Simcoe SMaSH IPA

Brewed this beer January 22nd 2023, after a fairly long break from brewing….The Avery Clone IPA was the last beer I brewed and kegged. If you read my last post you know that it disappeared too quickly. I have brewed a Mosaic SMaSH IPA several times in the past and decided to go with Simcoe hops for this SMaSH…..I love the aroma and the flavors come through very nicely….

My chicken scratch my brew sheet form BeerSmith on this recipe…..gotta keep notes if you want to to repeat a good beer.

A little about Simcoe Hops from Yakima Valley Hops web site;

“At 12%-14% Alpha Acid, Simcoe® has great bittering qualities, but also packs a complex aroma of stone fruit, pine, and citrus zest. It truly is a dual purpose hop that is capable of standing on its own in single-hopped beers in a wide range of styles.”

When I pulled the sample to determine the original gravity, 1.064 to be exact, I dipped my nose in for a whiff and by golly Yakima was right! Secondly the flavor was very, very pleasant a little sweet but to be expected as unfermented wort should be sweet. As the sugars in the wort are devoured by the “yeasties” the sweetness disappears and the magic of conversion to beer happens. I have very high hopes for this beer.

Brew day did not go as smooth as I would have liked…..I have a 110 Volt Grainfather G30 system. Overall I love it but……brew day was pretty damned cold for Houston and the wind was stiff. I brew outside because my wife does not like the smell of boiling wort in the house, I think it is rather pleasant but….I make some sacrifices to maintain harmony in the house. The mash went very smooth, the equipment held the 165 degree F mash temp perfectly. The system’s pump worked perfectly for the Vorlauf process. During Vorlauf and sparging I ran the set temperature up to 212 degrees F. One drawback of the 110 Volt system is the slower heating rates as compared to the 220 Volt systems.

I use my propane burner to heat the sparge water, 170 degrees F was the recommended tempearture. I was patient and sparged at a rate to rinse as much sugar out of the grain bed as was expected. As I was sparging the temperature was coming up very slowly…….too slowly. I pulled out my electric paint stripping gun and plugged it into a separate circuit in order to not to blow a fuse. It helped, I ran it on high setting on the lower sides of the pot….and slowly the pot came up to a good rolling boil. Added 0.5 ounces of Simcoe for 60 minutes. Next addition of Simcoe was 1.0 ounce at the 15 minute remaining mark and 1.5 ounces at the 5 minute remaining mark. Added ½ of a whirlfloc tablet at that same time in order to help precipitate haze-causing proteins and beta glucans resulting in a clearer wort.

Then a set back and change of process now that the beer had boiled for the required 60 minutes. I attached my counter flow chiller and attempted to pump hot wort through the coils and back into the pot to sanitize the coil. The pump had worked perfectly when I ran it to Vorlauf but for some reason the pump would not move any fluid…..I was at a standstill …… I disconnected the fittings to see if there was clog and I could not see a problem. Started and stopped the pump multiple times……no dice. I could hear it sounding like it was running but no output……I need to get the wort cooled and into my fermenting bucket.

Plan B now. The wort is at a specific gravity of 1.064 X 8.345 pounds of water per gallon X 6 gallons equals about 53.27 pound of liquid plus the weight of the pot. I had to now lift this hot and awkward mess up onto platform of some sort in order to make plan B work……siphon the wort into my fermenting bucket. I did utter some strong words, tested my 71 year old back and pain tolerance to hot surfaces, but did manage to gain the necessary height to allow the siphon to work. I pumped very hot wort through the siphon hose and equipment and back into the wort to sanitize it all……then successfully filled the fermenting bucket.

Got it all situated and placed in a 66-68 degree location to best allow the yeast to do it’s work. Took a couple of Tylenol as a preventative for potential back pain and waited overnight to add the yeast. I usually like to cool the wort much more quickly and add the yeast once it is all down below 80 degrees F.  Yeast was added this morning and by this evening there was good indication of bubbles and active fermentation. Now, one of my challenges is being patient to allow nature to do its work.

Next step will be transferring to a secondary fermenter and adding 1.5 ounces of Simcoe hops for dry hopping. After 7 days I will cold crash it to 34-35 degrees and transfer to a keg. Then carbonate, be patient again and then enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Can’t wait to be at this point……filling the keg with my Simcoe SMaSH IPa.

