With just a few days left in the year I have 1 brew left to do. The yeast starter is burping away as we speak, the grain bill/hop schedule is already written out and set in stone, the water profile has been determined and I have a strong idea of where this brew will take me. The 2016 barley wine is on its way.
This time last year I did not have much under my belt. About 20 brews of which none used a yeast starter, water chemistry, actual hop AA, or anything other than “Well this sounds good”. This year my brewing knowledge and experience grew exponentially. My beers went from hit and miss decent brews to near bulls-eye awesome brews. A few earlier in the year were off their mark but, every brew gets closer and closer to what I want my brews to be. I have begun to dabble in sours. I have started to care for my water. I have began to manage my yeast. I have really started to focus on why I use certain grains/hops.
There is still so much to work on though. I have set a few goals for my “Brew Years Resolutions”.
- 25% of my beers are going to be mixed/non sacc fermentations
- I will build 2 temp controlled fermentation chambers with remote access.
- Enter over 12 beers into competitions
- Start kegging
- More water care
- Grow my own ingredients
- Blog every brew + updates
- Share even more of my creations
I really hope to achieve my brew year goals. With the recent gift of all 4 brewing element (thanks to my supportive sister and parents) I hope to grasp more of the science behind the brews I am creating.
To get a head start on one goal here is the next brew recipe.
2016 Barley Wine
- 85 Calcium
- 26 Magnesium (water isn’t that great)
- 14 Sodium
- 75 Chlorine
- 90 Sulfate
- 1 Bicarbonate
- Mash pH 5.4
- Thicknes of 1.1 qt/lbs
- 97% Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
- 3% Thomas Fawcett Crystal 45
- 1 oz Thomas Fawcett Roasted barley as a colour adjustment
- Mash in and rest at 100F for 30 min (Acid rest A)
- Raise via induction to 113 for 15 min (Acid rest B)
- Raise via induction to 130 for 20 min (Protien rest)
- Raise via induction to 145 for 45 min (Saccharification Beta)
- Raise via induction to 156 for 30 min (Saccharification Alpha)
- Raise via induction to 168 for 5 min (Mashout)
- Sparge with 168F and collect 7 gal or less if runnings drop below 1.020
Once the runnings have been collected the wort will be boiled down to about 4 gallons with a target OG of 1.120-1.130
When the volume is around 4.75 gal the 60 min boil addition schedule will begin
- 60 min 1 oz Phoenix 13.35% AA
- 15 min 1 whirlfloc tab
- 15 min 1 oz Phoenix 13.35% AA
Ferment with WLP007 at a pitch rate of 1.25 millions cells/ml/P
Ferment ambient at ~70F
- OG 1.125
- FG 1.030
- IBU 80
- SRM 15
- ABV 12.5
- Final volume ~3.5 gal
Next week I will post how brew day went and the next planned brew. This one is for a competition!
This past summer I collected some berries and plopped them into a small sample of wort. One sample was filled with wild raspberries and the other had black berries. After a few days the samples began to ferment. I took these samples to a local yeast lab (Escarpment Labs) and had them isolated. In all two strains of Saccharomyces as well as what is thought to be Hanseniaspora uvarum were discovered. One of the Saccharomyces was able to ferment a wort of 1.052 down to 1.000 in just 7 days! I will soon be picking up some test samples and fermenting with them. I plan to brew an “All Ontario” Saison with the powerhouse Saccharomyces. Yeast had an apparent attention of Over 95%! The yeast has been unofficially named Gildemeester ale yeast.
All Ontario Farm Ale
- 8 Lbs. Barn Owl Lager Malt
- 2 Lbs. Barn Owl Munich Malt
- Mash in with a thickness of 1.6
- pH of 5.35
- SO42-/Cl– of 2.0
Starting mash temp 113 and ramp up to 148 over 45 min.
Rest for additional 40 min before raising temp to 168 for 10 min
Fly sparge at 168 with 4.5 gal of distilled water.
- 60 min add 2 oz Ontario Crystal 3.21% AA
- 15 min 1 whirlfloc tablet
- 15 min add add 1 oz Ontario Crystal 3.21% AA
Chill to 68 and collect 6 gal of wort.
Pitch MWY001 (Blackberry Saccharomyces) at a rate of 750000 cells/ml/P.
Leave in primary for 21 days.
