Saturday, February 11, 2012

Brew Day 2/10/12

Well it's that time of year when snow falls, the temps really drop down, and winter settles in. What does that mean? For most brewers it means a hiatus. When it's cold outside it can be hard to control temperatures of your mash or keep the boil going strong if you have a low end burner. Luckily none of those factors played in my brew day yesterday. Temps were about 50, nice and sunny, and a neighbor brought over an outdoor fireplace to keep the area nice and warm.

The brew for 2/12 is what I will most likely name Piranha Porter. I'm calling it that because I am doing something different with this beer that not a lot of breweries do - making it quite hoppy. Traditionally Porters are not a very strong beer nor are they hoppy at all. You want the roast and chocolate notes to come through and not have much if any hop flavor or aroma. I'm doing the exact opposite with this beer. I'm stepping up the alcohol to about 6%, and adding 3oz of hops over 60 minutes. The hops involved will be Centennial which is a higher alpha acid bittering hop and Hallertau hops for flavor and aroma. I want this to ferment clean so I used US-05 yeast.

Had a neighbor bring a fireplace to keep us warm.

The mother of all brew kettles, the Boilermaker. This thing is lightweight and so easy to clean.

3 hop additions - Centennial, Hallertau, and Hallertau again.

This is the Hopblocker. Has an opening for the 90 degree dip tube attached to the valve.

This day started late in the day about 2pm mainly because of family obligations and the other minor detail that I was out buying a new brew kettle! I bought a Blichmann 10 gallon Boilermaker pot which includes a nice sight glass for volume and a temperature gauge which has adjustable height. Blichmann came up with a new invention for the inside of this pot (purchased separately) which is a new type of hop screen called a Hopblocker. It's basically a canister with holes but the dip tube fits down inside of this. I have to say, with this installed and running my wort drained into the fermenter in under 60 seconds. That's 5 gallons out, hop free in 60 seconds. It went so fast I pitched my yeast before realizing I hadn't aerated yet. The new kettle was a breeze to clean and it worked great. It's a lot lighter than the keggle I used to use so now i can unload the keggle. Any takers?

I decided to do something bold with this beer and to try something different. Will it turn out? Who knows. I am sure it will have a place somewhere. It could be the best beer I've brewed yet. In about 10 days I will rack it off and give it a quick taste. It's currently bubbling away right now at 62 degrees in the basement. I hit my Original gravity dead on at 1.060. Even with starting late I finished in 4.5 hours. I took a couple of pics of the new kettle and will try to post those later on.


1 comment:

Ramsey Flynn said...

This will be a wood-smoked porter! Cool blog, Chris. Smart writing....