Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Adjuncts...,, or sugars.

From Brewing Quality Beers by Byron Burch:

Sugars are added to the recipe in order that the yeast may ferment and turn the sugar into alcohol. Sugars that are not maltose (sugar from the malt) is considered adjuncts.
Typically in a recipe, there will be at least 70% of maltose and no more than 30% of the sugars from adjuncts. The more sugar you substitute for malt, the lighter in both color and taste the beer will be.

Kinds of Adjuncts:

Directly supply sugar-

Dextrose (Corn Sugar)-
most commonly used adjunct, carries less potential for creating off-flavors (like cane sugar); in large amounts, it will give beer a "cider-y" taste.

Sucrose (Cane Sugar)-
produces slightly higher Gravity (more alcohol) than corn sugar, but has a "hotter" taste, so it is less useful when brewing delicately flavored beers; in large amounts, it will give beer a "cider-y" taste.

Lactose (Milk Sugar)-
non-fermentable; used to sweeten some stouts, but has a flavor that doesn't agree with lighter flavored beers (use dextrin powder instead to add smoothness and a hint of sweetness). Add by cooking a sugar syrup.

Molasses (Brown Sugar)-
used in small amounts for flavoring dark ales.

Rice Syrup-
gives beer a crisper, drier flavor than corn sugar; added to boiling pot; may take longer to clarify in bottle; substitute for corn sugar 1:1

Indirectly supply sugar (Unmalted Grains):

Flaked grains:
flaking prepares the starch in the grain for conversion to fermentable sugars when exposed to enzyme in barley malt. Should always be mashed with equal or greater amount of lager or Pale malt

Flaked Rice:
no more than 30% of fermentable sugar should be from flaked rice; make sure it is fresh; used in place of rice syrup

Flaked Oats:
for oatmeal stout; no more than a pound per five gallon batch

Flaked Wheat:
helps with head retention; gives a grainy character; no more than 8 oz per 5 gallon batch

Flaked Maize (Corn) or Yellow Corn Grits:
used like flaked rice, but with a slightly different effect.

If using cereal, watch out for preservatives (they're not nice to yeast).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stovepipe Porter by Otter Creek Brewing, Middlebury, VT

Now this sounds like my kinda porter! Recently, we've experimented with three different recipes. A vanilla porter that we picked up in Lincoln, Ne at Kirk's (excellent), a vanilla porter we picked up in Napa (terrible), and a chocolate porter we picked up at the Beverage People in Santa Rosa (the verdict is still out).
The description of this porter makes me want to try this one next. We generally add a little vanilla to our porters, it makes them oh! so yummy. We boil two vanilla beans in the boiling pot for the last 20 minutes. Then add about 2 oz of pure vanilla extract to the keg. Mmmm...

Okay, so here's the recipe from the book:

From Beer Captured by Tess and Mark Szamatulski:

SRM = Standard Research Method scale of color.
HBU = Home Bittering Units = (oz) x (% alpha acid of hop) (Hmm, yeah, whatever....)

"Stovepipe Porter pours with a medium tan dense creamy head that rests on an ebony beer with red highlights. The nose fills rapidly with a well orchestrated blend of floral hops, chocolate and roasted malts. Roasted malts meet hop bitterness in the flavor to present a well-balanced taste leading to the ending that is dry and overflowing with roasted grains. This is a big, thick chewy porter, blessed with hops, that you can really sink your teeth into."

Yield: 5 gallons
Starting Specific Gravity: 1.058-1.059
Final SG : 1.015-1.017
SRM: 84 (Black color)
IBU: 41
Alcohol by Volume= 5.4%
Heat 1 gallon of water to 160 degrees F.

12 oz. British Chocolate Malt
8 oz. Belgian Cara-Munich Malt
8 oz. US 60 degrees L Crystal Malt
4 oz. Roasted Barley

Remove the pot form the heat and steep at 150 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Strain the grain water into the brew pot.
Sparge the grains with 1 gallon of 150 degrees F water.
Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat.

