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bierblog: July 2009 Archives

July 26, 2009

dunkel + gonzo

after our last brewday we had a couple of fat yeast cakes and we were looking for a way to use them. it seemed a logical choice to take the weizen cake (from our first single decoction) and amp it up for a double-decocted dunkel - and while we're at it, why not add a bunch of rye and make it a dunkelroggenweizen?

since eric was off and running with his dunkelroggenweizen, i thought it would be a good time to bust out a recipe i've had for a while: a clone of one of my favourite beers, flying dog's gonzo imperial porter. i haven't been able to get my hands on their VSS yeast strain from wyeast, but figured the london iii strain that we used in the esb would work pretty well in its place. a little tweaking and the gonzo recipe was done.

there was only one problem with this plan - i didn't have anywhere near enough cascade for the porter, and i couldn't find any rice hulls for the dunkel. after a bit of a scramble i found mashing heads, an online homebrew shop out of london, ON. Steve was super helpful, rushing the order out the next day and even finding all the cascade i needed for the gonzo recipe! thanks guys! i know they'll be getting more of my business in the future.

eric firing up the burners, likely warming up some strike water, and jp looking on.

radical brewing, and my simplified step-by-step notes based on their description of the sweimaischverfahren - that's a double decoction mash for those not up on their german.

all hands on deck. eric and jp working the mash for the dunkel while i work on the porter.

me rockin' a new bull & bush tshirt.

vorlauf done on the porter and collection started. damn that shit was black!

the joy of decoctions: non-stop stirring for hours on end. we setup a char beside the burner to make it a little easier. here's eric taking a shift.

and now jp's turn. we really gotta say thanks to jp. we threw all sorts of brewmonkey chores at him - including a hefty portion of stirring the decoction - and he kept at it. i'm sure our arms would have fallen off if not for the extra help.

i think this was the dunkel after adding in some rice hulls to make sparging easier. we did that just before bringing it to mash out.

me throwing out the horns. i was pretty excited at how the porter was progressing.

the final bit of stirring on the second decoction step. you can really see how much it had darkened in the first shot.

boil hops for the porter. 10oz in the boil, including 6oz of cascade at flameout. and that's before the 8oz of cascade that'll go in as dry hops.

eric and jp giving the dunkel its final bump to mash out temperature.

porter approaching a boil.

mmmm, dunkelroggenweizen.

a good look at the dunkel after getting it to mash out temperature.

after getting the decoction out of the way eric decided it was time to light up a cigar, a recent acquisition as part of the gentlemen's club BIF.

both beers boiling away. we had to move them inside once the rain started coming down more steadily.

eric giving the horns for our russian imperial stout. eric corked+caged his half. mine was still sitting in secondary waiting for me to do something with it.

yeah, it looks pretty badass.

porter going into the fermenter.

i guess at this point we got busy with the final cleanup and didn't take a final picture of the dunkel. the brewday finished up just fine, and the decoction was a success. would you have expected any less?

Posted by grub at 10:42 AM

July 2, 2009

weizen + landlord

Since the weather has been warm, we wanted a couple beers on tap that were good and sessionable. Russ and I had been kicking around doing a weissbier for quite a while, and a while ago my British friend Sid brought back a bottle of Timothy Taylor Landlord, a quintessential British pale ale. After trying it, I realized it was pretty amazing and wanted to do a clone. I did a bit of research and put together a recipe.

For the weiss, we picked up the Wyeast 3056 and a bag of Weyermann malted wheat from Gilbertson and Page, and we were ready to rock. Some time ago I consulted a bit with Michael Hancock of Denisons about an approximate grain bill for a weissbier, so we went with about 45% wheat, and the rest pilsner and Munich. Now, we never really do anything half-assed, so we decided to do a proper decoction mash for the first time, which constitutes heating up a portion of the mash and resting it, then boiling and adding back to the main mash, (hopefully) bringing the total volume up to your final saccharification temperature. Not only twice as long as an infusion mash, decoctions are about five times the work, as the portion that is heated and boiled needs to be constantly stirred to prevent scorching.

The Landlord clone was quite a bit easier. Very simple malt and hop bill, and shooting for an ABV around 4%. Saturday morning rolled around and we measured out our grains and scheduled around having to do a decoction for the weissbier.

Doing the acid rest on the weissbier, wheat looks really weird and milky at first.

Throwing up the horns on the weiss, a lot of the particles settle down and it leaves this strange clear layer on the top.

Extreme close up! Whaaaaa!

Russ stirring the decoction and bringing it up to its rest temperature.

My turn! This was while the decoction was boiling. Pretty annoying and chunks of hot grain pop out on you.

Checking the temp on one of the beers, I'm not sure which but I think its the weiss.

Skimming some skum!

A delicious pesto pasta salad Jenn whipped up for the brewday lunch.

I believe that is the Landlord clone being sparged in the bucket tun.

Russ found a piece of candy in his pocket.

Or maybe he just had a sip the Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial vanilla coffee porter, it was excellent! Thanks Dyan.

Filling the keggle with some pale ale.

I think that beer is the Sonoran Old Saguaro barleywine, really interesting cactus-like flavour. Thanks Greg!

Me reviewing.

Russ cleaning something like a good brewmonkey.

Pictures seemed to stop during most of the action, but the gist is we nailed all our targets and ended up with full fermenters of weissbier and Landlord clone pale ale. The decoctions are a bit of a pain and some say nobody really notices the difference, but I could definitely taste a bigger malt presence than with most weissbiers. Once cleaned up and in the house, we cracked open some more beers.

Cigar City Brewing Maduro, Vanilla Maduro and Espresso Maduro that Russ picked up in a trade. Real cool mini growlers. Under Florida law, growlers have to be 32 oz and under, or 128 oz and bigger. I wish I had a 128 oz growler of Vanilla Maduro!

PBR can't survive an encounter with such delicious beverages!

All three Maduros in a row.

Posted by viggo at 10:39 AM

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