Saturday, March 29, 2008

Amquard Ale

Amber and Stephani came over on Friday and we cooked up a simple extract batch. The eponymous ale serves three purposes: 1) an experiment for their science class, 2) an education in brewing, and 3) a batch of easy-drinking beer. We used 7 lbs of light dry malt extract, boiling it for 70 minutes with 7 gallons of charcoal-filtered (for chlorine removal) municipal water. Two ounces of Willamette hops were in for 60 minutes. At an alpha-acid rating of 5.5%, we estimated they'd add about 40 IBUs. The brew came out at 1.060 starting gravity, so it will be a little higher than my usual acohol content, and high in general for a light ale. The ladies took 3 Liters apiece home for a class project. Each of 3 Liters were dosed with varying amounts of dry yeast: 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9 grams/L were the pitching rates (o.6 g/L is real close to the 11.5 g/5 gals. recommended rate). I dumped the rest of the packet (7.9 grams of the 11.5 g original amount) of Safale S-04 in the remaining 4 gallons of wort. It is fermenting vigorously as I type this.

(Sunday update: I forgot to say "Happy Birthday Onyx.")

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stout Heaven

The OSP went in the fridge today. Should be ready to drink this coming weekend. We'll be heading to H & D's in Bend, and we'll have 3 homebrews to sample! Ah, Spring Break. I need a fookin' holiday, lemme tell ya! Fortunately, we have a kegger of the St. Patrick's Day Stout on hand, and it is indeed Stout Heaven. I've been making a black beer here at French Street in honor of Padráig since Super Bowl Sunday of 1992 (Redskins over the Bills). That first "St. Paddy's" was batch number XXVI (26). I've made over 500 gallons of homebrew since then! The new stout is a thick and creamy fellow, with a smooth, oily quality I attribute to the high gravity and the flaked oats. It has an espresso-like palate, but without the bitterness. I backed off the hops a wee bit and I think it paid off. I like to taste the roast grains--the hops should just be background in this beer. Man, it is soooooo easy to pull pints of this magic nectar, I don't expect it to last long. May the blessings of the Feast of Patrick be with you all!

In Irish:
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

a.d. XVII Kal. Apr.
(The notorious Ides of March were yesterday--there are 17 days inclusive to the Kalends of April.)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

OSP kegged & bottled!

MATT CAIN had his Spring Training Debut today. And we bottled & kegged here at French Street Brewery. The OSP had an extra-thick layer of sludge and I only managed to siphon about 4-1/4 gallons of beer. Standard priming regime: 1 oz. per gallon for bottles (just shy of 2 gallons today) and 50 grams per 2-1/2 gallon keg. Beer looked good, smelled good, tasted good. Batch 159 yielded ONE 2-Liter jug, FOUR brown swing-top bottles (approx. 2 L), TWO half-liter green Grölsch bottles, and a mixed sixpack of 12-oz. crown-capped standard bottles. Final gravity was 1.012 or 3º Plato. O'Connor's Stout Porter will spend 10-14 days in the closet, depending on how cold it gets. Then the refrigerator for at least a week, so it ought to be ready just in time for my SPRING BREAK! Outstanding!

a.d. VI Non. Mar.