Relentless & Aftershock Bring The Funk

Hello fellow heroes!

Once again it has been far too long, but I have exciting details about our first beer!

I mentioned in my last post that we had been experimenting with a 100% Brett kettle-soured Gose. Well now, I’m happy to report we made 10 bbls (310 gallons) of that bad boy!

The entire funk fiasco originated from a conversation I was having with my buddy Joe Flores, recent GABF Bronze winner and Head Brewer of Aftershock Brewing. I asked if he was interested in brewing something together or wanted to collaboratively funkify a beer he had done before, and he suggested his Gose.

Until that day, I hadn’t really considered taking a stab at putting my own spin on the style. Our water is already pretty salty and I’m a little burned out on coriander. But the gears started turning and over the course of a few emails, We Can’t Stop Here! 100% Brett Gose was born. Here’s a clip from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas for those of you that aren’t the voracious fans of that movie that Joe & I are.

We fired up our Gose on a grain bill of 50% Rahr Pils, 40% Rahr Red Wheat, & 10% Gambrinus Light Munich. Starting gravity was 1.048 and using Omega Lacto Blend we soured to 3.21 pH overnight. We boiled the next day and hopped with 7 IBUs of Lemondrop at 60 minutes. Small additions of Hawaiian Alaea red sea salt and coriander were included, but we weren’t looking for those to be focal points of the beer.

We ended up deciding to ferment at 72 degrees in fairly neutral red wine barrels on 5 different Bretts and Brett blends:

Barrel 1: White Labs Brett Brux Vrai – I’ve never worked with the BSI Drei strain and was excited to try out the new White Labs version; especially after finding out that Brett Brux Trois was not actually Brett. The beer is still in the barrel, but the latest tasting notes are some really nice fruity notes including stone fruit and faint strawberry. It’s certainly hard to completely differentiate between possible wine and Brett contributions.

Barrel 2: Giga Yeast Sweet Flemish – We found this strain to be pretty ready to rock and the Giga guys were great to work with. Interestingly, it had some pretty big fresh cut green apple flavors to it for a while. As it nears 3 months in the barrel, it seems to be morphing towards more grape skin and light funk flavors. That could certainly be the barrel contributing more. We may play around with some wine must in this one.

Barrel 3: Yeast Bay Lochristi Blend – This gorgeous blend was the highlight of our pilot batch, and it shined again for the real thing. It gives off such a fun mix of light fruit, funk, and its own acidity that really can give a kettle sour unbelievable complexity. We pulled this barrel last week and served some at Backyard Bottleshop in Murrieta, CA for their anniversary events this week. We had a great time partying with them and we’ve been really grateful to hear all the kind words (and see the good ratings) for our first release.

Barrel 4: Yeast Bay Brussels Blend – I expected this to be a pretty funky, beer geek only affair and it’s certainly on the right track. The nose is really complex and is starting to get very geuze-like. There’s some mousy funk lingering, but it’s good enough that we debated releasing this one first instead. I’m really excited to see the finished product.

Barrel 5: Yeast Bay Amalgamation Blend – This is the only barrel we pitched with Brett that we had already grown up from subsequent brews. I’ve found this blend to be pretty reliably loaded with funky peach and mandarin orange and some background white winey notes. Early on it seemed like we underpitched it a little, as sulfur and rotten egg were overpowering the notes I’ve come to know and love. They’re just finally fading out, leaving a pretty interestingly funk-forward beer. I can’t guarantee a “pull date” on this one, but it will be fun whenever it comes out. Possibly with some citrus fruit.

This wouldn’t be a typical post for me if I weren’t also sharing my excitement with what else we have coming down the pipeline!

First is an Imperial Oatmeal Amber wort fermenting solely on the Yeast Bay Lochristi Blend. We emptied Barrel 3 for local Gose consumption and went ahead and loaded up another weird project. This too was an Aftershock & Relentless production.

We also have an incredibly potent Tequila barrel filled with 100% Brett Imperial Spelt Gose. I decided to blend White Labs Vrai & Yeast Bay Lochristi Blend, based on the flavors we were getting from the Gose. Unless we blend this bad boy down, you’ll be too focused on the margarita in your glass to know it’s Brett at all. I do expect it to be popular for us and clock in around 10.5%. We also will field any and all billion dollar offers to take it global! In that vein, I found this Modern Times post funny.

Believe it or not, we brewed another beer with Aftershock. This time we did an Imperial Saison and sparged over flaked oats. (Big thanks to Flat Tail for sharing that technique.) Being super hip brewers and all we’re also trying to get the trend of #Mashies started:

20151118_094103

We split that brew into 2 barrels. The first, a fairly mellow and lightly leaky Tequila barrel. We co-pitched Yeast Bay Saison Blend 2 and East Coast Brett Custersianus. On day 3 we added 5.5 lbs of blue agave nectar as well. We’re expecting weird and fruity things.

