30 May 2008

Kegging Day!

On May 22, I kegged the Kiwit. How did it turn out? Not bad. It has a light sweetness, but I detected no coriander. Maybe next time I will add a whole ounce, or see if I can find some Indian Coriander.

I wondered why the recipe called for the kiwis to be added to primary and not secondary, but then I decided that if it was added to secondary it would be a Kiwi wheat beer.

So a couple of weeks in the keg, then we'll see what it tastes like.

And for the record, it came in at 3.6% ABV.


posted by hiikeeba at 14:52 0 comments

28 May 2008

Mesquite Smoked APA

Since my experiments always turn out so well, I am going to brew a smoked beer. Since I live in Texas, and we use mesquite to smoke our meat, I thought mesquite smoke would work in a beer. I smoked two pounds of grain, and I am only going to use one pound of it in the recipe. I don't want this to be overpowering.

Mesquite Smoked APA

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (GAL): 5.00 Wort Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Grain (LBS): 10.50
Anticipated OG: 1.056
Anticipated SRM: 8.1
Anticipated IBU: 35.4
System Efficiency: 75
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes
% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM
9.5 1.00 lbs. Smoked Pale Malt (2-row) America 1.036 3
76.2 8.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
9.5 1.00 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40
4.8 0.50 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
2.00 oz. Challenger Pellet 6.5 32.0 60 min.
1.00 oz. Cascade Pellet 4.10 3.4 5 min.

White Labs WLP001 California Ale

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Single Step
Qts Water Per LBS Grain: 1.20 Total Qts: 12.60
Saccharification Rest Temp : 154 Time: 60
Sparge Temp : 170 Time: 40

The actual OG was 1.044, which means my system efficiency, according to ProMash, is 73%.


posted by hiikeeba at 06:41 0 comments

26 May 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Satan came for a visit and I made him help me brew a smoked American Pale Ale. On Sunday we went to the national cemetery at Fort Sam Houston so he could visit the graves of a couple of guys from his unit in Afghanistan.

While you're grilling today, consider what beer to have along with it. William Brand's What's on Tap? column made some great suggestions: With a burger, choose a brown ale. An IPA might overpower the meat. But, if you added jalapeƱos or made steak with a spicy rub then an IPA compliments the spice nicely. With brats, choose a nice pilsner, like Pilsner Urquel or Czechvar. Dunkelweizen also goes well with a spicy steak.

What beer are you serving on Memorial Day?


posted by hiikeeba at 06:54 1 comments

24 May 2008

Hubert Wolters' West Texas Wheat Scores

This performed better than the Rye-Bock, scoring a 27 out of 50. One judge thought it phenolic and astringent, and that it had rye in it. He did say it was a drinkable beer. The second judge also thought there was rye, and that it finished a little cloying.

My two beers were brewed with concentrated wort boils, hence the cloying finish. Still, it was better than mediocre.

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posted by hiikeeba at 06:54 0 comments

22 May 2008

Peppercorn Rye-Bock scores

Got my score sheets back for the peppercorn rye-bock. Both judges said it wasn't a bock. I think that hurt me more than anything, One judge noticed green apple in the aroma, which I discovered a few weeks ago when Satan and I sampled a bottle. The other judge picked up something phenolic which can have peppery overtones. I assume it didn't smell peppery, though.

Sadly, that's the beer everyone loved, and I got a 20 out of 50.

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posted by hiikeeba at 06:47 0 comments

20 May 2008

Welton's Wild Cow Dunkelweiss Scores

I have always said this beer is our best. What started out as a weizenbock turned out to be, thanks to a miscommunication, a tasty dunkelweiss. It scored 32 out of 50 and placed third which advances to the next round.

The first judge thought it was a likable beer with some astringency, and thought it finished too bitter for the style. The second judge agreed and thought it also finished too dry and the body was a little low. He also thought the beer tasted "husky." Well, it is a wheat, for crying out loud!

