Friday, April 30, 2010

End of April Updates

Well, I managed to squeeze in two Brew Days this month; I'm right on track for my 100th such to come on the 4th of July weekend.  Woohoo!  Party at my place!

The first batch brewed was an "Oktober Ale"--the base recipe was for an Oktoberfest/Marzen, but I didn't have any lager yeast to hand, and didn't really feel much like futzing with it...  The grains were half-and-half Munich and Pils malt; Magnum bittered it, and Hallertauer were for flavor and aroma.  It's almost certainly over-hopped for style, but it's for me, and I'm not that concerned with it.

The second batch was last weekend's; I did a braggot.  Again, the grain was mostly Munich, with a bit of melanoidin for some unfermentables.  The honey was a gallon of Killer Bee I've had kicking around for a couple of years.  For hops, though, I tried something new--Citra.  It's 11% alpha, which is fairly strong, but the aroma!!  Wow--mango and passionfruit.  Nice, deep, and complex.  From what I've read, it's not great for a bittering hop, despite the acid levels; I'd tend to agree--I can see it getting muddied with too long a boil.  I used a bit less than an ounce of Magnum for bittering, then the Citra for aroma.  Starting gravity about 1.130; I hit the whole thing with a wine yeast (D-47, one of my favorites).  Initial airlock smells are great!  I'm thinking this will turn into something quite lovely.

On the equipment side, I've been gathering parts to do a RIMS setup.  I've got the heat exchanger done, and I have most of the parts for the control box.  I'll post pictures as I get things assembled (hopefully this weekend).  With luck, I can do a "dry-run" water-only test, see how it holds temp, this weekend, or maybe next; I'd like to have it basically functional for my next Brew Day at the end of the month.  Hmmm...  That means I'd need to build a new liquid return for the MLT, too.  Well, back to the hardware store for me...

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