4 lb. Alexander's Pale Malt Extract Syrup
3.25 lb M&F Light Dry Malt Extract
6 oz. Malto Dextrin
1 oz. Chinook @ 11.6% AA (11.6HBU) (bittering hop)

Add water until the total volume in the brew pot is 2.5 gallons.
Boil for 45 minutes, then add:
1/4 oz. Cascade (flavor hop)
1/4 oz. Willamette (flavor hop)
1 tsp Irish Moss

Boil for 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the stove and chill the wort for 20 minutes.
Strain the cooled wort into the primary fermenter and add cold water to obtain 5-1/8 gallons.

When the wort temperature is below 80 degrees F, pitch the yeast.
1st choice: Wyeast 1098 British Ale
Ferment at 68-72 degrees F
2nd choice: Wyeast 1028 London Ale
Ferment at 68-72 degrees F

Ferment in primary fermenter for 7 days or until fermentation slows, then siphon into the secondary fermenter (5 gallon glass carboy).
Bottle when fermentation is complete, target gravity is reached and beer has cleared (approximately 3 weeks) with:
1-1/4 cup M&F Extra Ligth Dry Malt Extract
that has been boiled for 10 minutes in 2 cups of water.

Let prime at 70 degrees F for approximately 4 weeks until carbonated, then store at cellar temperature.

Mini-Mash Method:
Mash 1.5 lb British 2-row Pale Malt and the specialty grains at 150 degrees F for 90 minutes. Then follow the extract recipe omitting 2 lb. M&F Light Dry Malt Extract at the beginning of the boil.

All-Grain Method:
Mash 9.5 lb British 2-row Pale Malt and the specialty grains at 154 degrees F for 90 minutes. Add 8.7 HBU (25% less than the extract recipe) of bittering hops for 90 minutes of the boil. Add the Flavor Hops and Irish Moss as indicated by the extract recipe.

Helpful Hints:
This robust porter is ready to drink 1 month after it is carbonated. It will peak between 2 and 4 months and will last for up to 7 months at cellar temerature.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve at 50 degrees F in a pint glass with venison chili, piled high with red onions, sour cream, Vermont cheddar cheese, olives and warm, homemade tortilla chips.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Notes from Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers:

Malts, along with sugars, provide sugars for yeast to convert into alcohol.
Malts also provide some of the body, or "full mouth feel" of beers.

Sugars serve primarily to raise the alcohol level while doing little for flavor or mouth-feel.

If you prefer full-bodied, richly flavored beers, you will most likely prefer those with a high malt content, without too much sugar (aside from priming sugar, for bottling).

Most home brewers use the term "malt" in reference to malted barley.

The grain is allowed to partially sprout in the malting process. It is then kiln-dried - at lower temperatures for light color, at higher temperatures for dark color. Malting begins the process of turning starches in the grain into fermentable sugars. The "mashing" procedure completes the process - the grain is crushed, water is added, and the mixture is steeped at specified temperatures for specific amounts of time.

As an alternative to malting grains yourself, concentrated extracts of barley malt are available in syrup or powdered form. These have been concentrated after the malts have been mashed. The syrups are often called "malt extracts" and the powdered form, "dry malts."

Some recipes call for adding malt or other grains to provide added color or complex flavors. This first step will be "Simple Infusion Mashing," (I'll address this process in another post) unless you're using black grains (such as Chocolate Malt, Black Patent Malt or Roasted Barley), which are added directly to the boiling kettle halfway through the boil.

Pale Malted Barley - British vs. American
British pale malt is darker, giving beer a golden color.
Domestic pale malt is "properly" called Lager Malt.

Lager Malt is extremely light in color, crisp and dry in flavor. Advanced brewers use this as the base malt for making light, delicately flavored lagers.

Either Lager or Pale Malt can be used in small amounts to add body and flavor to any type of beer, or to slightly raise the Specific Gravity of a wort.

