Schloß Wolfenstein Alte Hundchen Dunkel

I’ve found I tend to get excited about oddly specific (and admittedly sometimes just odd) things; not quite phases, more like a recurring orbit. Hard bop. Rorquals. American wheat beer. Tradition hops.

courtesy hachenburger.de/hopfengarten

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brew day: Saison sans Merci

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Time is utterly without mercy, fleeting by in blur until there’s just a midden heap of brew days, barbecues, and fishing trips that could have been. This is about closing down summer and the thirties, about getting back on the blog horse, grabbing what’s left of the daylight in the midst of transitions. A silent brew session in anticipatorily fall-like weather. Porter that isn’t quite ready to be porter, a saison turning dark for autumn.

Well, at least I’ll have some damn beer on tap.

Saison sans Merci
Target OG: 1.055

Grist:

Mash:

  • 152°F for 75′
  • 170°F for 10′

Boil:

  • German Brewer’s Gold (pellet, 6.2% aa) at 60′ to 30 IBU

Fermentation:

  • Chill to 85°F, O2 and pitch with Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison – for that classic flavor
  • After ~48 hours, pitch Wyeast 3711 French Saison – for quicker attenuation, because time is without mercy

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reader question: nitrogen dispense for homebrew

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A while back, reader Joe J. asked

Can you school us on how you nitrogenate your beer? I am upgrading soon, and would love to have some insight.

… to which I reluctantly agreed, because there are few things I dislike more than Imperial pints of dry stout poured on mixed gas. So with my usual battery of caveats (“this is just how I do it and it works for me, but it’s not the only way, YMMV” etc.) let’s dig in.

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reader question: British ale fermentation techniques

Reader and Berliner Weisse brewer Scott hit me with this recently, and it was too chewy to not repost here:

So I recently came across this thread on Homebrew Talk ( http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/british-yeasts-fermentation-temps-profiles-cybi-other-thoughts-221817/).

Anyway, my initial question has less to do with the subject of the thread (ferm temps) but more to do with something one of the responders noted.   His premise was that for lack of a better term “head pressure” during fermentation didn’t allow full expression by some of these British yeasts.  He advocated an “open” or “semi-open” fermentation.  I was wondering what your thoughts on this subject matter?  Would a closed environment have an off affect than an open free release of gases environment?

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reader question: finings

A bit ago, Clint wrote in with this question:

Would you consider a short post/tutorial on finings? Essentially just the what/when/how to use, or at least your recommendation.

I am in the process of setting up a keg system and should be kegging a double IPA within the next 2 weeks, or so. Crystal clear beer has not been a matter of great importance to me, so far, but it would certainly look nice, in a glass.

We drink beer first with our eyes, and I think appearance can definitely enhance or detract from the (aesthetic, non-analytical tasting) experience. Haze is expected in some styles (Hefeweizen, Witbier …) and may be to some extent unavoidable in highly dry-hopped beers like Double IPAs, but for everything else, there’s finings. Continue reading

brew day: Schäferpils Zwei

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Partly because I’m a sentimental git, but mostly (I tell myself) because the selected Czech strain was still a couple propagations away from prime time, and also because there was a raging pitch of 2042 just sitting there with a gleam in its collective eye, this – and not the forthcoming Czech dark lager – was the first batch with Brew Dog 2.0.

It’s a revisit to, and slight revision of, the first recipe brewed in the absence of Brew Dog 1.0: a straight-up north German-style Pils with a blend of noble hops. Continue reading

ptyalin

“Thus, it is known that the preparation of some native beers that used cereals as a source of extract involved a step where the grains were masticated by the brewer. In so doing, the addition of saliva, which contains the amylase, ptyalin, would partially degrade the starch content of the grain and thereby increase the fermentability of the wort. It is interesting to conjecture as to the train of empiricism that culminated in this process!”

Boulton & Quain, Brewing Yeast and Fermentation

It’s absolutely true, but you know, I never thought about all the misfires and shuffling steps (spits?) that had to’ve led to that discovery.