Thursday, July 28, 2011

Down at the Delta ESB - In the keg

Today I racked my 4th try at 'Down at the Delta ESB' into its final destination, a 5 gallon corny keg. I have been working on this recipe for months, ever since I happened to have the pleasure of trying, Dry Dock Brewing's H.M.S. Victory ESB, and I think I have it down. It is; however, different from Dry Dock's ESB since I exclusively use only Delta hops and also use Victory malt instead of Amber malt. I have also toyed around with the yeast. This last go-round I used Burton Ale yeast, WLP023.

I think this yeast is excellent, very aggressive. Today, in the keg, I read 6 2/3 brix on my refractometer which puts this ESB at 6% ABV. The original gravity was 1.055 and corrected gravity 1.009 making this my driest ESB.

This was also my first attempt at dry hopping. I used 1/2 ounce of whole hops and I have no idea what the fuss is about getting hops out of the carboy. I think the hops acted like a filter keeping sediment out of the auto-siphon.

Now is the painful issue of waiting for carbonation.

Down at the delta jello

A commercial brewer friend of mine uses gelatin to help clear things up, I have been doing the same. It is pretty easy to do and if it helps drop more of the suspended particles out then why not.

Yesterday I could not wait for the Delta any longer and decided to gelatinize it. Today I will rack it into a sterilized empty keg and get the co2 on it. I normally wait 48-72 hours for the gelatine to settle.

I use unflavored Knox gelatin

This is my Gelatin process:

1 cup boiling water
1package gelatin

Boil water in a small pan.
Remove pan from heat source (do not put gelatin in boiling water, let the temp drop).
Stir in gelatin until dissolved.
Pour contents of pan into your beer (you sterilized the pan by boiling the water so don't get all anal about it) during the end of the secondary stage, or end of primary if that's how you do it. Basically 1-3 days before you rack or bottle.
Put airlock or cap back on, and swish the wort around the fermenter to make sure the gelatin is evenly distributed.

Wait 24-72 hours and rack to keg or bottling bucket. By this time the gelatin will have solidified and taken a bunch of stuff with it to the bottom of the fermenter.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Prodigal son brewing

A trip to a favorite Oregon small town, Pendleton, brings us to Pendleton's only brewery, The Prodigal Son.

Good beer!

Excellent burger!

Fattened calf sacrificial stout was my favorite. Very balanced, especially when so many over do the roasted malt bitterness, but still has chocolate and coffee notes.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

3rd place English Pale - Ohio Brew Week Homebrew Competition

How cool is that? My "Down at the Delta ESB" took third in the 8A-C and 11A-C, English Pale and English Brown Ales.
2011 Ohio Brew Week Homebrew Competition Results

I actually had some issues with bottling this one and I know it was completely flat. I was in a rush to bottle and send this one off before the competition closing date, so I did not actually open a bottle before I sent it. I'm glad I did!

The bottling issue was that I had my kegerator temperature up around 62F since I was using it to ferment my, PolusWiezen (HeffeWiezen), and my ESB was at 62F. The bottling was pure foam and the CO2 completely came out of the solution. Chalk another one up to experience. "always bottle very cold!"