Lesson learned and a discovery. The wort was at boiling temperature when I turned the pump on and with a little research the pump suction creates a lowered pressure and likely vapor locked the pump. Lesson learned ….be patient……turn the heat off, wait a bit then turn on the pump. During cleanup there was a bit of brew trash in the discharge check valve but probably not enough to stop flow. Note to self……understand my sometimes lack of patience and chill old man!!!!!!

SMaSH – a beer brewed with a single malt and a single hop……in this case Golden Promise Malt and Simcoe hops…..Yum

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Back At It Again

I apologize a bit to a beekeeping acquaintance of mine here in Texas as he has named his business “At it Again Apiaries”…….so, I just appropriated a portion of the name. That said, it has both been too long since I last brewed and also too long since I last posted. Up date, I have an Avery IPA clone sitting in the secondary, dry hopped and I started the cold crash yesterday before kegging tomorrow. The gravity targets from the recipe were hit dead on. It was 1.056 for the starting gravity and 1.012 for the ending gravity…….sample tasted wonderful.

Sadly my local beer supply store closed a few months ago and I have resorted to online ordering. The online experience has been hit or miss. I have tried Austin Homebrew Supply and Northern Brewer. The excuses revolve around labor shortages and supply chain issues……I am more concerned about having room in my kegerator for two more beers so, I am learning to be more patient. Tomorrow I should be carbonating the Avery clone but the next beer, or should I say planned beer is a SMaSH with Golden Promise grain and Simcoe hops…….dangit…..may not get it started until sometime next week. That is if the remaining ingredients show up.

I hate to say it but part of the delay is my fault. The grain bill calls for 12 pounds of Golden Promise, in the drop down box I apparently did not click hard enough on 12 and they order went out as 1 pound. I did have a second chance to review my order at checkout, but guess what, senior moment, and I did not correct my mistake. So I have compounded the delivery issues……nuff said and you can stop giggling any time you want!

The Avery clone was an all grain kit from Austin Homebrew Supply…..they did a decent job getting the supplies here on a reasonable amount of time. A browse through the products section does highlight notable amounts of “out of stock” tags but over all not too bad. I did resort to going to the “Grainfather” site for parts I needed before brewing the Avery clone. The connections on the inlet to the pump and discharge side of the pump had gone bad. Fortunately the discharge tube leaked badly as I was cleaning and prepping and not during the brewing process, averting a catastrophic event!. It delayed the Avery IPA clone by about a week.

Final Gravity…..Dead on Target – Love my new hydrometer…..yes, I dropped and broke one…..word of advice, always have two in your brewing kit. Fortunately I did.
Dry Hopped and I cold crash everything should settle out. One of these days….I dream of having a dedicated brewing area and use SS conical fermenters and a well sized walk in cold box and a 10 tap kegerator andddddd so much more!

I will promise to update all y’all in a timely matter once in the keg and properly carbonated….and wish I could share some with y’all – you will just have to rely on my words and your imagination. Trust me…

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

An IPA Start to my Birthday

Maybe I should have waited! Oops

My SMaSH Mosaic IPA. First beer to start the evening. Then an Odell’s Fresh Grind IPA…. Wow! Then a Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter with distilled Hop oil. Gotta love a Texas Backyard Birthday!

Then a nice slab of salmon with pesto butter!

And what a great treat- the family searched far and wide and found 5 – six packs of Hopslam! I am in heaven. Gotta find a cold and secret place to store them.

Thanks Lisa for a card that made me cry!

Dessert? Carrot cake and –

Very yummy!

It is not so bad to be two years beyond Medicare age!

Maybe a Hopslam night cap?????

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Honey, I Started the Honey Blonde

I have been in trouble since the moment I began sharing my wife’s Honey Blonde Ale, close to a year now! Really not hers but, I made it using some of the dark honey we harvested last year. She liked the honey so well that she took 6 pounds of the dark amber sweetness and hid it from the sales batches. I have been given very direct instructions for this batch……I am not allowed to give any of this beer away! I need to have my daughter Lisa share in some of the blame. She took a 6 pack to one of her trail races and addicted a couple of her friends. They were rewarded a couple of times.

This beer is an all grain brew, currently in the primary fermenter and probably ready to rack over to the secondary. The brew process,  a 90 minute boil, went very smooth. The starting gravity came out dead on to the expected number. The sample pulled for the gravity test, tasted pretty damned awesome.

Recipe;

Honey Blonde-p1

Details from the Beersmith Software. Whenever I read to sparge volumes I think – That can’t be right….to much water. At he end of the 90 minute boil it was a nearly perfect 5 gallons.

