Mow the Damn Lawn, Farke

I brewed this American lager recipe last summer, and thought I’d give it another go to close out the warm months here. The 2021 version is nearly identical, just with a small hop swap as well as water built (mostly) from scratch.

Mow the Damn Lawn, Farke

  • 8.5 lb. 2-row malt (Great Western, California Select)
  • 2 lb. flaked rice
  • 4 oz. rice hulls
  • 0.6 oz. Vanguard hop pellets (6.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. BruTanB, 10 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient (WLN1000), 5 minute boil
  • 2 pkg. Saflager Lager Yeast (W34/70)

Target Parameters

  • 1.046 s.g., 1.008 f.g., 5.0% abv, 14 IBU, 4 SRM
  • 148° full volume infusion mash, 75 minutes, with 10 minute mash-out at 168°
  • Water built from 6 gallons RO and 1.5 gallons Claremont tap water, to produce a water of 7 ppm Ca, 2 ppm Mg, 19 ppm Na, 10 ppm sulfate, 21 ppm Cl, 31 ppm bicarbonate, 26 ppm alkalinity; 19 ppm RA

Procedure

hand holding willi becher glass of yellow beer with white head
  • The night before brewing, I set in the water by mixing 1.5 gallon of tap water with 6 gallons of RO water and a quarter of a Campden tablet, to that it would all be ready to go in the morning.
  • I heated the strike water to 153°, and hit a mash temperature of 148°. I recirculated at this temperature for 75 minutes, noting that the top of the mash read at 147.5°; I was pretty happy with this.
  • After the mash, I heated to 168° for 10 minutes, and then pulled out the grain basket.
  • In total, I had 6.75 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.038, for 68% mash efficiency.
  • I brought the kettle to a boil, boiling for 30 minutes before adding the hops, in order to bring the gravity up a bit. Then, I boiled for another 60 minutes while adding hops and finings per the recipe.
  • After the full 90 minute boil, I chilled the wort to 75°, and transferred to the fermenter for the final chill to 48° in the fermentation chamber. Finally, I pitched the yeast directly and let it free rise to 52°.
  • I brewed the beer on 19 June 2021, fermenting at 52°. Starting gravity was 1.044.
  • I cold crashed the beer on 10 July 2021, and kegged it on 14 August 2021.
  • Final gravity was 1.009, which works out to 4.6% abv.
  • The beer was surprisingly hazy at the time of kegging, especially after over a month of lagering.
  • I tasted the beer on 17 August 2021, and it was an acetaldehyde bomb. Ugh. This was a surprise to me, because it had plenty of time to clean up (two months since brewing). I’m not sure why this was; maybe it hadn’t actually cleaned up because I skipped a diacetyl rest? I’ve gotten away without it before, though, and as mentioned it sat on the yeast for plenty of time. My other thought is that maybe if the airlock dried out a bit, this introduced some oxygen and created more acetaldehyde. In any case, I pulled the beer out to room temperature (~75°), and let it sit there for a few days, with occasional keg purges to outgas any unpleasantness, before re-chilling. It still had a decent bit of green apple when I tasted a week later, but it was much improved. After two more weeks, any acetaldehyde had faded to virtually nothing. In any case, a slight green apple quality is acceptable in the American lager style, so let’s just pretend that I meant to do this.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • Very clear, nearly brilliantly so, with a light yellow color. It pours with a creamy and tall white head that subsides to a modestly persistent thin rim.
  • Aroma
    • Light malty sweetness with a very very slight green apple character (virtually imperceptible), and a crisp, faint hop spice note
  • Flavor
    • Low level of maltiness and light sweetness, and a moderately low and clean bitterness. As with the aroma, there is a very faint green apple character, which has faded considerably since the early days on tap. It is a very drinkable beer.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Light body, moderate carbonation, and slightly dry finish.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • This is a pretty good beer, which is fun as an experiment to see if I can pull off a light, high-adjunct beer. It’s certainly quite drinkable in decent quantity during a hot day, so I’ve hit that goal quite well. It’s not the most exciting beer ever, but then again that’s not what I was aiming for. I’m a bit disappointed by the heavy acetaldehyde in initial servings, and I don’t quite know what led to that. I suspect it was a combination of things, and will likely do a higher temperature fermentation rest on future batches.
  • Overall
    • 6.5/10

Posted in American lager, lager, tastings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raspberry Belgian 2021

According to my records, this is the fifth time I’ve made Raspberry Belgian. It is one of my favorite recipes, without a doubt. The process is a fair bit of work, and it’s not the cheapest thing to brew, but WOW, are the results worth it!

