Soul Feeder - Mai Bock - Double Decoction

I'm on a quest right now to brew a bock for every season, so I'm starting out with a MaiBock/Helles bock to be drank in the spring.  It'll probably be it's best on May day which is traditionally when Mai Bock's are ready for consumption.  I hope this lasts that long, but I have a feeling I'm going to be wanting to sample this one a lot.

I acquired a 10 cu. ft. chest freezer and have it hooked up to a Johnson Temp controller so that it's right at 48 degrees.   I'll ferment it there for two weeks or until it's almost done with primary fermentation.  After that, I'll either bring it upstairs for a couple days to get rid of diecytel, or I'll put it straight into secondary and lager for 3 months at least at 34 degrees!

Brewing a Bock Style beer typically required some advanced brewing skills, and extra time.   With Tsnownami 2010 in full effect, I've got nothing but time.   I just hope that I have the advanced brewing skills to make this Decoction mash happen.   The key of the decoction mash as I can tell is that you want to boil a portion of your mash on the side.  This will create Melanoidins...and that means an abundance of malty flavor ...that I so desire!

Double decoction mash
Strike water of 6 gallons at 150 degrees brought me to my first step at 133 degrees  - Protein Rest and some Saccrification occured for 25 minutes.
*Pulled 18 quarts of thick mash after 5 minutes and slowly brought to a boil.
**Poured the boiling decoction back into the main mash in order to increase the temperature from 133 up to 154. Hit it right on!
**Pulled a decoction of 12 quarts and boiled for mash out.  Mashed out and collected 24 quarts or 4 gallons
***Batch sparged at 167 and collected 24 quarts

7 lbs Pilsner
6 lbs Vienna
3 lbs Munich light
FWH 1 oz Saaz
FWH 1 oz Celeia
30 minutes 1 oz Saaz.

12o minute boil.
Boiled down to just under 6 gallons.

 40 IBU's
OG: 1.064
FG: 1.012
6.8% ABV

 ***Please feel free to comment on whether you think I did a decent job with this decoction mash as it was my first.  From my readings, I found that having the Protein rest at around 133 degrees is the best way to do it with today's highly modified malts.   I didn't think the Acid 95 degrees?, and Protein rest at 122 was necessary.    I'm not even sure a decoction mash does much at all with today's malts.   Let me know if you have some advice!


The Wintry Mix - Cascade IPA brewed with Hippity Hops Farms Cascade hops

Brewed up another small batch of Single Hops IPA last night.  I ended up cooking it up right after work and got it all done just before Tsnownami 2010 arrived.  Brew day went smooth, I had about a dozen assistant brewers which was a really fun time.   There's a  lot of times where it'd be nice to have a helping hand while brewing, so thanks everyone for all of the help.  Especially for Kaveh for helping with the grind and general brewing knowledge.   JJ for helping with mashing in, and with straining the hops, Haley for stirring the pot, and Katie K. for naming and designing the label for the beer....The Wintry Mix.  This is an experimental beer that we brewed for the Nordeast Home Brew Club Single Hop experiment.   We used Hippity Hops farms Cascade hops through and through in this beer, and I'm stoked to sample this beer side by side with other hop varieties.    We used 2 oz of Hippity Hops Cascade hops at 60 minutes, 20 minutes, and 1 minute and I'll dry hop it with 2 oz. as well.   Brew day and temp #'s match closely to my recent Citra Hop brew day.   The only difference from brewday was that I sparged it right a 167 compared to the Citra brew day where my sparge was a little lower in the lower to mid 160's.   I also ended up with about 5 gallons of Cascade as compared to the 5.5+ gallons of the Citra.  Unfortunaltely I was busy partying while ending up the  brew day and I didn't take any gravity readings.   Pretty stupid, as I'd really like to have those numbers.    What eva.   It's fermenting and we'll taste it in a month or so!

Thanks everyone that helped!

12.21.10 - Dry Hopped with 3 oz. Hippity Hops Cascade Hops

1.26.10 - Tasting notes.   This beer turned out really interesting.  The Dry hop aroma is great and exactly what you'd think it would be from Cascade hops.   Citrusy and a little grapefruity.   The bittering of this isn't quiet where it should be which is a little weird, but being that these hops are from young rizomes (1-2 year old bines) this may increase as they mature!   I would say, instead of 70 IBU's it's probably around 40 IBU's.  It is a little grassy on the finish which also could be expected from young hop bines.  The finish almost has a herbal taste reminiscent of green tea.   It's definitely a really nice beer with the Hippity Hops locally grown Cascade hops.  It think for now I'd suggested mainly using them for Dry Hops, and combining these with a nice High Alpha hop for bittering and you'll be real happy with your resulting beverage.   Can't wait to see how these locally grown hops mature and change over the next few years!




10 ft. Ganja Plant


Single Hop Citra IPA

So i brewed a 5 gallon batch tonight for the Single Hop IPA experiment.   I used Citra hops, and they smelled fantastic.   I also used my brand new Barley Crusher and got a real nice fine crush.  I thought my efficiency might jump a bit, but it turned out to be right on par with my last brew which was 70% efficiency.   I did double crush last time at Midwest brew supply so I'm not surprised.  It'll be nice having a consistent crush though!  One less variable to worry about.   70% isn't too bad, but I feel like it should be a bit higher, maybe 75-80%.   Maybe I'll have to start fly-sparging and graduate from the ol' trusty, quick, dirty, and easy batch sparge.   It's just so quick, easy, dirty, and trusty though.   Plus I have so little time now with my "Little Lion Man". 

