Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fun Facts and Plans - Gumballhead

I was looking at a clone recipe for Delirium Tremens today and it looks like it's a Trappist-style! It is extremely close to the first Chimay Blue clone recipe I put up, with a few additions, a change in hops, and the option of using the same type of yeast!

I think next I will be doing a Gumballhead clone:

1 lb 2 Row (grains)
1 lb Torrified Wheat (grains?)
6 lbs Wheat Dried Malt Extract
3 to 4 oz Amarillo hops (not sure how much I'm going to use yet, it depends on the flavor these impart, and how long hop pellets are good for once they've been opened)
White Labs WLP001 California Ale Yeast (or whatever CA Ale Yeast the Brew and Grow has in stock)
3/4 cup priming sugar

Update::4/21 - Just realized I got my recipes mixed up, and 1lb Torrified Wheat was from the Chimay Blue Clone. Looks like I already have that one started. I actually need 1lb Caravienne, and will be following this recipe.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Everest - "Chimarch Blue" (Chimay Blue Clone)

My goal, and the thing that brought me into homebrewing, is Chimay Blue. So I will try the two recipes below, and finally combine them to attempt to make Chimarch - my Chimay clone. Recipe
Recipe Type:
Yeast: White Labs WLP 500 Belgian Trappist
Yeast Starter: Yes (2 sets of wine yeast nutrient)
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: N/A
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.068 (low for Chimay, add more sugars (LME/DME/maltodextrin/cadi sugar)
Final Gravity: 1.0110
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60 mins
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 5 days @ 68F
Additional Fermentation: N/A
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 10 days @ 68F

Steep the grain in 3 gallons of water at 156F for 40 Minutes:

32 oz Munich Malt
8 oz Special B
8 oz CaraMunich
4 oz Belgian Aromatic
8 oz Torrified Wheat

Remove the grains and add another gallon of water and add:

3lbs Munich Malt Extract
4 lbs Amber Malt Extract

1 oz Hallertauer (60 mins)
1 oz Styrian Goldings (30 mins)

16 oz Lyle's Golden Syrup at 45 mins
2 packets dried wine yeast as nutrient at 45 mins.
1 Whirlflock tab at 45 mins

Cool wort to 75F and pitch yeast starter. Cool to ambient temperature and remain throughout fermentation. Bottle.
Thread Comments:
Did you use LME or DME? I just finished brewing this recipe and ended up with an OG of 1.086. I didn't substitute any of the grain, but I did sub in 7lbs sparkling amber DME for the extract.
Just do a google for "making invert syrup".    It's basically a pound of white sugar, a bit of water to make it a thick slush, and then a dash of lemon juice.   Cook it slowly and bring it to a slow boil...stirring. Eventually it will begin to darken.  Once it's at the right shade ( I usually get a light straw color), it's ready. I make mine an hour or so before brewing so I can just dump it in at the end of the boil.

Alternate Recipe
Ingredients: 14.33 lbs. Belgian Pale
1.76 lbs. Belgian Munich
0.26 lbs. Belgian Aromatic
0.29 lbs. Belgian Caramunich®
0.11 lbs. Belgian Chocolate Malt
0.13 lbs. Candi Sugar Amber
0.44 lbs. Torrified Wheat
0.8 oz. Cluster (Pellets, 7.00 %AA) boiled 60 min.
0.2 oz. Hallertau Hersbruck (Pellets, 4.50 %AA) boiled 15 min.
0.2 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellets, 5.00 %AA) boiled 15 min.
0.2 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellets, 5.00 %AA) boiled 1 min.
0.2 oz. Saaz (Pellets, 5.00 %AA) boiled 1 min.
5 grams curacao peel (not included in calculations)
3 grams fresh ground coriander seed (not included in calculations)
Yeast : WYeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II

Alcohol by Volume (%): 9.000
FG: 1.019
IBUs: 25
OG: 1.087
Instructions: Due to research I've found that they use cluster hops (surprisingly) as well as the addition of curacao peel and coriander (more so bck in the 70's and 80's when the grand reserve was just that 'grand)'. Wheat startch is also used, but I've decided on the torrified wheat instead. This version also differs from my original recipe (Chimay Blue clone #1)l in that I've used amber sugar in stead of dark(candysugar in both cases) and lessened the chocolate malt to 50g from 100g (curacao and coriander were not included in Clone#1). This is to bring it more in line with Blue's true SRM.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I also brewed 2 ciders yesterday, but was too tired to actually post about them. My buddy's girlfriend works at Whole Foods, so she got me 3 1-gallon glass jugs of organic apple-juice (perfect for fermenting). One is to drink (and to stagger the secondary stages), so for one I dumped in half a sachet of red wine yeast. I did this to leave a bit more sweetness behind, whereas champagne yeast would leave it higher in alcohol content, but also much more dry to taste. The Original Gravity of this was 1.063.

