3.31.2010

3.30.2010

Surly Bender clone with Maple Sap

Surly Bender clone with locally harvested maple sap...

So, I'm in search of the perfect brown ale, and have already come up with a few great browns. GimmeThatNut Brown was a nice tasty nut brown and the first beer I kegged. My Native Brown ale was my second attempt at a brown ale and that one was even better. I used locally grown cascade hops and took a recipe that was practically a light porter or stout and hopped it like it was an IPA. My friends and I loved this one, and I still have about a gallon or more in my keg at home. Very tasty. So, I decided that since I love the Surly Bender so much, that I'd try and do a clone of that, and use my locally harvested Maple sap as my water source. I ended up collecting about 7 1/2 gallons of Maple sap from the Silver Maple in my backyard.

It took a little longer then I thought. About a week. It was interesting to tap my tree, because I learned a lot about how maple sap flows. See, when the weather would get down below freezing at night and then stay fairly cool during the day, the sap would flow real good, rushing up from the roots, and up into the branch's to supply the new buds with much needed sugar for proper development. But last week that only happened a couple days. I ended up with 7 1/2 gallons and used a bit of tap water to top that off for my mash and sparge water! I noticed in the boil that it had a nice woody smell and hopefully that will be noticeable in the final product and, also, hopefully it tastes good. Unique for sure, but good and tasty is yet to be decided.


Here is the recipe I used. I utilized a couple different resources to formulate it. A couple people have attempted it, and experimented with it and I used their recipe's and also used what I know based on tasting Bender and also what Surly has available on their own website.

American Brown Ale (Surly Bender clone) with Maple sap

OG 1.064
FG 1.016
IBU 43
ABV 6.2 %
SRM 35

Specifics
Boil Volume 6.5 gallons
Batch Size 5 gallons

Fermentables
% Weight Weight (lbs) Grain
62.7 % 8.00 Breiss Two-row Pale
5.9 % 0.75 Breiss Crystal 60L
7.8 % 1.00 Breiss Crystal 80L
2.0 % 0.25 Castle Malt Belgian Aromatic
15.7 % 2.00 Flaked Oats
5.9 % 0.75 Breiss Chocolate
12.75
Hops
Weight (oz) Hop BoilTime IBU
1.00 Willamette 60 21.0
0.50 Columbus 15 14.6
0.25 Columbus 10 4.9
0.25 Columbus 5 2.7
2.00 43.2

Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale (2 packs) at 64 degrees for 3 days then raised to 68 degrees for 2 days. Fermentation looks to have stopped.

Cheers!

Nick


Tasting Notes:  This turned out to be an interesting experiment.  The beer is amazingly complex with coffee, chocolate, woody, malty flavors.  It's got a nice smooth, slick mouthfeel.   My only issue is, the head retention is not present at all.  It looks like a head is going to form, and then it just completely dissipates.    Not sure if it has to do with the water chemistry in the Maple sap that I used as my water, or if I need to add some wheat, carapils, or something like that to aid head retention.  I'll be tweaking the recipe next year to accommodate this issue.   I'm currently letting it age a bit as I have about 9 bombers left.


***Revelations...
I just saw on brewing TV that they finish with the Willamette hops for Bender.  Probably use a bit more of belgian aromatics. Try Columbus for bitter, and then willamette for finishing.   The recipe as is is alot like Summit Winter.  With the adjustments it'll taste more like Bender.

3.24.2010

Surly Furious Clone from Midwest Brew Supply!

I brewed the Surly Furious Clone kit from Midwest Brew Supply last night. Everything went as planned. I hit all of my numbers and this should be a really hoppy beer! Can't wait.

Surly Furious Clone Recipe

07. India Pale Ale All-grain

Boil Volume 6.5 gallons
Batch Size 5 gallons

OG 1.065
FG 1.016
IBU 86
SRM 7
ABV 6.3

Fermentables
% Weight Weight (lbs) Grain
89.8 % 11.00 Golden Promise
8.2 % 1.00 Munich 10L
2.0 % 0.25 Medium Crystal 50-60L

Hops
Weight (oz) Boil
1.00 Warrior  60
0.20 Amarillo  20
0.20 Simcoe   20
0.20 Amarillo 15
0.20 Simcoe   15
0.20 Amarillo  10
0.20 Simcoe   10
0.20 Amarillo  5
0.20 Simcoe   5
0.20 Amarillo  0
0.20 Simcoe   0
1.00 Amarillo  0 DryHop
1.00 Simcoe   0 DryHop
1.00 Ahtanum   0 DryHop
6.00 86.1 IBU

Pitched with White Labs Dry English Ale 007 at 70 degrees.
Fermented at 64 degrees for 3 days then raised to 68 for 5 days

3.22.2010

Using Maple Sap as your water source!

Once again Dane from Pearl Street Brewery in Lacrosse, WI came through with an intriguing suggestion for a fun seasonal beer utilizing a unique water source...Maple Sap. Maple sap is 98-99% water, and to make syrup, you have to collect something like 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of Maple syrup. I'm not going to make syrup because that would be way too much work. What I am going to do is collect 9 gallons of sap to use as my brew water for my next beer. Luckily, I have a Silver Maple in my backyard that is current weeping sap from all of it's orifices. So, I tapped my tree and am currently collecting this sweet nectar. Over the past 16 hours I've already collected 2 gallons so I'm thinking it'll take about 3 days to get the 8-9 gallons of water that I'll need to make a 5 gallon batch of beer! The idea is that the sugar in the sap will get fermented out almost completely increasing the alcohol content slightly. I'm not expecting the beer to taste too much like maple, but it should leave a slight woody flavor to the beer. This woody flavor comes from minerals and proteins in the sap. Commercial syrup producers typically filter these minerals out from their sap to make their syrup more pure before they hit the shelves. I haven't decided on what kind of beer I'm going to make for it yet. I think that it would be great in an America Brown Ale (which is what Dane suggested) and would complement that style of beer and have a nice subtle woody flavor, but, I'm also thinking about making a cream ale so that the woodiness is really apparent. I'm considering making the same exact recipe I did for my Lone Wolf Cream ale so that I have something to compare it to. Can't wait to get my sap collected and ready for brewing. In the mean time, I need to bottle my Lone Wolf Cream Ale for the impending golf season, and also cook up a batch of Surly Furious, a kit I got from Midwest Brew Supply. Lots going on in the brew house this week!



I found out a lot of good information here...
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=69797
and here...
http://www.hyzercreek.com/maple.htm

Peace,

~N

Firken Fest Review

First off…there were way too many beers to try. That was a good thing. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try a lot of beers that I wanted to. Here is my list of what I was able to try and my brief impression.

Rated them up to 5 stars

Stouts
Dark Horse Plead the 5th Russian Imperial Stout – 4 ½
Very Bitter, a little harsh, good balance between sweet and bitter, very complex, overall my favorite Stout of the day.
Flat Earth Big Money Oak Aged Cygnus Porter – 4 ½
This was one of the most well balanced of all of the beers I tasted in the stout/porter category. You could smell and taste the oak just slightly, not overpowering though. A nice coffee aroma.
Fulton Worthy Adversary Imperial Stout – 4
This was a very balance Stout with nice coffee roastiness.
Bell’s Expedition Stout - 4
Very balance Stout. Amazing out of the Cask.
• Fulton War and Peace Russian Imperial Stout with Peace Coffee – 3
I think they used a bit too much coffee. Wow, lot’s of coffee.
• Surly 2010 Darkness Oak Aged, Dry Hopped – 3 ½
This was soooo overly sweet that it was almost a drain pour for me. Not sure why it was so sweet out of the cask because it tasted way different in the bottle. Maybe it was from the oak aging. Not sure. Too much dark fruit flavor in this one for me. Way too much going on in this one and not balanced at all.
• Rush River Chocolate Oatmeal Stout – 3 ½
This was a very interesting brew. It was completely overpowered by the chocolate. I’ve never had a beer this chocolaty in my life that didn’t have a crazy chocolate bitterness too it. It would be amazing with a chocolate dessert though!


DIPA’s
Bell’s HopSlam - 5
This is the best HopSlam I’ve ever had. Out of the bottle it’s very hoppy in the bitterness, aroma, and taste. Out of the keg it’s pretty darn balanced. Out of a Cask this is the most well balanced, easy to drink, fantastic DIPA I’ve ever had and was my vote for best in show. Piny, Resiny hops, and a nice drinkable, not syrupy. Perfect
Southern Tier Unearthly IPA – 4 ½
This was a fantastic DIPA and I actually had to go back and try it again. It was a contender for best in show for me. Very bitter and hoppy and a little more abrasive then the Hopslam. A little syrupy. Fantastic hop aroma, and flavor.
Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA – 4 ½
Wow, what a crazy beer. 13%. For such a strong beer, this one is a decent drinking DIPA. The bitterness was very strong if you’re a lover of that. Great hop aroma and flavor as well!
• Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA – 3 ½
This seemed to have the same hop profile as HopSlam to me but the syrupyness that I usually find in a Barley wine. Didn’t really work for me compared to the others.
• Great Divide IPA – 3 ½
This was a bit of a disappointment, also too syrupy for my taste.

Other beers I sampled
• Brau Brothers Elisha’s Old Ale – 2 - too sweet, drain pour.
• Boulder Beer Flashback India Brown Ale- 3 ½ - Good beer, not a brown though. More like a hoppy red ale.
• Harviestoun Ola Dubh 30 yr – 3 – interesting to try a beer that actually has Scotch in it. But I couldn’t drink more then 3 ounces of this. My Uncle Bob said this, and I agree, one sip I’d like it, the next, I wouldn’t. We had weird mixed feelings about this one.
• Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison Honey Ginger Girl – 3 – This almost tasted like a Belgian Wit with the addition of the spices.
• Surly Cynic – 3 - Also tasted like a Belgian Wit to me. Out of the can this is my favorite local beer though along with the Lift Bridge Farm Girl.

Beers I would’ve liked to sample
• Goose Island Citra Hop
• Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout
• Rogue Amarillo Dry Hopped American Amber Ale
• Rogue Chocolate Stout
• Rogue Shakespeare Stout
• Summit Oatmeal Stout
• Summit Winter dry hopped with Ahtanum
• Lift Bridge Chestnut Hill “A La Nutsack”

This was an amazing event. I tried many fantastic beers out of the cask which was such a treat. It was weird to not have clear winner as best in show in my mind. Of the ones I tasted, Bell’s HopSlam, Bell’s Expedition Stout, Dark Horse PT5th Stout, and Flat Earth Big Money Cygnus Porter were my favorites. Unfortunately Lift Bridge “A La Nutsack” poured out when I was in line. Oh well. Good times! Great beers, and congrats to all of the breweries for taking on the Cask challenge. It was certainly rewarding and many achieved some great renditions of their beers.

3.17.2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Have a shot! Have a beer! Celebrate cause St. Paddy's Day is here!

Have fun drinking beer today!


3.04.2010

Chawla

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