9.22.2016 – Tree House Green Clone Attempt

It’s been a while since I’ve had a can of Green.  Its one of my favorites!  I’d say, at least 5 months have gone by.  Even then, the can was nearly 2 months old.  Beers like that just don’t get around to Michigan as often as I’d like.  I had dabbled around with Galaxy hops with some of my earlier batches with good results.  Combining that with the knowledge I have now, it was a no-brainer to jump on the 2016 Galaxy hops from Yakima Valley.

The quality on these is second to none.   The package came quickly, was fairly priced, well packed, and vacuum sealed.  Upon opening the hop pouch I was greeted with a smack in the face that screamed Green.  There was only one thing left to do.

 Grains/Fermentables:

Two Row

Flaked Oats

Crystal 10

HOPS:

Columbus

Galaxy

OTHER INGREDIENTS:

Yeast Nutrient

Calcium Chloride

Gypsum

YEAST:

Harvested from Tree House cans Julius and Green

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I mashed in a little bit hot, 154 as opposed to my normal of 152.  No harm though.  We’re here to have a good time.  After an hour vourlauf the runnings from my mash tun,  I then batch sparged at 168F for 20 minutes.  A vourlauf and then into my kettle for a 60 minute boil.  My pre boil gravity was a little low.  I have had zero luck with BeerSmith or brewers friend for volume calculations.

Learning from my last batches with reduced bittering additions, I threw caution to the wind and did a 3x bittering addition at 60 minutes of Columbus.  All of my other hops were added into the whirlpool.  Columbus and Galaxy were added at 180F and allowed to steep for 30 minutes before cooling, aerating, pitching a vulgar amount of dry hops, and adding my Tree House yeast.  This yeast is still going strong on its 7th generation.  It shows no signs of slowing down.    My OG came in at 1.072 (was shooting for 1.080).

The beer fermented for 10 days at ambient room temperature (68F) and then was cold crashed for 48 hours before being transferred to a purged keg.  It finished at 1.016.  This makes about 7.65%abv.  If I had lowered my mash temp, I could probably have hit 1.014 which is where I suspect Green to actually be.  The beer was burst carbonated for 48 hours at 25psi before being set to serving temperature.  No keg hops were added.

This time, I used the Clear Beer Draught System.  I want to take a second and say that the Clear Beer Draught System is awesome!  Essentially this eliminates the dip tube in your keg.  One end has a hose that connects to a steel bar that is suspended by a steel float.  While all your sediment settles to the bottom of the keg, this pulls from the top of the keg.  You get nice, bright beer instead of the fallout on the bottom.

This beer came out excellent.  Like I had stated, I have not had Green in months.  I have not had fresh Green in longer.  I remember Green tasting the way this beer does with a little less residual sweetness.  I don’t mind it though.  I kind of like it!  I wouldn’t call this a clone, but I would say that it’s closer than any of the other clone recipes that I’ve seen or created.

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Next time, I would add about another 10% flaked oats, reduce the amount of c10, and slightly increase my Galaxy contribution in the whirlpool.

I have acquired a can of King Julius from a swap and am going to get into it this Saturday and couldn’t be more excited.  I’ve heard great things!  I’ve gotten this clone recipe close enough for my satisfaction at this point in time.  I’ll shift gears and take a few more stabs at Julius.  With Fall around the corner, I intend to do some more Fall/Winter beers.  If there’s something you’d like me to try and put a wild spin on, drop a comment and we’ll see what I can do.

Happy brewing – Cheers!

9.13.16 – King Hippo & EXP 06277

Well I sure have taken some time away from brewing to handle some things around the house before summer got away.  As previously seen in my travels to Trader Joe’s I landed a few other items of interest that I intend to put into an IPA: Mango and Coconut.  I had purchased my grains and crushed them almost 2 weeks ago.. I know I’m going to experience some sort of decreased efficiency; just how much was the real question.  My original recipe called for Citra, but I was fresh out.  Rather than postpone brew day further, I went with the last of my “tropical” hops.. EXP 06277 aka Denali aka Nuggetzilla.

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Let me start off by saying that Brulosophy did a great write up using EXP 06277 from a fresh bale cut.  The results piqued my interest enough to order a 4oz bag of pellets.  These hops smell incredible.  Picture Citra meets everything good coming out of the southern hemisphere.   They play very nicely with Amarillo in a 1:1 ratio.

I typically use Brewer’s Friend software, but find it to be a bit lacking in determining water volume.  Since my volumes have been all over the place I decided to try Beersmith.  I downloaded the app to my phone.  I’ve noted some pros and cons to each.  The phone app of Beersmith is limiting when it comes to grains and hops information when compared to Brewer’s Friend.  Perhaps I’m using this wrong?  Any information would be appreciated.  I put together my recipe in each application and determined my appropriate water volumes in Beersmith.

I began by warming my mash tun and collecting the determined RO water volumes.  I made some slight adjustments using calcium chloride and gypsum as indicated by EZwater.  This would be my first time adjusting the mash.

Brew day was uneventful, which is always welcomed.  Columbus was added as FWH.  Amarillo / EXP 06277 blended in a 1:1 ratio was added at flameout, steeped for 20 minutes at 170F, and dry hopped immediately prior to pitching my yeast.  The aroma was unreal coming off that kettle.