The second one I added as much brown sugar as I had (about 1/4 a cup) and added a bit more confectioners sugar (to get the ABV up), but the OG of this was only a little higher at about 1.067 or so.

1 airlock ($1 at Brew and Grow supply store)
1 stopper (.60c)
1 glass carboy, pre-filled with organic apple juice from Whole Foods (discounted - thanks G! but usually $3.99 at Brew and Grow)
1 sachet wine yeast (.50c)
1/4 cup brown sugar

1) Put sugar in small saucepan
2) Add juice to cover
3) Heat until sugar is dissolved (very quick, 2-3 min)
4) Return to carboy
5) Cap and shake carboy until all accumulation from bottom of jug has been mixed
6) Take specific gravity
7) Add half sachet of yeast
8) Add airlock
9) Ferment

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tips For Kit Brewing

I just realized I actually had wisdom to impart! It's a rare occasion, so I thought I'd document that before I forgot.

When kit brewing with Dried Malt Extract (DME) I have found something to be very helpful. When it's time to add my DME I do the following

1) cut open DME bags with scissors along the long side to it will be easy to dump quickly, and set them off to the side standing up (so no DME spills)
2) stir the wort so it is moving very quickly (but not splashing) on it's own when the spoon is removed
3) dump the DME as fast as possible, but be careful not to splash
4) stir like a mug

The DME is dehydrated, powdered malt. As soon as it hits liquid it begins to rehydrate itself. Your wort is boiling, so steam is rising from it. This means your DME begins to rehydrate itself as soon as or sometimes even before it leaves the bag, which gets very messy.  Dumping while the wort is still stirring itself means no crust is formed on top of your wort that you then have to break up, and doing it quickly means no lumps form in your bag.

SG Readings and Procedural Thingys

English Brown Ale
So while doing the English Brown Ale, I wasn't pleased with how long it took to get back up to a boil. I did something stupid and put the lid on the huge brewpot. It took just seconds for it to overflow. I think that also removed several of the good fermentables, because there is almost no krausen buildup on the edge of the primary. I think that also might be because of the gas release valve setting - I put it deliberately low after having the Russian Imperials Stout literally explode all over my dining room. Oh well. I am going to siphon now, using the water-in-tube method suggested by Papazian.

The OG was 1.040, and the SG now - moving to secondary - is just over 1.010. Assuming that's relatively stable, the ABV% is going to be about 4% ((1.040 - 1.010)*131.25)

Belgian Tripel
While brewing the Tripel I cut some of the recipe out. I did not wait for the wort to come to a boil before adding the LME/DME/candi/maltodextrin and dumped it all in.

I must say, it was one of the coolest reactions ever to see the hops go into that. I put just a few at a time in because I knew it would cause major foam with the enzymes mixing, and that thing was bubbling like MAD for a good 5 minutes. It was pretty cool.

OG was 1.080 - this is gonna be a strong one! Hopefully it'll get down to about 1.010, making it just over 9%

This is a quick video of the airlock after just over 12 hours - there is a steady, but not huge amount of CO2 being released.

Next Up: Hard Cider

Monday, April 5, 2010

Impulse Buys and Second Tries

I headed out to the Brew and Grow two days ago and made an impulse buy. They have an expanded selection, so I purchased the planned English Brown Ale, but also saw and purchased a kit for a Belgian Tripel. Apparently, you have to age them for over 3 months, so I'm going to purchase a second carboy today when I go again, and try to bulk age it for the 3 months and then bottle it.

My buddy also pointed me out to a new site where I saw this:

So I have a 5 gallon plastic carboy, I wonder if there is a sanitary way for me to attach this to the bottom:

The most difficult would be the secondary nozzle for tasting, but I was thinking I could use to the one I already have with nozzle in it, not necessarily in the funnel. The nozzle at the bottom is easy, but sealing the two together - especially in a way that is known to be sanitary.

On another note, I also found that I had not been sanitizing my equipment properly, which I believe is the odd taste to my stout. I had been using the iodine sanitizer before the cleanser, and apparently you're supposed to do the opposite - the iodine sanitizes for human consumption those things the chemical cleanser removes/loosens from your equipment. Whoops!