Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dubbel the fun

I managed to find some time this morning to brew a Trappist-style Dubbel.  Pictured above is the belgian candi rock sugar that the Trappist beers are well known for using.  As you might expect, I plan to do something a little different with this brew.  In a few weeks after the primary fermentation is complete, I intend to spike this holy brew with some wild yeast (and bacteria) and sour it.  That being said, I may bottle a few beers before pitching the wild bugs, because a nice clean belgian dubbel would be welcomed around the house.

Sour Dubbel

Style: Belgian Dubbel
Type: All GrainCalories: 197
Rating: 4.0Boil Size: 5.88 Gal
IBU's: 24.38Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Color:   35.9 SRM  Boil Time: 90 minutes
Preboil OG: 1.056

Brew Date:-09/16/2012
ABV:5.76 %6.0 %
Efficiency:70 %70 %
Serve Date:11/04/2012/ /

Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary14 days @ 73.0°F09/16/201209/16/2012
Secondary21 days @ 72.0°F09/30/2012-
Bottle/Keg14 days @ 74.0°F10/21/2012-
Grains & Adjuncts
10.00 lbs81.63 %Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel60 mins1.037
0.50 lbs4.08 %Caramunich Malt60 mins1.033
0.25 lbs2.04 %Special B Malt60 mins1.030
1.50 lbs12.24 %Candi Sugar, Dark15 mins1.036
AmountIBU'sNameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs19.63Tradition60 mins6.00
1.00 ozs4.75Hallertauer Hersbrucker10 mins4.00
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgBelgian AleWyeast Labs 1214
Mash Profile

Sacch' Rest60 min @ 154.0°F
 Add 16.12 qt ( 1.50 qt/lb ) water @ 168.7°F

Mashout10 min @ 170.0°F
 Heat to 170.0°F over 2 mins

 Sparge 14.98 qt of 170.0°F water over 60 mins

Dubbel your fun,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Saaz Monster Rehash

I'll admit it, I've never been good about systematically rehashing recipes after I've brewed them here on the blog.  I love how The Mad Fermentationist revisits his brews religiously, so that you the viewer learn about the beer over its entire life cycle.  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.  I'm trying to get better.

A few weeks ago I kegged the Saaz Monster clone (renamed "Doctor Dayton's Magic Mustache Ale")  that I discussed a few months ago here and it was not good.  Neither Mrs. HolzBrew or myself have been able to put a finger on what exactly isn't great about it but we both know its not great.  I can only describe the flavor as "muddled."  A strange description I realize, but I think if you tried it you would agree that it lacks direction.  It has a decent biscuity flavor with some hop earthiness from all the saaz, but in order to throw it closer to a fresh hop flavor I decided to dry hop the keg with 2oz. of cascade hop leafs.  While not the direction I originally expected to go with this brew I think it can only help.  Citrus hop flavor is always welcome in the HolzBrew household.

I'll let you how my curve ball turns out.  Hopefully it will break in my direction, but if not its out of here.

Also, I plan to brew a dubbel this weekend that I eventually hope to sour.  Lastly, I think I'll try my hand at another hard cider this fall, so be on the look out for more ...

Viva el mustachio,  


Monday, September 10, 2012

What is craft beer?

A question you see in every beer magazine and scattered across the interwebs is, "What is craft beer?"  Often times this discussion is framed by the Brewer's Association ("BA") as it struggles with who is allowed to call themselves "Craft Brewers."  In January of last year the BA amended its previous definition of craft brewer, in what I refer to as the "Sam Adams compromise", to include all small independent breweries producing 6 million barrel of beer a year or less.  To a guy who brews maybe 60 gallons of beer a year, 6 million barrels sounds pretty darn large, but I am not a for-profit entity so I digress.  I understand that the BA is an industry group who derives much of its funding from its members, so it doesn't make sense to kick out your biggest due-paying members because of some arbitrary size qualification.  I mean its basic economics, folks.

There are lots of definitions of craft beer, so I won't pretend this is a unique post, but I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I think that we can easily agree on the second word, beer.  Beer has been defined for hundreds of years, as a fermented malt beverage consisting of malted cereal grains, water, hops, and yeast.  Additionally, I'd add that beer also may contain other food products such as fruit or spices for flavoring.  I doubt that definition would rouse much debate.  Therefore, the controversial part of the definition is the word "craft."

To me, "craft" connotes a passion for the product produced.  Sure a brewery has to make money to keep the lights on and pay the bills, and the brewers and owners like money just as much as any red-blooded capitalist.  My American heart appreciates this fact.  That being said, when a decision has to be made regarding how to use the limited resources controlled by that brewery, a craft-oriented passionate brewer will invest in the quality of the product above other expenditures like marketing or distribution.  The thing that frustrates beer geeks like myself the most about macro brewers like Anheuser Busch is that they spend millions of dollars on marketing when they could instead spend that money on making the actual beer taste better.

Support your local breweries,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The fruit of our labor

While not particularly beer related, I thought the picture below succinctly summarized the summer we experienced here in southern Indiana:

The only tomato grown this summer on our budding tomato plant