Sunday, November 28, 2010

Now We're Cooking With Gas!

I have natural gas piped out to the balcony at Noble Square Brewing's new location.  I thought I would take advantage of the fact and get a natural gas burner to brew on.  No more dealing with the hassles of propane tanks--swapping it out from the grill, running out in the middle of a boil, making trips to get it filled.  (I no longer have backup tanks since the move--professional movers will not move tanks, even if they're completely empty.)

Above is a photo of the wok burner I ordered awhile back.  It has 32 tips and supposedly generates 160,000 BTUs/Hr in heat--that's Megan Fox hot!  Now I just have to find the time to hook it up, and figure how I'm going to mount it on a stand. 

Here's a couple closeups of the tips:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pseudo Alt and base for Holiday Brew today

I was able to get a brew session in today.  I just used what I had on hand, including a starter of American Ale yeast that I started a couple of weeks ago.  I did a split batch, which I'm going to call a Pseudo-Alt and the base for my Holiday Brew.  The Holiday Brew is normally a strong dark lager with special ingredients, but since I'm so late starting it, this year it's going to be a stronger than average dark ale with special ingredients.

Here's the recipe(s):

Grain bill

4 lbs light munich
6 lbs dark munich
13 lbs pale malt
1 lb cara munich (it's 120L)
1 lb cara vienna

I mashed for an hour, single infusion at 147F.  I took the 1st and 3rd runnings for the pseudo-alt, and the second for the base of the holiday brew.

Here's the boil/ hop schedule for each batch:

Psuedo Alt (about 11.5 gallons pre boil):
1 hour boil
1.4 oz Magnum 10.4% AA 50 minutes
1 oz Hallertau 3.0% AA 20 minutes

collected about 10 gallons of wort 1.054 OG (left behind maybe a half a gallon with the trub)

Holiday Brew Base (about 3.5 gallons pre boil)
100 minute boil
1 oz Halletauer 3.0% AA 100 minutes
1 oz Hallertaur 3.05 AA 0 minutes

collected about 2.75 gallons of wort 1.054 OG

I plan to add some agave syrup, dried cranberries, and vanilla to the secondary on this one.  The boil wasn't supposed to go that long, but we went a long family walk while it was brewing, and the next thing you know, it was an hour and forty minutes later.  It was a beautiful evening, with an amazing evening sky.  The photo above is of the sky just after sunset.  The picture doesn't do it justice, it was taken on the Blackberry.

Both batches were pitched on the slurry from the starter of American Ale yeast.  Fermentation started almost right away--the yeast was still active in the starter.