperature. While the hops were infusing for 45 minutes I continuously whirlpooled the 212 degree wort.

Taking inspiration from Jamil Zainasheff at his site Mr. Malty, I decided to build a similar immersion whirlpool chiller. This was its first test run and it performed well except the trub pile in the bottom was not a pile, but rather a pancake that lined the entire bottom of the kettle. Perhaps I just had so much hot and cold break in my little 7 gallon pot that it took up too much space to "pile up"? The video below is of me whirlpooling the wort near its cool pitching temperature.


Here is the recipe, it is set at 70% efficiency for a final volume of 2 gallons to ferment. I will post back with tasting notes:

American Red Ale(Flameout Additions Only)
American Amber Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 1/17/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 2.00 gal Brewer: Orion Chandler
Boil Size: 3.29 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My Kettle (10 Gal) - BIAB
End of Boil Volume 2.29 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 1.90 gal Est Mash Efficiency 77.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2 lbs 15.6 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 77.0 %
5.4 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 2 8.7 %
4.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 3 6.5 %
2.7 oz Munich Malt - 20L (8.3 SRM) Grain 4 4.3 %
1.3 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.2 %
0.8 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 6 1.3 %
0.20 oz Simcoe [11.80 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 7 25.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Aroma Steep 45.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [9.70 %] - Aroma Steep 45.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [11.80 %] - Aroma Steep 45.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 11 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.050 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.2 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.2 %
Bitterness: 25.9 IBUs Calories: 165.2 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 17.9 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: BIAB, Medium Body Total Grain Weight: 3 lbs 13.8 oz
Sparge Water: 0.00 gal Grain Temperature: 68.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.1 F Tun Temperature: 68.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 14.28 qt of water at 156.9 F 152.1 F 75 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min
Sparge Step: Remove grains, and prepare to boil wort
Mash Notes: Brew in a bag method where the full boil volume is mashed within the boil vessel and then the grains are withdrawn at the end of the mash. No active sparging is required. This is a medium body beer profile.
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.10 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.10 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 40.0 F Age for: 21.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Storage Temperature: 40.0 F
Ran grain through mill at LHBS twice.

Hopstand for 45 minutes while whirlpooling between 150-160F

Mash out at 1.036 gravity points per 3.10 gallons water
36 X 3.10g = 111.60 gravity points

Chilled to 72F and let stand for 10 minutes before slowly running off.

Pre-boil gravity reading: 111.60 Gravity Units / 2.00g = 1.056 Original gravity

Post boil chilled gravity reading: 2.30 galons X 46gravity points = 105.8 / 2 = 1.053

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cascadian Dark Ale Tasting/Experimental Hopback Results

Cascadian dark ale

I am getting low on this batch brewed back on 11/1/2012 as it is one of my favorites I have brewed to date. Friends and family have been hounding me lately to share another one, then another one, etc... The only thing keeping this beer from being a hop blasting westcoast style ipa is the soft edge of toasty notes from the chocolate and carafa malts. I am pleasantly surprised with how much hop aroma and flavor I was able to retain by racking the wort hot into an CO2 sparged glass jar filled with hops and sealed aitright and left to cool. The jar did a great job keeping the volatile hop aromas from boiling out of solution. Best drunk early on, this is one I may enter into a competition someday as I am so very pleased with it. This recipe will be my go to standby as a baseline for cascadian dark ale, the hops may change, but the malt gives just enough toast to hint at some nice malty echo heard in the darkness of this pint.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Forget Priming Bottles, Drink Your Homebrew Sooner With a Homemade Carbonator Cap

Homebrew bottle cap with schrader valve in it.
This post will show you how to carbonate individual bottles of mead, cider, soda or homebrew beer at any residual sugar level, any carbonation level and without having to wait three extra weeks to bottle conditioning with yeast. I am not a huge fan of dry mead or cider, but I do prefer to bottle my homebrewed cider with some residual sugar leftover, so how can I leave some sugar in but carbonate in the bottle without the yeast metabolizing all of my sugar? I had written a previous post about force carbonating without a keg, but this is alot less expensive than the $20 carbonator cap at my local homebrew shop. In the past I would have to backsweeten with a juice concentrate and let the yeast add carbonation in the sealed bottle. This post will show you how by adding a schrader valve you can skip the whole bottle priming process and go straight to forced carbonation any beverage of your choice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

5 Rules You Can't Ignore to Improve Homebrewed Beer

This post will explore the top 5 ways to improve your homebrew beer. As time goes by and my homebrews slowly improve I have tried to reflect on what I have changed in order to increase the quality of my homebrewed beer. As I have moved from extract brewing to all grain homebrewing I have noticed a benefit to brewing in certain ways that retain the quality of my beers over time, aswell as improving beer flavor too. These are my top 5 brewing changes for overall improvement: 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cascadian Dark IPA 1.25 Gallon Extract Batch

Cascadian Dark IPA 1.25 Gallon Extract Batch

Cascadian dark ale prior to bottling.

For this session I brewed a cascadian dark ale, using the second version of a homemade diy hopback. You may have seen a few of my other diy hopback designs, but this one proves the simplest and least expensive. The jars I use as hopbacks are sold to wineries to determine the malic acid levels in wine before, during and after malolactic fermentation. They are known as gas chromatography jars, below is an image of one aswell as the recipe for this cascadian dark ipa:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Build A DIY Apple Cider Press Basket For Under $20

By: Orion
DIY apple cider press basket made from Home Depot bucket.

This post will give step by step instructions on how to make a durable DIY apple cider press basket without expensive materials such as oak or stainless steel. The best part of this project is that it can be used to press apples, grapes or any other fruit for homemade wine that you would like to extract juice from. Spring is here in Oregon and that means homemade apple cider! This project took me a little under one hour to complete including shopping for materials. I have had the joy of testing this basket out four times now and have had no problems with it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone Recipe (Partial Mash)

This post shows the recipe for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone (partial mash). The recipe below is the product of five painstaking brew sessions just for this clone brew to get it right! A version of this came from the 2005 Brew Your Own magazine. In the original article it called for more malt. Each time I have attempted a perfect clone match it has gotten a little closer to the real thing, until this last time, it was spot on, enjoy!

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