My approach to this has morphed considerably over the years, and there are inevitably some variations in ingredients and process. So, every time is different, even if they’re all more or less in the same flavor space.

As before, the key to this recipe is using fresh/frozen raspberries. Tons and tons of raspberries–4.5 pounds, to be precise. I used just frozen ones this time, which I thawed and pureed before adding to the fermenter. Canned purees just don’t “pop” in the same way. For souring, I tried out the Lactobacillus Blend from Omega Labs, which is what the local shop had on-hand. Past versions of the recipe used acidulated malt in the grist, which was a hold-over from the original “bacteria-free” version, and I decided to just ditch that because it was unnecessary.

Raspberry Belgian 2021

  • 6.5 lb. Viking Pilsner Zero Malt
  • 2.5 lb. white wheat malt (Great Western)
  • 1 lb. flaked wheat
  • 0.5 lb. Carapils malt (Briess)
  • 0.5 lb. rice hulls
  • 0.5 oz. Magnum hop pellets (10.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. WLN1000 yeast nutrient (White Labs), 10 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. Belgian Wit Ale Yeast (WLP400), prepared in 1L vitality starter
  • 1 pkg. Lactobacillus Blend (Omega Labs OYL-605)
  • 72 oz. frozen raspberries, pureed

Target Parameters

  • 1.048 o.g., 1.012 f.g., 18 IBU, 4 SRM, 4.8% abv
  • 154° full-volume mash, 60 minutes
  • Overnight kettle sour
  • Claremont tap water, no adjustment

Procedure

  • Way back in May, I made a starter for Pannotia White IPA using WLP400, but it was suuuuper slow to kick off. Worrying that it was dead, I got some Whiteout (Imperial Yeast), but kept the WLP400 starter going just in case. After a day or two, it was off to the races, and so I harvested the results to save for a later brew–which turned out to be the raspberry brew!
  • I mashed in with 7.25 gallons of water at 160°, and held the mash at 154° for 60 minutes with recirculation. I added 7 mL of 88% lactic acid to adjust the mash pH. I raised the temperature to 168° for a 10 minute mash-out, and then removed the grain basket.
  • In total, I collected 6.25 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.038, for 61% mash efficiency. This is a bit low, but that seems to be the case for these adjunct-heavy beers (and my mill seems to be not quite tight enough, after inspection of equipment).
  • Next, I boiled the runnings for 5 minutes, before chilling down to 95°. I added 25 mL of 88% lactic acid, to get the pH down to 4.4, and then added the lacto culture. Because I’m using the Foundry, I just let the runnings in the kettle, and set it to maintain temperature at 90°. I did this step on 14 August 2021.
  • After 25 hours, the pH was down to 3.5, right in my target range. I called this perfect!
  • While getting the soured runnings ready, I made a SNS (shaken-not-stirred) starter for the harvested yeast culture.
  • I boiled the runnings, adding hops and yeast nutrients per the recipe. After 60 minutes, I chilled the wort, transferred to the fermenter, and then chilled down to 66° before pitching the yeast starter.
  • I started primary fermentation on 15 August 2021, holding at 66°.
  • On 19 August 2021, I added 72 oz. of pureed frozen raspberries, and raised the temperature to 68°.
  • On 22 August 2021, I brought the beer out to ambient, around 75° or so, to finish up.
  • I kegged the beer on 28 August 2021. At this point, it had a final gravity of 1.013, which works out to 4.0% abv. With the extra sugars from the fruit, actual abv might be a touch higher.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • The beer is gorgeous! I pours with a pink, frothy, and somewhat persistent head. The beer itself is dark pink, and moderately (but not overly) hazy. I think it’s looking clearer than might be usual, because I’m using a floating dip tube. I wouldn’t mind a little extra haze, if it helped augment the mouthfeel and flavor.
  • Aroma
    • Raspberry is prominent, with a bit of tartness also.
  • Flavor
    • The beer is moderately sour, but not over the top. The sour character is clean (one person who tasted it described it as a sour patch kid–that’s a high compliment in my book!). Bitterness is perceived as low. The raspberry comes through very nicely. There might be a slight wheat flavor, but in general I don’t think the malt is terribly perceptible. I’m a bit surprised that the Belgian yeast character doesn’t come through more, either.
  • Mouthfeel
    • This beer has a light body and effervescent quality, with a tart, modestly sour, and dry finish.
  • Would I Brew This Again?
    • This is a wonderful beer! It’s incredibly drinkable, especially during warm weather. I wouldn’t mind a touch more malt character and a little bit more prominent Belgian yeast character…I would be curious to see if it’s genuinely no Belgian character, or if that is just being covered up by the raspberries. Perhaps I’ll try fermenting at a higher temperature next time, to bring out the phenols more prominently. Those are truly minor issues, and really just in the category of optional tweaks to consider.
  • Overall
    • 9/10
Posted in Belgian sour, Belgian wit, fruit beer, sour, sour beer, tastings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dunkel-Osteus

This is another rebrew of another favorite recipe. I seem to be doing this a lot lately! My Munich Dunkel is a wonderfully drinkable dark lager, and this year’s version was no exception.