I will Bottle in another 7 days and should make my wife happy by mid August. Let me take that back, I always make her happy, she will be “happier” when this beer is ready  and happiest if I don’t share any……she can make that choice!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly,

Bishop

PS: My son Joe sent a text message as I was writing this post from Ranger  Creek Brewery and Distillery, San Antonio TX. Another one to add to my list.

Honey Blonde Ale – One Step Closer

I racked the Honey Blonde from the primary to the secondary fermenter this morning. I was a few days tardy but it should not hurt the final product. I hope to bottle over the weekend and sit back and enjoy a cold one on or around October 17/18. 

The hydrometer reading indicates that fermentation is complete so I will let the beer clear up in the glass carboy secondary for a few days, chill, then bottle. ABV calculates at 5.64%. Not an all day session beer but very nice. I drank the sample I pulled – can’t let it go to waste! 

Color is nice – like a light honey color…. Go figure. Yes, a bit of sweetness in the flavor and a pleasant after taste. 

  From left to right, my honey in a squeeze bear, a bit of the extra sample I pulled and the hydrometer sample back right. The honey color is definitely evident.  The beer should clear up nicely in the next few days….. I will keep all y’all updated. 
Drink Local and Drink Responsibly 

Bishop

The Girl Can Brew !

The girl code named, “Madison the Mad Brewer”, also makes hand crushed, foot stomped wine….trust me, I saw the grape stained fingers in person and photos of her grape stained feet. She is an energetic young lady with what appears to be boundless energy and curiosity. The purpose of my visit with her last week was to provide a mini-lesson on the use of vintage, manual 35mm cameras. Many old cameras from that era required mercury batteries that are now longer available. The replacement batteries and the electronics of the old camera leave many users without a through the lens means to meter accurately. Madison has a hand held meter that she, like me, found the user literature to be less than clear.  We decided to make it a learning opportunity.

We loaded up an old Asahi Pentax Spotmatic 35 mm camera, with a dead meter, with Kodak Tri-Xand headed to the back yard. We used the hand held meter to understand measuring incident and reflected light, depth of field, metering for contrast and other thoughts. She is a very curious photographer and a quick student! We also discussed night and star shots that led to a discussion on the “B” bulb setting on the shutter speed dial. She is a quick student and I think I/we will see more creative efforts from her soon.

Let’s Talk Beer

In February she promised me one of her brown ales, “Squatch Drool”. As I type, and watch Atlanta kick the crud of of the Houston Texans, I am seeking solace in her offering. As I was about to leave after the camera lesson she remembered the promise and handed me the last bottle from the December 2014 batch. Yes, the girl can brew! You can honestly see it in her eyes! I suppose Squatch drool was modeled after Moose Drool by Big Shy Brewing Company, Missoula Montana. I give her interpretation high marks and it drinks “cleaner” on my palate than Moose Drool.

The eyes of a mad brewer, a fledgling vintner and a Mt. Whitney summiteer! I have heard rumors of fireworks daredevil but can't confirm!

The eyes of a mad brewer, a fledgling vintner and a Mt. Whitney summiteer! I have heard rumors of fireworks daredevil but can’t confirm!

Squatch Drool....Very, very good Brown Ale!

Squatch Drool….Very, very good Brown Ale!

Brew Date and Beer Description - Ages well!

Brew Date and Beer Description – Ages well!

Nice - pours a good head and a bit of lace....very satisfying. Thanks Madison!

Nice – pours a good head and a bit of lace….very satisfying. Thanks Madison!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Honey Blonde Ale

Today is brew day! I made the switch to All-Grain brewing almost two years ago. It takes time! On top of that this recipe calls for a 90 minute boil!

To pass the time I made some labels for my Session IPA. The bulk of that batch went into my 6 Liter mini kegs from Tap-a-Draft. 12 liters kegged and about 16 bottles. Labeling is a good thing because I sometimes discover an orphan in the back of the fridge and have to drink it to find out it’s lineage. Oh Darn!

Session IPA - Ready and waiting on thirsty lads.

Session IPA – Ready and waiting on thirsty lads.

Over ninety degrees F in my outdoor brewhaus- proper attire, sandals, shorts and a t-shirt!

Killing two birds with one shirt..... Thanks Hun!

Killing two birds with one shirt….. Thanks Hun!

Just I case you are interested;

4 pounds of domestic Pilsner  malt

3 pounds of domestic two- row malt

2 pounds of domestic white wheat malt

0.5 pounds of Canadian Honey malt

1 pound of honey from my backyard at flame out

1 ounce of Cluster hops at 20 minutes

1 ounce of Cluster at 5 minutes

1 pouch Wyeast 1056 Amber Ale yeast

5 gallon batch

should come in under 20 IBU.