7 days before packaging dry hop with 1 oz Ontario Crystal 3.21% AA
Package and carbonate with 3 vols.
- OG 1.048
- FG 1.001
- ABV 6.2
- SRM 5.75
- IBU 28
Brewing of this ale will happen mid-late December and, will be enjoyed in the new years.
After this Saturday I will have finished brewing the first version of my house stout, IPA and Belgian golden ale. The BSDA on Brett is slowly fermenting away. RIS is coming out of the barrel, lambic is going in this Saturday. I plan to brew 3 batches next month instead of the standard 4-5.
Just did a massive bulk order of grains to save a couple bucks down the road. 1 sack Chateau Pilsen malt, 1 sack Thomas Fawcett Pearl, 2 sacks Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter and a 1/4 sack of OiO toasted oat flakes. These sacks should help me really narrow down my core 3 beers I want to have at the brew pub. An Oatmeal stout, a Belgian golden ale and a NE IPA.
The next brews I have planned are as follows: This weekend NE IPA V2.0, Oatmeal stout V1, barley/wheat/rye wine (cannot decide what grain to use yet), A kellerbier (my first lager) and lastly Belgian golden ale V1.1. In that time I will have bottled my barrel aged RIS, filled the barrel with the lambic I just brewed this past weekend, bottled and served the beer for Pencil Kit Productions and, bottled the Irish red I made with my cousin for his school project
So 2 weekends ago after I got back from Royal City I met up with my cousin and brewed up an Irish red ale for a school project he is doing. They have to do research on Ireland for architecture. Somehow he got the go ahead to make Irish style beer for his university class. This past weekend I brewed up a lambic beer doing a traditional turbid mash and long boil. took me 9 hours to get it into the conical for fermentation.
Cider fermentation is coming along well. Already have some good flavours developing after just a few weeks. Barrel aged beers are coming along nicely. Again a busy month but I’m starting to get more and more into the grove of it.
This past Saturday I have the honor of being a guest brewer at Royal City Brewing Co. in Guelph. What? How? Why? Let’s back up a bit.
A few weeks ago my friend Claren contacted me about brewing beer as a fundraiser at an event. The event is produced by Pencil Kit Productions run by Claren and others. The event will be what I can only call an art installation. There will be art in a variety of mediums such as performance, visual and projector. I am very excited to be a part of this and to be able to serve my “art”. When I was asked if I wanted to help out I said “Hell yeah!” without hesitation.
Here is where things got interesting. In order to legal serve home brew for sale the beer must be made under licence at a brewery so that all taxes and such are paid into the greedy pockets of the government. I took to GTAbrews group to figure out how to do this. Long story short Doug -whom I had never met before- seemed like he made a personal mission to help me. Within a few days he had set me up with Royal City Brewing Co. If you have not had their beer go to the brewery! Some very creative and taste stuff. If you cannot make it to the brewery try the Hibiscus Saison or Smoked Honey from the LCBO. They are to die for.
We worked out the details over email and a brief phone conversation and we were ready to rock and roll. Saturday I showed up and was told I would be brewing with the owner and brew master himself! Cam was one of the coolest guys I have ever met. We brewed 11 Gallons of a Belgian pale ale with all American hops. Half will receive dry hop additions and the other half will be aged on spent wine chips and receive dry hop additions. As well Cam had me help move 35 hl of beer into a bright tank. I had an absolute blast hanging out with Cam for the day.
Here is a bit of information about the event (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
A huge thank you to the Royal City crew for accommodating me for the day. An even bigger thank you to Cam for sharing so much information and, being excited about what a home brewer is doing.
Hope to see a bunch of people December 9th and 10th!
Great Month of brewing and It is not done yet! Cask days was awesome lots of great beers but the best was the cider. Activated charcoal!? Hell yes. Brew slam beer did OK, nothing special but, hey it’s my first comp. The IPA took a bit of yeast on and was not fresh due to the long fermentation. Lavender beer is still mellowing but is great so far! The fractal beer is just WOW. About 40 ABV and dangerously smooth. The pale kellerbier has been pushed back to a date that is TBD still.
