Monthly Archives: March 2012

Homebrew: Making a yeast starter pictorial

Here are a couple of pictures I took while making a 3 litre starter with Wyeast’s 1968 yeast. I began the day with smacking the yeast pack. For 3 liters of starter I used 300g of dry malt extract (I always use 10% malt extract, which gives me an OG of about 1.035).

I weighed up the malt extract and mixed it with 3 liters of boiling water in a pot. I boiled the mixture for 15 minutes, while mixing up a StarSan solution.

I put the yeast pack, a pair of scissors, some aluminum foil, a stir bar, and my starter vessel in the StarSan solution, after which I emptied the starter vessel and filled it with the boiling wort. I capped the vessel with the sanitized aluminum foil and let it cool. Cooling was speeded by using a water bath.

After the wort had cooled enough, I cut open the yeast pack with the sanitized scissors after giving it a thorough shake, and poured it into the cooled wort. I then put the aluminum foil back on, and placed the vessel on a stir plate. About 36 hours it looked like this:

Before using, I put it in the fridge for 24 hours, so that the yeast settled to the bottom, and then poured of approx. 80% of the wort. I pitched the rest into the intended beer, and less then 24 hours later the beer was fermenting like mad!

Beer delivery!

Thanks to my friend Ingo (who brought me some goodies from Systembolaget) and Brewdog’s online shop, I received the following beers today:

From left to right: Brewdog Hops Kill, Brewdog Hardcore IPA, Brewdog / Three Floyds Bitch Please Islay, Brewdog Tokyo*, Baird Suruga Bay IIPA, Green Flash Double Stout, Brewdog Punk IPA, Brewdog Abstrakt 08, Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest, Port Brewing High Tide, Stone Double Bastard, Southern Tier Backburner, Southern Tier Gemini, Southern Tier Jah-va, Mikkeller / Three Floyds Boogoop, Cigar City Jai Alai, and Cigar City Humidor Series IPA.

Homebrew: Apple Cider

Today I had a go at making some Apple Cider. The ‘brewday’ was surprisingly short, as all I had to do was sanitize the fermenting vessel, add in 13L of organic fresh pressed apple juice (Satower brand, brought from a shop called Toivo in Sello), 0.5L of apple juice concentrate (Brunneby brand, was hoping for a stronger apple flavor), and a packet of S-04 yeast (took a total of about 30 minutes). In about 3 months time (1 month in the fermenter, 2 months conditioning in the keg) the cider should hopefully be ready for drinking. I was thinking about adding some lime juice (for tartness), tea (for tannins) and pectinase (for clearing), but not having made cider before, I thought it would be best to first try what kind of result you get from not adding anything extra. If the cider is cloudy still after conditioning I might add some pectinase (even though it is recommended to add it pre-fermentation since the enzyme is partially inhibited by alcohol), since I’ve read some reports of it still working post-fermentation. The OG of the cider was around 1.045 (11.5 brix), so (if this doesn’t ferment bone-dry) it should end up with an ABV of around 5-5.5%.

Homebrew: Bottling the kegs and dry hopping the IPAs

Last Saturday was a hectic day as I bottled a total of 35L of beer (four 9L batches) which have been conditioning in my kegs. The beers were an oak-aged version of the Black Panther, the Snopen Dog Breakfast Stout, the Smoked Lager, and the Peat-Smoked Porter. My favorites of the group was the oak-aged Black Panther and the Smoked Lager. I think both the Breakfast Stout and the Peat-smoked Porter need a bit more time before they reach their prime.

Yesterday I dry hopped our Citra IPA with 75g of Citra, and our Sim-tennial IPA with 50g+50g of Simcoe and Centennial. The gravities of both beers had dropped to the 1.010-1.011 range, and the small sample I had was quite promising. The bitterness was surprisingly present, but the beer is still green, and I think it will mellow with time and carbonation. I hope the dry hopping gives the beers a huge hop aroma and flavor punch. These beers should be in their prime in the end of April.

Small update

Haven’t written anything for two weeks, as I’ve been quite busy, so I thought I’d write a short update. Last Sunday I brewed up a single hop Citra APA/IPA and a Simcoe+Centennial APA/IPA using the same malt base and a English Ale yeast. I’ll post some more details on the brew in a dedicated blog post later during the week. The smell from the airlocks are fantastic, so am looking forward to tasting both of them!

I also tasted the smoked lager, which I would reclassify as a vienna lager with subtle smoked tones, yesterday and I thought it tasted great (malty, toasty, with subtle smokiness and hoppiness). The beer had also cleared well and it had a nice deep amber appearance. Will be posting a proper review later. The porter hadn’t carbonated yet unfortunately.

HOK-Elanto’s Oluthuone pubs are currently having an ‘IPA Festival’, featuring 16 India Pale Ales from around the world. I tried out 8 of them last Friday (SKA Modus Hoperandi, Slottsk√§llans Zero, Mikkeller Tomahawk, Mikkeller Sorachi Ace, Mikkeller I Beat yoU, 8Wired Hopwired, Thornbridge Jaipur and Weyerbacher’s Hops Infusion), and the majority of them were really nice. I really liked 8Wired’s Hopwired, Mikkeller’s I Beat yoU and Slottsk√§llans Zero. Weyerbacher’s Hops Infusion, with it’s strange fruitiness, was my least favorite of the night. I recommend a visit to one of the Oluthuone pubs!

In other news, Panimoravintola Bruuveri are currently having ‘microbrewery weeks‘, where they feature guest tap beers from Finnish microbreweries. Easter beers (as well as Stadin Panimo’s American Amber Lager) should be arriving to Alko the upcoming weeks.

Will try to post some updates and more detailed information on the homebrews, as well as some new beer reviews (I have a lot of interesting imperial stouts in the beer cabinet waiting to be sampled), asap. Until then, have a beer!