Near 5% ABV

I will keep y’all posted

Planned 1 week at 65 F then rack to secondary for 2 weeks at 67 F

  
Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Karbach’s Hopadillo Helps Make Awesome Burger

This is less about the beer but I had to use something to make these awesome and over the top burgers.

Ready for the grill - recipe somewhere below.

Ready for the grill – recipe somewhere below.

Ok, how does Karbach factor into this post? See photo below. The burger started off as a 10 ounce lump of 80/20 ground beef. In order to make a pocket in the lump for stuffing I had to use something. Grilling requires a beer in hand so, I used one of my very favorite beers in a can.

The Hopadillo makes a perfect pocket for stuffing and then can help me with the grilling process!

The Hopadillo makes a perfect pocket for stuffing and then can help me with the grilling process!

Now once the pocket has been made I can start to add the yummies. Jimmy Dean pure pork Sage sausage, grilled onions, peppers – yellow and orange, Vermont Ultra sharp grated cheddar, Sweet Baby Rae’s BBQ sauce, mince garlc and the meat seasoned my secret way…… for a fee I will release the ingredients.

My very large skillet simmering away just waiting for proper placement in the pocket.

My very large skillet simmering away just waiting for proper placement in the pocket.

Karbach small tour glass holding the amazing elixir of life….yes, a worn out cliché but I still love it, ready to be stuffed and then wrapped in bacon.

The possibilities are endless. I had mushrooms and a corn salsa to use but forgot to use both!.

The possibilities are endless. I had mushrooms and a corn salsa to use but forgot to use both!.

Ok, now the mouth watering work of putting them together and grilling. I used indirect heat and it took about 45-50 minutes for them to cook through..

On the grill and ready for the heat!

On the grill and ready for the heat!

I  only made 3 this go around and they were inhaled. My son ate one and then a conventional burger, my wife ate hers sans bun. I placed mine on a bun and inhaled it before realizing that I failed to add red onion slices, tomato, lettuce and the corn salsa. Gotta do this again! Maybe I can get another Karbach to help on the next batch, Rodeo Clown or Weekend Warrior….so many wonderful choices. One beer wasn’t enough for the grilling session so – I had one of my beers, the “Yes Dear, Raspberry Wheat Ale” and then a New Belgium Ranger IPA.

Check the video out  –  this is where I picked up ideas for my version….endless possibilities!

Drink Local and Drink Resopnsibly

Bishop

PS…..the recent hiatus is due to many excuses that don’t really hold water. I have not disappeared – just wafting about in the cloudy murkiness of excuses.

Southern Star Brewery – Plan C, A Better Plan

Saturday was supposed to be a morning trip to NRG Stadium here in Houston for the RV and Boat Show. The return trip was in the trip advisor as a stop at Karbach Brewing Company for beers and a tour. As they sometimes do, plans change and options must be assessed. The participants on this field trip were good friend John, son Benjamin and his fishing buddy David. Benjamin and David decided to check out the Boat Show on Friday evening.  Both of the boys were interested in a seminar on winter fishing for Speckled trout. That lead to the first change. Even though storms were forecast for Saturday morning, the 25/26 year old fishing fools took the boat down to Trinity Bay on the recommendation of the seminar speaker. They got very wet but did catch a few fish.

Two participants had now bailed on me. The storm did materialize and it hammered our house with wind, rain and some hail from near 4;30 AM, when the boys left, until 6:30 AM! My son’s dog hates lightning and thunder so I was trying to get her settled down, I will chat with him later. John realized on Friday evening when I sent him the remindern that he had scheduled the Direct TV installer for Saturday AM.  Due to the stormm the installer was late and he was begging off. So, what’s a guy to do?

I called daughter Lisa at 11:30ish and sought out her company….bag the Boat Show and head to Karbach Brewing Company. I needed to salvage part of the day’s plan. She agreed and off we started. It was now near 12:45 before we got on the road. Just for grins and because of the storm, I asked her to check with Karbach and make sure they were open. Oops…….Karbach hours on Saturday are 12:00 to 3:00 – Mmmmm, just a bit too short. Plan C now. Let’s check on Southern Star Brewing Company in Conroe. Good news, on Saturday they are open from 1-5 PM. We could be there by 2:00 if we were quick. So, turn the Suburban around and head North Westish in the direction of Conroe, Texas.

