Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Latest homebrewing plans

As a fairly frequent homebrewer - about twice a month here - you eventually succumb to the yeast. Unless you want to spring for a new pitch of yeast every time you brew, you have to get a strain that you want to use for a little while and re-pitch from batch to batch. (And if you're really out of your mind you bank agar slants so that you have your favorite strains at the ready and (with some serious planning) can brew with them whenever you wish.)

I had three beers in mind that I wanted to brew - a German Alt beer, a Berliner Weisse, and a French Biere de Garde. How forunate that all three are perfectly suited to the Wyeast 1007 strain! So last night I smacked a smack pack, innoculated some agar slants, and made a 3 liter yeast starter. This weekend I'll brew the Alt.

Two weekends after that I'll brew up a parti-gyle batch - one big mash, the runnings of which will create a hoppy American style wheat beer and a Berliner Weisse. The slurry from the Alt will be divided to pitch into both wheat beers. The Berliner Weisse will also get a dose of lactobacillus (which will also innoculate an agar slant, thank you very much).

Then a few weekends after that I'll brew up the Biere de Garde, pitched with the slurry from the American Wheat. I know I can squeeze a few more beers out of that slurry, so I think I'll experiment with a Pale Ale of some kind fermented with the German ale yeast after the B de G.

Here's the Alt recipe, just in case anyone is interested. We'll see how it turns out:

5lbs Weyermann Lt. Munich
5lbs Weyermann Dark Munich
.5lb Weyermann Melanoidin
2oz Weyermann Carafa Special I

Mash at 150 degrees until starch is converted. Collect 6.75 gallons, boil down to 5.75 gallons over 75 minutes.

1oz Mt. Rainier hop pellets, 6.2%AA @ 75 minutes
.25oz Mt. Rainier hop pellets, 6.2%AA @ 20 minutes

Whirlfloc tab with 15 minutes remaining. Going for OG 1.052. Pitch yeast from starter described above and ferment at 60 degrees until done.

You like?


Seanywonton said...

Glad to see you're using those Mt. Ranier hops we gave out at Homebrew Alley 3!

I'd love to hear your experience with these hops.

Tom E said...

Hey Sean. I've been using the Mt. Rainier hops for bittering, mostly. Not sure how I feel about them yet as my last few batches have been less than awesome. The alt that I brewed is OK - if anything, a tad too bitter. The flavor addition was small (.25 oz at 20 min) and doesn't really stand out, so I can't say much about the character of the hop.

Additionally, there's not much quality info on them out there. Mostly annecdotal stuff saying that they're bred from Hallertau. Maybe down the road I'll brew an all Mt. Rainier pilsner.