Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Another Double Brew Day (Night)

Has it really been that long? Well, according to my calendar, there has been no brewing at Muckney Brewing for the past THREE MONTHS! Frankly, that's unheard of, more so unnecessary, and completely inexcusable. Yeah, I've been busy with work and family, but recently made a career move that should allow for more brewing time, but that's a story for another day.

Today's topic, Saturday. Saturday night into the wee hours of Sunday morning, to be more specific. Finally, two weeks behind our friend El Bearded Brewer, MB closed the airlock on the first Across the Aisle Ale, the Bipartisan Porter (MB0025). You can catch up here and here, but the long and short of it is that EBB and MB, of differing political views, have decided to show that beer is a uniter, not a divider, by brewing the same beer using the same recipe, but following our political leanings in the choice of ingredients, his being the organic version and MB's being the "chemically enhanced" version of a Coffee Porter.

Here's the MB version of the recipe, for EBB's, look here:

2 lbs 2-Row
1 lb Crystal 120
.50 lbs Chocolate
.25 lbs Munich
.25 lbs Roasted Barley
3.5 lbs Light DME
1 oz Northern Brewer @ 60
.50 oz East Kent Goldings @ 20
.50 oz East Kent Goldings @ 10
Wyeast 1056 American Ale

The brewing process went well without any major missteps, and actually produced a first for MB. We normally add all of our DME at the beginning of the boil, but have been having some extract "twang" issues as of late. Now, I'm pretty sure they can be attributed to DME that was past it's prime, but it could have also been caused, in part, by the long boil time. The process was changed slightly for the Bipartisan Porter, by using the "Late Addition" method for the DME. After collecting the prescribed amount from the mash, we began boiling the wort and adding the hops as the recipe indicated. The DME was held out until the last 15 minutes of the boil, allowing just enough time for it to incorporate into the wort and be sterilized. Now I had heard of this method before, but never tried it. It was one of those "ain't broke" afterthoughts. Well, ad the advisement of EBB, I jumped on the Late Addition bandwagon with the Bipart. I did notice that the hot break began and ended faster with this method, probably because of the ambient heat in the liquid. This could have been a coincidence, but it also happened with the second batch of the evening.

And what was this mystery second batch that is indicated in the title? Well, Jon of Earth Bread + Brewery had mentioned in one of his posts that they recently brewed a Dark Mild Ale entitled Santos L. Halper's Mild. This, of course, got my mind pointed back in the direction of English Bitters, which are some of my favorite styles, and so was born Ode to the Halper Best Bitter (MB0026). The grain bill was simple, with Pale 2-row and Pilsen and some caramel to color it, this guy should hold a pretty decent bitter (32 IBUs if I remember correctly) but only weigh in in the low 4's ABV-wise. I'm pretty excited to see how this one turns out, since the last bitter, well, wasn't very bitter, nor that good overall.

The brew night, overall, though long into the wee hours of Sunday morning, was a good session. The Late Extract Addition method seemed to speed up the day a bit, or at least made it seem more streamlined. I can't end this post, though, without giving my buddy Pat a shout out and a bit "thanks". He gave me a hand with the first brew in Justin's abscence, and was awesome enough to grab a sixer of DFH Chicory Stout to share. Tasty stout night.



1 comment:

Chipper Dave said...

Dave - don't think Odell Brewing is going to go any further east for a while yet. I was surprised they even expanded at all this year given the economy but glad to hear it's slowly happening.