Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spiced Caramel Apple

Last year sometime during fall my girlfriend had an apple holiday spiced beer that has been in her mind ever since. A few weeks ago we we're enjoying a pint at the craft beer bar near where we live when we noticed an Oktoberfest beer on tap. "Wow, they release them earlier and earlier every year", we chuckled. Then she said that I should brew the apple beer we had last year. I replied, "Pumpkin Ales are my favorite holiday fruit beers, but maybe it's time for you to brew your first beer." She looked disappointed for about two seconds then said "Okay!"
She's not seasoned enough to develop her own recipe .... yet, but recipe development is by far my favorite process in brewing. Sometimes you get stuck in a rut when home brewing, especially for me during the summer when I crave American hops. This was just what I needed to get creative and experiment with something outside of my comfort zone. I want the apples to be the prominent flavor with complimenting cinnamon and nutmeg spices and underlying malty-caramel flavor that you have to look for to find. In addition, I thought that wheat would contribute to both a nice body and mouth feel as well as a haze that would make the appearance of the beer resemble caramel candy.
Apples(cored, peeled and cubed)
64% Maris Otter
16% Munich Malt
12% Wheat Malt
 8%  Crystal 60
60 min. Hallertauer
 5 min. Apples(cored, peeled and cubed)
 5 min. Cinnamon and Nutmeg
American Ale Yeast

Monday, June 3, 2013

Imperial IPA

I don't brew many high gravity beer but once in a while I get the urge to. Depending on the time of year or just what I'm craving I'll go light or dark. With the temperatures already hitting the 90's, I find myself in the mood for a nice and strong Imperial IPA, "one and done" if you will. My favorite part of IPA's are developing a hop schedule. Citrus, pine, resin, floral, spicy... biscuit, bready, chocolate... the combinations are endless. I always walk away learning more about brewing and what my personal taste is also.

This time I'm in the mood for light, dry, and strong with a combination of light citrus and some piney/floral flavors. So here's the recipe.

Imperial IPA:

Pale 2 Row 85%
Munich       12%
Crystal-40    3%

Boil: 75 min.
Topaz        FWH
Topaz        60 min.
Centennial 30 min.
Simcoe      10 min.
Cascade     10 min.
Centennial  0 min.
Simcoe       0 min.
Cascade      0 min.
1 lbs. Dextrose


WLP-007 Dry English Ale

                                                       1 lb. Dextrose(Corn Sugar)->

Carboys get very dirty and are a great breading ground for mold and bacteria. To clean a carboy, rinse with water. Then fill with cleaning solution, I use Cleanitizer, for about and hour but no longer than a day. Empty cleaning solution, and rinse again. For best results clean while mashing, rinse, sanitize, and fill with wort. After you rack beer from the carboy immediately rinse and if your not going to use it for a while, go ahead and clean it. Remember: rinse, clean, sanitize, use, rinse.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Brew Riot 2013

    Sadly, another Brew Riot has ended and as always, it was an awesome day. Mossberg Brewing handed out 25 gallons of homebrew samples this year that was received by the thirsty masses. We won first place with our "Cherry Weisse" in the specialty category and another first place in the sour category for our "Pink n Petit." Thanks to all who came out to help set up, serve samples and provide support allowing everyone to enjoy the festival. We already have many ideas for next year so keep an eye out for Mossberg in 2014!

Job well done to all the other home brewers out there and we hope to see you all next year.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cherry Weisse

Berliner Weisse is a beer that I have had a handful of times produced by several different breweries. It has always been hit or miss. Some have a watered down flavor, some have tasted like a straight-up American Wheat, and some haves tasted like a small Saison. The few that I have liked are well balanced and encapsulate tart, dry, and effervescent with a nice wheat backbone.

The  Berliner Weisse works very well with citrus fruit such as apricot, peaches, mangoes... so I would like to incorporate Citra or maybe Galaxy hop aromatics into the profile of the beer. There should be very little bitterness to the beer which is naturally very light in gravity already making the balancing a delicate procedure. Since the gravity is so low the wort will only need to be boiled for a very short time in comparison to the average 60-90 minute boil. With the boil time being reduced, a high-alpha aromatic variety hop should fit the bill very nicely.
Fermentation is the ticket to a delicious Berliner Weisse. The tartness is a by product of a short Lactobacillius bacteria fermentation as opposed to the normal Saccromyces yeast fermentation. After the bacteria has done its part, a clean flavored yeast is then pitched to finish the job. Since Brettanomyces Claussenii is a rather clean Brett. strain, it will be pitched after the lacto fermentation has settled.
              Cherry Weisse:
  Batch: 5 gallons
Grain Bill:
60% Pilsner
40% Wheat Malt
3 cans of Oregon Red Tart Cherries in secondary for 4 weeks

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Brew Day

Fall is almost here which means its time for our annual Pumpkin Ale brew. This year the Mossberg brew club got together to start the holiday season off right. A cold front came through to cool things off which really made for an amazing day, as if the leaves were already turning. We've been excited about this brew for a couple of weeks now and have just been waiting to get our hands on some pie pumpkins. Whole Foods was the first place we could find them, and picked some up the day after they arrived. Talk about choice pumpkins, these were organic "Sugar Pie Pumpkins" with out a blemish on them costing $1.99 a pop.

