What’s Brewing? January 2021 Edition

The past month has seen some pretty steady brewing, as I push forward with recipes both new and familiar. So, here is a quick update in the waning days of January…

Beer Batch Updates

  • I brewed a Belgian IPA, intended as a clone(ish) of Houblon Chouffe, on 12 December 2020. This was a fun and challenging beer, both for its high gravity as well as managing a Belgian fermentation. It’s now kegged and conditioning; initial impressions are that it’s a really good beer, and hit my mark pretty much dead on.
  • On 28 December, I brewed a German pils with 100% Viking pilsner malt, a mix of Perle, Sterling, and Mt. Hood hops, and Imperial’s Global lager yeast. It is now cold crashing, and should be kegged this week sometime.
  • On New Year’s Day, I brewed a second version of Alstadt Alt, which was pretty tasty the first time around. The malt bill is pretty much the same, although I’ve switched up the hops and yeast slightly for what I’ve got on-hand. I should be kegging that this week, also.
  • I brewed a traditional London-style porter on 8 January 2021, modified from a Gordon Strong recipe. I kegged it on 24 January 2021, adding 3 oz. of corn sugar for priming. Interestingly, the gravity was stalled out at 1.025. I’m not sure if this is due to a high percentage of unfermentable sugars (brown malt?), or the yeast stalling.
  • Following the really tasty English IPA I made two years ago, I rebrewed the recipe on 16 January 2021. It’s pretty much identical to the last version, because it didn’t seem wise to mess with success.

What’s On Tap?

  • I’m nearly at the end of my session stout keg; it still drinks beautifully!
  • The new batch of Tremonia Lager went on tap recently, and it continues to condition a bit in the keg. It’s just now hitting the peak. I’ll sit down for a tasting with this one and write up a full report in the next week or two.
  • Aspiration Ale, patterned after a clone recipe for 90 Shilling Ale by Odell Brewing Company, is on tap and tastes so good. It has a little ways to go to clear up, but it’s pretty squarely filling the “malty but not overly alcoholic amber-ish ale” category.
  • Although my keezer only has three faucets, I’ve been running Mahajanga IPA off of a picnic tap. There’s only a little bit left, but it still is a super nice beer! Because it’s pretty high alcohol (8.5% abv), I enjoy this as an occasional one-off, so it doesn’t make sense to put it on the main serving line.

What’s Coming Up?

  • I’ve got a lot of beer in the pipeline already, so the next few weeks will focus on lagers. I’m going to repitch the yeast from the pilsner, to make a schwarzbier as well as a Munich dunkel.
  • On the lighter side, it has been a long time since I last did my orange wheat ale. I’m getting ingredients together now, and will brew this in the next few weeks.

Other Notes

  • I feel like my process with the Anvil Foundry is pretty dialed in now, and I’m consistently hitting 67 to 68% mash efficiency. I wouldn’t complain if it was a bit higher, so I might tighten the mill up just a touch. Right now I have a mill gap of 0.037″ (it was set at 0.041″ for the old mash tun), and might take it down to 0.034″ or so.
  • The cooling fan in the base of my Anvil has started acting up, with an extra bit of noise. After a bit of troubleshooting, it seems that the fan is going bad, so Anvil tech support is sending a replacement fan. I’ll note that the 18 volt, 60 mm fan type is a pretty hard one to track down otherwise!
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