Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why does my blond ale taste like a hefe?

I'm sure all of my readers are concerned about what I've been doing in the month and a half since last time I blogged. Oh wait, I don't have any readers. Ha!

Since last blog entry I kicked the Brown and Mild ales, brewed a blond that I'm drinking right now, got an IPA with 4 ounces of Centennial during the boil sitting on 2 ounces of Centennial dryhops in the secondary, got a primary full of Bohemian Pilsner brewed with 5 ounces of homegrown Saaz but fermented with US05 at 62 degrees since I can't lager yet. I've also smoked about 25 pounds of pork on my new smoker. Good times! The Pils was brewed at RAZE's (Rochester Area Zymurgy Enthusiasts) Teach a Friend to Homebrew event on Saturday.

If you've been following this blog you probably know that about 14 of the last 15 batches I've brewed I've pitched US05 dry yeast. I have not had a problem until this blond ale I brewed up at the beginning of October. I've brewed something like 18 batches in the last year and really have my system and process dialed so the problem that's developed with this beer is driving me absolutely crazy. It tastes like a frickin wheat beer. It's got the same kind of esters that you'd taste in a hefe! What the hell? I pitched the yeast at 65 degrees and temps never got above that, they actually went lower, and it was a long and slow fermentation. The thing is, I've pitched US05 lower than that and fermented as low as 60 and never had a problem and still get the FG down below 1.015 every time. I think it has something to do with the sluggish fermentation but it's really weird how the flavors developed into a wheaty mess. It has been getting better in the keg and it's totally drinkable, but it just doesn't taste like it should.

Next beer on deck is going to be a clone of RedHook's Late Harvest Autumn Ale. Kristen and I went through a 12er of this while camping 2 weeks ago so I'm trying to clone it. I got the OG, IBU, SRM, and malt and hop varieties (but not quantities) off their website, so I used the TastyBrew calculator to come up with this for my first partial mash brew in my 2 gallon mash tun:

  • 2 lbs Rahr 2 row
  • 1 lb Weyerman rauchmalt (smoked malt)
  • .5 lb Caramel 60
  • .25 lb Caramel 120
  • .25 lb roasted barley
  • 4 lbs Briess pilsen DME
  • 1 oz Northern Brewer @ 60 minutes
  • 1 oz Saaz @ 10 minutes
Have any of you had this beer? How does the recipe look to you? I hit the stats that RedHook provided but we'll see. I'm not sure about the rauch malt, so I went with just a pound to start. If this all works out I can always try again. It was a nice malty and slightly smoky beer, perfect for cold weather.

I actually just ordered a bunch of stuff from Midwest Supplies too: Golden Promise, Maris Otter, more 2 row, and some yeast. I'm planning on doing a partial mash brew here and there. I might use the Maris Otter in an Oatmeal Stout and the Golden Promise in a big IPA. We'll see though. Anybody else brewing or drinking anything interesting?

Here's what the little mash tun I made looks like. These aren't my pics but mine looks exactly like this:


Bri said...

Hey man good to see you're blogging again. I stopped for a long time. I even brewed once in the last 2 months but wasn't up to taking notes really that day.

Anyway, It's good to see you've kept up with brewing. I don't have many comments for you on the Amber tasting like a wheat. That sounds really weird. About the only thing I can offer is maybe you had a few too many homebrews and pitched the wrong yeast. Just kiddin' man. I've used the us-04 & us-05 for a couple batches and think it works just fine. It's possible that they gave you a bad batch too.

If you've brewed 18 already, you should shoot for 100 gallons this year. Next year, switch over to all-grain 10 gallon batches and you could hit the sweet 200 legal mark.

I don't think I've had a red hook in a few years. The recipe looks nice though. I'm not sure how different the rahr will be from regular 2 row, but it might add a nice subtle flavor.

I dig the mini tun you built. I need to make one myself, but probably go for one a bit bigger. I can do 10-gal worts, so might as well try a 10-gal all grain batch one of these days, maybe once summer roles around I'll have the bare min to get her done.

I recently replaced my co2 tank and in 2 days it was empty again. I was pissed, but it was my fault, I didn't seal the keg correctly. So now I am paranoid that my co2 is empty every time I fill up.

richt said...

You've only brewed once in the last 2 months? Get going dude! Yeah, the blonde tastes a little off, not bad, just off. Oh well. I've got an all Centennial IPA that I'm kegging tonight and the pils will get kegged in 2 weeks or less. I'll definitely hit the 100 gallon mark this year. I've another brew coming up next weekend, plus at least 2 more before xmas, so I'm over. School starting messed up my schedule a little, but now I'm hoping to get back onto the every other weekend schedule or so. The big downfall to brewing good beer is you have to brew more of it to keep up!

The Rahr is regualar 2row, just the name of a maltster. If I ever upgrade to allgrain I'll use the braid and valve on a bigger cooler. I don't foresee having enough time to add a couple hours or more to brew sessions anytime soon though.

Bummer about your tank. Hasn't happened to me yet but I worry every time I grab a pint.

Matt Andrews said...

I suffer from lazyitis as well!! I haven't brewed anything lately and I still have 10 gallons of beer in carboys waiting to be kegged and some hefe sitting in the keg. I have actually found that my hefe got better with age! I was rather shocked! I need to brew, it's just been getting to the busy time of the year... sigh, too many excuses, not enough brewing!

The blonde that tastes like wheat. Hmmm, stumped me.....

That's an awesome setup! I tried a partial mash once and just got a colander and that was it, it was a messy wreck!! haha! I like that setup, it keeps you flexible and still get's some grain sugars in your beer!!!