The past month has been a fun one for brewing, with some kettle souring experiments and a bit of kegging. Pacing hasn’t been too frantic, and I’ve had some enjoyable warm evenings to slowly savor a glass on the patio.
Beer Batch Updates
- On August 8, I brewed a session “ryePA”, aiming for a nice drinkable West Coast-style beer with a relatively traditional hop profile. The recipe is 77% Vienna malt, 15% rye malt, 5% crystal 40, and 3% crystal 60. Warrior and Chinook hops make up the bittering additions, with a late hop addition of whole cone Cascade and BRY-97 for the yeast. Once it is fermented out, I will be dry hopping with Amarillo, CTZ, and Cryo-Cascade. Brewing targets are for ~4.5% abv and ~45 IBU.
- My Munich helles-style lager has been lagering for nearly a month now, and it’s super tasty. It clocks in at 5.2% abv, with a starting gravity of 1.047 and a final gravity of 1.008. I’m glad that I stacked up a few back-to-back lager brewing sessions, so that at least a few of them will get some proper lagering time before they go on tap. I expect this helles should have at least another week before I’ll have it on the main set of taps in the house.
- For my first kettle souring project of the summer, I did a rebrew of my Raspberry Belgian sour. I’ve made it a few times in the past, and it’s one of my favorite recipes (and my wife’s too!). Because it’s so quick on turn-around, it was ready just as my one of my taps opened up. I soured the batch on 18 July, boiled and pitched the main Belgian wit yeast on 19 July, added the raspberry puree on 23 July, and then kegged on 1 August 2020. It went on tap on 8 August, so just under three weeks from grain to glass.
- My second kettle sour of the month was a Berliner weisse-style beer. I did a small batch of ~3 gallons, using a 50/50 mix of 2-row malt and wheat malt. I kettle soured with Lallemand’s Wildbrew Sour Pitch, for a total of two days. I was a bit surprised that it didn’t become as puckeringly sour as I expected–a quick check of the fermented showed it at around a pH of 3.8. The sample I drew from the fermenter yesterday has an absolutely delightful floral and citrus aroma, and I think this will be a superb beer when I get it on tap. I soured starting on 24 July, and boiled/pitched the main yeast on 26 July 2020. This one got kegged on 13 August, with 3% abv.
- My kolsch-style ale cycled on tap and got kicked over just a few weeks…we were drinking it pretty steadily, because it made such a nice beer at the end of a warm day, and I did some growler swaps with it too. I was really pleased with how the beer stayed super fresh and drinkable through the entire run of the keg, with no real signs of oxidation that I could detect. The aroma and flavor were just as great on Day 1 as they were on the final glass!
- Last weekend, I brewed a German-style pilsner, with the hope that it will age for awhile before going on tap. I’m aiming to have it be in the <4.5% abv range, but we’ll see how it turns out overall!
What’s On Tap?
- Raspberry Provincial 2020
- As described at the linked post, this beer is everything I had hoped for–refreshing, nicely balanced raspberry aroma and flavor, beautiful purplish color, and spritzy carbonation.
- Melange Amber Ale
- This beer is good, but a bit on the heavy/sweet side for summertime. Someone suggested mixing it with another beer (maybe Mow the Damn Lawn?), and that seems like a fine idea.
- Mow the Damn Lawn
- I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for some time, and am pretty pleased with the results. I’ve done a few pilsner-style beers with 2-row now, and I’m continually interested to note that you can definitely taste the difference in malt character versus pilsner malt. 2-row is just a little richer and more “malty,” and can help jazz up the flavors on a beer that’s otherwise intended to be otherwise inoffensive.
What’s Coming Up?
- Tomorrow I’m brewing some sort of lager. Not sure what yet. All I know is it will use W34/70, because that’s what I’ve got for dry yeast.