Monday, September 1, 2008

More like "Brewing Day"...

...than "Labor Day."

Last Wednesday I declared this weekend my brewing weekend. I had lots of brewing projects on the schedule that needed to be: a) started, b) worked on, and, c) finished.

Let's begin.

New England-style Cider
Every year, about this time, I make a hard cider. In my years of brewing I've made two "regular" ciders, a raspberry (lactose sweetened) cider, and a New England-style cider (NE cider). A NE cider requires the addition of sugar and, sometimes, raisins or other dried fruit to the ferment. Last year's NE cider (I'll get to it in a moment) turned out successfully so I thought I'd try a variation on the same recipe.

New England Cider (II)

SG 1.080
5 gallons
  • 12 oz. raisins
  • 4 lbs. dark brown sugar
  • 5 gal. Cider (I use Indian Hills Cider from Cub Foods. No preservatives)
  • 1 drop olive oil
  • Wyeast 1098 - British Ale yeast
9/1/2008: Pour all ingredients into primary fermentor. Affix airlock.

Flanders Red
I love sour beers. Rodenbach Grand Cru is one of my favorite beers. This is my second intentionally sour beer. The recipe is from the Jan-Feb 2007 issue of Brew Your Own. I may split this batch and add fruit to half and/or blend it with an almost year old red currently brewing.

Flanders Red

5 gallons

  • 5 lbs. 5 oz. Vienna malt
  • 2 lbs. 8 oz. Pils malt
  • 15 oz. aromatic malt
  • 15 oz. CaraVienne malt
  • 2lbs. 2 oz. raw wheat
  • 5 oz. special B
  • 1 oz Hersburcker hops (60 minutes)
  • Wyeast 3763 - Rosalaire blend
9/1/2008: 4.33 gallons @ 170F strike water. 162F final mash temp. Mash for 90 minutes. Begin vorlauf and collect all wort (I collected 2.9 gal). Added 4.33 gallons of 178F sparge water for 10 minutes. Vorlauf and collect all wort (I collected 4.1 gallons). Total of 7 gallons collected.

Bring to boil. After an hour add hops. After second hour turn off heat. Should have five gallons of wort. Chill and rack to primary. Add Rosalaire blend.

Wild grape wine

Wild grapes are in season in SE MN. I went to the local dog park and picked 9.5 lbs. of wild grapes Friday night and Saturday morning. After cleaning and freezing the grapes I placed them in a nylon bag in a plastic bucket to thaw. Freezing breaks the grape cell walls causing extra juice extraction. Be forewarned: wear gloves when juicing wild grapes. I started to juice bare-handed but stopped because my hands started to itch. I'm waiting until tomorrow after work before I continue juicing. Recipe to come when done.

Worked on
Rhubarb Wine
I made this wine back in July from rhubarb picked and frozen by my parents. I racked the wine to secondary. It definitely needs more time to kill the "rocket fuel" taste.

New England Cider (I)
was a fortunate accident. I realized too late that I bought phosphated (yeast-inhibited) cider. Phosphates prevent yeast from reproducing. When I discovered my mistake I had already invested three days into the ferment. I decided to forget about the bucket and let whatever happened happen. That was October 2007.

I re-discovered the cider in March 2008 and found it had indeed fermented. SG was 1.071 and the reading then was 1.024. I transferred the cider to secondary and let it sit until July when I added a second packet of yeast to help dry-out the cider. The added yeast didn't help; I kegged this batch on Aug. 30 with a FG of 1.022. Had I tried to bottle I would have had still cider.

New England Cider (I)
SG 1.071
FG 1.022
Alcohol: 6.6%
5 gallons

  • 8 oz. raisins (organic)
  • 8 oz. dried cranberries (sweetened)
  • 2 lbs. dark brown sugar
  • 5 gal. Cider (I use Indian Hills Cider from Cub Foods. No preservatives)
  • Wyeast 1187 - Ringwood Ale
10/7/2007: Steeped the raisins and cranberries in .5 gal of cider (medium heat) before adding to primary with 2lbs dark brown sugar. Accidently used phosphated cider. oops

3/11/2008: transferred to secondary 1.024

7/2008: Yum! Need to keg or bottle for fall! Added second pack of 1187 to dry out cider.

8/30/2008: Kegged it @ 25 PSI. FG 1.022. In a word: Delicious.

Raspberry Mead (Melomel)
Raspberry Melomel
SG 1.100
FG 1.013
Alcohol: 11.6%
1 gallon

  • 3 lbs. honey
  • 3 pints rasberries
  • 1 tsp. Go-Ferm
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient
  • Wyeast 4184 - Sweet Mead
9/4/2007: Added all ingredients but raspberries to one gallon container. Very vigorous ferment.

11/4/2007: Racked and added frozen and thawed raspberries. Freezing and thawing aids juice extraction. Beautiful red color.

3/2/2008: transferred to tertiary.

7/19/2008: transferred again.

9/1/2008: bottled seven beer bottles. Let aging begin. Tastes "boozy."

No comments: