Kegged the Irish Red Ale

After months and months of sitting in the secondary fermentor, I finally transferred the red rye ale to a keg for consumption. This beer was ready to go at least two months ago. And with a FG of 1.020, the extra months in the second really did nothing to drop the FG into the target range of 1.010 to 1.014.

I could only resist about 24 hours, before giving this beer a small taste. And I have to say; this has to be my best beer to date. It actually tasted pretty close to something I might have at a local brewpub, which is pretty amazing to me. Overall, I’m really digging on the hint of rye flavor that you taste in this beer. So the recipe for this beer is definitely a keeper in my book.

Red Rye Ale Recipe.

Chili Cook-off recipe – v4

At work the Friday before the Super Bowl, we ended up having a chili cook-off contest for our department. The entry fee was $5.00 and first prize was $70.00 plus a bunch of other misc stuff (small trophy, pizza party for your team, etc.) There ended up being over 30 entries for the contest, and the types of chili entered by competitors were all over the board (white chili, vegetarian chili, wild game chili, extra tomato chili, etc.) After a few weeks of back and forth conversations with JRR to hash out a recipe, here was the chili that I entered into the contest. This recipe didn’t make the top three (and they only listed the top three finishers.) But as the VP that sits next to me kidded, that maybe I got 4th place. So enjoy this recipe for 4th Place Chili: Continue reading

Irish Ale – Racked to secondary fermentor

After 7 days in the primary fermentor. Last weekend on Sunday afternoon, I racked off the Irish ale to a secondary fermentor.

The final gravity after 7 days was 1.024, when the target gravity was suppose to be ~1.014. But after racking the beer to the secondary, enough yeast was kicked up to get the fermentation going again. I have a good feeling that in about another 10 days in the secondary that it should finish fermenting down to the target FG. I guess only time will tell.

Brew session this past weekend – Irish Red Ale

Since I ended up getting Monday off for MLK, I thought that is is high time that I brew up a batch of beer, since I’m running low of both BL and homebrew. Sure I still have the keg of Christmas beer that hasn’t been tapped (even though all the bottles were drank in early December.)

I really don’t remember how this recipe developed other then JRR mentioned that he also planned on brewing a irish red ale. So I basically took the base recipe that he gave me, made a couple of tweaks and I was off and running. We’ll see how this batch turns out in a couple of weeks. Continue reading

Pumpkin Ale – Keged and Bottled this weekend

Boy did I leave this beer in the secondary a long time, just shy of a month. But this time around I’m doing something a little different, in that I’m priming the entire 5 gallon batch of homebrew before bottling & kegging. I’ve had this discussion with JRR offline, but the gist of the conversation was about the pro & cons of kegging homebrew. With the major downside of kegging being the inconsistency in carbonation, when the homebrew is force carbonated.

So I’m using this Pumpkin Ale to test out if priming in a keg will produce a better carbonated product compared to force carbonation. Conceptually when you think about it, its like you are basically carbonating one giant bottle of beer, when dealing with a keg. Plus with priming the whole batch, it allows me to bottle part of the batch and keg the rest. I ended up only bottling 13 bottles of the Pumpkin Ale. Since I had 13 open slots in the cardboard case that currently has 11 bottles of the Dry Stout I made a while back. I guess we’ll see in a couple of weeks, the results of this little experiment. Wish me luck.

Side Notes:
FG – 1.014
Priming ratio – 3/4 cup Corn Sugar (Dextrose) & 2 cups of water, with both brought to a boil
Brewed on 10/17/09
Racked to Secondary on 10/27/09
Bottled & Kegged on 11/21/09

Pumpkin Beer racked to secondary

Last week I ended up racking the Pumpkin beer to a glass secondary, and I took a quick FG reading and it was at 1.014. Which isn’t too shabby. At first I thought about saving the yeast from this batch, but as I kept racking the yeast between jugs. I just couldn’t remove all the spice aroma that the yeast was giving off, so I ended up having to dump it down the sink.

It’s a good thing that I saved some of the Wyeast 1056 yeast right out of the smack pack, so that it could be deposited in my personal “yeast bank” in the back of my kitchen refrigerator.

I’ll give the beer another week or two in the secondary, or basically until I can free up some space in the kegerator, which currently has a 1/2 barrel of BL (which was free) and three corny kegs of homebrew (JRR’s stuff, IPA & dry stout.)

So with that hi ho, hi ho, its off to drink I go!

Pumpkin Ale – Recipe and Notes – Mid-October 2009

There is no point in rehashing the post from 10 days ago about the Pumpkin Ale. So then lets dive in head first into the nitty gritty from this brew session.

Last Saturday morning I headed out to the farmer’s market to pick up a butternut squash, after a quick walk around to gauge what was available for purchase. I found a vendor that had a 5.5 lb butternut for $2.00. Consider it sold! Now with the butternut in my possession, it time for all the prep work.

I already had a yellow neck squash from the end of season harvest in the garden. I had no idea what to do with, so I though that I might as well use it along with the butternut. After prepping both squash (peel, de-seed & dice), I tossed all the squash with 1/4 cup of light C & H brown sugar (4oz by weight), before putting it under the broiler. It turned out to be just enough sugar to coat everything evenly, but not so much that I had leftover sugar in the bottom of the mixing bowl.

I roasted the butternut/yellow squash under a low, then high broiler for about 90 minutes. After about 45 mins of no broiling action under low, I cranked it up to high so that it would actually roast. Now with that bit out of the way, here is the complete recipe:

Jack-off Ale Recipe (Powers Brewery format at the bottom)
6 lbs – Pale Malt (6 row) USA
2 lbs – Munich Malt – 10L
.25 lb – Chocolate Malt (UK)
1 lb – Caramel/Crystal Malt 20L
1 lb – Flaked Barley
.25 lb – Light C&H Brown Sugar

Wyeast American Ale – 1056

~5 lbs of cleaned Butternut squash – 75 mins

Fuggles – 1oz pellets- 4% AA – 60 mins
East Kent Golding – 1oz pellets- 5% AA – 15 mins
Fuggles – 1oz pellets- 4% AA – 3 mins

Spices added during final 30 mins of boil:
2 tsp – Nutmeg
2 tsp – Cinnamon
1 tsp – Allspice

Other info: Mashed for about 90 minutes at 150-154F with 3 gallons of water; batch sparged with 1.5 gallons of boiling water & 3.5 gallons of 170F water; First running was 2.75 gal and the second/final running was 3.75 gal; 90 minute boil; 10 days in the primary, OG 1.048 @ 80F.

I actually spent some time this go around, looking at how the Powers web page was set-up. And after making a couple of adjustments for the dead space in my mash/lauter tun, I basically hit the recipe right on the nose, both in OG and final volume, which is a first for me. Now for the hardest part…..waiting to drink the final product.

RO^Jack’off Ale^October 17, 2009^94^75^5^60^9^4^73^100^8.8^0.3^0.1^0.4^0.4^0.25^72^72^6^64^64^2^41^41^0.25^31^31^
^0^0^0^1^0^0^0^0^1^0^63^153^1.2^^^^~5 lbs of cleaned/diced/roasted Butternut squash, coated in
4 oz of Light C&H brown sugar; All spices added during final 30 mins of boil, Nutmeg 2 tsp, Cinnamon 2 tsp,
Allspice 1 tsp.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^5^5^5^0^0^0^0.1^

Brewing Pumpkin Ale this Weekend – Mid-October 2009

Since I really don’t have anything lined up this weekend, other then swapping the battery in my truck. Why not brew up another batch of beer, since I’m starting to run low on the dry stout and IPA down in the kegerator. This time I thought that I would brew up something totally different, but very fitting for the Fall Season, that being a Pumpkin Ale. I’ve had a couple different pumpkin ales over the years, with the most notable being the Pumpkin at Lakefront in Milwaukee.

Yesterday I stopped by the LHBS to get all the raw materials, now I just need to stop by the farmers market on Saturday morning to get a large butternut squash. I talked with the guys at the shop, and one of the guy said that if I was going to roast the squash in the oven that I should toss it in a little bit of brown sugar to help the butternut caramelize when broiled. Plus the brown sugar will add a little bit to the gravity, but I only plan on use a couple of tablespoons. So the gravity difference will be negligible.

Wish me luck, and I’ll post the recipe after the brew session.

Potato Chip Review – Sabritas – Habanero Limón

Now these were some really good chips. There is a nice balance between the heat of the habanero and the sour of the lime (citric acid). For some reason when you combine the two you almost get a mild cumin flavor.

From looking at the bag, with all the “fire” graphics. I was excepting some really hot chips. So I had put off eating them for the longest time, since I was concerned about the “side effects” after consumption. But it turned out that they brought just enough heat to keep things interesting. Giving you a chance to actually taste the habanero & paprika on the chips. But not so much heat, that you would get a sunburn inside your mouth.

When you team these chips up with a cold beer, oh’ boy. Its like a bar owners wet dream. The heat of the chips makes you thirsty, so you have some beer to tame the heat and the cycle keeps repeating of heat & beer enjoyment.

I actually had to take a break while eating them, because I was going through the tiny bag to quickly. I’d like to at least enjoy a little bit of the flavor, before I inhale the rest. But thumbs up for these bad boys, and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled to get another bag.

Hop buds are emerging

I took a quick stroll by the hop rhizomes today after bringing in all the seedling flats from having some time in the sun. And we have got some hop bud activity, a lot on the Centennial and only one bud on the Goldings.

Yeah it’s still very early in the season. But since this is the second year for the rhizomes. I might actually have some hop flower activity this year. So that means fresh hops in my homebrew. Ummmmm………Beeeeer