Monday, June 18, 2012

Brewing Triathlon, Part I - Batch Eleven and KG30

This Saturday, my friend Rick and I finally got around to brewing the collaboration witbier we have been waiting on ingredients for. The LHBS finally got my yeast (WLP410, my go-to witbier strain) in stock again and so after picking up the yeast and other ingredients on Friday, we were good to go.

I also needed to borrow Rick's beer gun so I could keg and fill a few bottles of KG30 for my cousin's thirtieth birthday party on Saturday night.

Lastly, we needed to bottle our secret porter that we originally brewed for a collaboration homebrew contest in Southern California. Unfortunately, we bit off more than we could chew and the beer was not even close to ready when the deadline came up, so it never even got to compete (if it had, I'm sure we'd have done well!).

Ultimately, Rick and I ended up holding a 'brewing triathlon' and decided we would just do everything in one day. Because of this, I am going to split this up into two posts, with Part I today and Part II tomorrow morning.

Part I - Batch Eleven and KG30

Since there's no longer any need for secrecy, let's get Batch Eleven out of the way. Originally brewed for a competition in Fullerton, it ended up missing the May deadline and was finally ready to go in bottles. Rick and I brewed a single six gallon batch back in February as a tribute to "Black Lingerie", one of the best beers I've ever had. I was able to get the recipe from Daniel, the brewer, and made a few (minor) adjustments to the grain bill, leaving the yeast, hops, and mash schedule intact.
Partially inspired by my love of cordial cherries and Alaskan's Baltic Porter, I decided that I would add cherry puree, cacao nibs, and a concoction of american oak cubes and vanilla beans soaked in rum to my half of the beer. Rick, conversely, went with blackberry puree and a single french oak stave soaked in port wine. The beer was primaried in a single carboy and split up for our expirements in secondary.

We ended up bottling most of it as two seperate batches, along with a handful of bottles filled with a 60/40 blend of the two, my half being the majority. I have my share in a cool closet for the next few weeks to carbonate and bottle condition, but I plan on opening one ASAP to see how it tastes with some carbonation, as the sample I had at bottling was fantastic.

KG30, bottled and labelled.
I also filled 5 bottles of KG30, the wheatwine with honey, oak, and tequila I brewed a few months back to celebrate my cousin's 30th birthday. The party was later that night, and since I didn't have time to bottle it the regular way, I asked Rick if I could use his beergun to bottle it. I racked the beer to a keg on Tuesday, and force-carbonated it at Rick's Saturday morning (I was out of CO2). We let the keg chill for a few hours in his lagering chamber while we brewed and bottled Batch Eleven. After we were (mostly) done with everything else we grabbed the bottles out of the freezer (keep them cold for best results) and retrieved the keg from his refridgerator. Beer gunning is incredibly simple, and I can't believe I don't own one already. It's a huge time saver being able to not have to pick between kegging or bottling, and except for sours, I already keg everything, so I think I will have to get one of these once I start entering more competitions.

Rick filling the bottles.

Tomorrow I will go over the rest of the brewday, including a tasting of an oddly named stout and brewing our collaborative witbier.

1 comment:

  1. Need more info. What was the SG and FG on the Baltic Porter before secondary? We'll have to plan a date to get together and share your two beers and my Black Lingerie batch 2.