Nordeast Brew Club Single Hop Experiment

Single Hop Citra IPA

10 lbs Briess Organic 2-Row Barley
1 lb Flaked Oats
0.5 lb Crystal 60L
0.5 lb Carapils

Mash at 153 for 60 minutes
Sparge at 165 for 30 minutes

60 Minute boil.

1 oz Citra (12.3%) at 60 minutes
1 oz Citra (12.3%) at 20 minutes
1 oz Citra (12.3%) at 1 minutes
1-2 oz Citra (12.3%) dry hop for 10 days
68 IBU's

Collected 5.7 gallons of wort at 1.052 OG

Cooled to 70 degrees and pitched a smack pack of Wyeast 1056 and put upstairs at 68 degrees to ferment!\

12.21.10 - Dry Hopped with 2 oz. Citra hops

1.26.11 - Tasting notes.   The aroma of these citra hops are really great.  It's a mix of piney and citrus lemon almost like Pine-Sol.   It also has a definite mango smell too it.  Maybe pineapple.  Really awesome hop.  They did a great job of bittering as well but definitely a little bit on the harsher side of hop bitterness.   The bitterness would be a little more mellow if you First Wort Hopped instead of adding at 60 minutes.   I think this would be a good substitute to Simcoe, although Simcoe is a little more catty, and has a little bit different fruit profile.   The beer is extremely tasty and refreshing, and the Oats gave it a really nice smooth mouthfeel that makes the resiny hops really coat the mouth.   This is a great recipe that let's the hops shine for any Single Hop experiement.  Let me know if you brew it with any hops and how it turns out.

 Single Hop Citra IPA         The Essence IPA


The great Nordeast single-hop experiment!

The great, or good, or okay, or yet to be determined Nordeast single-hop experiment is under way.   This is something that I've been wanting to do for some time now but never had the chops to do it myself.   Luckily, we Nordeasterners have started a Homebrew club and our first big thing as a club is the start of "The Great Nordeast Single-Hop experiment!"

As brewers it makes sense to understand the qualities of an individual ingredient.  This is extremely difficult to do because of how many ingredients and variables are involved in brewing a batch o beer.   You're typically blending 3-10 kinds of barley and 2-5 kinds of hops.   Not to mention the water source you get your water from.   How you treat your water; carbon filter, RO, Spring water, adding salts or other things to adjust flavor or mash ph, all contribute different flavors to your finished beer.  Also you have the mash temperatures, the sparge temperature, the technique you use to mash and sparge.   Then you have the pitching temperature, your yeast pitching rate, and fermentation temperatures.   You also have to consider how long and at what temperature you dry hop your beer.  Okay, I gaurantee I missed a few of the variables, like probably half of them, but wow, when you really look at it, it's pretty tough to replicate a single beer.   I think another good rant on the variables in brewing is by Peter at Simply Beer,  which I read the other day....he's talking about homebrewers sharing recipe's and the difficulty of replicating a recipe. 

Anywho...with all of the variables, it's a bit hard at the end of a month to look back at your recipe take your first sip of a carefully crafted ale, and try to distinguish exactly where all of the different flavor components come from in said beer.  Especially for me, because I've realized that I don't have the most discerning palate.  I guess you could say, not only is my palate undereducated, but it's more interested in having a good time, rather then realizing why it's having a good time.

This is why we as homebrewers like to experiment.   Sometimes we change many variables, but the best way to do any experiment is to change only one variable.   We in Nordeast have decided to do a simple IPA recipe on the high level of IBU range and on the low level of the Alcohol range.   The only variable we will be changing hopefully will be the Hops.  Each brewer will choose a single variety of hops and use that exclusively through and through!   We'll do a tasting side by side, possibly after tasting them blend a few to figure out which hops work best together...etc!

For the experiment, we all use the same water coming straight out of the great Mississippi!  I'll be filtering it through a brita filter.   I highly encourage all brewers in Nordeast to do this before each brew!   I'll be mashing at 153 degrees for 60 minutes, and sparging as close to 170 as possible for 30 minutes, and fermenting at 65-67 degrees.   I'll pitch a healthy starter of Wyeast 1056 and after dry hopping I'll bottle/'keg it up and bring my Citra Single HopAle  to our January meeting! 

Here is our current recipe.

This is for a  5 gallon batch with 70% efficiency
Mash at 153, Sparge at 170

10 lbs American 2-row - (for Extract use 7.5 Lbs of LME or 6.7 Lbs of DME)
1 lb Flaked Oats
0.5 lb Crystal 60L
0.5 lb Carapils

***For Extract version_Steep the specialty grains at 150-155 degrees for 30 mins, then bring to a boil and add your Malt extract and start the hops experiment!

Original Gravity

Hop additions at 60 minutes, 20 minutes, and 1 minute, and dry hopped with 1 -2 oz for 10 days
IBU's - 70 (or near there)

Nathan -               Sorachi Ace
Nick Pederson -   Citra 
Nick Pederson -   Cascade (locally grown by Hippity Hops)
Andrew Nesbitt -  Fuggles
Kevin -                  Simcoe 
Tim Stuemke -      Northern Brewer
Matt -                    Amarillo

***I'm thinking that this will be an ongoing project of our club with people monthly bringing in different varieties of the single hop IPA's!

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