Archive for May, 2012

Recipe: Antes Ale, Opus 7

Posted: May 27, 2012 in Recipes

With the holiday weekend, I had some time to brew up another batch today. I wanted to use up the ingredients I had laying around from my last couple brews, so I created this recipe from those. It’s basically a wheat beer, but with a blonde ale influence. I’m calling it the Antes Ale, after the famed Morovian musician from colonial times, since it combines a German influence with the English to create an American style ale.

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.050 OG Estimated FG 1.013 FG
Recipe Bitterness 26 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.1%
Recipe Color 4° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.0%

Ingredients

Quantity Grain Type
0.60 lb Mr. Beer Booster Sugar
1.50 lb Muntons DME – Wheat (60%/40%) Extract
0.50 lb Muntons LME – Light Extract
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.50 oz Hallertauer (Germany) Pellet 60 minutes
0.50 oz Kent Goldings (U.K.) Pellet 20 minutes
0.25 oz Willamette Pellet 5 minutes
0.25 oz Willamette – Very popular aroma hop with earthy, spicy character for any English or American ales Pellet 0 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Safbrew WB-06 Dry Wheat Yeast Yeast

Process

I did the hop boil with 2 gallons of water, as an experiment to see how it transferred to the LBK and because I was using 2 lbs. DME. It took a bit longer to boil and subsequently cool than I would have liked, so I think I should just stick to the 1.5 gallons next time. You’ll also notice that I used some Mr. Beer Booster. This was simply to up the ABV. Without it, it came up 3.9%, but with Booster, came in at 5.1%. I chose the WB-06 yeast because my LHBS suggested it would taste like Upland Wheat, which I enjoy on the hot summer days. You’ll also see that I plan to dry hop with another .25 oz of the Willamette hops in about a week. I’m thinking this will give it an aroma as it pours.

My hope with this recipe is to create an easy drinking, session ale to enjoy over the summer with some unexpected hops. I’m not sure how this combination of hops will turn out. I know the Goldings and Willamette work pretty well together. I’m hoping the Hallertauer will add an interesting foundation of flavor. I guess we’ll know in about 6 weeks!

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The Il Prete Rosso, Opus 5, was ready for a tasting yesterday (although I sneaked a few quality control samples earlier this week). As you recall, I was going for a good summer blonde with an hint of strawberry flavor, a la Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde. This isn’t an exact clone, which wasn’t my aim, but it’s spot on for my goal! The strawberry flavor doesn’t overwhelm, and balances nicely with the blonde ale. The hops are present, but not overwhelming. It’s a beautiful light amber color with good carbonation, a little head on the pour, and decent lacing. I do which it had a bit more aroma, but that can be forgiven.

As for taste, the strawberries are the star of the show. It has a clean finish, with a touch of berry on the tongue. I do taste a bit of the “artificial” natural flavor, kind of like candy. This is unfortunate, but it wouldn’t stop me from using it again, especially as I understand that real strawberries are pretty difficult to use (they are hard to sanitize).

Overall, I’d rate this a 4/5. It’s definitely a keeper and very enjoyable on the hot summer days. It’s also my first all extract brew, so results are positive! One of my best brews yet!

I was able to bottle up the Handel this afternoon.  I used 1.9 oz of corn sugar, using the American Wheat as my guide. I’m trying to do more of a German style Witbier, but that option isn’t on the tastybrew calculator, and the maibock number was about the same (1.8). The beer gave off a nice banana scent, just like I had hoped. The FG measured at 1.013, but that was with lots of trub in the tube. I forgot to get an FG reading before bottling (thus using the trub for the FG), and I ended up with exactly 22 bottles. I didn’t want to sacrifice a bottle just to take a reading!

The new event with this batch was my first blowout! As you recall, this was my first batch using a liquid yeast. Apparently, the krausen got so big, it hit the top of my plastic fermentation tub, and left a nice little ring of mold around the base of the LBK. I know I need to invest in an appropriate fermentation chamber, but it’s just not happening right now. I expect the beer to be fine, but probably throw off more esters than it should (along with that yummy banana that I want). I’m not sure how to fix that next time, besides controlling the fermentation temp, or to try a different yeast.

This should be a good hefe come June!

The 138th Kentucky Derby was this weekend, and around here, that means it’s party time! Luckily this year, I two beers to share with my friends. Both of them came around just in time, 7 weeks for the Amadeus (2-3-2) and 6 weeks for the Ludwig.

As you recall, I did taste the trub bottle of the Amadeus about two weeks ago. I did the same for the Ludwig last week, but didn’t post about it. Those tastings were mostly to check the carb level.

Both beers have improved drastically since then. First up, the Amadeus. This one has developed a nice malty flavor, and the steeped caramel grains really shine through. They are clearly a nice addition to the original recipe. There is a nice balance from the hops, too, which offer a clean, subtle finish. But the star here is definitely the caramel flavor. The carb level is near perfect, with a good head and some lacing on the glass throughout. I’ve noticed more clarity over the last few days, too, so I think time will really clear it up. Overall, it’s a well balanced recipe and a big improvement from my last batch. And it was a hit at the party, too!

Even with the success of the Amadeus, the Ludwig IPA is my first “Wow, this is great!” beer. It brings a nice hoppy flavor with every sip, and the mix of hops add a great variety of flavors. You still get some of the caramel malt from the steeped grain to add balance and keep the hops from overwhelming, too. I’m a fan of hops, though, and this beer doesn’t disappoint. Every time I finish, I really want to open another! The carbing might actually be a little too much (remember, I added a bit more than recommended), but I think it’s pretty well on. It creates a bit more head than the Amadeus, which I think works with this style, and leaves a nice lacing through most of the glass. I also think this one will age well, and should really peak in a few more weeks.

With both of these recipes, I kept 10-12 bottles back in warm storage. It will be interesting to see how these bottles compare to the cold conditioned ones. As for the recipes themselves, I don’t think I would change a thing with the Ludwig IPA. I would probably recommend a bit more hoppy flavor for the Amadeus, maybe 1/4 oz. of Amarillo at 5 minutes, or perhaps even a dry hop just to add some aroma. My wife is a big fan of malty, though, so she’d disagree as she really likes this one as is (btw, an important step for the new brewer…your wife likes what you make!). I wouldn’t want to over hop, but a bit more balance would be good for me.

Definitely two recipes I can be proud of brewing!