Archive for the ‘Rye’ Category

Rye Saison

Posted: June 30, 2011 in Rye, Saison

Rye Saison (3 gallons)
4.19 lbs Belgian Pilsner
1.50 lbs Rye Malt
1.00 oz Dehusked Carafa III
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings 3.4% (60 mins)
6.20 oz Turbinado Sugar (10 mins)
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (10 mins)
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (10 mins)
Wyeast 3711 French Saison (Lot#1145144 Mfg 06/07/11) (650mL Starter)

Mash @152ºF* @1.91 qts/lb.  Batch sparge with 2.75 gallons.

Add Turbinado Sugar @10 mins.  Add dehusked Carafa III prior to mashing out for color only (ground with rolling pin).

Expected OG = 1.058
OG = 1.056 (76.3%)
FG = ?
ABV = ?
IBU = 10.4
SRM = 6.3

*Mashed in @151.0ºF.  Dropped to 145.0ºF after 60 mins.  Added 1-2qts 190ºF water to reach 149.6ºF.  Let sit for another 30 mins and finished @147.5 mins.  I have no idea why my mash temps were all over the place today.  I added a little ice to bring the initial mash temp down to 151 from 155.  I also mashed @1.9qts/pound.  Maybe one or the other or the combination of both had something to do with it.  I’m not quite sure as I haven’t had any issues maintaining temperatures the past few times regardless of whether it was a thick or thin mash.

My starter was supposed to be 800mL.  Because of boil off that I didn’t account for, it was 650mL.  After reading some of “Yeast” I found out I didn’t get much growth out of that size starter if any.  This is good and bad.  One, this will still get the yeast hungry and ready to eat.  It was furiously bubbling away a couple hours after I pitched, so that’s good.  But, because of the “underpitch”, I’m going to stress the yeast a little.  This should help increase the ester profile greatly, I’m just hoping that it still fully attenuates.

06/27/11 – Started at 78ºF because I didn’t cool enough apparently.  Dropped to 73ºF by morning.  Was holding at 69ºF after work.  The original recipe called for 71ºF.  I don’t want to stress the yeast too much and keep moving it around.  3711 is supposed to work at higher temps.  The air is on now so I might move it upstairs for a couple days.  At least it will be a bit more authentically “farmhouse” from slight temperature swings.  Hoping I still get a good ester profile from this one with it dropping a little below 70.

I also did some research on the mash thing and I think temp was dropped due to the smaller batch size + the smaller amount of grain in my tun.  I don’t usually have this issue with 5 gallon batches.

10PM – Moved to spare room upstairs because temp dropped to 68ºF.  I don’t want to lose out on too many esters and don’t want the yeast to tire out from the temp dropping.  Hopefully any fusel’s that develop will be ok in this style.  If I had my own place I’d have a fermentation chamber, as I don’t think the folks would be too keen on that.

06/29/11 – Came home and beer was at 76ºF.  Hope this doesn’t make it too fusely.  This will be more farmhouse as I said before.  Should have a nice ester profile.  Gonna do a quick gravity check and then move in the basement if it’s done.

06/30/11 – Beer is sitting around 75ºF and is showing what looks like a little more fermentation.  Supposedly this guy churns it out pretty dry (especially at this temp).  Just gonna leave it until I take a gravity reading.

Red Squirrel (Rye of the Storm)

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Amber, IPA, Rye

Red Squirrel (Rye of the Storm) – 4 gallon batch
6.00 lbs Pale 2 Row
2.00 lbs Rye Malt
0.50 lbs Maris Otter
0.50 lbs Wheat Malt
0.40 lbs Caramel 60
0.40 lbs Caramel 80
0.40 lbs Special B
0.05 lbs Chocolate Malt
0.80 oz Chinook Whole Leaf Hops 11.6% (FWH)
0.50 oz Amarillo 10.3% (10 min)
0.50 oz Cascade 5.0% (10 min)
0.50 oz Amarillo 10.3% (5 min)
0.50 oz Cascade 5.0% (5 min)
1.00 oz Amarillo Whole Leaf Hops (0 min)
1.60 oz Amarillo Whole Leaf Hops (Dry Hop 14 Days)
1 tsp Irish Moss (10 mins)
1/2 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient (10 mins)
Safale US-05
1 Handful of snow from a Chicago blizzard

Mash @152ºF at 1.8qts/lb.  Pitch @72ºF.

Expected OG = 1.069
OG = 1.065 (73% efficiency)
FG = 1.012
IBU = 55.8
ABV = 6.9%
SRM = 18.3

02/02/11 – Well after 4 hours or so of shoveling over 20″ of snow during the great Chicago Blizzard of 2011, I finally got around to brewing a blizzard beer.  At first I had decided to brew a hoppy Rye.  I bought ingredients at the beer store so I’d have some leniency when making the recipe later at home.  I was enjoying a Green Flash Hop Head Red (which is an excellent beer might I add if you enjoy hoppy, malty, sessionable beers) while I was making the recipe.  I suddenly got the idea to make a hoppy Red Rye, and so began the madness that is recipe tweaking that took up 2 or 3 hours of my night.

I absolutely love American citrus hops, so I flavored with Cascade and Amarillo.  Next choice was bittering.  I told the guy at the homebrew store (who never seems to answer my questions right, even though well intentioned) I was looking for a high cohumulone bittering hop (The whole reason I’m interested in the cohumulone levels is that, lately, I’ve done a lot of reading stating that hops with high cohumulone levels give a much better tasting bitterness than their lower leveled counterparts.  This not only makes the bitterness more intense and enjoyable, it also helps enhance your aroma hops).  He told me Warrior was a good one.  When I got home I looked up Warrior and found them to be rather low in cohumulone content.  I’m guessing he didn’t know what he was talking about and didn’t want to look dumb, or assumed I was dumb and thought I meant alpha acid instead of cohumulone.  Luckily, I still had some whole leaf Chinook in my basement, that after inputting the numbers for hops aging, found the alphas to still be quite high.  So, I threw that in as a first wort hop to hopefully get some of that resinous pine flavor/aroma in the finished product.  I’ll save the warrior for bittering a big IPA.

Anyways, I ended up with a hybrid of a Rye/IPA/Amber Ale.  I guess that makes it an Amber Rye-PA.  It will have the spicyness of rye, the hop element of an American IPA, and the caramel malt character of an amber ale.  I used 1/3 of my caramel malts as special B in hopes that I can get some roasty dark fruit character to come through.  The 0.5 lb addition of Maris Otter was simply because I had it lying around and figured why not use it.  The color is just a little higher than what a deep red might be, and borders into what might be considered brown, but is still going to be amber colored in my book.

I’ve found that, unless I’m looking for a certain flavor profile in my beer (fruity esters, diacytel, spicy phenols), US-05 is a champion yeast.  Only about $3 for an 11g pouch, which is enough yeast, when properly rehydrated, to tear through anything up to 12% ABV and leave a highly attenuated, crisp, clean tasting beer.  If I was just making a malty red, sans hops, I may have went with Nottingham or a Wyeast/White Labs Irish variant that gave me some diacytel and fruity character and less attenuation.  Seeing as I wanted my hops to take the forefront over the malt, I stuck with US-05.

I ended up with a slightly lower efficiency, but I have a few ideas why.  One, I added rice hulls because the rye made it so my lautering wouldn’t start.  I did not make the mistake I made before by adding them to the beginning of the mash.  When I did that last time, they soaked up some of my sugars and lowered my efficiency into the 60% range.  But, I still believe some of the sugars may have been absorbed.  Two, I did not let my sparges soak like I usually do.  I wasn’t mashing out and I didn’t want too much conversion to happen (as I’m looking for a slight malt character here).  I also already brewed two days prior and didn’t feel like sitting around for an extra half hour.  Three, I have no idea how old the extra pound of two-row was that I threw in.  I found it in my grain drawer and figured why not.  Guess this means I should label stuff better in the future.

P.S.  This beer has a special ingredient.  It was made with a handful of real snow from the Chicago blizzard of 2011.

02/13/11 – Racked onto 1.6 oz of Amarillo leaf hops.  Bitterness takes over the malt character.  Amber brown color.  Very green taste.  I don’t know how to describe otherwise as what I’ve learned a green beer tastes like.

02/27/11 – Kegged @12psi @40ºF.  Tastes perfectly bitter.  Very nice hop presence.  The malt character should come through more in a few weeks as the hops start to subside.

05/02/11 – Finally hooked this guy back up since I have the Helles taking up lagering space.  All I have to say is excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT!  Perfect blend of sweetness and hoppy aroma/bitterness.  Wonderful amount of head.  I love how the darker caramel malts add less sweetness and more flavor.  Special B does not give any roast character either.


Treebeard’s Tea (Handcrafted Rye IPA)
9.00 lbs Maris Otter
2.00 lbs Rye Malt
1.00 lbs Caramel 40L
0.75 lbs Victory Malt
1.00 lbs Rice Hulls
0.50 oz Chinook 13.00% (First Wort Hop)
0.50 oz Chinook 13.00% (60 mins)
0.50 oz Simcoe 12.7% (30 mins)
0.50 oz Centennial (30 mins)
1 tsp Irish Moss (10 min)
1.00 oz Amarillo 8.6% (10 min)
0.50 oz Centennial 7.8% (5 min)
0.50 oz Simcoe 12.7% (5 min)
0.50 oz Centennial 7.8% (Dry Hop 2 weeks)
0.50 oz Simcoe 12.7% (Dry Hop 2 weeks)
1.00 oz Amarillo 8.6% (Dry Hop 2 weeks)
Wyeast American Ale Yeast

Target OG = 1.073
Target FG = 1.017
OG = 1.065
FG = 1.018
IBU = 95.1
ABV =6.0%

Mash @153ºF for 60 mins.

8/1/10 – So this is my first attempt at handcrafting an IPA.  I made a pretty aggressive hop schedule for it.  It can probably be simplified, but I figured why the hell not.  I love Amarillo and Simcoe so I just went with it.  I only made a half batch of this recipe as I’m sure I’ll need to tweak it.  Depending on how “biscuity” it comes out I may subsitute regular 2-row in for the Maris Otter at some point.  The IBU’s are up there too so I may age this one for a little bit before I even think of bottling it.

08/08/10 – One week old and it’s at 1.018.  I’m assuming fermentation is done but probably gonna give it another week because I plan on aging it just a bit anyways.  Gonna transfer this next Sunday.  Dry hop it for 2 weeks.  Bottle/age carb for another 2-3 before I crack one open.  It tastes awesome for 1 week old.  The Simcoe and Amarillo give this quite a grapefruity punch!  The IBU came out a little higher than planned too because I boiled down to about 2.25 gallons instead of 2.5…whoops…but, that’s ok because IBU’s are fine by me.

08/29/10 – I was finally motivated enough to dry hop this bad boy.  It still tastes great.  A lot of the initial floral aroma was gone from the first time I tasted it, but I’m hoping I’ll get that back from the dry hopping.  It was a wonderful Simcoe/Amarillo blend to it.  Nice and grapefruity.

09/12/10 – Bottled.  My mom told me it tasted like grapefruit…absolutely stellar…that made my day.  The rye didn’t come through too much so I might up that next time too.  But, overall, it is the best damn beer I’ve brewed so far.  It came out a little malty for my tastes so I’m going to use a regular 2-row instead of Maris Otter and mash at a little lower temp.  I prefer my IPA’s dry and not malty (unless it’s an Imperial IPA then I like them malty).  Also might look into the yeast fermentation temp and see if I can try and get the FG down a little bit.