The saison I brewed with my cousins is done but, a bit sulfuric. A 1-2 Week period of lagering should clean that up though. The roggenbier is done and that too will be lagered. The FXS has had peanut butter added and will be bottled very soon as well. Belgian Strong dark ale has stalled at 1.045 so, once out of the barrel next weekend the plan is to dry it out a bit with some Brett. B. Then the RIS 1.120 will be moved into the barrel. The BSDA in the barrel is tasting fantastic. Oak and spirit were coming through just after 2 weeks.
Unfortunately I will not be getting 60L of cider this month. However, I am expecting about 20-40L this coming Sunday. Should be fun to experiment with cider and see what I can do. I have over 200 lbs. of grain ordered to arrive mid November. I will be regularly making an IPA, session stout and Belgian golden ale. That will only leave me with 1 week a month for experimentation. Hopefully I can perfect these beers over the next few months.
Next month I will be brewing my Belgian pale ale with American IPA Hops at Royal City Brewing Co. for a fundraiser in December. More details to come on that in a later post. After that my House IPA, House Belgian golden ale, House session stout and turbid mash for a sour. Thinking of doing a Flanders red. Possibly more cider if it comes in. Again another busy month but, what else is new?
I am hoping to write more frequently next month.
Busy Busy Busy. Just finished moving and settling into my new condo. THANK GOODNESS. This is a lot of stress off my chest. Now to focus my time and energy into brewing.
THANKSGIVING will be a busy day. Getting up at 7 to go get ready to brew. I will be teaching my two cousins how to brew all grain! They want to brew a saison which will be a first for me. We will be doing a clean saison with German malts should end up being ~4.8 ABV. Have yet to finalize the grain bill. That brew day will be a busy one!
The NEIPA that My Girlfriend and I brewed in mid September FINALLY finished fermenting. Burton ale yeast is slow apparently. So that IPA will be bottled. Also being bottled will be the oak aged lavender Vermont blonde ale (which may have some wild funk in it). As well as The fractal beer. It should be around 35 ABV by now. The Belgian strong dark ale will be going into a 10 L barrel that previously held rye and apple jack. Some of the quad will also be going into a 1.4 gal fermentation tank with some toasted/charred cherry wood.
Later this month I am expecting about 60 L or more of fresh Ontario pressed apple cider. Very excited to try and play with a cider for my first time. Other brew plans are to do a roggenbier with 60-65% rye malt. A pale kellerbier is also in the work for later this month. At some point my peanut butter stout will need to be bottled as well for the advent calendar brew exchange.
Next weekend I will see how my first ever beer competition went. I had no planning so I am not expecting to win anything. However, that would be a nice surprise. Cask days is coming up later this month as well. I am extremely excited to find some fresh new brewing inspiration. I am thinking of getting a home cask set up at home with a CO2 regulator so that the ale does not spoil for weeks.
October is looking like it will be a great month so there should be lots of updates to come.
Looking more and more at how real I want to make this. After a club meeting with GTA brews for the first time I was left speechless with the enthusiasm people gave me over some of my beers. The bourbon “barrel” aged triple bock hit it off!
Currently I have a Milk stout with pumpkin, spices and espresso (pumpkin spiced latte), Bourbon barrel aged triple bock (about to get put in the cellar) and a smoked lightly aged (6 months) stout with licorice root in bottles. Very happy with all of these brews. In 2 days I will bottle a NE style IPA. last tasting was very very nice. hoping the dry hops have a good punch to them! Currently fermenting I have a monster Belgiam quad OG 1.145 along with my lavender beer with oak that has been aging for about 6-7 weeks now. Another 3-5 weeks and it should be ready for bottles. I also have an american imperial stout 7.3 ABV aging. Thinking of adding milk sugar and peanut butter powder to it.
With these beers I recently have started to do mead in small batches! Rooibos mead fermented with wine yeast was bottled last weekend. Age will treat it nicely. Speaking of Rooibos, I entered my rooibos amber ale into the 2016 Brewslam as BJCP 30A. First competition entry ever. Next year I plan to enter dozens of beers.
This past summer I harvested yeast off of some wild raspberries and blackberries up by North Bay. These cultures have been handed over to Escarpment Laboratories. They are going to try to incubate enough of each culture to do some experimental pitches with! The plan is to do a split batch Saison. Fingers crossed that this works out.
For October I have 2-3 brews planned. A french saison, a clean lager and perhaps a wheat. As well as a wild berry handpicked cider. The fractal distilled beer is nearing completion ~28 ABV. October should be fairly busy.