Mild Ale Malt -
has a bit more color than pale malt, and can be substituted for pale malt when making brown ales.

Munich Malt -
aromatic malt that gives beer a gold to amber cast, depending upon amount used; may be substituted for Pale, Lager, or Crystal Malt in many recipes

Wheat Malt -
in small amounts, will give beer a light, clean taste; good for head retention

Crystal (caramel) Malt -
kiln-dried at higher temperature, giving it a darker color and caramelized flavor; used in small amounts for adding color and flavor to amber, brown and dark beers

Black Patent Malt -
very dark and strong flavored; used in dark beers and stouts; all the starch has been burned out in the kiln, so it is added to the boiling pot whole; when experimenting with this malt, start with a small amount, increasing the amount in successive batches until you find a palatable amount; can yield good results, but can easily be overdone.

Roasted Barley -
similar to Black Patent, but roasted without being malted first; used in Irish Stouts

Chocolate Malt -
slightly lighter roast than Black Patent or Roasted Barley; smooth flavor suitable for porters

Dextrine Malt (cara-pils, or cara-crystal) -
contributes mostly unfermentable dextrins to a mash; increases full mouth feel, smoothness, sense of sweetness; neither a sugar nor a starch

To experiment with dextrin powder, use 1-2 oz per 5 gallons with lighter, more delicate beers, and up to 8 oz in heavy, dark beers.
Dextrin powder is added during the boiling of the wort.

Brewing Quality Beers by Byron Burch

So, I've recently begun to read as much as I can about brewing beers, as Todd and I are on our third batch of homebrew.

So, I thought I'd blog some of my book review notes for personal use and quick referencing...

I. Procedure for Ales and Stouts
A. Cooking
1. For recipes containing Lager, Pale, Mild Ale, Munich, Crystal, or Wheat Malt, make a tisane by heating water in a pot to 150 degrees F, turning off the heat, and placing the cracked or ground grain in the pot. Cover and let stand for 45 minutes to an hour.
2. Strain your grain tisane through a colander into your boiling pot and rinse through with hot water (130-170 degrees F) until the water runs clear. Disgard the grains (Compost them!).
3. Warm at least 2 gallons (preferably more; as many as your pot can hold, remembering that you'll need some room at the top of the pot to prevent boiling over) and dissolve any of the following ingredients that your recipe may call for:
a. Malt Extract
b. Dry Malt
c. Sugar (except for Priming Sugar)
d. Rice Syrup
e. Dextrin Powder
f. Gypsum Salt
g. Epsom Salts
h. Irish Moss
i. Yeast Nutrient
4. Begin to heat the water to a rolling boil.
5. Stir in the Bittering Hops, as well as any Roasted Barley, Black Patent Malt, or Chocolate Malt that is in your recipe.
6. Boil for 30 more minutes, adding the Aromatic Hops during the last two minutes.
7. At the end of the boil, cool the wort as quickly as possible to between 70-85 degrees F.
II. Fermentation
A. Siphon the cooled wort into a sanitized 5 or 6 gallon bucket.
B. Add the yeast.
C. Attach a fermentation lock to prevent bacteria from entering your brew.
D. In 5-7 days, when the fermentation lock is not bubbling and yeast activity appears to have ended, check the sugar levels with a hydrometer (technically for testing the specific gravity). When the sugar level tests to near where it should be and the sample tastes like dry, flat beer, it is ready to bottle (or place into a keg).
III. Bottling (but it's much easier to put in a keg!)
A. Siphon your beer into another sanitized bucket, taking care not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the first bucket.
B. Boil the Priming Sugar Syrup and add it to the bucket, stirring well.
C. Siphon the primed beer into your sanitized bottles and cap them.

