Sunday, August 18, 2013

Roasted Oats

I toasted some oats today for an upcoming espresso stout.  I've never done this before, but I was checking out Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing (for the 1000th time, I love this book) and I came across an oatmeal cookie brown ale concept.  I typically add oats to my stouts for enhanced mouthfeel, but I've never toasted them before.  I figured that it may add a cookie character to the beer, which sounds great.  I roasted 36 ozs. of old fashioned oats on several cookie sheets for about 50 mins at 345 degrees.  The picture above is a side by side of unroasted and roasted oats.  Additionally, you need to let them air out for a few days prior to adding to the mash in order to let some of the harsher flavors dissipate.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

End of Summer 2013

The primary purpose of this blog is to share homebrew recipes and discuss homebrewing in general.  However, the blog also maintains a secondary, not widely-known, scientific purpose, which is to rigorously determine the end of the summer.  Scholars have maintained that as a matter of science, the summer ends when yours truly quaffs the first Oktoberfest of the season.  It's a small sacrifice that I make for mankind.  Well I hate to make it official but by drinking a Weihenstephaner Okfest this evening with dinner, I the ended the summer.

The summer predictably starts every year on June 21st, and on June 20th during a leap year.  Consequently its relatively easy to measure the number of days in the summer and to study annual fluctuation in the length of summer based upon my historical blogposts.  Last year summer ended on August 8.  So I suppose we should be thankful for the extra couple of summer days this year.  I hypothesize that the raging bull stock market actually extended the summer.  Below is a graphical representation of the length of summer, in days, for the last five years.  You can check the records (i.e. my blog archive) but I've already done the work:

Well its not all bad.  As the summer ends, so begins football season.  Go Hokies!

You've got to respect the Sandman,


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Not to fear, we've got adambier

Over the last month or two I've been trying to nail down a special brew to celebrate the birth of HolzBrew Jr.  I knew it had to be unique.  A few years ago, Mrs. HolzBrew and I traveled to Portland, OR for vacation.  If you haven't been, and you like beer, you should go.  While in Portland we drank a plethora of flavorful and unique beers.  Perhaps the most unique of the bunch were the beers made by Hair of the Dog brewing company.  One of their flagship beers, if you can call it that, is an adambier called simply "Adam."  There is also a wood-aged version called "Adam from the Wood."  This beer left a definite impression on my taste buds, and I thought it fit the bill as the type of beer I'd like to brew for this special occasion.

Adambier is a historic german beer style, which to the best of my knowledge is no longer brewed in Germany.  The exact origin of the style is somewhat unknown, however, it is frequently tied to the city of Dortmund.  Quite unlike modern german beers, Adambier was a very strong, dark, and oftentimes sour brew that was top fermented and aged in barrels for extended periods of time (e.g. one to four years).  The beer is also described as having a smokey aroma and taste.

While doing research for this beer, I came across two recipes, Sean Paxton's and The Mad Fermentationist's, which were both inspired by the Hair of the Dog beer.  I decided to do something similar, which I modified somewhat.  After reflecting upon my final recipe, its funny that this beer is probably based more upon English ingredients than German ones.  However, I think it will definitely be interesting.  The aspect of the beer that I think it the most uncertain to me is the smokey part related to the peated smoked malt that I used.  I've never made a smoked beer so this is definitely a first.  I plan to age this beer in my barrel for awhile.  I'll probably draw some out of the barrel in a few months and bottle it and keep the remaining portion in the barrel for up to a year or so.

I also have been struggling with a way to keep primary fermentation temperatures down this summer.  My basement routinely maintains a temperature of 71 degrees. This means that during primary fermentation my beers have been maintaining a temperature around 78 degrees due to the heat created during the metabolic process.  These beers realistically should be fermented closer to the 68 - 70 degree range.  So in order to keep this beer a bit cooler, I decided to place my fermenter in my HLT.  I then place several frozen gel packs in the gap between the cooler and fermenter and filled it with water.  So far this has worked, my temps were at 68 this morning.

Never Fear, Adambier

ype:Calories: 388
Rating: 0.0Boil Size: 4.84 Gal
IBU's: 61.32Batch Size: 4.00 GalT
Color:   27.5 SRM  Boil Time: 90 minutes
Preboil OG: 1.111

Brew Date:-08/03/2013
ABV:12.44 %8.78 %
Efficiency:75 %57 %
Serve Date:12/21/2013/ /

Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary21 days @ 70.0°F08/03/201308/03/2013
Secondary120 days @ 72.0°F08/24/2013-
Grains & Adjuncts
13.00 lbs67.10 %Pale Malt, Maris Otter90 mins1.038
10.00 ozs3.23 %Peat Smoked Malt90 mins1.034
1.00 lbs5.16 %Munich Malt90 mins1.037
0.75 lbs3.87 %Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L90 mins1.034
0.25 lbs1.29 %Fawcett Pale Chocolate90 mins1.030
4.00 ozs1.29 %Black (Patent) Malt90 mins1.025
3.00 lbs15.48 %Pale Malt (2 Row) US60 mins1.036
0.50 lbs2.58 %Pilsner (2 Row) Ger60 mins1.037
AmountIBU'sNameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs34.62Galena90 mins13.00
1.00 ozs19.92aurora60 mins8.00
1.00 ozs6.79Tettnang20 mins4.50
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgNottinghamDanstar
1.0 pkgSafale S-04Fermentis S-04
1.00 tspCalcium Chloride15 minsMash
Mash Profile

Medium Body Infusion In60 min @ 154.0°F
 Add 24.22 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 166.0°F

 Sparge 7.21 qt of 170.0°F water over 60 mins