Posts Tagged ‘golden strong’

new fermenters, racking, hops, and BBQ

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

after having some difficulties procuring additional half-barrel stainless kegs for fermenting, I finally pulled the trigger on some 15 gallon barrels from US plastics.

  • I had initially dismissed these plastic barrels for long-term aging, but after more research I decided to give them a shot.  not only are they significantly cheaper than kegs, an airlock easily fits into their screw-off cap after five seconds of drilling.
  • after cleaning and sanitizing one of the new barrels, I purged it with a little CO2 and racked my golden strong (both the 10 straight gallons and 1 sour mix gallon) into it on top of 2.5 lbs of PV wildflower honey and 1.5 oz of french oak soaked in zinfandel for a couple of hours.  the golden strong had dropped to 11 brix, for a pre-honey ABV of around 7.25%.
  • I also tossed some ’09 cuvee de tomme dregs into my similarly-styled cuvee de cabrillo.  the CdT had great carbonation and was intensely sour, much more so than I remember when having it on draft.  I’m thinking this was due to the couple of years spent in the bottle.  hopefully the alleged superbugs in CdT will help add some sourness to my batch over the long haul.
  • also, after racking the golden strong, I tossed 4 oz of fresh amarillo and 2 oz of fresh columbus hops into my house IPA.  I’m planning on kegging this weekend and consuming soon thereafter for maximum hoppiness.
  • speaking of hops, my earlier transplant seems to be successful, as the cascade crown is aggressively pushing out shoots.  I trimmed back all but four runners and have my fingers crossed for some serious growth.
  • I also managed to enjoy the long-overdue socal sun over at PR and HB’s BBQ, where my kolsch poured alongside some great grilled veggies and marinated chicken.  summer can’t come fast enough…

golden strong, etc.

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

last friday EH, CY, and OA dropped by to dig around in the record collection and try some brews.

on sunday I fired up the brew stand to put a belgian golden strong together.

  • I formulated the basic recipe using jamil z’s recipe as a guideline:
    • 22.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 78.57 %
      6.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (90 min) Hops 30.7 IBU
      6.00 lb Sugar, Table (TJ’s organic) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 21.43 %
      1 Pkgs Belgian Golden Ale (White Labs #WLP570) Yeast-Ale
  • my new bargainfittings dip tube and stainless mesh worked perfectly, and the sparge went off without a hitch.  sometimes simpler is better…
  • the recipe yielded 11 gals of 1.075 OG wort, 10 of which I fermented out with the 570 and 1 of which I dosed with a vial of 655(sour mix I) to get the bugs going.
  • so here’s my dilemma: rack the 11 gallons onto 10-12 lbs of tart cherries, or rack onto 4-5 lbs of honey and some oak cubes?  I’m leaning toward the latter, but not before I crack open a bottle of CB’s old golden strong and try to envision it with some cherry funk…

on another front, after reading an article in beer west discussing the importance of clean beer lines, I realized that a line cleaning for the kegerator was long overdue.

  • cleaning was pretty simple – take a corny keg full of PBW and run it through all your taps.  let the lines sit for however long it takes you to rinse your corny keg (I waited for about 30 minutes for maximum effect) and fill it with a sanitizer solution.   then run the sanitizer through the lines and reconnect.
  • my lines ended up visibly cleaner, and any deposits within the lines had been eliminated.  luckily I never had any off flavors or line contamination to begin with, but cleaning my lines more regularly is always a good idea.