[Carrie's note: That last part about bottling seems straightforward and simple, but believe me, taking the time to boil your bottles and caps for sanitizing, and adding the priming sugar to the beer, then bottling it is much more labor-intensive than the keg method. For Kegging your beer: After fermentation, siphon your beer from the bucket to a sanitized 5 gallon keg, taking care not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the keg. Add CO2, and enjoy. If you let your keg sit for a few days, you will allow any extra sediment to settle. Tap out a glass or two and water your garden with them, then enjoy the rest of your beer!]

Pale Ale - 5 Gallons (19 Liters)

From Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers:

5 lbs. Light Dry Malt or 6 lbs. Light Malt Extract
1 lb. Crystal Malt
1-2 tsp Gypsum
1/2 tsp. Salt
1-1/2 oz. Bittering Hops (Nugget or Eroica)
1/2 oz Aromatic Hops (Fuggle or Cascade)
Water to 5 gallons
3/4 cup corn sugar for priming
1/2 oz Ale Yeast

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.044-1.048
Final S.G. = 1.011-1.012
Alcohol by volume = 4%

British Style Bitter - 5 gallons (19 Liters)

From Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers:

6-1/2 lbs. Amber Malt Extract
1 lb. Crystal Malt
2 oz. 100% Dextrin Powder
1-2 tsp Gypsum
1/2 tsp Salt
2 oz Bittering Hops (Northern Brewer or Bullion) or 1-1/2 oz Bittering Hops (Nugget or Eroica)
1/2 oz Aromatic Hops (Fuggle, Willamette, Cascade or East Kent Golding)
Water to 5 gallons
3/4 c Corn Sugar for priming
1/2 oz Ale yeast

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.050
Final S.G. = 1.012-15
Alcohol by volume = 5%

Scottish Style Brown Ale - 5 Gallons (19 Liters)

From Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers:

4-1/2 lbs. Light Dry Malt
8 oz. Crystal Malt
2 oz. Munich Malt
3-1/2 oz. Crushed Chocolate Malt (added to mash)
8 oz. Dark Brown Sugar
4 oz. 100% Dextrin Powder
1/2 tsp Gypsum
3/4 tsp Salt
2 oz Bittering Hops (Fuggle or Willamette)
1 oz. Aromatic Hops (Northern Brewer dry hopped)
Water to 5 gallons
3/4 c Corn Sugar for priming
1/2 oz Ale Yeast

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.047
Final S.G = 1.015
Alcohol by volume = 5%

Porter - 5 Gallons (19 Liters)

From Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers:

5 lbs Light Dry Malt or 6 lbs Light Malt Extract
2 lbs Crystal Malt
1-1/2 lbs Munich Malt
4 oz Chocolate Malt (added to boil)
4 oz Black Patent Malt (added to boil)
4 to 6 oz 100% Dextrin Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1-3/4 oz Bittering Hops (Nugget or Eroica)
1 oz. Aromatic Hops (Fuggle, Willamette, or Cascade)
Water to 5 gallons
3/4 c corn sugar for priming
1/2 oz Ale Yeast

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.050
Final SG = 1.015
Alcohol by volume = 5%

Irish Style Stout - 5 Gallons (19 Liters)

From Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers:

5 lbs Light Dry Malt or 6 lbs Light Malt Extract
2 lbs Amber or Dark Malt Extract
1 lb. roasted Barley (added to boil)
1/4 tsp Salt
2-1/2 oz Bittering Hops (Northern Brewer or Bullion)
1/2 oz Aromatic Hops (Fuggle, Willamette, Cascade or Styrian Golding)
Water to 5 gallons
3/4 c corn Sugar for priming
1/2 oz Ale Yeast

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.058
Final SG = 1.020
Alcohol by volume = 5%

Imperial Stout - 5 Gallons (19 Liters)

From Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers:

8 lbs Dark Dry Malt
1 lb Crystal Malt
8 oz Black Patent Malt (crushed and boiled)
5 lbs White Rice Syrup
1 lb Corn Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
5 oz Bittering Hops =3 oz Northern Brewer or Bullion & 2 oz Nugget or Eroica
2-1/4 oz Aromatic Hops = 2 oz Cascade & 1/4 oz Saaz
Water to 5 gallons
3/4 c corn sugar for priming
1/2 oz Pasteur Champagne Wine Yeast

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.095
Final SG = 1.035
Alcohol by volume = 7%

Note: This beer needs several months in bottle to mature.

