I just can’t stand to have any empty fermenters. So after I transferred my Oktoberfest to the secondary, it was time to get something cooking in the primary again. Of course its another Brewer’s best kit… hey they were buy one get one half off!
Now it seems like all the breweries have been trying to “out hop” one another and make the hoppiest, yet drinkable, beers. These beers may not be everyones cup of tea, but I rather enjoy a very strong hop presence. Which led me to try and “hop” this kit up a little bit. This pre-packaged kit came with 4 oz. of hops total. 2 oz. of cascade and 1 ounce of Columbus for bittering. and 1 oz. of cascade for aroma. I added 2 more oz. of Columbus and 1 more of cascade.
Again these kits are very simple, and I won’t bore with the same process that is basically repetetive, but I will share the basics of the recipe.
- 2 3.3lb cans of Munton’s light malt extract
- 1 lb of Light spray malt dry extract
- 1lb Crystal malt 40l
- 80z. Victory malt
And my hop schedule was as follows:
Based on a 60 minute boil
- 60 min.- 2 oz. Cascade
- 1 oz. Columbus
- 40 min.- .5 oz. Colulmbus
- 30 min.- .5 oz Columbus
- 20 min.- .5 oz. Columbus
- 10 min.- .5 oz. Columbus
- 5 min.- 1 oz. Cascade
- .5 oz cascade dry hopped in primary bucket
- And .5 oz reserved to dry hop in the secondary
This kit claims 45-49 IBU so with my additional hop additions I’m hoping to be somewhere around the 70 IBU mark. But I’m no mathlete, and to lazy to figure out any formulas.
I was also pretty much spot on as far as my gravity is concerned. With the kit stating 1.061-1.065, my gravity reading just before yeast addition came in at 1.060.
Well I hate Christmas, and all the other “Hallmark Holidays” surrounding it. Rushing around visiting people you luckily only have to deal with maybe twice a year, yeah thats always a JOY. So I decided to make something to at least help take the edge off of it. A cranberry infused holiday ale.
As is normal we started with a simple recipe and then twisted it up a bit. I found a simple partial mash recipe online and we deviated from it just a bit, well probably a little bit more than that. For our main base malts we used 2 cans of Liquid malt extract. One Briess Golden, the other a Briess Bavarian Wheat. The only specialty grain used was 1lb of Crystal (25L). Also around 2lbs of honey was added to the boil, this beer has the potential to be as sweet as me!
Since only a small amount of grain was used, I was able to steep it on the stove in a medium sized pot. I kept it at a temp of around 160 for 25 minutes before adding it to our electric brew kettle, which already had some water heating up in it. I then sparged the grains with some hot water and continued to bring everything up to a boil. Once a nice boil was achieved both cans of malt extract and the honey were added. That cooled the kettle down just a bit and I waited till it came back to a boil before it was hop time.
Our hop schedule was fairly simple on this beer since it wasn’t going to be an overly hoppy beer. A 1 hour boil was planned and the first addition was 1oz. of Willamette. We then played the waiting game for half an hour, and relaxed watching some more 3 stooges(see Pilsner post). At the half hour mark 1/2oz. of Kent Goldings hops was added, along with the peel of 3 oranges and some spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Boy if this beer doesn’t taste good I’m it coulu just be warmed on the stove and used as an air freshner. Our last addidtion came at ten minutes from the end of boil, which was our last half of the Kent Goldings. The final ten minutes of boil and then removed from the heat.
Upon terminating the boil I added some cranberry. Now I don’t much like fruity beers, and don’t want a whole lot of fruit taste, but I think a little may not hurt. And Cranberry sounded good in a wheat beer. So I only added an 8oz. can of cranberry sauce. I didn’t want to mess with the actual berries, so that seemed like the next best thing. Hopefully it gives just a hint of flavor to our beer.
The mash tun was cooled, then added to our primary fermenter bucket. I filled it back up to 5 gallons with cool water and then let it settle back down to around 75 degrees. A gravity reading at this time was at 1.064, which should leave a fairly high alcohol beer. PERFECT! I added a packet of Safbrew wheat ale yeast, and placed the lid on the bucket and went back to watching my stooges. By morning a good amount of bubbles were forming, and the smell was delightful. Spices and hops really hit my nose when I opened the bucket. Lets see how it turns out in a few weeks.
Most people can find some inspiration in watching The 3 Stooges, if you are normal. So its no surprise that after watching some “Stooges” we were inspired to make a batch of “Panther Pilsner”, like they did in one episode. Although I hope we have a somewhat better result.
Scott and I set up on a saturday night with my new electric kettle and all our other equipment. A mix of both liquid malt extract and dry malt extract and 2 packages of hops. This wasn’t a recipe just us flying by the seat of our pants.
Our plan was a simple 60 minute boil with fairly simple hops additions. We started with adding 2 lbs of the Northwestern golden dry malt, and following that with a 3.3lb can of Briess Pilsen liquid malt extract. Once that reached a boil we added 1 oz. of saaz hops. That was then followed by 2 .5 oz. additions of Gelena hops at the 30 minute and then again with 5 minutes to go.
After cool down the beer was transferred to the primary fermenter bucket. I then drew off a sample to test the gravity, which was right about what I hoped for at 1.040 specific gravity. That should leave us a beer at right around 5% alcohol, anything less and it aint worth drinking;)
Although this wasn’t from any specific recipe, It is similar to many other pilsner recipes. I was a bit dissapointed though, my color was quite a bit darker then I had hoped. Traditionally pilsners are quite light in color, yet ours came out with a bit of a red hue to it. I attribute this in part to the dark color of the Liquid malt extract.
We shall ride this one out and hopefully it will end up with a tasty flavor. Overall in this beer I’m just looking for an easy drinker that even my heathen, “I don’t like dark beer” friends can enjoy.