I had the last one of my stash the night the results were posted. It was really good. It will be even better in a few weeks. It should do well. But I'm keeping the expectations low.

So we move on the Nationals, which means Satan and I have to sit through the awards presentation after the banquet on Saturday night. Last year we bailed. Out in California, meanwhile, Jamil Zanisheff, Mr. Malty himself, placed first with his dunkelweiss.

We're doomed.

My uncle asked us to save him a bottle, but it's all gone. We were storing the beer at the lab where Satan works. One of his coworkers asked if he could have some beer. Satan said he could have a six-pack. He took the whole half case we were saving for other competitions.

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posted by hiikeeba at 07:23 0 comments

18 May 2008

Wit Willie Scores

I have to confess that while I like this beer, Satan's use of artificial flavoring bothers me. And I have made sure he knows it. He has told me to "Phuk Off" several times. At the Bluebonnet Brew-Off it scored 21 out of 50, with one judge saying the beer was soapy.

But at Nationals, Wit Willie scored 30.5 out of 50! Both judges found the beer to be overcarbonated and harsh on the tongue. The second judge thought the spices were weak, and needed to be set out for a while to "get all out of it."

Maybe the Bluebonnet got a bad bottle. . .

Edit: Once again, Satan has taken exception. I should have said "Satan's choice of artificial flavor bothers me. I don't believe using extracts to flavor beer is a bad thing. I do it myself. Satan used D-limonene, which, he informed me, was a food grade cleanser. I have also discovered that D-limonene is also used as an insecticide. If he hadn't told me it was a cleanser. . .

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posted by hiikeeba at 07:17 0 comments

16 May 2008

Brother Spuds Scores

In March, Brother Spuds scored a 35 out of 50 at the Bluebonnet Brew-Off. At Nationals is scored 21 out of 50.

The Brother Spuds scores still floor me. Either everyone else's was really, really good, or, at least, the first five in our flight were. Or we sent a bad bottle. It's a real head scratcher.

One judge said it was smoky with plastic flavors. He also detected hints of fruitiness.A second judge found apple notes in the aroma. He found the beer too dry. By the way these two judges disagreed on whether or not the beer was creamy. A third judge didn't notice any fruit flavors, but thought the beer was overcarbonated which "could indicate an infection."

Satan is coming Memorial Day, and we plan to sit down and sample these beers with all the score sheet is front of us.

UPDATE 1: Satan was not happy with this post. Here's what he wrote me:

My dear cousin....Satan speaking; I believe you have a slight typo...my Brother Spuds Oatmeal Stout scored a 40.5 in the first round and a 38.5 in the final...not a paltry 35. Please update your site as not to belittle my superb stout brewing abilities!


Satan (esq.)

I stand corrected.

UPDATE 2: I hang out on the Beer Network Forums and several folks have reported similar experiences. Beers that won local contests got beat up at Nationals.

I'm glad we never entered the dunkelweiss anywhere else.

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posted by hiikeeba at 07:06 0 comments

14 May 2008

Another Experiment - Smoking Grain

On Sunday, while I was getting ready to do the barbecue, I smoked two pounds of two row pale malt with mesquite wood. I'm not sure how I'm going to use it yet. I have found a recipe for a smoked IPA. Everyone does a smoked porter.


posted by hiikeeba at 12:53 0 comments

12 May 2008

National Homebrew Competition Results

Satan and I sent in five beers to Nationals this year. Only one placed.

Category 15 German Wheat and Rye Beer Sponsored by Widmer Brothers Brewing Co
1 15d Nicholas Orton, Chris Orton of Longmont, CO, Indian Peaks Alers
2 15a Richard McLain of Highlands Ranch, CO
3 15b Satan, Jeff of Midland, TX

Our other five beers didn't place. So this is proof that if you throw enough shit at a wall, something will stick.

All right. Calm down. We can't possibly win in June. (Trying to keep from getting confident. Low expectations. Low expectations.) We're just going to have fun.

And get a medal.


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posted by hiikeeba at 06:16 0 comments

10 May 2008

Kegging day

I just kegged West Texas Wheat version 3. Here's the recipe: 50% wheat, 50% malt. It's a nice pale straw color. Cloudy, but that's to be expected. But the alcohol is a bit hot. I need a temperature control system. Badly.

OG 1050 - FG 1007 - 5.62% alcohol.

A couple of weeks in the keg should be good.


posted by hiikeeba at 15:47 0 comments

08 May 2008

Excelsior Oktober Ale Scores

The Excelsior Oktoberfest Ale 23.5 out of 50 from the Bluebonnet Brew-Off Judges.

Frankly, I was stunned. Satan and I kind of figured the Oktoberfest was going to have problems. It tasted of butterscotch. Only one of the judges thought the beer thought the beer was estery. They both agreed that it wasn't an Oktoberfest. One said it was a nice dunkel. (?) They also said it was too dark and didn't have enough hops. One judge suggested it should havebeen entered as a Vienna style lager. The other said it was thin bodied and dry. Both said it was acrid.

It was a Charlie Papazian recipe so I used Cry Havoc. I am beginning to think that might be the problem. That yeast can work as an ale yeast and it can work as a lager yeast. As a result, it's not perfect for either.

I should stick with ales, and I should get a temp controlled conical fermenter.

I'm taking donations.

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posted by hiikeeba at 10:10 0 comments

06 May 2008

Peppercorn Rye-Bock Score

The Peppercorn Rye-Bock got an average score of 27.5 out of 50 from the Bluebonnet Brew-off judges. Neither judge thought the Rye-Bock was a bock, and they weren't too sure about the rye part of it either. One said the hops were well balanced, the other said the hops were low.

So I think I need to either rename the Rye-Bock or make it more Bock like, and I probably need to up the rye. This batch and the batch that went to Nationals was brewed in November of 2008. So the NHC feedback will be even more important in figuring out how to improve.

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posted by hiikeeba at 10:02 2 comments

04 May 2008

Brew Day!

I bought Sam Calagione's Extreme Brewing last year, and have been brewing his peppercorn rye-bock. Everyone except BJCP judges love it, but that's for another post.

So today I thought I would brew Kiwit from the book:


BJCP Style and Style Guidelines

19-B Belgian & French Ale, Witbier
Min OG: 1.042 Max OG: 1.055
Min IBU: 15 Max IBU: 22
Min Clr: 2 Max Clr: 4 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Extract (LBS): 6.00
Anticipated OG: 1.042
Anticipated SRM: 6.1
Anticipated IBU: 18.6
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

% Amount Name SRM
100.0 6.00 lbs. German Weizenmalt 1.035 7

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
0.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.30 15.5 60 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.30 3.1 10 min.

Amount Name Type Time
4.00 Lbs kiwi, peeled and cubed Fruit 0 Min.(boil)
0.50 Oz Corriander Seed Spice 10 Min.(boil)
1.00 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 10 Min.(boil)

White Labs WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale

The recipe calls for the kiwis to stay in primary. I know, I know. That's not the way it is supposed to be done. But I'm trying the recipe first.


posted by hiikeeba at 07:41 0 comments

02 May 2008

Bluebonnet Brew-Off love for me!

Two weeks ago, Satan got his score sheets back for Bluebonnet Brew-Off. His Wit Willy got 25 points. Solidly mediocre. Brother Spuds Oatmeal Stout got 41 points.

My results?

Don't know. Haven't received them yet. I have sent four emails asking about my scores, but still have not received a reply.

I know I should have more patience. The contest ended on March 30, and I should expect a month to get the sheets back. But if Satan has his . . .

UPDATE: I just got back from the mailbox and my score sheets had arrived. My butterscotch Oktoberfest got a 23.5, and the Peppercorn Rye-Bock got a 27.5. Hmmm.


posted by hiikeeba at 05:48 0 comments