Barley Wine - 5 Gallons(19 Liters)

From Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers:

8 lbs Light Dry Malt
3 lbs Crystal Malt
1-1/2 lbs Mild Ale or Munich Malt
1-1/2 oz Chocolate Malt (added to mash)
8 oz 100% Dextrin Powder
2 oz. Bittering Hops (Eroica)
3 oz Aromatic Hops (Cascade dry hopped)
Water to 5 gallons
3/4 c corn sugar for priming
1/2 oz Pasteur Champagne Wine Yeast

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.105
Final SG = 1.030
Alcohol by volume = 8 %

Saccharometer - what's that about?!?

A Saccharometer is a hydrometer that is calibrated to measure by weight the amount of sugar in the solution (or your wort).
Technically, you should draw off a bit of the wort into a graduated cylinder or testing jar (sanitized, of course), however, we simply spray down the hydrometer with grain alcohol to sanitize it and test in our bucket. [Note: They may be a higher risk of contamination with this method, but we have not had a problem yet.]
The saccarometer is a long, hollow glass tube that is weighted at the bottom with a rolled up piece of paper inserted along the stem to give the measurement. The saccharometer is spun gently (to dislodge any air bubbles that may interfere with the reading) and allowed to float in the liquid sample. As it comes to a floating rest, a measurement is taken at the bottom of the meniscus (the liquid clings to the edges of the sides of the saccharometer and test jar).
If using a test jar to sample with, the sample should not be returned to the batch, as contamination may occur. Contamination can cause off odors and flavors in your batch, potentially ruining the entire 5 gallon batch.

How it works:
Sugar is heavier than water. Alcohol is lighter than water.
The saccharometer will float higher in a sugar solution than in water or an alcohol solution. The more sugar there is in the unfermented wort, the more syrupy it is, and the higher the saccharometer will float.

How it functions:
1) Measuring the amount of sugars present in the wort (Starting Specific Gravity) allows you to calculate the potential alcohol of your brew.
-Fermentation is yeast acting upon sugar to turn it into alcohol (and carbon dioxide, which escapes as gas).
2) Measuring the final specific gravity to let you know when you beer is finished.
-As your reading approaches your expected final gravity, you are able to judge more reliably when your yeast is finished working. In the final days, there is not enough gas being produced to create bubbles in the fermentation lock.

How it is calibrated:
1. Specific Gravity scale
a. More exact
b. 1.000 is the weight of water, higher numbers indicate more weight (ie. sugars in solution).
c. Sometimes the number will be simplified and communicated differently : 1.000 is "zero", 1.045 is "45"

2. Balling (Brix) scale
a. Less accurate
b. More useful in measuring the brix of fermenting wine

3. Potential Alcohol scale
a. Simplifies conversion of S.G. reading to potential alcohol.
b. Estimate of the alcohol by volume of the final brew.

The temperature at which you take the reading could affect the actual reading, as saccharometers are calibrated to give the correct reading at 60 degrees F. However, the difference is slight and should not affect the outcome for homebrewers.

Light Ale Recipe - 5 Gallons (19 Liters)

From Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers

3-1/2 lbs. Light Malt Extract
2 tsp. Gypsum
1-1/2 lbs. Corn Suger
1/8 tsp. Salt
2 oz. Bittering Hops (Northern Brewer or Bullion)
1/2 oz. Aromatic Hops (Fuggle or Cascade)
Water to 5 gallons
3/4 c. Corn Sugar for priming
1 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1/2 oz. Ale Yeast

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.036
Final S.G. = 1.006-8
Alcohol by volume = 3-1/2%