New Addition 2011

I recently had my last brew day as a father of one child. The beer was brewed to mark the very closely approaching arrival of child number 2 (I’ll have to think of a better name than Child Number 2). When the first lil’ Smokey was born I brewed New Addition 2008. Not only was  “New Addition” a nod to my baby but also the first time I had added any wild bugs to my beer. The idea was to brew something between a Porter, a Flanders Red and an Oud Bruin. A Flanders Oud Porter? For New Addition 2011 I needed to find another interesting ingredient that I had never used, but always wanted to. This time it’s Belgian cocoa powder. The base recipe has also been altered, but the “feeling” is the same. I want the New Addition beers to feel like they come from the same family but each one has its own distinct personality.

Knowing that I am not always the most patient person, and fearing the possible heart-attack caused by two children that won’t listen to me and just get into the car so I can buckle their seatbelts and get out of the rain, I’m trying to be more “zen.” With that in mind I decided that coming into brew day I wouldn’t have a fixed recipe. I did have a clear idea of what I was going to do but I wanted to just wing it a bit and go with the flow. It seemed to go well because the wort sample tasted great!

The cocoa powder was added with 10 minutes to go in the boil. With 15 minutes to go I tapped off a little of the hot wort to mix with the cocoa powder and make a paste. I thought that it would be a little easier to incorporate into the boil without clumping up.

On the yeast side, I am again adding some critters on top of the normal brewers yeast. In primary I pitched a mixed starter of Wyeast1762 Belgian Abbey II and Wyeast Roeselare Blend. This will hopefully kick up the funk a bit more than in New Addition 2008. Those Belgian yeasts are great, but since my babies are half Belgian and half American it needs some American Funk too. For that I will be adding (into the aging vessel) part of a starter of Jolly Pumpkin’s Lambicus Dexterius (batch 1), their 100% spontaneously fermented beer. It also has the nice bonus that Dexter, where Jolly Pumpkin is located, is very close to where my parents live so the beasties in the Lambicus Dexterius will literally add a touch of home.

New Addition 2011:
  • Volume: 20 liters
  • OG: 1.064
  • FG: we’ll see but I hope around 1.008
  • ABV: should be around 7.3% – 7.5%
  • IBU: 22 (rager formula)
Fermentables:
  • 66% Pale Ale
  • 13.5% Munich
  • 9% Aromatic
  • 5.3% Flaked Oats
  • 3.5% Chocolate Malt (900 EBC)
  • 2.7% Roasted Barley
Mash:
  • single temp infusion @ 68C (154F)
Hops:
  • 30g East Kent Goldings for 22 IBU (60min from end)
Extra:
  • 75g Belgian Cocoa Powder (10min from end)
Yeast:
  • Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II (in primary)
  • Wyeast Roeselare Blend (in primary)
  • a bit of a starter made from the dregs of Jolly Pumpkin’s Lambicus Dexterius (during aging)

Notes:

June 13th 2011 – Brew day was very smooth. First time using my drill with the Barley Crusher… man thats quick!

June 15th 2011 – Fermentation was rather slow to kick off. I think the Roeselare blend may have lowered the starters pH too quickly for the somewhat old WY1762 and that didn’t grow as much as it should have. Fermentation is going though.

feeling the funk

funkadelicNo, not that funk. Just a quick brewing update. I have probably mentioned before that I want to get more experimental with my homebrew and walk on the wild side of fermentation. From now on most of my brews will be fermented, at least in part, by critters such as Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus rather than traditional Sacchromyces strains. To start this new love affair off, back at the end of April I racked batch one of New Addition to secondary and added a smack pack of Wyeast Lambic Blend . Being impatient, I popped it open and took a sample. It’s now at 1.014 and has a very light brett character with hints of sour cherry and some cola, but overall the bugs have not had too much influence yet. It definitely is going down the right path, but the path seems to be long. At least a pellicle just started to form. That will be fun to watch (for a beer geek like me).

baby_brewer090913Hop Nest batch #2 was brewed last Sunday. The recipe was modified from the original test batch. Rather than 100% Munich I added a touch of Aroma malt. The hopping schedule stayed the same but I slighlty lowered the amount of Amarillo and upped the amount of Nelson Sauvin. So where’s the funk? Well I split the batch into two fermenters. One received the same US-05 yeast as the original recipe but the second fermenter received a large pitch of Wyeast Brettanomyces Clausenii. This is supposed to be the “cleanest”, and possibly fastest of the Bretts. I hope it will give me some of the pineapple aroma that is can produce, although the reported success of this seems to be spotty. After 48 hours I wasn’t seeing any activity in the Brett fermenter. I read from several people that they were seeing lag times of 3 days, but I was still worried. Thankfully I was greeted by an enthousiasticly bubbly airlock when I came home from work on the third day. Reports say that this brett can ferment out a beer in 5 weeks. I hope thats true because I intend on serving this beer at the Alvinne International Homebrew happening on Nov 7th, next to the “normal” version.

