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Showing posts from July, 2017

Belgian Trappist Single v2.2

Tonight I decided to run yet another test to dial in the gravity and volume calculations for my sous vide based brewing setup.  Since I had a Dubbel, Tripel, and Quad fermenting, doing a Trappist Single seemed like a good next step.

I have a Single recipe that I've been pretty happy with, but still wanted to tweak it a bit more.  This was a good chance to make those tweaks and see work on the calculations at the same time.

Ingredients
1 pound and 7 ounces 2-row Pilsner Malt
1 ounce Aromatic Malt
1 ounce Cara-Pils Malt
1 ounce Melanoidin Malt
0.15 oz. Styrian Goldings hops pellets @ 6.2% AA 60 min.
0.25 oz. Czech Saaz hops pellets @ 3.2% AA 15 min.
0.20 oz. Czech Saaz hops pellets @ 3.2% AA 5 min.
0.25 oz. Sweet Orange Peel
0.10 oz. Crushed Coriander
1/4 tsp. Irish Moss
Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity yeast

According to my BeerSmith calculations, this brew should have the following characteristics:
Style:  Trappist SingleOriginal Gravity: 1.047 SG (11.7 Brix)Pre-boil Gravity: 9.0 …

Debby's Dubbel 2.0

Back in October 2016, I brewed a Belgian Dubbel I named after my later mother.  It's one of my wife's favorite beers I've made, but sadly not one of my own.  I liked it, but I believed it could be much better.  Tonight, I tweaked the recipe a bit and brewed a one-gallon batch of it.

I used the Sous Vide cooker to handle mash and sparge water, and an induction cooktop to perform the boil.  While I'm still working out volume and efficiency calculations on the setup, I'm getting a little closer each time I do it.

Recipe
1 pound, 12 ounces German Pilsner Malt
3 ounces Cara-Pils/Dextrine Malt
3 ounces Special B Malt
1 ounce Melanoidin Malt
4 ounces D-45 Candi Syrup
0.2 ounces Styrian Goldings hops pellets @ 6.4% AA 60 min
0.2 ounces Czech Saaz hops pellets @ 3.2% AA 5 min
1/8 tsp. Irish Moss
Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity Ale Yeast

For this version of the recipe, I dropped the Caramunich I malt. I switched from D-90 syrup to D-45 syrup, and increased the percentage o…

Affligem Abbey Tripel Clone 1.0

I've been trying to perfect a one-gallon brewing system that uses a Sous Vide cooker and induction cooktop to produce all-grain beer.  I've made four batches with it so far.  The first batches were all reasonably good but did not hit their gravity or volume targets.  I've been trying to dial that in for a while but haven't had much success.

Today I decided to brew a scaled-down recipe from the Candi Syrup Inc. web site.  This is their clone recipe for Affligem Abbey Tripel, with cane sugar replacing the clear candi sugar in their recipe.

Recipe
2 pounds, 5 ounces Belgian Pilsner Malt
2 ounces Aromatic Malt
5 ounces Cane Sugar
0.15 ounces UK Challenger hops @ 6.8% AA 60 min.
0.20 ounces Styrian Goldings hops @ 2.8% AA 60 min.
0.20 ounces Styrian Goldings hops @ 2.8% AA 15 min.
0.15 ounces Styrian Goldings hops @ 2.8% AA 3 min.
1/8 tsp. Irish Moss
Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II yeast

According to BeerSmith, the characteristics of this brew are:

Batch Size: 1.0 gallonsEstimat…

Gulden Draak 9000 Quadrupel Clone 1.0

The Gulden Draak and Gulden Draak 9000 Belgian beers are two of my favorites.  I've made a few unsuccessful attempts to brew Gulden Draak, but before today had never tried to brew Gulden Draak 9000.  I found the recipe on the Candi Syrup, Inc., web site and acquired the ingredients.

Earlier in the week, I began culturing up White Labs WLP510  Bastogne yeast to make sure I had enough available to brew the beer successfully, a 4L starter took care of that.

Ingredients
9 pounds 4.5 oz Belgian Pilsen Malt
4.5 pounds Belgian Pale Ale Malt
1.5 pounds Belgian Cara 45 Malt
1.5 pounds D-45 Candi Syrup
1 ounce Spalt hops @ 2.6% AA
0.85 ounces Northern Brewer hops @ 9.6% AA
0.85 ounces Hallertau Mittelfrueh @ 4.0% AA
1 Tbsp. pH 5.2 Stabilizer
1 Whirlfloc tablet
1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1 Campden Tablet

According to BeerSmith, this brew should hit the following numbers:

Batch Size: 5.1 gallonsPre-Boil Volume: 6.6 gallonsBrew House Efficiency: 80%Boil Time: 90 minutesEstimated Original Gravity: 1…

The Return of the Ghost of Undercarbonation

Could flipping your bottles upside down every day actually fix a lack of carbonation?

Earlier in my brewing history, I made a really nice Belgian Tripel.  It had great flavor and aroma, but came out of the bottle totally flat - not a hint of carbonation.  I tried giving it more time, but that didn't work. I tried moving it outside where temperatures were in the lower 80's.  No good.  After two months, the beer remained flat.

I reached out to a home brewing magazine for advice.  They suggested opening some of the bottles and pitching in some dry champagne yeast, then shaking the bottle gently to rehydrate the yeast.  This, combined with another month, did not solve the problem.

Eventually, I poured the flat beer into a uKeg stainless steel growler and force-carbonated it in there.

After that, I tried to live by a simple rule.  If the beer I brewed was at or below 8% ABV, I would condition it as-is.  If it was over 8%, I would pitch in some fresh yeast with the priming sugar.  T…

Beerstone Removal from Stainless Steel Fermenters

I have four stainless steel fermenters.  Three are made by SS Brewing Technologies, and have a conical bottom with a valve, dip tube, and thermowell.  The last is by Chapman and is a cylindrical shape with a tap near the bottom.  They are all good products, but I'm partial to the SS Brewing Technologies fermenters for their conical bottoms (to capture trub and yeast), stackability, and thermowells.

Although I purchased it (supposedly) new, one of my SS Brewing Technologies fermenters arrived with a rough white substance on the inside.  I suspected that this was beerstone, and was hesitant to use the fermenter for that reason.  Beerstone can create pockets for bacteria to thrive in, and it can be difficult or impossible to sanitize that surface well enough to prevent infection.  I work too hard on my brews to chance an avoidable infection.

Recently, I started reviewing how other home brewers were removing beerstone from their equipment.  The recommended solution is a two-stage clea…