Dunkel-Osteus

  • 10 lb. Munich II malt (Weyermann)
  • 0.5 lb. Carafa Special II malt (Weyermann)
  • 6 oz. melanoidin malt (Weyermann)
  • 0.5 oz. Magnum hop pellets (13.2% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 2 pkg. W34/70 yeast (Fermentis)

Target Parameters

  • 1.050 o.g., 1.012 f.g., 5.1% abv, 24 IBU, 23 SRM
  • 60 minute full volume mash at 152°, with mash-out at 168°
  • Claremont tap water

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 7.25 gallons of water at 158°, to hit a mash temperature of 152°. I held it here, with recirculation, for 60 minutes. Then, I raised the temperature to 168° for 10 minutes, before removing the grains and bringing the kettle to a boil.
  • In total, I collected 6.25 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.043, for 66% mash efficiency.
  • I boiled for 60 minutes, adding hops and finings per the recipe.
  • After the boil, I chilled, transferred, and chilled down to 50° before pitching the yeast. I let the beer free rise to 52° for fermentation.
  • I brewed this beer on 8 May 2021. Starting gravity was 1.048.
  • I let the beer free rise to 60° on 24 May, and then cold crashed to 33° on 26 May 2021.
  • I kegged the beer on 29 May 2021, and it had a gravity of 1.017, for 4.0% abv.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • The beer is brilliantly clear, and pours with a persistent, creamy, and tan head. The color of the beer itself is deep brown, with deep ruby highlights when viewed on edge.
  • Aroma
    • The aroma is toasty and chocolatey, with a clean character.
  • Flavor
    • Amazing! A chocolate character is prominent, with a deep toasted, malty, bread crust character to the malt. The malt aspect is rich, yet not overwhelming. Bitterness is moderate, making this a very drinkable beer.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, smooth finish.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • Yes! This is one of my very favorite recipes…such a good dark lager!
  • Overall
    • 10/10
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Pannotia White IPA 2021

It’s been two years since I last brewed my white IPA (the original hazy IPA!), so now is as good of a time as any to make it again. The recipe I used this year isn’t too far off from my previous one.

Pannotia White IPA 2021

  • 6.75 lb. Viking 2-row Xtra pale malt
  • 2.5 lb. white wheat malt (Briess)
  • 1 lb. white wheat malt (Great Western)
  • 1.5 lb. Viking Pilsner Zero Malt
  • 1 lb. flaked wheat
  • 0.75 lb. flaked oats
  • 0.5 lb. rice hulls
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (9.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 0.25 oz. Magnum hop pellets (10.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 2.62 g (1 tsp.) WLN1000 yeast nutrient (White Labs), 5 minute boil
  • 0.35 oz. bitter orange peel, 1 minute boil
  • 0.15 oz. coriander seed, 1 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (9.5% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Citra hop pellets (12.8% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Galaxy hop pellets (13.4% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
  • 1 pkg. Whiteout Belgian Ale Yeast (Imperial Yeast #B44)
  • 1 oz. Citra hop pellets (12.8% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Galaxy hop pellets (13.4% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Mosaic hop pellets (11.2% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 1.062 o.g., 1.015 f.g., 6.2% abv, 60 IBU, 4 SRM
  • 60 minute full volume mash at 152°, with mash-out at 168°
  • Claremont tap water, with 8 g gypsum

