Monday, March 30, 2009

Fermenting Update

After what was easily the longest lag I have ever experienced or expect to experience, my Lefse Blond was bubbling away on Friday with a very fresh krausen. It was still going strong on Sunday, and I would guess the lag was from last Sunday until Friday or a full 5 days. I plan on slowly ramping up the temp a degree a day for the next few days to ensure that the fermentation finishes off strong. I will probably not rack it next weekend, with the time that I will be spending on the other side of town visiting Lee and Kyle while they are in town. Family comes before beer, at least when it means that I won't be around to work on it.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Lefse Blond Brew Day

Haven't brewed in a long time, and I was running out in the fridge, so I sat down on Sunday to brew. The Lefse Blond is an incredibly easy brew process with no specialty grains just 2 kinds of sugar. Boiled up 5 gallons of water, dumped in 6 lbs of malt extract and a bag of candi sugar. Once I felt that was mixed, I dumped in 1.5 oz of Spalt hops and started my 60 minute boil. No boil overs and a pretty easy process, other than keeping Rachel from getting to close to the rig. Dumped in my flavor hops along with a Whirfloc tablet and then flame out and cooling time. This was the second time I used my sump pump freezing water cooling process. I brought the temp down to under 120 using tap water then switch over to the pump. I was able to get the wort down into the 60's before racking it to my carboy. This was the best cooling I had ever done and could have pitched the yeast immediately, but the smack pack was a bit old and hadn't swelled yet. I waited 10 hours, then just pitched the yeast anyway. It was lagging, but I expected this and will give it 72 hours before even thinking about it again.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Widmer Pale Ale is Back

I don't remember if I blogged about this beer back when they first released it in 2007, but I vividly remember drinking several six packs of this in the summer of 2007. It has to be the most balanced, drinkable pale ale I have ever had. I spent quite a bit of time when I first started homebrewing looking for a clone of this beer as it was a limited edition and I was in danger of never having it again. I never did find a recipe, but now it doesn't matter. I really love the unique taste of the Summit hops and the beer was really supremely balanced. As soon as I find this in the store I will be picking up a six pack and may have to think about trying to grab a keg for the old kegerator.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

2009 Mesa Strong Beer Fest

Hit the fest this weekend and wanted to let folks know about some of the beers. Best beer I had went to the 2007 Stone Old Guardian Bourbon Barrel aged. I have had Old Guardian before, but after being aged in the bourbon barrel it was extra yummy. Slight oak flavor and just a hint of the bourbon. Most interesting beers was a tie between the Chipotle Stout I had and the Coconut Coffee Stout that Matt had. I enjoyed mine and Matt hated his. Other notables were the Serpent Stout from Lost Abby and the Winter Wobbler from Four Peaks. I waited in line for over a half an hour for a chance at a taste of DFH's World Wide Stout. Missed it by about 20 people, so I had to settle for a 90 Minute instead. Pretty good fest, overall I have no doubt that when compared to next weekend I will see this as the more personal and low key of the two. Next up GABF in Tempe with a whole crew of people. Crowds and long lines. The oddest part of the fest next weekend is that the lines will be longest for really bad beer.