Pumpkin Ale Recipe

Robust Porter
5 Gallon Batch

43.33%    Munich Malt     7.82 lbs
33.33%    Pale Malt           6.02lbs
10%         Brown Malt       1.81lbs
10%         Crystal 40          1.81lbs
3.33%      Chocolate            .60lbs

Mashed 154-153 for 60 min.
Drained Wort
Mashedout 168 for 15 min.
Drained Wort

.5 Warrior at 18.2AA  (60 min.)
.75 Fuggles at 4.5AA  (30 min.)
.25 Fuggles at 4.5AA  (15 min.)
Pumpkin Pie Spice blend (10 min.)
1lbs Light Brown Sugar (Flameout)

WLP-002 English Ale Yeast (Slurry)

This is our second time using pie pumpkins so we knew what to do. When using fresh pumpkin, or anything similar, it must be baked first to soften up allowing for sugar and flavor extraction while mashing them in the grain. Our recipe calls for 8 lbs of pumpkin after cleaning and baking. To assure we had enough we purchased 8 Sugar Pie Pumpkins which whole weigh 3-4 lbs. and after gutting, cutting, baking and peeling  only weigh 1-2 lbs. We cut the pumpkins up into 1 inch cubes and loaded them on a baking sheet with the skins down. Putting them skin down made it very easy to peel off the skin after they were cooked. Pumpkins were cooked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

We toasted the pumpkin seeds we gathered and added a little salt and cinnamon to have something to munch on through out the day.We just threw them in with the pumpkins for about 15 minutes.

This beer is inspired by brews such as St. Arnold's "Pumpkinator" and Southern Tier Brewing's "Pumking". We want it to be high gravity and malt-forward, balanced with hops and pumpkin pie spice.

This is our favorite brewday of the year and it lived up to our expectations, again!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Citra/Centennial IPA

The end of summer is nearing but before it does I would like to get one last IPA brew in. I can't believe I only brewed one beer of this style all summer and on top of that we gave it all away at a beer festival. So before the season changes and the wort starts getting darker, I'm going to squeeze in one last summer beer.

I have a vial of WLP-002 English Ale that I haven't gotten around to using so before it goes bad I'm going to use it for this IPA. The last IPA I brewed turned out with great success utilizing this yeast, very clean tasting, clear looking, with just enough body to not need Cara-Pils (Dextrin Malt). An added benefit of this is that this will be a great yeast strain to use come fall and winter. This one vial of yeast should be good for this IPA, a Pumpkin Brown Ale, and possibly a Stout of some sort.

WLP-002 English Ale yeast is super flocculant and leaves a very clear finished product, but it doesn't attenuate as well as other yeast strains associated with American IPA styles. Since this is the case, I like to wait almost a week after fermentation before racking to secondary to allow the yeast more time to clean up any off flavors of Diacetyl (Diacetyl Rest).

____2 Gallon  Recipe:______

        4.5 lbs Pale 2-Row
        7 oz. Crystal-40

        Mash 149 for 75 min.
        Mashout 168 for 10 min.
        Drain Wort
        8 Sparge 5 min.
        Drain Wort
        Collect 3.5 Gallons

    .5 oz. Magnum      (60 min.)
    .5 oz. Centennial   (30min.)
     1 Tbl Irish Moss (15 min.)
     1 oz  Citra            (5 min.)
     .5 oz. Centennial   (5min.)
     1 oz. Citra            (0 min.)
     1 oz. Centennial   (0 min.)
      7 oz. Corn Sugar  (0min.)
    1 oz. Citra            (Dry-Hop)

   WLP-002 English Ale (Starter)

*Side Note- New refractometer arrived on brew day! Great equipment buy and essential for small batch brewing because hydrometers don't fit in any of the vessels with enough depth to get a reading.
This is my second "small batch" brewed on my smaller set-up.  New Digs

Dry hopped in two 1 gallon jugs with .5 oz Citra each. Pellet hops are the best for dry hopping in my opinion because of the way they dissolve in the beer and float around instead of whole cones which just float at the top with some hops not even in the beer.
Ended up with 1.6 gallons after dry hopping which yielded 15 12oz bottles. This was hopped like a Double IPA and the use of so much hops both boil and post-boil absorb a lot of liquid. Best results from dry hopping yet, but it maybe the flame-out "hop bomb!" in addition.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Digs

I've always wanted to brew at my apartment but always thought it would be too small and too messy. Well I was dead wrong. I was imagining garden hoses, wort spilling, grain flying... etc. Then I saw a one gallon starter kit on Austin Homebrew's site that made me rethink apartment brewing. Small batch brewing seems perfect for my situation of not kegging and brewing for one person while focusing on brewing competition entries. Keeping the batch size small will save me money on cleaner, sanitizer, ingredients, and bottles. Not to mention I will be able to test new recipes more readily without investing a fairly large chunk of change in all that comes with five gallon brewing. A five gallon Imperial IPA can cost upwards of $80 where a small two gallon batch will only cost about  $25-$30.