Sunday, April 25, 2010

St. Mark's beer

Giants Fever went to the keg today. I primed it with 100 grams of dextrose (boiled in a quart of water). The delicate orange-ish brew came in at 1.005 for the final gravity (a notch above 1 ºP), and it looked and smelled clean and fresh as well. It looks like the Cooper's did a good job fermenting out and settling, or in brew-speak, attenuating and flocculating. There was only a small amount of sludge (trub) at the bottom of the carboy. It's the Feast of St. Mark, but that didn't help the Giants, who lost 2-0 to St. Louis. The keg will go to the fridge the first week of May, and be ready to drink a week or two after that.

a.d. VII Kal. Mai.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Giants Fever: update

I racked Giants Fever to a fresh carboy. A much smaller amount of yeast sludge than I expected sat at the bottom of the fermenter. Much remains suspended in the brew despite clear evidence that the bulk of fermentation is over. Everthing looks good, though. The hall closet holds a steady 64 ºF despite the variable spring weather. The batch goes to the keg in another week or so. April 25th, the Feast of  St. Mark, looks like a good day!

a.d. XVII Kal. Mai.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Giants Fever

I mixed up 10 pounds of Pilsner malt, 3/4 pound of 60 ºL crystal, and 1/4 pound of 350 ºL chocolate and mashed at 150 ºF with 12 quarts of liquor. I used 1/2 ounce of Belgian Admiral whole hops (14.7 % α-acids) for bittering (60 mins) and 1/2 ounce New Zealand Hallertaur (7.4 % α-acids) for flavor (20 mins). A 70-minute boil yielded 5 delicious-looking gallons of wort. The refractometer said 11-12 ºP which I'm calling 1.046 OG. I pitched two packages (@ 7 grams) of Cooper's dry yeast in the carboy, one at the bottom and one on the top. I think this dark amber brew will be worthy of the name "Giants Fever." I'm looking for less hop bitterness and more of a malt character. Speaking of the Giants, they are 4-0, the only undefeated team in baseball!

My "hillbilly malt mill" made its debut with this mash. I used two small C-clamps to attach the mill to a piece of heavy counter-top material which I then clamped to my brew table with a monster-size C-clamp. With an old milk crate--the heavy-duty kind--and two pieces of scrap lumber I could mount a square plastic pail directly under the mill's rollers. I removed the hand crank and powered the shaft with my electric drill. It worked great and I turned malt into grist lickety-split. That sure saved time and effort!

Even though it is a bit cool in the closet (62 ºF), I expect the beer to ferment vigorously and I plan to rack it right away to a secondary fermenter. I'll keep you posted.

Go Giants!

a.d. IV Id. Apr.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Beer & Baseball

Me and my homey JC getting stoked for the Giants Opener and Tim "The Franchise" Lincecum! Note the delicious pint of St. Patrick's Day Stout. Baseball without beer is too terrifying to consider. Stay on top of the San Francisco Giants at RAISING MATT CAIN.

a.d. VIII Id. Apr.