The second barrel was supposed to be another Tequila, but we quickly found out it was not fit for service and it’s being tended to accordingly:

20151117_160413

Instead we filled a neutral red wine barrel and pitched 21 strains of Brett, including East Coast Dirty Dozen, White Labs Brett L & Vrai, Yeast Bay Lochristi & Brussels, etc. This is all the Brett letting us know that it’s here for the party:

20151120_103817

At this point that barrel is technically some sort of strange Imperial 100% Brett Wild Ale that may or may not get moved into a Tequila or Corn Whiskey barrel. Not to mention it also got 5.5 lbs of agave nectar. Stay tuned, as the direction of beers and the whims of your beloved cellarman are unpredictable.

Also stay tuned for the big Relentless Grand Opening and being able to try all 5 versions of the Gose at once! (Update: The Grand Opening is January 30th!) We’ll have a bunch of other fun goodies including big citrusy IPAs and unique takes on Saison and Oatmeal Stout. Plus, you’ll be able to party with this animal all night:

IMG_1197

Finally, big thanks to the Milk The Funk group on Facebook. I’m continually learning new things and absorbing useful information from the fine funky folks there. I highly recommend it if you find anything that you just read interesting.

Time to cook some steaks and crack something sour. Stay thirsty my friends!

 

 

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Getting Started with Relentless Brewing!

Hello heroes!

I apologize profusely (once again) for the 6 month delay in updates. However, I am really excited to be able to tell you, my teaming masses of followers, that I’ve taken a Head Brewer position with Relentless Brewing Company! What’s even more fun is we’re just getting started, so I get to help grow a wonderfully innovative little brewery right out of the gate!

I am really pumped to be working with James & Doris. We have similar beer tastes, visions, and an appreciation for barrels, Belgians, sour, and funk. I’m quite hopeful this opportunity will create a perfect storm of beer awesomeness. Without further ado, I’ll give you a look at the behind the scenes beer awesomeness so far.

Here’s me manning the valves below/ keeping an eye on an R&D brew while James (literally) knocks the dust off of our super sexy 10 bbl brewhouse:

IMG_7194While we’ve been putting the finishing touches on the big brew system (which includes two 10 bbl fermenters, one 20 bbl, & one 20 bbl bright tank), I’ve been steadily knocking out 10 gallon batches on my buddy Ken’s homebrew setup. Thank you Ken! If you’ve seen what my average brew day used to look like, then you know chugger pumps, false bottoms, and a plate chiller are amenities I’m happy to have:

IMG_7156

It’s so much fun to work on R&D batches and collaborate on creating a lineup of brand spanking new beers. So far we’ve been tinkering with a wide variety of beer styles. We’ve played around with 100% Brett kettle soured Gose, numerous IPAs, Oatmeal Spelt Stout, Cherrywood Smoked Dubbel (which you may recall from my homebrewing days), Belgian Session Rye, Lemondrop Dry Hopped Saison, and the list goes on. All fun things. We’re basically just kids in a brewing candy store.

Also, here’s the obligatory ‘brewer stares at beer’ picture. The sweat lets you know it’s authentic:

IMG_7190

So that’s a little bit about what we have going on. I’ll be sure to post about our first brews and when we’re going to allow the public to stare at our beer like I get to. I might even get a selfie stick for work because I enjoy being ridiculous.

Before I go pitch yeast in today’s DIPA brew, I would like to take the time to thank the homebrewing community at large, The Brewing Network, and everybody else along the way that helped me get to where I am today.

Whether you hired me, fired me, or brewed shirtless with me in a sweltering garage, you’ve been a part of my journey here. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around it being a mere 3 years ago that I wasn’t even sure if I could win homebrew awards, let alone go pro.

Because of my experiences in this industry so far, I’m all about paying it forward and helping fellow brewers. If you’re a homebrewer, please know that you should always feel at home in our brewery. Fire as many questions at us as you’d like, bring us good AND questionable homebrews, and remind us that we’re living the dream.

Stay Relentless my friends! Cheers!

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Refuge Gone Wild 2: The Long Overdue Update

Hello again heroes & friends!

Since we’re starting a new year, I thought it might be nice to share more developments regarding all the fun and funky endeavors we have happening at Refuge. I still can’t believe my last update was 6 months ago. Time keeps flying. Anyway, here’s our current funk inventory in all its humble quarantined glory:

funk program

First in funk news, it appears a good number of Refuge’s local fans got to enjoy our Batch 2 anniversary beer as well as Batch 2 with strawberries & Yeast Bay Lochristi Brettanomyces blend recently.

The base beer for our 2nd anniversary was our Refugee Tripel with Viognier grape must, aged in red wine barrels. The so-called Batch 2 Berry version (which has the red wax instead of black) still resides in a red wine barrel, due to the solera technique I’ve been experimenting with, and it gets funkier by the day.

batch2brett

The first limited release of bottles sold out the night of the anniversary party, but we still have a keg of the beer on tap at the brewery. As I mentioned, we’ve been trying out a sour beer technique called solera, where you pull only some beer from the barrel and top it back up with fresh beer. In this case, all 3 times that I’ve pulled either a quarter or half of the barrel, I’ve also added more and more fresh pureed strawberries.