I’ve gotten a few emails as to why I dry hop when pitching yeast.  When I do this, I’m not noticing any significant loss or gain in aroma.  I’m simply doing this so I don’t have to open the fermenter until it’s time to transfer to the keg.  The less oxygen contact, the better.  The difference is negligible, I’m sure but this is one less step for me to take.

 Grains/Fermentables:

Pale Two Row

Vienna

Flaked Wheat

Flaked Oats

Honey Malt

Carafoam

HOPS:

Columbus

Amarillo

EXP 06277

OTHER INGREDIENTS:

Yeast Nutrient

Calcium Chloride

Gypsum

Biofine Clear

Sweetened Coconut

Mango Juice

YEAST:

Harvested from Tree House cans Julius and Green

Following my findings with time using yeast derived from Tree House (I believe it to be Conan), I picked up some Biofine Clear from the fine folks at Northern Brewer.   I’m finding that the Tree House yeast is changing for the better as I use it.  This would be its 3rd generation.  It starts faster, finishes faster, finishes cleaner, and drops better.  I need to rig up my new Inkbird temperature controller and fermenter heater wrap to see if I can pull some more fruit esters off of this yeast.  Perhaps in future batches I’ll explore this.

Following a 10 day fermentation with 2 days for the yeast to play cleanup, I added Biofine clear to the fermenter and cold crashed for 48 hours.  The beer was racked to a keg purged with C02.  Keg hops were added along with 32oz Mango juice.  3oz Coconut was added in a muslin sack.  The keg was purged of oxygen, burst carbonated, and allowed to sit for a week before taking my first pull.

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I’ll start by saying that this beer has the ideal appearance.  The nose on this one won’t come up and hit you.  As it warms the beer opens up a bit to reveal a bit of floral/tropical hop with a slight hint of coconut.  The mouth feel is light and slippery.  This is a very refreshing beer.  Perfect for the dog days of summer that it was brewed on.  The EXP 06277 hops really pair well in this.  I do wish that they were more prominent.  As with my previous batch, I believe I need to increase my whirlpool additions.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t bad at all.  As always, I’m looking for ways to improve.  I feel that increasing the hops in the Whirlpool and adding more coconut is the way to get there.  Not bad for a first run.  This will get another go next summer.

Cheers!

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9.6.16 – Fawcett Oat Malt in NEIPA

When doing my research on Tired Hands Milkshake IPA, I found an interesting podcast on STEAL THIS BEER.  Check it out if you haven’t before.  On this particular episode, the guest was Jean Broillet, brewer from Tired Hands.  In this episode Jean shared some inside tips on the Milkshake style as well as some juicy nuggets from the Tired Hands brewery.  One, being the use of Thomas Fawcett Oat Malt.

I’m fortunate to live near one of the best LHBS around, Adventures in Homebrewing.  AIH isn’t a sponsor, but I don’t know what I’d do without their continued assistance and advice.  The guys at AIH were able to score me a few pounds of Oat Malt.  From what I’ve read, Oat Malt can be difficult to crush resulting in reduced efficiency.  The guys ran the Oat Malt through twice on its own before combining it with the rest of my grains.  There is a serious husk on this stuff!

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To really see what the Oat Malt bring to the table, I decided to go with a very simple grain bill.  The hopping is inspired by Tired Hands Hop Hands.  We’ll see where this gets us!

Grains/Fermentables:

Pale Two Row

Oat Malt

HOPS:

Columbus

Amarillo

Simcoe

Centennial

OTHER INGREDIENTS:

Yeast Nutrient

Calcium Chloride

Gypsum

Biofine Clear

Dextrose

YEAST:

Harvested from Tree House cans Julius and Green

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This beer mashed in at 152F with a batch sparge consisting of two infusions of 168F water.  4.5 gallons of wort were collected.  The boil was uneventful aside from some difficulties keeping the flame up on the burner.  Sometimes it fights me when you’re into the boil of your second batch.  Today was no different.  The wort was chilled to 180F prior to adding my whirlpool additions.  The wort was chilled to pitching temperature, aerated, and then the first round of dry hops were added with the yeast slurry.

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The OG turned out to be 1.052 when I was aiming for 1.058.  I’m still honing in on the correct water volumes using my equipment.  I cannot wait to use a new boil kettle.  This beer finished at 1.012 after 6 day.  2 days were allowed to clean up.  Biofine Clear was added and the beer was cold crashed for 48 hours.  The beer was transferred to a keg filled with c02.  The tubing revealed a hazy and pale liquid.  I then purged of oxygen, and carbonated at 25psi for 24 hours before being dialed back to serving temperature for the remainder of carbonation.

I then took a pull.  Normally I wait upwards of a week to drink this, but I was out of beer and needed some hoppy goodness for my 4 day weekend.  In this case, I was rewarded with an overall nice pale ale.  I should have added more hops because the aroma is quite faint.  This was my first time using the combined hop blend.  Perhaps my centennial was a bit old, as well.  Now that I think about it, I originally opened that package about 7 months ago and it’s been sitting in the freezer since.

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Lessons learned, crank up the whirlpool additions, go a little stronger on the bittering charge.

I’m going to bottle off the rest of this keg and see if I had similar results to my previous mosaic/amarillo batch.  The beer really turned for the best after bottling.  If I have favorable results, I’ll adjust my process to fermenter, keg to pressurize, dry hop, and cold crash, and then transfer to a serving keg after a week.

Cheers!