Further, I plan on starting with the Grand Funk… Lambics. I figure each year I will try to brew one Lambic and then in a few years I can start to play with blending a Geuze. Also in the pipes is a series of 100% Brett beers with all the other Brett strains I received from Chad. Maybe my imperial stout will also get the funky beat with some critters and oak thrown in after primary fermentation.

– The Funk Soul Brewer

Plans can change

rockin_babyPlans can change, especially when you have a baby. I didn’t get to brew last Sunday but that was not necessarily a bad thing. Instead we spent some quality family time together. We introduced our baby daughter to the wonderful world of music festivals, and she loved it! There was a family-friendly music festival and the sun was shining so the brew kettle stayed in the shed.

This past week was pretty fruitful even without brewing or grilling. Noskos over at BBQ-NL sent me a bottle of Plowboy’s Yardbird rub that I won in a BBQ lotto of sorts. I am looking forward to trying it out. Now I just have to figure out what I want to try it out with. So many things I’d like to throw on the smoker. I also received some hops I ordered from the people at the hopshopUK. They are hop varieties which I can not find in mainland Europe. 100 grams of Amarillo (USA) and 100 grams of Nelson Sauvin (NZ). I am very interested in both these varieties. Amarillo for its citrussy orange and grapefruit and Nelson Sauvin for its supposed grapey, sauvignon-blanc aroma. Also on the beer front,  I talked with Chad over at The Brettanomyces Master Project Blog (who is working with Brettanomyces at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, and has a fascinatining blog for beer geeks interested in Brett). Chad has graciously offered to send over a sampler of some pure brett strains he’s been culturing up. Some commercially available and some not. I have been itching to play with more funky yeasts and bacteria in my beers. Now I hope the beers turn out well so I can repay Chad with tasty samples!

The new plan: The experimental brew I was going to do last Sunday has been changed to a not so experimental IPA (not a west-coast hop-bomb, I’m looking for balance). It is made with only Munich malt though, so that is new for me. I will be hopping it with a combination of Amarillo and Nelson Sauvin hops and doing a split ferment with US-05 and S-04. Should be tasty!

Sunday experiment

dr_jekyllmr_hydeI just found out that I have Sunday free. Since I have been dreaming of doing some brewing experiments I figured Sunday is brew day! I have three ideas that I want to try all rolled up into one brew session. First, I want to do a brew using Munich malt as the base malt (or even 100% of the malt). I want to get a better feel for some of the more special base malts. The last brew was with Vienna as the base, but that will be a sour ale so I don’t know how much I will learn about vienna from that. This Munich malt brew should give me a good impression of what Munich can do. The second experiment will involve splitting the batch between two fermenters. In one I will add Safale US-05, a neutral yeast so I can really taste the malt. In the second fermenter I will add Wyeast Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. I really want to get into brewing beers using wild yeast and bacteria so I figure I need to do an all Brett ferment. I am really curious about that. The third experiment may or may not actually happen, I haven’t decided yet. I was thinking of doing a no-sparge mash. This isn’t really all that interesting but I’d like to know if it really would save a lot of time on tight brew days. I’d end up with a mash that is about 20% less efficient than my typical batch-sparging but on a 1.050 OG beer it won’t need too much extra grain to make up for that.

Since I just decided I will be brewing, I haven’t finalized a recipe yet. Obviously it will be Munich based, but I don’t know if I will be adding anything to that. I want to get a feel for the Munich but I also would like something with some interest. Perhaps something like this then:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Munich Malt 90%

Pale Wheat malt 7-8%

Belgian Chocolate Malt Debittered (800EBC) 2-3%

East Kent Golding 60 Min From End and perhaps a 20-30 minute addition. In total about 25 IBU.

Single infusion mash around 68C (154F)

Split ferment with half getting Wyeast Brett Brux and the other half getting US-05

…but then again, 100% Munich with EKG hops is an option. One of these days I want to do an 100% Munich IPA with EKG and Fuggles. I just like the idea, but for now I don’t want the hops to cover up the malt too much.