It has been fun to watch the flavors as they’ve changed, with the current version on draft having been pulled 2 months ago, the now sold-out bottled version having been pulled 3 weeks ago, and the next keg on deck to go on tap being a part of the 3rd pull a couple days ago. The latest version seems to be getting more and more barrel character and what was once big strawberry shortcake in the nose appears to be morphing towards spicy vanilla tannins & tangy lemon zest notes. In a perfect world, I’d be giving this beer a little more time between pulls, but you guys keep drinking it all!

The most recent pull from the barrel allowed us to top it back up with the base beer, some basic Tripel, & a funky blend of 3 experimental 5 gallon trials that I’ve dubbed ‘Funkapotamus’. That mix contains both the Lochristi Brett blend and White Labs Brett Clausenii, not to mention potential wild yeasts from the added fruits in the trial batches. I’m really excited to pull a keg or two off of the barrel in a couple months (hopefully) and see where things are headed. If it’s anything like the beers in Funkapotamus, it’ll be fruitier and more acidic.

If you’ve been into the brewery lately, you know we’ve started serving more and more funky beers on our barrel-aged reserve taps as well.

ReservesBoard

It’s now not unusual for us to have 3 to 5 Brett influenced beers on tap at any time, not to mention any small experimental 5 gallon batches I might sneak on. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I can funk & fruit beers fairly quickly in rather neutral barrels, versus the aging and barrel needs of our bourbon barrel program.

We currently have 5 Brettanomyces beers on tap. Besides the Batch 2 Berry, we have Bretter Off Red, a Merlot barrel version of our Rampart Red with Brett B Trois, the Lochristi blend, & Brett C. The result after 9 months of barrel aging is a very wine-like creation with big floral and funky Brett notes in the nose and plenty of barrel character right behind it.

We also have Life of Lemons and The Razz Fairy. The base beer is the same for both and I’m using a similar single barrel solera technique in this one as I am in the anniversary beer. The beer is white wine barrel aged Citra Saison with Yeast Bay Beersel Brett blend, Meyer lemon zest, and more recently it has also included raspberries. The raspberries were added after the initial 2 keg pull of Life of Lemons, and more were added after the recent pull of a keg of The Razz Fairy. Here’s The Razz Fairy barrel on the left, still going strong and hungry for more raspberries:

citra+oracle

The other offering currently on tap, that I strongly suspect has a Brett Brux variation in it, is Old Soul. We did not intentionally funkify this particular barrel of Refugee Tripel. We just let it age for 14 months in a pinot noir barrel with plums, pluots, & blueberries added over the last couple months (once Brett character became apparent). Old Soul has been a hit with most of the staff thanks to its smorgasbord of intensely interesting flavors and I’m excited to work with more blueberries (and hopefully pinot barrels) in the future.

That covers what’s on tap, but if you know me you know I’m far more excited about what we have in the works!

As I mentioned above, we still have barrels going of the Batch 2 Berry and the Life of Lemons (that has morphed into The Razz Fairy with the addition of raspberries).

We also have:

– 2 wine barrels of Paint The Town Brown inoculated with White Labs Lacto D & Yeast Bay Amalgamation Brett blend. They’ve been rocking out for about 4 months now and it’s really interesting to taste how different the two are right now.

– 2 wine barrels of Session Citra Saison. One has Yeast Bay Brussels Brett blend, strawberries and Cara Cara oranges. It was delightfully tangy and funky before the fruit went in. The other has Yeast Bay Lochristi Brett blend, White Labs Brett Clausenii, raspberries, and blackberries. Both have healthy pellicles going and I suspect I’ll be pulling a keg or two of one of them soon. One of the aforementioned pellicles:

pellicle fun

– 2 wine barrels of Citra Saison. One has White Labs Brett Brux, passion fruit, and Temecula Ugly tangerines. The other is the same minus the passion fruit. So far Temecula Uglies have shown a fair bit of promise as far as interesting local fruit to add.

– 1 wine barrel of Oracle, an abbey ale with Juniper berries. I recently added plums and Wyeast Brett Lambicus to this (hoping to incorporate some of that sour cherry pie flavor they describe).

– 1 Heaven Hill Corn Whiskey barrel of our IPA of the Day (hopped with Summer, Columbus, & Palisade) with White Labs Brett Clausenii, Temecula Uglies, apricots, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, & plums. This barrel has been quite interesting to sample over the last 4+ months. The IPA already had big white grape and peachy flavors and the whiskey barrel character keeps getting heavier. The last time I tasted it, it was hard to tell there was much fruit or Brett in the mix.

As a result, it has become the recent fruit dumping ground for any pureed fruit that I can’t fit in its intended barrel(s). Usually I’ll top up my barrels every couple of months to make up for evaporation, but in this case we just keep feeding the head space more strange fruit. I have no idea where this particular ride is headed, but whenever we decide to pull Fruit Salad IPA out it should be fun.

