Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend brew

Busy weekend. Friday night, met R in Hoboken and did a bit of bar hopping. Nothing too exciting on the beer front - Old Scratch Amber, Rowhouse Red, and Reissdorf Kolsch at Mile Square (yes, corny, I know), Radeberger Pils at L&J's, Flying Fish ESB and about the most disgusting pint of Pilsner Urquell I've ever had at the 8th Street Tavern. They also served up about the worst plate of nachos we've ever had. Not even ballpark quality.

Finished up Friday night at the Malibu Diner. Nothing like dumping disco fries and a taylor ham, bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll on top of all that beer. I'm surprised I'm still alive.

Saturday was brew day. I went back to work on tweaking my lager recipe:

10 lbs Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner (would have preferred an American lager malt, but this was all I could get at the LHBS)
1.5 lbs Weyermann Light Munich
2 oz. Briess Carapils

Shot for a 122° protein rest, but missed it and hit 126° (for 30 minutes). No big deal. Mashed at 148° at a 3:1 l:g ratio. Wound up with a two hour mash, due to trouble cleaning the wort chiller. Again, no big deal. Mashed out at 168°, recirculated until clear, sparged, and collected 7 gallons wort. Boiled down to 5.75 gallons at 1.054. Added 5g Gypsum to the boil since the pH read a bit high. Oh, hops:

1 oz Polish Marynka pellets 6.5% AA boiled 90 minutes
5g Sterling whole hops 7.0%AA added with 20 minutes remaining
5g Sterling whole hops 7.0%AA added with 15 minutes remaining
5g Sterling whole hops 7.0%AA added with 5 minutes remaining
5g Sterling whole hops 7.0%AA added at flame-out

Added whirlfloc tab with 15 minutes remaining, and 1/2tsp rehydrated yeast nutrient with 10 minutes remaining. Chilled and collected 5.5 gallons at about 66°. Cooled the wort overnight down to 54°, pitched about 300ml Carlsberg yeast from a starter, oxygenated and continued cooling the wort. Had active fermentation at 49° within 24 hours of collecting wort.

The Carlsberg yeast is Wyeast Danish Lager, I believe. This is my first time using it. It seems to have formed a weird looking mass at the top of the carboy. Always interesting to see how a new yeast performs. Also, I counted cells with a hemocytometer and microscope. I'll post more on that later...

Went to Krogh's in Sparta on Sunday afternoon. Had the two seasonal beers - Lindfor's Lager, a Czech style pilsner, and their Oktoberfest. The lager was malty with a pleasant hop nose, though a touch too bitter for me. The Oktoberfest was a deep amber, rich and malty, though there was a slight sulfury note that was a minor distraction. All was forgiven with some rarebit sauce.

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