Thursday, December 22, 2011

iBrewmaster app for iPad

I've started inputting some of my brew recipes into iBrewmaster, an app for the iPad. I've had it for quite some time, but haven't used it extensively. It seems very well put together, and the developers are constantly coming out with improvements to it.

It allows you to input your recipes, and it will estimate your IBUs, original and final gravities, alcohol by volume, and all kinds of other cool info. It even let's you tweak your recipes for individual batches.

You can customize your inputs, such as your brewhouse efficiency and the alpha acid levels of your hops.

My only fear is that I'll damage my iPad during a brew session, so I keep it far away from the action. It's not like I've damaged electronic equipment while brewing before.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Señor Brew™ wins a ribbon!

Fall Down Go Boom barleywine took 2nd in the 2011 Pacific Brewers Cup held by the local brew club, Pacific Gravity.  It scored a 41, which is usually high enough to take first, so someone must have scored unbelievably high in this category.  Señor Brew™ also entered his Oktoberfest, Slippy Piggy's Oktoberfest, in this competition.  It didn't score as well, which is strange, because this beer went on to take first in the 2011 Spooky Brew Review, the Chicago Beer Society's annual competition.  More on this to follow.  The barleywine was brewed right around New Year's Day, using the first runnings from the Superbowl Stout brew, before the dark malts were added.  The recipe for both can be found here.  (Both Fall Down Go Boom Barleywine and Superbowl Stout have taken home ribbons this year). Look for the Oktoberfest recipe in my next post.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Brew Blogs Do You Follow?


Hello Brewbuds!

Señor Brew™ has a quick question for loyal readers of this blog.  What other brew blogs do you follow?  No, Señor Brew™ is not going to get jealous and hack the other blogs with TOS attacks (something he read about on the intertubes).  The reason for asking is because he recently cut a number of blogs from his "follow" list, because they hadn't written a new post in over a year.  Damn lazy brew-bloggers!

Señor Brew™ would like to replenish his list with new and exciting brew blogs and thought the readers of this blog might have some mighty fine suggestions for other blogs to follow (since they obviously already have excellent taste in what to read on the worlb wibe web).

Here is Señor Brew™'s current follow list--please take a gander (or goose, "what's good for...yadda yadda"):

Bearded Brewing Blog (a guy with a beard brews in Minnesota)
Brew Dudes (two dudes who brew co-author this one)
Chibebräu (Russ Chibe, meteorologist/lawyer/homebrewer, esq.)
HolzBrew (I forget, but it's well-written)
Homebrewed Beer (Ithaca is gorges)
Matt & Meg's Beer Brewing Adventures (Married couple brews together and don't mention fighting)
Monday Night Brewing (3 guys in Atlanta who homebrew with a plan to go commercial, which they have!)
Ted's Homebrew Journal (Another Chicago Homebrewer as are Russ, Matt and Meg above)
P.S.  The photo at the top of this post was blatantly stolen from the Monday Night Brewery Site, but I'm giving them a plug here, so I think it's ok.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ooh, it's so shiny!

I realize it has been a long while since I've posted here to Noble Square Brewing dot blogspot dot com, so I wanted to throw at least something up to avoid having the website go the way of the dodo or myspace. Now it's more like the coelacanth, you thought it was extinct, but no, it's back. 

The above is a photo of my HLT (a.k.a. Hot Liquor Tank, a.k.a. the keg in which I heat up my mash and sparge water).  I finally got a hold of some bubble insulation, cut it to size, and duct taped it together, forming a tight jacket around the HLT.  It looks so shiny!  I have used it to brew since (hopefully more posts about that to come), and I have to say, it was an easy way to get the water hotter faster.  (Water hotter faster--say that 3 times fast, wait I just did, it's not that difficult).  The HLT is pictured upside down for storage, I don't brew with it that way, you big dummy Lamont.

Anyway, if any of you other homebrewers out there heat your water electrically, I suggest you insulate.  You'll heat your water faster, using less electricity, saving time, money, and the unicorns.  I don't know if this will work for gas heated HLTs, the insulation could melt.  Time to look up if I spelled coelacanth correctly.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Superbowl Stout takes 2nd!

Señor Brew™ just saw the results from the Inland Empire Brewing Company and Superbowl Stout took second place in its category.  I think this was a smaller competition, and had hoped to take home a 1st with a shot at best of show--the stout was really that good, although it could have degraded a little during or after bottling.

The results of the Maltose Falcon's Mayfaire competition are also in, and according to their website, Superbowl Stout didn't even place.  However, Señor Brew™ still isn't entirely sure that the beer was entered in the competition.  The entry fee cheque has yet to be cashed, and there was a screw-up with how the entries were picked up.  More on this to follow, especially if it turns out that the brew was not entered.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stout Specifics

I had to look up some of the details I missed in my original Super Bowl Stout recipe posting since the Inland Empire Pro Am competition required a full recipe.  I thought I would post them here in case I need them in the future.

The Alpha Acid percentage of the hops:

Magnum  10.4% AA
Northern Brewer 10.5% AA

Yeast used:
WLP 013 London Ale Yeast (1/2 gallon starter)

14 days at ~68F

I know, it's a boring post for everyone else, but at least it's not about wine coolers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You Can't Win if You Don't Play

"You Can't Win if You Don't Play"...catchy slogan for the Illinois lottery, a game that is rigged in favor of the house.  You can't lose either, but they don't mention that.  Now homebrew competitions, that is another story; ideally the best beer should win.  But you still need to enter competitions if you want to win.

So what did Señor Brew™ do?  He bottled up some of his delicious Superbowl Stout and entered it into two competitions.  Or at least he thinks he did.

The first is the Maltose Falcon's Mayfaire competition.  This is the one Señor Brew™ is not too sure if he's in or not.  There was a problem with entries being picked up from the local home brew shop (LHBS) too early.  Señor Brew™ dropped off his entry before the cutoff time, but apparently the entries had already been picked up.  After email conversations with the competition organizer, he thinks he's in.  We will know for certain when the entry fee cheque is cashed.

The second is the Inland Brewing Second Annual Pro Am Competition.  The coolest thing about this competition is that the winner of Best of Show gets to brew his or her recipe on their 7 BBL system, and is also entered into the Great American Beer Festival's Pro Am competition.  Wish Señor Brew™ luck!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Barleywine Update

Just a quick update on the barleywine that was brewed in conjunction with my Superbowl Stout as part of a split batch.  It is kegged and cold conditoning in my mini-fridge.  I drew samples to measure final gravity and do a tasting--it tastes awesome!  Final gravity was 1.025, which puts it at 9.3% alcohol by volume.  I plan to get a hold of some smaller bottles (7 or 8 oz.) and bottle this one to save for special occasions.  I need to come up with a good name for this one--any suggestions, readers?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Revised Super Bowl Stout Recipe

OK, Señor Brew™ was way off in his Super Bowl prediction, but the sweet stout he brewed was a huge improvement over last years batch, and a major hit at this year's Super Bowl party.  So without further ado, here is the new and improved recipe:

(I don't remember if I mentioned in a previous post, but this was a split batch--I used the first runnings for a barleywine, and added the dark grains and used the second and third runnings for the stout--so you really get two recipes in one here).

Superbowl Stout/ Yet to be named barley wine
10 gallons stout/ ~2.5 gallons barley wine

18 lbs 2 row
2 lb pale chocolate
14 oz Carafa
1 oz roasted
1 lb cara munich 120L
2 lb cara vienna 20L

Additional ingredients
1 lb lactose sugar (stout)
8 oz turbinado sugar (barley wine)

Mash--single infusion 1hr 150F
Using only the 2 row and cara malts
Draw off ~ 2.75 gallons for barley wine.
Add additional malts and water
20 min additional mash
sparge ~11 gallons for stout

.5 oz Magnum 60 minutes
.5 oz Northern Brewer 30 minutes

.5 oz Magnum 60 minutes
1 oz Northern Brewer 30 minutes
.5 oz Northern Brewer 0 minutes

Sugars were added 15 minutes before end of boil
Lactose for Stout
Turbinado for Barley Wine

O.G. 1.055
F.G. 1.021
abv 4.6%

Barley Wine
O.G. 1.094
F.G. ???  (It's still in primary)
abv  ???

Posting this, I think it's time to draw a sample of the barley wine to taste and measure the F.G.  I should also look up the alpha acid percentages for the hops.  Stay tuned for further updates.  And yes, as a Bears fan, Señor Brew™ hated to post a photo of the Packers celebrating their win, but what can you do?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Superbowl Prediction 10-21

Actually, it's not a prediction of the score of Super Bowl XLV  (that's 45 to you non-Romans).  It's not a prediction at all.  It's the final gravity of Noble Square Brewing's Super Bowl Stout--1.021.  If that sounds high to you, keep in mind that this is a milk or sweet stout, with unfermentable lactose (milk sugar, hence the name) added to the brew right at the end of the boil.  It ended up just about where Señor Brew™ wanted it to, with a nice body and residual sweetness.  It got kegged tonight, and is force carbonating under high pressure to be ready for the big game tomorrow.

I took a look at my old Super Bowl Stout recipe, and realized that it was much too roasty for a sweet stout, so it has been reformulated.  I'll have to dig out my notes to find the new recipe, which I'll post later.  In the meantime, if you visited this blog to get an actual Super Bowl prediction, I'll give you one.  We will go with the final gravity, 10-21, Green Bay 10, Pittsburgh 21.  Happy Super Bowl everyone.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brew Stand!

Señora Brew™ must have read the Christmas wish list post because she got Señor Brew™ some wire shelving for Christmas for his brewery!  Actually, she probably didn't read the last post, she might have gotten upset about the sexy Santa's helpers comment and put coal in Señor Brew™'s stocking instead.

So above is the photo of the new Noble Square Brewing setup--I used the shelving to create a 3 tier stand.  I have slightly modified it since the photo was taken, substituting an iron stand for the cinder blocks under the kettle.  I was getting some soot from an incomplete burn from the burners adjacent to the cinder blocks--they weren't drawing in enough air.  Now it's open to all sides, no soot and quick boils.  I brewed my Superbowl Stout on the system, and it was so easy.  No more lifting a full mash tun to a higher level so it can drain in the kettle.

You can see the natural gas burner under the brew kettle.  I ran a final test and it brought 12 gallons of water from 60F up to boiling in 38 minutes.  Fast!  In fact that's faster than the Blichmann Engineering top tier burner, and they're using propane (which burns hotter than natural gas).  I have to say, I'm very happy with this burner and system.  Thank you Señora Brew™!