In general, I’m getting to play around quite a bit now with single barrels in hopes of finding combinations that can be ramped up, somewhat repeated and bottled. Fruit Salad Brett Corn Whiskey IPA aside of course.

Also, I thought I’d share a couple of Brett pellicle pictures. This one’s just getting going:

peliicle beginning

And this is Yeast Bay Lochristi after 5 months:

Lochristi Pellicle

I also want to take this opportunity to wish a number of my co-workers that have moved on continued success. A toast to you Brett Harwood, as you continue your career at a little known brewery called Ballast Point:

toast to brett

To Jared & Katie, it was awesome rocking out with you guys and I hope our paths cross again soon. Minnesota is cold btw:

jared yeast party

san diego event

And a way overdue shout out to The Manimal, my first Assistant Cellarman man crush, David Leal. In the words of Tupac, Temecula Ain’t Hard To Find:

daveEvent

 

Finally, I want to say a GIGANTIC thanks to Jay Goodwin, of The Rare Barrel, and The Brewing Network. Jay has started a new show with the BN, called the Sour Hour, and the interviews with other sour producers (not to mention Jay’s info) have been a great resource for a newly funked out cellarman like myself. Keep up the good work Jay!

This hero is out!

Refuge Gone Wild: Fun With Brettanomyces!

Hi fellow heroes!

My apologies for the long absence. I have a tendency to get very wrapped up in my work when my work includes fun, funk & barrels.

Today I want to get everybody up to speed on what we’ve been doing at Refuge with Brettanomyces because we’re really excited to be a part of the new wave of American Wild Ales.

 freebird art

Our first foray into the world of Brett beers was Free Bird, a beer pre-determined to pour for our second Summer Nights event on June 21st. I will admit it was rather nerve-racking to promise a potentially slow-fermenting (funky) beer within a 6 week window, but you don’t start making Brett beers unless you like to live dangerously to begin with.

The barrel chosen was a wine barrel that had previously imparted very little character and produced very neutral beer. While that wasn’t great for a lot of what we were doing with our barrel program, it worked just fine for Brett beer.

Free Bird started as simply a barrel fermented 100% WLP 644 Brett B Trois version of our flagship beer, Blood Orange Wit. We filled the barrel right off the brewhouse with wort and let the beer ferment predominantly in our storage space, as there are always concerns of cross-contamination with such a super-attenuating yeast (that can eat wood proteins).

brett note

In this case the term ‘burn’ just means immerse everything in 180 degree water so we limit our chances of ‘clean’ beers getting extra funky flavors and attenuation from Brett.

So with caution Free Bird proceeded. I was a proud father. I photographed some of his first CO2 bubbles:

freebird bubbling

And when he was kegged:

kegging freebird

And finally his first pint:

freebird pint

Along the way Free Bird morphed from a strictly Brett version of our Blood Orange Wit, to include a 5 gallon batch of 100% WLP 645 Brett C Wit & some pineapples and grapefruit blended in for good measure.

I also made a 5 gallon batch of 100% WLP 650 Brett B Wit and that ended up being its own entity with blood oranges and limes, called What The Funk?

The really fun thing about all of this was that we added the Brett C Wit & fruit to a new barrel and transferred all but 5 or so gallons of the Free Bird onto that. We then immediately re-filled the initial barrel full of Brett B Trois with the wort from an Illusion Belgian IPA brew. That new enterprise, now called Delusion, was rocking right away the next morning:

delusion krausen

I’ve never seen a Brett B Trois fermentation take off that fast, but then again this was my first time re-pitching it. At any rate, we dry hopped Delusion with a healthy amount of Galaxy, Columbus, & Centennial and we’re all enjoying its bouquet of danky bubblegum and slightly funky melon notes.

Rest assured funk fans, there’s more in the works. Some upcoming projects include:

– 5 gallons of Refugee Tripel with limes & mangoes on Yeast Bay’s Beersel Brett blend.

– 100% Brett B Trois version of our awesome Shelter 9 IPA dry hopped big with some fun things that may include El Dorado, Mosaic, Huell Melon, etc. This will be released at the August 16th Summer Nights event.

– Sauvignon Blanc barrel aged Citra Saison with kumquats on the Yeast Bay’s Lochristi Brett blend.

– White wine barrel aged Imperial Saison with strawberries and cherries on WLP 645 Brett C.

– All sorts of permutations and experiments using new strains and blends like the ones The Yeast Bay is offering.

I also want to mention, since it will get dragged into Brett territory here and there, that our Citra Saison should be out and about on draft pretty soon. I was so excited to see it pouring at one of my favorite watering holes, Public House, that I took a picture:

citra on public house menu

While we’re veering from the path of funk I should also mention that we were really excited to take 3 medals at this year’s San Diego International Beer Festival!

103871sd fair awards

Finally, I want to say a big thanks to The Mad Fermentationist, Michael Tonsmeire, for always being helpful and assuring me I wouldn’t have to worry about too much oxygen pick up if I fermented Free Bird in a barrel. There’s some beer that’ll be getting bottled and sent your way buddy!