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 7.5 gallons of water at 159°, to hit a mash temperature of 152°. I added 5.5 mL of 88% lactic acid to adjust the pH.
  • After 60 minutes (with recirculation), I raised the temperature to 168° and held it there for 10 minutes, before removing the grains.
  • In total, I collected 6.3 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.051, for 64% mash efficiency.
  • I added the gypsum to the kettle and brought the runnings to a boil, adding hops and finings per the recipe. After a 60 minute boil, I turned off the heat, whirlpooled the final hop addition, and then chilled down to around 75°, before transferring to the fermenter.
  • I chilled the wort the rest of the way down to ~66°, before pitching the yeast.
  • I brewed this beer on 15 May 2021, and fermented at 66°. Starting gravity was 1.058.
  • On 24 May 2021, I raised the fermenter to ambient, around 75°.
  • On 29 May 2021, I kegged the beer. Final gravity was 1.015, which works out to 5.7% abv. I added the hops in a bag, and chilled the beer down to 33°, removing the hops on 1 June 2021.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • Light gold, with a moderate haze that has dropped fairly clear over the weeks it was on tap. The beer pours with a frothy and persistent white head.
  • Aroma
    • Light citrus hop character, with spicy yeast phenols and light coriander.
  • Flavor
    • The beer has an up-front citrus bitterness with citrus zest and pithy character. There is a light malty/doughy malt character, and a nice spicy yeast character as appropriate for a Belgian wit yeast.
  • Mouthfeel
    • The beer has a medium-light body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish. It’s pretty good!
  • Would I brew this again?
    • Yep! This is a nice recipe. The beer is best before too much yeast settles out, and I think it would be tasty with a touch more carbonation, but even after a month or two in the keg, it’s still a very drinkable beer.
  • Overall
    • 9/10
Posted in IPA, white IPA | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Schell’s Pilsner Clone 2021

I brew this recipe from time to time, and have enjoyed it pretty well so far. It’s a nice German pils to have around, and has a wonderfully simple approach. This year’s edition is generally the same as in past years, although I used all-Sterling as the hop, rather than a mix of Mt. Hood and Sterling, and I have a different brand of base malt.

Schell’s Pils Clone

Schell’s Pilsner Clone 2021

  • 11 lb. Viking 2-row Xtra Pale Malt
  • 0.25 lb. Carapils (Briess)
  • 0.75 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 0.5 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 20 minute boil
  • 1 g BruTanB, 10 minute boil
  • 1.3 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. German Lager yeast (WLP830), in 2L starter
  • 1.25 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 3 day dry hop

Target Parameters

  • 1.050 o.g., 1.006 f.g., 5.9% abv, 35 IBU, 4 SRM
  • 60 minute full volume mash, with 40 minutes at 144° and 10 minutes at 158°
  • Claremont tap water

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 7.3 gallons of water at 150°, adding 7 mL of 88% lactic acid, and recirculated at a mash temperature of 144° for 40 minutes.
  • Next, I raised the mash temperature to 158°, holding it there for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, I raised the mash to 168° for 10 minutes, before removing the grains.
  • In total, I collected 6.4 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.044, for 68% mash efficiency.
  • I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and finings per the schedule. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled, transferred, and finished chilling to 48°. I oxygenated with pure O2 for 40 seconds before pitching the yeast.
  • I started with ~5.25 gallons of beer in the fermenter and an original gravity of 1.050.
  • I brewed the beer on 1 May 2021.
  • I began fermentation at 50°, and raised the temperature to 52° on 8 May 2021. I raised the temperature to 60° on 26 May 2021, and cold crashed on 26 May 2021. My fermentation chamber broke(!) on 1 June 2021, so the beer was at ~65° for around 24 hours. I got it back cold on 2 June 2021, and added the dry hops on 5 June 2021.
  • I kegged the beer on 12 June 2021, adding 1 tsp. of gelatin heated to 156° in 3/4 cup of water.
  • Final gravity was 1.010, which works out to 5.2% abv.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • This is a light gold/yellow beer that pours brilliantly clear, with a persistent creamy head.
  • Aroma
    • The beer has a light, spicy hop note, and a crackery malt note.
  • Flavor
    • It has a prominent bitterness, with a crisp and clean hop character. The bitterness is a bit over the top, and the water has a mineral-type (almost salty) character. Paired with the right food it does OK, but it is a bit too bitter on its own. The malt is light and crackery; very simple, but nice. Yeast profile is quite clean.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, slightly dry finish.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • Yes, but next time I’m going to do better on the water profile. I think using tap water was a mistake here, especially without more adjustments to knock out carbonates, etc. The bitterness is just too much, which is unfortunate! In going back through my notes, all past iterations have built up from RO water, and I think I’ll do that again next time. Everything else works pretty well, and I suppose the bitterness is within the upper bounds of a German pils, so I can’t ding it too much. I might also try going back to the Mt. Hood+Sterling hop combo, just to give it a touch more interest in the hops.
  • Overall
    • 6/10
Posted in German pils, lager, pilsner, tastings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment