Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Not So Crappy Ale

Continuing with my out of sequence posts, I'd like to write about my roasted buckwheat ale. This was my first all grain beer. After a year of making mead, I was excited to brew a batch of beer and to use my mini, 2 gallon MLT. Even more so, I wanted to share some of my beer with everyone at the Northside Homebrewers Connection (and to stop being the weird guy that always brings mead).

I read that a brown ale was a good beer to brew for those new to all grain. I assume this is because the recipe can be very simple, you don't have to go crazy with hopping and the roasted malt can cover up any minor mistakes. I decided I would make a brown ale. However, since I always feel the need to to something different, I swapped out the roasted barley with some roasted buckwheat.

The buckwheat was roasted in muffin top
pans for 1.5hrs @ 400°F

The brewing process was almost flawless. My only problem was forgetting to preheat the mash tun and missing my desired temperature. Everything after that was a breeze. I let the beer sit in the primary bucket for 3 weeks and went right to bottling. I sampled some of the beer and I was not very impressed. The buckwheat seemed to give off a bit of a twang. Of course, knowing green beer never really tastes that great, I did not stress out too much. For lack of an official name, I wrote "Crap Ale" on each bottle cap. One month later, the homebrew club sampled a bottle and had good things to say. Ted (of tedbrews.com) said that it reminded him of a brown malt.

I really have enjoyed this beer. It's a little dryer than I planned, but it's refreshing. In some ways, it reminds me of Guinness. I think the tangyness of the buckwheat reminds me of the sour mash addition to Guinness. The color of the beer is a lighter than it appears in the photo above, so perhaps the compairison is also a bit visual. I'll definately give roasted buckwheat another try sometime.

Crap Ale
Batch Size: 2.5 gallons

3 lbs Pale Malt
1 lbs Crystal - 20L
.5 lbs Roasted Buckwheat

.75 oz Fuggle, 4.5%, Leaf, 60 min.
.25 oz Fuggle, 4.5%, Leaf, 15 min.

Yeast: Safeale S-04

Brew Day Stats:
Brewed: 5/9/09
Racked: n/a
Bottled: 6/1/09

H2O/Grain: 1.25 qt/lb
Sach. Rest Temp/Time: 146°F/60min.

OG: 1.041
IBU: approx. 20

Ferment Temp: 76°F

Monday, July 27, 2009

"When life gives you rye, make roggenbier."

I have been meaning to get this brew log going for quite a while now. Finally, after two name changes and several recipes already in the books, I'm entering my first post. As time progresses, I'll review some of my past meads, beers, malting and brewing experiences. However, I'd like to get the ball rolling with my most recent endeavor.

Yesterday, I made an impromptu rye beer. I've been considering making one for a couple months, but there were several other batches that were ahead of it in the queue. That was until I realized I had bought 1.5 lbs of flaked rye instead of flaked wheat. I didn't want waste my brew day and decided to come up with a recipe that could utilize what I had on hand. My experience was very similar to my homemalted, gluten free, grain experiments. There were some major stuck sparge issues. In the future, I'll have to try adding rice hulls at 20% of my grain bill because using only 10% did not cut it. Fortunately, my batches have been so small that I can easily switch to the B.I.A.B. method to finish lautering

Two Rabbit Rye
Batch Size: 2.5 gallons

2 lbs Pale Malt
1.5 lbs Flaked Rye
.5 lbs Flaked Wheat
.25 lbs Rolled Oats
.43 lbs Rice Hulls

.5 oz Liberty, 4.3%, Pellet, 60 min.
.25 oz Liberty, 4.3%, Pellet, 15 min.
.25 oz Liberty, 4.3%, Pellet, 5 min.

Yeast: Nottingham

Brew Day Stats:
Brewed: 7/26/09

H2O/Grain: 1.75 qt/lb
Sach. Rest Temp/Time: 153°F/60min.

OG: 1.040
IBU: approx. 21.8
Color/SRM: 3.3 (Beer Smith)

Ferment Temp: 73°F