Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Session 1 Lager

Using Chicago's frigid Winters as a perfect ambiance for brewing lagers, I look forward to the season to get in several batches. Looking back to last years small beers, I thought I'd try making a small lager. A session lager that's low in alcohol, light in color, but very flavorful and crisp.

I was thinking about hopping with only one bittering addition, but since I'm going for more of a pils taste than helles, a bright finishing hop might be a nice refreshing nuance.

93% of the grist is made up of Franco-Belges Pilsen malt. Its a new malt for me, so I'm hoping it'll provide the right flavor for this light lager. One pound of Belgian Cara 8L was add for a tiny kiss of sweetness.

Simple really. Light and refreshing. Perfect for Spring. A good first beer of the year. It will leave a nice yeast cake for my 4th annual Copper Lager.

Session 1 Lager

13.5 lbs. Franco-Belges Pilsen Malt 1.8L
1.00 lbs. Belgian Cara 8L

2.25 oz. Czech Saaz, 3.5%, pellet, 60min
1.30 oz. Czech Saaz, 3.5%, pellet, 5min

Wyeast 2007: Pilsen Lager

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 1/12/10
Racked: 1/31/10

Water Adjustment:
2 Parts Distilled/RO to 1 Part Filtered Chicago
Strike: 1.06g, 3.38g Epsom, 1.25 tsp Acid Blend
2nd Sparge: 1.06g/heaped .25 tsp CaCl, 3.38g Epsom, Acid Blend->pH=5
Boil: .25 tsp Kosher Salt

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.5 qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.1
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 151°F/60min
Mash Out Temp/Time: 168°F/vorlauf
1st Batch Vol/SG: 6.75gal/1.060 (worried me a bit)

2nd Batch Sparge H2OTemp/MashTemp: 180°F/171°F
2nd Batch Vol/SG: 6gal/1.022

Pre-Boil Vol: 12.75
Pre-Boil SG: 1.038 (where OG should be)
Boil Time: 75min
Post-Boil Vol: approx. 10 gallons
Mash Efficiency: 89%

OG: 1.045 (darn...7 points high)
IBU: approx. 19
Color/SRM: Straw-Yellow/3
Ferment Temp: 45°F

FG: 1.014
ABW: 3.26%
ABV: 4%

Cost: $25.4, .24¢/12oz., $1.44/6-pack!...so nice and cheap!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Muddy River Stout brewed at Hamburger Mary's

Last year in November, our Northside Homebrewer's Connection had it's first internal dark/seasonal ale contest hosted by/at Hamburger Mary's. Five teams made five dark beers, all served on draft, with sampling and judging by the general public. After all the votes were tallied, Muddy River Stout won! Its a super smooth & chocolaty stout made with dark roasted malts and real chocolate.

The winning team, Hoyne Street Brewers, received a cash prize and the opportunity to go in and brew their recipe at Hamburger Mary's. With some recipe tweaks, ordering & gathering equipment & ingredients, and a logistical meeting, the brewday finally came.

I'd like send out a big congratulations to the winning team (Dave W., Matt K., J.D., and Kyle S.)! Also, a big thanks to Brandon for hosting the event and opening your kitchen/brewery to our new club! And we could have done it without the generosity of Nathan Barth, who's awesome brewing equipment was absolutely necessary...Thanks!

Yesterday morning, a 75 gallon, partial mash batch of Muddy River Stout was brewed. Using a 55 gallon mashtun (that would later become 1 of 3 boil kettles), along with numerous 15 gallon kettles, we mashed close to 100 pounds of grain and drew off nearly a full wort boil. Extract was added to make up the gravity points, and chocolate was also added at the end of the boil.

All-in-all, what easily could have been a logistical nightmare turned out to be a successful brewday. With six brewers, numerous filled kettles scattered half-logically all around, in a very small prep-kitchen, it was a bit cramped, but also a really enjoyable time. It was totally worth it and an experience we'll never forget. This special seasonal stout will be released on draft at the restaurant at the tail end of January or the very beginning of February.

It makes me very happy to see such a rewarding event and fun opportunity unfold within the first year of starting the NHC. Another NHC/HM contest will be planned & scheduled for either Spring or late Summer. After our second informal board meeting, plans for 2010 are set and unfolding. With a dedicated website coming soon, the majority of NHC information will be communicated there.

Muddy River Stout: On Draft NOW!

I'll be visiting Hamburger Mary's this Saturday evening...Jan30th. Please join me & some of the others from the winning team, over a pint while hanging out in their wreck room. Give me a call/text to coordinate a time.