Monday, December 24, 2007

Oaked Abstract Bastage, Starting Gravity

Initial Reading: 1.110
Gravity adjusted for 90degree temperature: 1.114

That's a good bit higher than last time and means I'm likely to break 10% this time around

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Starting the Oaked Abstract Bastage

As I indicated last week, I started a new instance of Abstract Bastage and will oak it with the chips currently soaking in Scotch.

Here's the final recipe I ended up with:

Steep @ 160F for 35 minutes

  • 1# Flaked Rye
  • 1# Crystal 40L
  • 3/4# Dark Munich Malt
  • 1/4# Special B
  • 1/4# Biscuit
  • 1/4# Aromatic

Boil @ 60 minutes

  • 12# Malt Extract
  • 1 oz. Magnum Pellets -- Bittering Hops

Boil @ 50 minutes

  • 1 oz. Target Pellets -- Bittering Hops

Boil @ 15 minutes

  • 2# Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Irish Moss

Boil @ 0 minutes

  • 2 oz. Simco Pellets -- Flavoring Hops

Initial Pitch

  • White Labs California Ale yeast

Beyond that, I plan to re-pitch without racking with White Labs Champagne yeast after about a week. Another week after that, I'll rack to secondary add 2oz. of Simcoe plugs and add the whiskey soaked oak chips. I'll probably leave the oak in for 2 weeks, but will taste once a week to be sure. After that, I'll age it for a couple of months.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cask-conditioned Guiness clone

So the Guiness clone has cask-conditioned and is now hooked up to the Angram. Bought a 4-pack of rocket-widget powered Guiness cans, still the best way to enjoy a pint outside a pub (don't like the widgetted bottle). So we had nitrogen vs. hand pulled here. I've previously done this recipe and done the A/B with the cans, so i know the recipe is pretty darn close. Well, the head wasn't as thick from the Angram as what nitrogen was able to pull off, but you did have the usual effect of the two ale being aerated and a nice thick head building up from the bottom up. The color is spot on and when it came to taste, the Angram version tasted richer, almost making the canned Guiness taste watery. All around, I'd call this exactly what I wanted

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Oaked Abstract Bastage

I did my first oaked ale a couple of months ago with the Oakengrueven, but as it aged it got and more like chewing on a board. I'm gonna age the remaining bottles for another couple of months before trying them again to see if they've mellowed out a bit.

But that doesn't mean, I give up on oak flavors and this time I'm taking my Abstract Bastage and oaking it. It's a nice strong ale that could do nicely with some oak flavors.

The two mistakes I made with the Oakengrueven was putting the oak in during primary fermentation and putting them in dry. I just put the new toasted chips into a bottle with a about a cup of Dewar's White Label (bought a Costco size a while back and decided, that I really didn't like it nearly as much as Glenlivet) and will soak them until the Abstract is ready for secondary, then dump the whiskey and rack the ale into with carboy with the chips. I'll probably taste it once a week after the first two weeks to decide when the chips come back out and then age it for another 2-3 months.

Couple of things I plan on changing with the Abstract are (i'll write out the full recipe as I do it):

  • use California Ale yeast instead of British Ale yeast
  • Re-pitch with Champagne yeast without racking and as soon as the first fermentation dies down and only move to secondary after the re-pitched fermenations dies down
  • Toss the Cascade for Simcoe and up the dosage on the dry hopping to at least 2oz.
  • Swap out the 2-row used in the steep with rye malt.
  • Actually use 2# of brown sugar, like originally planned
  • Drop the Wheat DME and up the Syrup to 12#

I doubt i'll even get around to starting this batch until Xmas tho.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Liar's Club is no more

Just saw over on Menu In Progress that the Liar's club has shut down and moved. Serious suckage! It was the one place that you could go to, drink some of the tastiest brews around and be in a cool area where you could walk off that inebriation. Truly sad.