Jester King, as always, deserves a shout out too as they always open their brains for picking about many things farmhouse. They should be expecting beermail too!

That’s all for now. If you find yourself in Southern California, come and drink all this funk so we can make more!

Working For @RefugeBrewery And Moving At The Speed Of Life!

Hi fellow heroes!

My apologies for the delayed update, but things have been a little hectic lately in my world. Between the new job as Lead Cellarman at Refuge in Temecula, CA, getting married in a week, and trying to get our bad selves moved to SoCal, we’re eager for things to calm down a little after all this fun. Or we’ll just keep having fun!

Here’s a pic of me getting down and dirty with my new fleet of kegs:

refuge keg washing

I’m really excited about this opportunity with Refuge and you can expect all sorts of fun barrel beers, one-off dry hopped kegs, cool pilot batches, etc. Not to mention stellar beer like our crowd favorite Blood Orange Wit and our new hop bursted IPA, Shelter 9.

Those of you that know me pretty well (like the SNAFU’ers in Vegas), know that a Belgian-focused brewery is a perfect fit for me. We actually just released an awesome Saison called Trois with pink peppercorns and strawberries! It benefits Breast Cancer Awareness to boot! Pun intended:

trois_saison

Whether local or from far away lands, please feel free to stop by anytime and bring me homebrews to try or just to hang out and have a beer (and put money in the boot). 🙂

Alright, back to last minute wedding planning. I look forward to seeing a lot of my buddies from all over the world at Sunset Park next Saturday afternoon. All blog subscribers welcome!

My Latest IPAs! Full Tasting Notes, Recipes, and Water Profiles.

Hello heroes!

Sorry for the sporadic updates. Rest assured my brewing has been cruising along at anywhere from 1 to 3 brews a week. Lately I’ve been tinkering around with the ideal water profile for an IPA and all sorts of hop combinations, grain bills, & yeasts along the way.

I thought it was about time I put up an update on all the IPAs, recipes, water profiles used, etc.

First up is Water Tweaker IPA (also known as Jamil Says & Like Father Like Son):

Brewed 11/25, Kegged 12/19, Bottled 1/6, Tasted 1/13

Tasting Notes

Nose – Luscious peach, light floral and resin, clean hop punch

Flavor – Interesting dynamic from a drier water profile & maltier (for me) IPA grain bill, good mouthfeel, pleasant finish, light fruit, apricot, resin, delightful rounded fruity flavor

Water Profile (according to Bru ‘N Water) was: 88.4 Calcium, 20.9 Magnesium, 8 Sodium, 152.7 Sulfate, 4 Chloride,  & 83.2 Bicarbonate with an Alkalinity of 69 and a Residual Alkalinity of -7. I mashed at 149 and the mash was 5.45 pH. All of my salt additions went into the mash and I sparged with RO. (Additions: 4.34g Gypsum, 7.2g Epsom, 2.09g Lime, 3mL Lactic Acid)

Recipe

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 9.03 gal
Post Boil Volume: 7.11 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.63 gal
Estimated OG: 1.068 SG
Estimated Color: 6.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 66.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 77.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 87.8 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
12 lbs 12.0 oz        Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        86.4 %        
12.0 oz               Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)             Grain         3        5.1 %         
1 lbs                 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 15L (15.0 SRM)    Grain         2        6.8 %         
4.0 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)    Grain         4        1.7 %         
2.0 pkg               Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [35 Yeast         12       -             
30.00 g               Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           5        49.1 IBUs     
12.00 g               Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop           7        3.9 IBUs      
12.00 g               Mosaic [12.70 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop           6        3.8 IBUs      
16.00 g               Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min          Hop           9        4.4 IBUs      
19.00 g               Mosaic [12.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min          Hop           8        5.1 IBUs      
28.00 g               Mosaic [12.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           10       0.0 IBUs      
14.00 g               Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           11       0.0 IBUs      
57.00 g               Mosaic [12.70 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days     Hop           13       0.0 IBUs      
33.00 g               Nugget [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days     Hop           14       0.0 IBUs      
27.00 g               Mosaic [12.70 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Days      Hop           16       0.0 IBUs      
31.00 g               Nugget [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Days      Hop           15       0.0 IBUs      
28.00 g               Mosaic [12.70 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days      Hop           17       0.0 IBUs

Next is Citrus Bomb 1 (also known as CB1 and Wayward Citrus Bomb 1):

Brewed 12/3, Kegged 12/25, Bottled 1/6, Tasted 1/13

Tasting Notes

Nose – Dank peach, over-ripe melon, grainy malt, apricot, boozy fruit cocktail

Flavor – Lemony, tangy, mandarin oranges, very light malt presence, finish has some roundness, not a long lingering dryness, not intensely bitter. Very clean with bitter lemon, plum, citrus, & some white grape/winey notes.

