#KnoxBeer contest, help me name my #homebrew

November 30, 2011

I’m having another small episode of “writer’s block”. Even putting together a coherent post for this website is difficult. However, an even bigger problem I’m having right now is naming my Cascadian Dark Ale. I had a few ideas, but none of them really sounded right to me. Usually I come up with a name when I formulate the recipe. Sometimes I come up with a better one before I make a label. With this beer, I’m coming up blank. My relative loss of my creative energy could be your gain. I’ve decided to have a contest to name this beer. The rules are simple. Just tell me what you’d would name it if you had brewed it. It also has to be a name that no one has used for a beer before. If it’s on Untappd, it’s automatically disqualified.
Here’s what I’m offering the winner: a mixed six pack of my homebrew, & a small part of the label dedicated to any message you want to put on it. Want to promote your website or twitter handle? Fine. Want to be quoted? Great. Want to write a story or post a joke? Ok by me. Keep in mind though that your label is not going to get seen by a lot of people. I don’t sell my beer, but I do occasionally give some away to friends or family. Also the winner needs to meet me somewhere close by in Knoxville. I live in Vestal, I work near downtown. Sorry, but I’m not traveling all the way to Straw Plains or Farragut to deliver the winning 6 pack. I also will not ship it. Must be 21 or older to win. To enter, just post your proposed name in the comments below.

  More about this style: Cascadian Dark Ale is also referred to by the oxymoronic “Dark IPA”.

On another note, I’ve been putting my new counter pressure filler to good use. Once I figured it out, it works perfectly. I still have a few bottles from each batch that I am naturally conditioning. For quicker drinking, I can bottle  beer only a few days after it’s kegged using this system. It’s much faster then waiting a month for the priming sugar & yeast to carbonate the batch.

Until next time,

Ratchet


So much fun! Live blogging of my #homebrew day again today

October 27, 2011

I had such a great response to my live blogging of my last brew day, that I thought I’d do it again. I took the day off work. It’s been a slow work week and I am caught up. Thought I’d brew a batch of American Style Dark India Ale aka Dark IPA aka Cascadian Ale. It’s a style I’ve been wanting to brew for awhile. I’ve had many homebrewer’s interpretations of it recently, along with a few commercial examples. I really like it. I formulated this recipe and ordered my hops last week. Of course, after I weighed out my grains and ground them I revisited my worn copy of Brew Your Own magazine that has an article about this style of beer. It’s seems like my recipe has more chocolate malt then others do. So it might turn out to be a “chocolate IPA”, but pale chocolate malt isn’t as roasty as normal chocolate malt. Either way, I’m sure it will be good. I will let you know when I eventually get to drink it. Here’s my recipe for 10 gallons:

20 lbs Pale Ale Malt
1 lb, 6 ounces of Vienna Malt
2 lbs pale chocolate
1 lb midnight wheat
1 lb dark crystal 80
1 lb flaked oats
2 Whirfloc tablets (last 5 minutes)

4 oz Amarillo Hops (2 oz 60 minutes, 1 oz 30 minutes, 1 oz 5 minutes)
4 oz Centennial hops (2 oz 60 minutes, 1 oz 30 minutes, 1 oz 5 minutes)
2 oz Crystal hops (1 oz 45 minutes, 1 oz 5 minutes)

Safale US-05 American Ale Yeast

Mash w/ 9 gallons of water (hold at 152-154 for 60 minutes)

Sparge with 8 gallons of water at 168 degrees
Boil and follow hop schedule

Yesterday I went and filled my water jugs at Love’s Creek Spring. I also set everything up on my porch so I could get the water going as soon as I woke up. My whole plan is to get done as soon as possible so I can take my son to “Scare in the Square” this evening.

5:40 am: Woke up before my alarm. I should get out of bed & get going.
6:00 am: Started water going, hoping to mash in by 7.
6:10 am: Coffee!
6:54 am: Mashed in. Hit my temperature with no issues.
7:00 am: Started Sparge water going. It’s on low since I have an hour to get it to 168 degrees.
7:08 am: Making breakfast.
7:28 am: Just stirred the mash, 30 minutes left to go until Sparge.
7:34 I’m now measuring my hops. This is my first true all whole hops brew.

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7:58 am: Starting my Vorluaf
8:23 am: Sparging
9:03 am: finished Sparging, waiting to achieve boil. Only 20 more degrees to go.
9:10 am: it’s at boil! Adding 1st hop addition
9:25 am: added next hop addition
9:40 am: yet another hop addition. Also working on cleaning out my mash run and sanitizing my carboys & cool down equipment.
10:05 am: last 5 minutes of the boil & last hop addition. Also adding Whirfloc tablets
10:10 am: boil is done. Turned off propane. Took out mesh bags full of hops & let then drain in a strainer. Going to start my whirlpool in a few minutes.
10:20 am: started my whirlpool. Going to do this for 20 minutes so all the trub goes to the center of the brew pot.
10:40 am: on to the cool down. It’s a lot easier to do on a cold rainy day.

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11:02 am: cool down done & carboys are full!
11:24 am: starting gravity of the wort is 1.062. Tasty very hoppy, but it balances with maltyness & a hint of chocolate malt. No roast character which is good & within the style for this type of beer. Of course the flavor will change with fermentation. I’ve pitched the yeast & am awaiting the magic of fermentation. It’ll be awhile until I post again, there is a lot of clean up to do.
11:54 am: not even close to being done with brew day clean up, but must take a break. Hard work.
1:00 pm: Guess what? Still not done with clean up. I’m tired.