Bloodmoon stout

bloodmoon

A rather serious stout

27 September 2015 AD

I set out to make something a little more serious than my previous stouts. Something to warm the dark nights approaching. The occasion of the dark moon seemed the proper occasion to do it.

Grain Bill-

  • 10 pounds Marris Otter
  • 1 pound crystal 120L
  • 17 oz roasted barley
  • 8 oz chocolate malt

Hop Bill-

  • 1 oz Solis Thoor hedgerow hops (unknown variety, unknown alpha acids)

Yeast-

  • White labs Irish Ale cultured from last brew. A long time ago. Hoping there is still some viable yeast in there.

Starter made with 1/2 c light extract to 1 pint of water

Mash schedule- simple infusion

I mashed in with 3.5 gallons of water, enough to get the grains all wet.

  • Strike temp to 150F for a two hour sach rest. Checked the temp at 1 hr and it was still good, so it was never reheated.

Sparge-

  • 5 gallons of sparge water at 170F

Boil-

S.g. was 1.054 at start of boil. Added hops for about 1.5 hr. Total boil roughly 2.5 hr.

Starting Gravity= 1.085

The color and consistency of used motor oil. Hops is adequate. I considered adding more during the boil, but decided against it. I think I made the right choice. This is not going to be a session beer.

Thistle Hunter 90 Shilling Scotch Ale

photo-17

Brewed 7/26/2015 AD

O.g. 1.070

A true scotch ale, bittered with fresh thistle leaves rather than hops. I did this as an experiment last summer (have not yet posted recipe) and it turned out pretty nice, though I went real easy on the thistle. This time I am doubling the thistle. It gives almost a sweet bitterness with no aftertaste. 

I had intended to use leaves from a very large, noble thistle plant in front of my garage, but when I went to harvest the leaves, the underside of all of them was covered with what looked to be ant larvae, and there were ants crawling all over it. All the leaves were like this. I considered, of course, adding some protein to the brew, but decided that I would hunt out a cleaner plant. 

  • 11 lbs Marris Otter
  • 3 oz roasted barley
  • 1/2 pound 90 L crystal

Yeast:

White labs Edinburgh Ale. Starter made the previous day.

Bittering:

2 oz fresh thistle leaves

Mash Notes

Single infusion

  • Strike at about 162F
  • 2 hour sacrification at 158 F
  • at one hour, it had dropped to about 156F. I raised back to 160 for another hour

Sparge Notes

  • Sparged with 4 gallons. I was looking for gravity more than volume, so no point in getting the thin runnings that I would have to boil off all night.

Brew Notes

  • 2 hour boil
  • 2 oz fresh thistle leaves added for 1.5 hrs.

Solstice Festbier and AGU Tribute 2015

21 and 28 June, 2014 AD

OK, I am running a little late this year, brewing my Marzens in June. This will be the last oktoberfest at Solis Thoor, so might as well make it a good one.  

I brewed two styles. One is pretty much a repeat of last year’s Hunger Game marzen. The second is my homage to the AGU. I made my own interpretation of your 2014 fest recipe.

Solstice Festbier:

Grain Bill

  • 6 pounds German Pilsner
  • 2 pounds red wheat malt
  • 1 pound Vienna malt
  • 0.5 pound light crystal 10L
  • 1 pound cara Munich

Hop Bill

  • 2 ounce German Hallertau pellets (2.7% alpha) 1.5 hrs (won’t be overhopped!)
  • unknown small quantity of unknown variety of hops from my vines

Yeast

  • White labs Octoberfest Lager yeast

I made a starter the night before.

Mash Schedule-

I hit my temps like clockwork with the decoctions.