Water Profile was: 102.5 Calcium, 21.1 Magnesium, 18.4 Sodium, 231.9 Sulfate, 40.4 Chloride, 28.9 Bicarbonate with an Alkalinity of 24 and a Residual Alkalinity of -62. Mash was 152 and pH was 5.52 and I sparged with all RO. (Additions: 8.98g Gypsum, 7.31 Epsom, .92g NaCl, 1.5g CaCl, 1.01 Lime, 2mL Lactic Acid)

Recipe can be found here.

After Citrus Bomb 1 you must have Citrus Bomb 2! As you’ll recall these were the 2 brews I did for the ‘Average Brewday’ tab.

Brewed 12/3. Kegged 12/30. Bottled 1/6. Tasted 1/13.

Tasting Notes

Nose – Fruit, a little dank fruit cup, tropical with piney forest notes, over-ripe mandarin orange, grassy resin. Side note – I’ve noticed Nelson can add some boozy notes that make you think there are fusels or ‘alcohol burn’.

Flavor – Dry with slightly minerally finish, some rich fruity notes – dries out to very clean finish. Might need slightly more malt backbone for Tasty McDole’s water profile. White grape winey notes with dank undertones.

Water Profile was (very close to what Mike ‘Tasty’ McDole does for all of his water): 110.3 Calcium, 19 Magnesium, 31.9 Sodium, 318.4 Sulfate, 54.9 Chloride with an Alkalinity of -50 and a Residual Alkalinity of -140. Mash was 152 and pH was 5.52 and salts were split evenly on a per gallon basis between the mash and sparge water. (Mash Additions: 8.02 Gypsum, 3.54 Epsom, 1.07 NaCl, .57 CaCl, 2 mL Lactic – Sparge Additions: 6.95 Gypsum, 3.04 Epsom, 1.07 NaCl, .42 CaCl)

Recipe can be found here.

Believe it or not I have more IPAs in my chest freezer! The next one is Thirst For Burst IPA. Both TFB and the Purring Kitten 5 Session IPA were inspired by this recipe in the Nov/Dec 2013 Zymurgy magazine:

20140115_232542

Brewed 12/9, Kegged 1/6, Tasted 1/13

Tasting Notes

Aroma – Rich danky fruit, tropical and floral spicy resin. Light mandarin orange – very Enjoy By-ish with no one signature hop but plenty of hop character. Light pineapple as it warms.

Flavor – Danky spicy resin. Fruit with an immediate dank punch, pleasant but light malt, lingering dryness. No doubt this is an IPA. No ups and down in the flavor wave – just a deliberate hop punch.

Water Profile was: 107.9 Calcium, 21.4 Magnesium, 28.8 Sodium, 321.4 Sulfate, 51.4 Chloride, 16 Bicarbonate with an Alkalinity of 13 and a Residual Alkalinity of -76. Mash was 150 with a pH of 5.31. All salt additions went into the mash. (Mash Additions: 14.48 Gypsum, 7.43 Epsom, 1.81 NaCl, 1.11 CaCl)

Recipe

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 9.03 gal
Post Boil Volume: 7.11 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.63 gal
Estimated OG: 1.061 SG
Estimated Color: 5.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 56.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 84.4 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
8 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        61.5 %        
2 lbs                 GW Pale Malt (2.0 SRM)                   Grain         2        15.4 %        
1 lbs                 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 15L (15.0 SRM)    Grain         3        7.7 %         
8.0 oz                Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)             Grain         4        3.8 %         
2.0 pkg               California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35. Yeast         14       -             
35.00 g               Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.30 %] - Boil 15. Hop           8        18.1 IBUs     
40.00 g               Galaxy [15.40 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           6        20.9 IBUs     
40.00 g               Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Boil 15.0 min  Hop           7        17.1 IBUs     
35.00 g               Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.30 %] - Boil 0.0 Hop           10       0.0 IBUs      
30.00 g               Galaxy [15.40 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           12       0.0 IBUs      
30.00 g               Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Boil 0.0 min   Hop           13       0.0 IBUs      
31.00 g               Centennial [8.90 %] - Boil 0.0 min       Hop           11       0.0 IBUs      
38.00 g               Motueka [7.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           9        0.0 IBUs      
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM)          Sugar         5        11.5 %        
31.00 g               Motueka [7.00 %] - Dry Hop 17.0 Days     Hop           15       0.0 IBUs      
30.00 g               Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 17.0 D Hop           16       0.0 IBUs      
28.00 g               Galaxy [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 17.0 Days     Hop           17       0.0 IBUs      
20.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 17.0 Days Hop           18       0.0 IBUs      
23.00 g               Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Da Hop           20       0.0 IBUs      
25.00 g               Galaxy [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Days      Hop           19       0.0 IBUs      
21.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Days  Hop           21       0.0 IBUs      
18.00 g               Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Days       Hop           22       0.0 IBUs

Purring Kitten 5 Session IPA should also get a mention because it’s delicious.

Brewed 12/9. Kegged 1/6. Tasted 1/13.

Tasting Notes

Aroma – Rich pineapple, cherry, complementary malt – like a bright fruit cocktail. Some plum, nose is big and bold. Carbonation level makes a big difference on how well this one pops.

Flavor – Balanced hoppy finish. Doesn’t taste 4%. Light bodied with a clean finish & not terribly long dryness. A lingering slight biscuit note with strong hop flavor.

Water Profile was: 103.2 Calcium, 18.8 Magnesium, 19.4 Sodium, 222.6 Sulfate, 38.2 Chloride, 74.6 Bicarbonate with an Alkalinity of 62 and Residual Alkalinity of -23. Mash was 149 with a pH of 5.32. All salts went into mash. (Mash Additions: 9.03 Gypsum, 6.51 Epsom, .95 NaCl, 1.19 CaCl, 1.11 Lime, 1 mL Lactic Acid)

Recipe

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.51 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.59 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.043 SG
Estimated Color: 7.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 48.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 81.8 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
6 lbs                 Great Western Pale Malt (2.0 SRM)        Grain         1        64.7 %        
1 lbs 4.0 oz          Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)                    Grain         2        13.5 %        
8.0 oz                White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         3        5.4 %         
5.1 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt - 30L (30.0 SRM)    Grain         5        3.5 %         
5.1 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)    Grain         6        3.5 %         
4.0 oz                Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)                 Grain         7        2.7 %         
6.1 oz                Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)             Grain         4        4.1 %         
4.0 oz                Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)                  Grain         8        2.7 %         
2.0 pkg               East Coast Ale (White Labs #WLP008) [35. Yeast         15       -             
41.00 g               Citra [11.70 %] - Boil 15.0 min          Hop           9        17.5 IBUs     
30.00 g               Galaxy [15.40 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           10       16.9 IBUs     
29.00 g               Simcoe [13.20 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           11       14.0 IBUs     
51.00 g               Citra [11.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min           Hop           12       0.0 IBUs      
40.00 g               Galaxy [15.40 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           13       0.0 IBUs      
30.00 g               Simcoe [13.20 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           14       0.0 IBUs      
30.00 g               Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 17.0 Days      Hop           16       0.0 IBUs      
25.00 g               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 17.0 Days     Hop           18       0.0 IBUs      
34.00 g               Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Days       Hop           20       0.0 IBUs      
37.00 g               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Days      Hop           19       0.0 IBUs      
33.00 g               Galaxy [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 9.0 Days      Hop           21       0.0 IBUs      
30.00 g               Galaxy [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 17.0 Days     Hop           17       0.0 IBUs

The fruits of all of this brewing labor have been wonderful and intoxicating. I sent a few of these beers off to competitions and I’ll be sending more soon. I’ll be sure to update on how everything does.

For the sake of water profile comparison here’s an excel sheet: WaterProfiles01-15-14. At this point, if you put a gun to my head and made me take one of these water profiles for IPA brewing eternity, I’d take the ‘Safe Play IPA’ water I put together for Citrus Bomb 1. I think it’s well-geared for IPAs but I get the impression it would stand up better to both West Coast hop bombs and a little more malt-forward takes on the style.

The Tasty McDole profile with higher sulfates was quite nice on Thirst For Burst but a little over the top (it seemed) on Citrus Bomb 2. Obviously grain bill, hopping, mash pH, yeast, etc can play huge roles as well….and probably did. Dialing in a water for the specific beer you’re crafting looks like the ideal way to go to me.

I’ve already re-brewed Water Tweaker with slightly more aggressive water, slight grain bill tweaks and Simcoe in the mix with the Mosaic & Nugget. I also plan to continue pursuing hop bursted IPAs like Thirst For Burst, as I’m a big fan of Stone’s brand of hop bomb and I think that immediately ushers you into the ballpark.

Time to keep scouring the interwebs for more water knowledge. Until next time friends.

Tasting The Spirited Gumballs

A little over a month ago I took a few shots at another two 3 Floyds Gumball-esque beers. I wasn’t going for dead ringer clones necessarily, but for beers that captured the overall spirit of the beer. That’s how they affectionately became known as the Spirited Gumballs.

I’ve had both on tap for a little over a week now and had a few friends over to try them. I wanted to get input from others because I feel that all too often you’re relying on the impressions of the brewer alone on these things.

Here’s my buddy Mike (a hardcore beer aficionado) sampling the two and writing tasting notes:

20131216_154338

Right off the bat I can see why they lager this beer for 3 weeks. It comes out fairly cloudy with 25% wheat. I added Biofine to mine when I kegged them. Both of my brews came in right around 5% ABV, so they were a shade lower than the 5.5 or 5.6% you’ll see on theirs.

All that said, I’ll go ahead and give the tasting notes & recipes.

The first Spirited Gumball on WLP 051 (Cal V) started at 1.048 & finished out at 1.010. Here were my tasting notes:

– Light tangy white grape, bubblegummy with creamy finish, some sweet wheaty notes with a touch of nut, a little floral/soapy finish, some hop spice and resin, pH might be a hair low.

Here were my buddy Mike’s thoughts from a blind tasting:

– Banana and kiwi aroma, typical Grant farmhousey-ness, Belgian wheat notes, no hops in nose, nutty & wheaty, good mouthfeel, delicious all day drinker, maybe a touch of booze heat, smooths out as it warms.

Even though Spirited 051 is my least favorite of the two, it’s still finding itself endangered after a short stint on the kegerator. I think Mike was picking up Belgian notes and heat from some of the Nelson Sauvin characteristics. I thought it went a little winey with some spicy resiny notes, partially because of its dance partner being Chinook. Also, Mike recently had Prairie Ales Merica, which is a farmhouse beer with Nelson.

I should also mention that the grain bill seemed pretty solid and probably rather close to what 3 Floyds is doing if their advice in Brewing With Wheat can be trusted.

Anyway, here’s the BeerSmith report on Spirited 051:

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.51 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.59 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.048 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 29.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
7 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        70.4 %        
2 lbs 8.0 oz          White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         2        25.2 %        
4.0 oz                Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)             Grain         3        2.5 %         
3.0 oz                Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)                 Grain         4        1.9 %         
2.0 pkg               California Ale V (White Labs #WLP051) [3 Yeast         12       -             
9.00 g                Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           5        16.0 IBUs     
10.00 g               Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min  Hop           7        3.5 IBUs      
10.00 g               Chinook [11.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min        Hop           6        3.1 IBUs      
15.00 g               Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Boil 5.0 min   Hop           8        4.3 IBUs      
10.00 g               Chinook [11.40 %] - Boil 5.0 min         Hop           9        2.6 IBUs      
28.00 g               Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Boil 0.0 min   Hop           10       0.0 IBUs      
14.00 g               Chinook [11.40 %] - Boil 0.0 min         Hop           11       0.0 IBUs      
43.00 g               Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Dry Hop 8.0 Da Hop           14       0.0 IBUs      
47.00 g               Chinook [11.40 %] - Dry Hop 8.0 Days     Hop           13       0.0 IBUs

Next up was Spirited Gumball 028 on White Labs Edinburgh. I used this yeast because I’m a little burned out on Union Jack IPA and beers done on the usual English Ale 002. The beer went from 1.050 to 1.012 and I was quite happy with the results. My tasting notes were:

– Lime, tangerine, lemon front with nutty back, a little sweet & sour mandarin orange, drinks drier than the first beer despite flaked oats & higher finishing gravity. Similar wheaty notes, flows better, seems better constructed as a beer. Creamy citrus with a light fruit juicy nose.

Mike’s take on it was:

– Lemony nose & taste, clean crisp dry wheat, subtle farmhouse as it warms, & citrus that fades as it warms.

I believe he also mentioned it reminding him of drinking Pyramid Hef coming up as a young buck on the ruthless streets of Portland.

Out of the initial 4 side by side samplers, Spirited 028 has won every time. With that said, I’m on my 3rd pint of Spirited 051 right now and it is also a lovely beer. Hopefully I’ll get around to entering both in upcoming January competitions.

1/23/14 EDIT: Spirited 028 took 2nd place in Winterbrew 2014 in Chicago.

Here are the BeerSmith stats for Spirited 028:

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.51 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.59 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 4.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 27.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 84.1 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
7 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        69.2 %        
2 lbs 8.0 oz          White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         2        24.7 %        
4.0 oz                Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)                 Grain         3        2.5 %         
1.9 oz                Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)                  Grain         5        1.2 %         
4.0 oz                Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                   Grain         4        2.5 %         
2.0 pkg               Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) [35.4 Yeast         14       -             
9.00 g                Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           6        16.0 IBUs     
10.00 g               Citra [14.10 %] - Boil 10.0 min          Hop           8        3.9 IBUs      
15.00 g               Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop           7        2.8 IBUs      
12.00 g               Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min          Hop           10       1.8 IBUs      
12.00 g               Mosaic [11.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min          Hop           9        3.2 IBUs      
10.00 g               Citra [14.10 %] - Boil 0.0 min           Hop           11       0.0 IBUs      
10.00 g               Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           13       0.0 IBUs      
10.00 g               Mosaic [11.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           12       0.0 IBUs      
29.00 g               Citra [14.10 %] - Dry Hop 8.0 Days       Hop           15       0.0 IBUs      
28.00 g               Motueka [6.70 %] - Dry Hop 8.0 Days      Hop           17       0.0 IBUs      
28.00 g               Mosaic [11.50 %] - Dry Hop 8.0 Days      Hop           16       0.0 IBUs

All in all, I think I will continue down this road with Edinburgh 028 yeast and various citrusy hops. I should have some Azacca & El Dorado in my possession tomorrow, so hoppy shenanigans will likely ensue.

Sooner or later I’ll give a broader update on everything else I have going on. Here’s a picture of Purring Kitten 4, the French Saison Wine, & Water Tweaker IPA all waiting for transfer.

20131219_212323

Purring Kitten Session IPA on WLP 862 Cry Havoc smelled incredible. I can’t wait to try it in the coming days.

Alright friends, I’ll leave you with something that still cracks me up everyday when I get to work. My hairy face on a popular product:

20131119_185612

Be well and prosper y’all.