Archive for the ‘Barrel’ Category

Wow, this site is still here? I guess I will update it.

Since last we were here…..

Oktoberfest 2011 came and went.   Fun again, good beer, first use of my “pin” cask.   The cask worked out great, I brewed an ESB and loaded the cask with whole Centennial hops and I was really happy with the result (well other than the beer that sprayed all over when we vented it – a little lighter on the carbonation next time!).   Still up in the air if we use the cask again this year or not though.

The whiskey barrel aged imperial stout has been kegged & bottled.   1/6th of it has Intelligentsia Black Cat Expresso added, and it turned out fantastic.   As a change I took some Intelligentsia Analog Expresso and added it to a second keg.  I didn’t think this was as good as the first, but still interesting.  The rest of the barrel has been either bottled, will be soon or I may keep one keg full for winter.  Currently, the barrel is filled with a sour Belgian stout that is tasting really good and I will likely pull some of that off in the next month or two to bottle and then continue to use that barrel “solera style” for sour stout like I am with the two wine barrels with the lambic and flanders red.

I rebrewed some of the lambic a few weeks ago to pull some out to use a bunch of the door county cherries we had gotten last year so hopefully that should be ready in a few months.   I plan to use the rest of the cherries we got last year in a small batch of the sour stout.

I know that it’s still 3 months away, but one of the beers for our Oktoberfest party is already done and lagering.  I brewed a helles bock type beer for the “official” festbier.   We didn’t have any lagers last year so I really wanted to do one this year.  It was down to a helles, a traditional bock, and the Vindicator doppelbock.   Since I was already going to have a big double IPA on draft, I figured the lighter of the options might be the best choice.   Anyway, I sampled the helles a couple days ago and it’s quite good.   It should only get better as it lagers in the low 30s.   I brewed it on one of the hottest days of the year so far (98 degrees) so it was quite the brew day but I eventually got it chilled and seems like everything worked out great.  The rest of the beers are best served fresh (IPA, Double IPA, Hefe, etc) so I’ll likely get them done at the end of August or first week of September so they are at their prime come the end of September.

In the last couple of weeks I brewed 3 different beers, all of which are hop focused.   The first was a 100% Citra hopped IPA.   This was a repeat (with a few tweaks) of a beer I did last year and I think I have this recipe down, it turned out great.   The second is a hoppy wheat beer brewed with WY3333 German Wheat yeast and Amarillo hops which is currently fermenting.  This was also the first beer I used my hopback on which was packed with Cascade and Centennial hops.   Can’t wait to try this in a few weeks, it should be interesting – partly because I had a few issues with the mash, and it ended up a bit lower than I wanted.  The third beer I brewed recently is a “Session IPA” – basically a lower alcohol version of an IPA I guess.  I am thinking this should come in around 4.5% abv, and about 42 IBUs, all provided by Simcoe and Amarillo hops.   It smelled fantastic so I can’t wait to try this one also.

Lastly, I think it is time to upgrade some/most of my equipment so I will likely not be brewing anything for the next month or two as I try to gather all the necessary materials & parts to build a new system.  I might put some pictures up during the fabrication, but then again it’s been 15 months between posts so maybe not :)

Long Time, No Post….

I haven’t brewed much since my last post mainly due to the cold and snowy winter we had this year. The Belgian Quadruple keg kicked, but I managed to save 3 bottles worth.   The 2 porters are about done as well, so I will be bottling a bit of those as well to save for some people to try at a future date.   I did manage to brew a saison and golden strong that are on tap now.  I reserved half of the saison and added orange peel which I will need to sample this week, as it may be time to move it to a keg.   Additionally, I have an amber/alt going as well as an IPA which are both scheduled to be kegged this weekend.   The big news though is that I scored a freshly emptied whiskey barrel a couple months ago, which is now sitting full of an imperial stout.   I basically took the recipe that I used for the sour stout, but replaced about half of the roasted barley with a blend of chocolate malts.  It should come in around 9% and will be very dark.  It tasted great fresh, and again after about 2 weeks in the barrel.   I will probably take another sample in a few weeks and see if it’s getting close.   This was a 30 gallon barrel so it wasn’t as much work to fill as the wine barrels which was nice, however I need to keep an eye on it so the oak/whiskey flavors don’t become too overwhelming.  The next few brews will likely be all old recipes to refill/top off the sour and stout barrels as the kegerator will be full once the IPA and amber go on tap.  Lastly, I did a little yard work on Saturday, and didn’t see any hop shoots popping through yet.   I am fine with that as I need to build a new trellis after disassembling the old one last fall.