Lisa snapped a shot of the speedometer of the Suburban as we dashed off toward Southern Star Brewing Company. We made good time!

Lisa snapped a shot of the speedometer of the Suburban as we dashed off toward Southern Star Brewing Company. We made good time!

Here is the “Paul Harvey” – The rest of the story twist. The electronics in the dash are messed up. While parked the speedometer reads 80 mph…..so, I am not a menace on the highways, but it sure makes a fun image.

Great news on arrival, the first pint is “on the Brewery”….Yee haw cowboy! We did behave since I was driving but Lisa did go after a few of the bigger beers, the Valkyrie Double IPA was her first and she finished with one of my favorites, the Buried Hatchet Stout. I experimented and tried the Waloon, a grisette style beer that is not broadly brewed. I liked it but it would more appeal to my wife. I also sampled the Old Potentate, it has a nice maltiness and is hopped very nicely. I finished up with a Pine Belt Ale. My favorite of the day.

We took the brewery tour. It was a high speed, energetic yet informative tour….The teaser for  is the description of the future plans for capacity  expansion and an increase in the amenities that will set it apart from many of the local breweries. There will be a nice outdoor grounds, and Old House on the location will most likely house the taproom. The brewery expansion will be significant. Look for news of the opening in late 2015!

DSC_8415

The Tourmeister…..very entertaining and knowledgeable. Loves his beer and is passionate about brewing.

Lance at the bar ordering hos next Libation.

Lance at the bar ordering his next libation.

Lisa. not my daughter Lisa, but Lisa from College Station - she knows her beer too! She was working her way through the sampler.

Lisa. not my daughter Lisa, but Lisa from College Station – she knows her beer too! She was working her way through the sampler. Lance is still trying to decide.

Empty cans waiting to be filled with the liquid gold! The blue cans are the Bombshell Blonde, the number on seller and the Buried Hatchet Stout the brown cans.

Empty cans waiting to be filled with the liquid gold! The blue cans are the Bombshell Blonde, the number on seller, the Buried Hatchet Stout the brown cans and the center pallets are the Pine Belt Pale Ale cans.

The brewery is a very casual and a great atmosphere for meeting people. Granted the cool weather and the Holiday season may have kept the crowd down. We wound up making some new acquaintances, got to know a few by first name and if you are there…….you are a lover of beer!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly!

Bishop

 

Yes Dear – Raspberry Wheat Ale

I seem to brew a lot of beers that I like – the  problem is, my wife has a different palate! I made one for her  a while back but the bitter orange peel used for the Belgian Wit Bier was a bit overwhelming. Dang it….I have had to drink almost all of it! Since then I have brewed a rich and chewy Russia Imperial Ale and my Golden Wheat Red IPA.  So, as my Christmas gift to her, I have just returned home from the beer store with the parts and pieces for a Raspberry Wheat Ale, affectionately labeled the “Yes Dear – Raspberry Wheat Ale”. No wrapping paper needed and the gift that keeps on giving, She will be so happy! My old brewing buddies will understand that the unsaid portion of the label would have read, ” Yes Dear, I should have known – Raspberry Wheat Ale”. It’s a long story…. and besides, it would have crowded the label.

Ingredients = $ 29.12…… I definitely think she is worth that much…

  • 5.5 lbs. Domestic white wheat malt
  • 5.5 lbs. domestic two row pale malt
  • 0.5 lbs. British medium crystal malt
  • 0.5 lbs. Flaked oats
  • 0.5 lbs. Rice hulls – aids in making a filter bed during run off
  • 2 ounces Hallertauer hop pellets – 1.5 oz. 60 minutes and 0.5 oz. 2 20 minutes
  • 1 pkg. Wyeast # 1056
  • 1/2 tsp Irish Moss @ 15
  • 1/2 tsp food grade gypsum
  • Many gallons of Ozarka Spring Water
  • 2 lbs. frozen Raspberries added to the secondary – two weeks

Single Infusion @ 152 deg F and batch sparge.

Below is an image of label design for this batch taken by my iPhone from the laptop screen.

Tongue in Cheek - "Yes Dear - Raspberry Wheat Ale" -

Tongue in Cheek – “Yes Dear – Raspberry Wheat Ale” –

I sure hope my bride has a sense of humor?…….never mind, she married me so the answer is, yes she does!

 

PS – I also came home with 1.75 Liters of 190 proof Everclear! Not for beer brewing but for making some Limoncello with my bumper crop of lemons! More on that later.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop