Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Two Brew Weekend

This weekend was one of the first weekends I've had this year where my wife and I didn't have to travel anywhere, or have any plans to do anything, so I took full advantage of it and was able to brew two batches of beer. The first batch was an attempt at making a clone of Sixpoint Craft Ale's Sweet Action. I used a lot of crystal malt to try and pull out the sweetness, and decent amount of high alpha hops to try and balance it out. The second batch was brewed at my neighbors house with another neighbor and fellow homebrewer. It was our goal to recruit one more person into the homebrewing club, and I think we were successful (Matt??).

The reason for the Sixpoint clone is two-fold. First, It's an awesome beer with a great balance of big sweet malt flavor and big hop aroma and flavor. So naturally, when a homebrewer likes a beer, they try and clone it! Second, my good friend Shaun, who lives in Brooklyn, is getting married to my other good friend Kate. As I've mentioned before, they've asked me to brew some beer for the wedding. We've collectively been trying to come up with a beer that would be enjoyed at the wedding, and one I'm able to brew successfully. A few beers are on the list, but this one was next so I gave it a shot. I posted a few comments on the TastyBrew forum about the original recipe that I created and was told I had WAY too much crystal malt in the recipe and that it would be ridiculously sweet. So I took some out, and added some other malts to try and balance it out and added some more hops for balance as well. I still think I'm on the sweet side with about 23% crystal malt, but we'll have to wait and see.

CrystALE

OG - 1.050
Batch Size - 6 g
Pre-boil Volume - 8 g

Fermentables:
8 lbs Two-Row
1.5 lbs Crystal 15L
1.5 lbs Crystal 40L
1 lbs Munich
.25 lbs Brown Malt
.5 lbs Flaked Barley

Hops:
.5 oz Columbus (13% AA, 6.5 AAU, FWH)
.5 oz Magnum (14.5% AA, 7.3 AAU, 30 min)
.25 oz Columbus (13% AA, 3.3 AAU, 30 min)
.5 oz Glacier (5.5% AA, 2.8 AAU, 15 min)
.25 Columbus (13% AA, 3.3 AAU, 10 min)
.5 oz Glacier (5.5% AA, 2.8 AAU, DH)

Yeast:
Wyeast 1056 American Ale

On Sunday, Rob, Matt and Myself brewed at Matt's house. Matt has been asking Rob and myself to teach him to brew for a while now, and we finally were able to make it happen. We took a walk (through the snow) to Barleycorns and picked up a kit for Matt to make. He chose an English Ale called Burton's Best Bitter. "Best Bitter - Mid level gravity and more malt flavor than the ordinary, also with a touch more hop character" It was reasonably priced at $44 so we picked it up and went back to brew. The day went off without any issues and we were able to show Matt how easy homebrewing can be. With an extract/grain recipe, our brewing time was about 90 minutes and we let the wort cool in the snow which took another 1.5 hours or so, during which we drank beer and stared at a fire. Two of my favorite things....beer and fire!! I don't have the exact recipe, but my attempt from memory is below. I was surprised how much hops were used, 5 total oz for a 5 g batch, but they were mostly low alpha hops.

Burton's Best Bitter

Fermentables:
4 lbs amber malt extract
3 lbs light malt extract
1 Victory Malt
1 Carastan Malt
.5 lbs Two-Row

Hops:
2 oz Goldings (5% AA, 60 min)
1 oz Fuggles (5% AA, 30 min)
1 oz Goldings (5% AA, 1 min)
1 oz Fuggles (5% AA, DH)

Yeast:
Safale S-04 dried yeast

I'm looking forward to finding out how these both come out. Next up, I'm brewing my American Pale Ale for my fantasy baseball draft. I don't have much time so I'm going to have to brew it one night this week. More brewing...WOOO HOO!!!!!

Cheers,
Jason

6 comments:

Matt Douglas said...

Well, I can honestly say that I was surprised by the beer making process. Why? A few things...

1) Who knew that there would be so much beer drinking? Woah.

2) Boil, stir, boil. This is hard?

3) Damn, I want to drink it now. I have to wait?

4) Hmmm.. need to find a way to make cool labels.

5) I want to make other types of beer: Mexican style, Stella style, coffee?

This is all so much to take in.

Whew.

Jason said...

Yeah, it is a beer filled day. Besides, drink beer while making it gives you some added inspiration. I usually try and drink a beer similiar to what I'm making at the time, but it doesn't always work out!

Laurie, Rob & Emma said...

Matt- If you are looking for a good Mexican beer, Rob has the recipe. I picked it out when we first started brewing, thinking it would be a good summer beer. It was advertised as a Corona clone but really it was 100X better. You would never drink a Corona again after you try this stuff. I think it is next on our list so we will let you know and you can come check it out! SO GOOD!

Champurrado said...

Jason:

Nice to see you followed through with the Sweet Action. I think you left me a comment about your early search on another forum. Please be sure to post the results of your recipe once you keg/bottle and taste.

Jason said...

Champ...I am glad I went through with it. I transferred it to the secondary last night and dry hopped it with .5 oz of Glacier. I took a taste and it wasn't nearly as sweet as I thought (and everyone on Tastybrew thought) so I was very happy. I'm very excited to see the end result. I'll post them final results when it's complete!

Cheers,
Jason

Champurrado said...

Jason:

I don't know if I've seen any other Sweet Action Clones out there - you might be the Neil Armstrong of Brewing for this one.