    • 3 gallons well water.
    • Mash in: Strike temp = 100 F
    • Glucanase rest: Temp = 100 F hold for 20’ (not sure where I got this idea)
    • Protein rest: Raise to 125 F (122-127); hold 30‘
    • Decoction 1: Remove 40% of thickest part of mash into second kettle
      • Raise second kettle to 158 F (158-162); hold saccharification for 20’
      • Keep rest mash 122 F (122-127)
      • Bring second kettle to boil; boil 10 min
    • Beta amylase rest: Recombine with rest mash to bring to 150 F (145- 153F) & hold for 30’
    • Decoction 2: Remove 1/3 mash into second kettle, slowly raise to boil for 10’
    • Alpha amylase Rest: Recombine with rest mash. Was dead on at 160 (158-162)F; hold for 1.5 hour. Temp had dropped to about 145, so I brought back to 160 and rested another half hour.
    • Mash out: Raise to 170 F

Sparge

  • 4.5 gallons well water. I did not treat the sparge water for this one, but did for the next one.

I came frighteningly close to a stuck mash, probably due to the wheat in the mix. But, I slowed the outflow to a trickle and it never did actually come to a full stop. The gravity at the start of the boil, just after sparge, was 1.050

Boil

  • Total boil about 2 hrs
  • 2.7 AAUs (pellets) added at start of boil
  • 2.7 AAUs (leaf) added 60 minutes in
  • handful of hedgerow mystery hops to add complexity and make sure I can never actually repeat a recipe.

O.G.: 1.070

Came up short on volume. Probably about 4 gals. This was my inspiration to brew a second festbier.

 

AGU Tribute Fest:

An interpretation of the 2014 AGU fest. I wanted to stick with the idea of splitting the base grain bill in half, half pils malt and half a blend of Munich and Vienna. The AGU hop level is listed at 35 AAU for a 20 gallon batch, which is 1.75 AAU per gallon. This means just shy of 9 AAU for a 5 gallon batch, which worked out well for the American Hallertau I used.

Grain Bill

  • 5 pounds German Pilsner
  • 3 pounds Vienna malt
  • 2 pounds Munich malt
  • 0.5 pound crystal 60L
  • 0.5 pound cara Munich 3

Hop Bill

  • 2 ounce American Hallertau pellets (4.5% alpha) 1.5 hrs

Yeast

  • White labs Octoberfest Lager yeast cultured from first batch.

I racked the previous week’s batch and made a starter from it. It was not really ready to be racked, but as Shakespeare said, some beers have racking thrust upon them.

Mash Schedule-

I again hit my temps like clockwork with the decoctions.

  • 3 gallons well water.
  • Mash in: Strike temp = 100 F
  • Glucanase rest: Temp = 100 F hold for 20’ (not sure where I got this idea)
  • Protein rest: Raise to 125 F (122-127); hold 30‘
  • Decoction 1: Remove 40% of thickest part of mash into second kettle
    • Raise second kettle to 158 F (158-162); hold saccharification for 20’
    • Keep rest mash 122 F (122-127)
    • Bring second kettle to boil; boil 10 min
  • Beta amylase rest: Recombine with rest mash to bring to 150 F (145- 153F) & hold for 30’
  • Decoction 2: Remove 1/3 mash into second kettle, slowly raise to boil for 10’
  • Alpha amylase Rest: Recombine with rest mash. Was dead on at 160 (158-162)F; hold for 1 hour. Temp had dropped to about 150, so I brought back to 160 and rested another half hour.
  • Mash out: Raise to 170 F

Sparge

  • 4.5 gallons well water treated with 1 tsp Calcium Chloride.

No issues with mash or sparge this time. Very smooth. Gravity to start boil 1.050

Boil

  • Total boil about 1.5 hrs
  • 4.5 AAUs (pellets) added at start of boil
  • 4.5 AAUs (leaf) added 30 minutes in

O.G.: 1.060

Good volume. Solid five gallons. This will be the quaffing beer on fest day and other will be the heavy stuff.

 

Plan for storage:

After fermentation, I will keg these with no priming and take them to my father’s restaurant to await the fall.