You Find Out Who Your Friends Are…

On October 27, 2008, in Craft Beer, Family and Friends, Food, by Mark Ranes

…when they bring beer from 3000 miles away that you’ve been wanting to taste for years!

Stephen and the Ladies

Stephen and the Ladies

This Saturday evening, we hosted a dinner for our best buddies to join us for dinner and ales in lieu of our neighbor’s annual Halloween party.  John and Robyn throw the best Halloween party, but after five years they took a year off.  We decided to host a dinner party and I put some tri-tip and shrimp in the smoker, and everyone else brought their best to support the meal.

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

But the best of the evening was the ales that Maggie brought back from Washington DC – particularly the Bell’s Three Hearted Ale I’ve been wanting to taste forever.  Maggie brought back well over a case of ale through airport security, and even educated the TSA as to the virtues of homebrewing!  You gotta love someone that can do that 🙂

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Bell's Special Cream Stout

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Bell's Special Cream Stout

She and Steve showed up with lots of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (and left me a six-pack), some Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout, some Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, some Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA and a bomber of Legacy Brewing’s Hoptimus Prime Double IPA.

Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA

Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA

The Two Hearted Ale was wonderful (and my clone was pretty much spot-on:), but the highlight of the ales was the Simcoe Double IPA.  It has an ass kicking malt bill, balanced out by a piney, resinous hop character.  Steve and I are committed to try and brew this beast using my Blue Flame malt bill and subbing in Simcoe hops all the way through the brew.  I may brew this on Veterans Day.

Legacy Brewing's Hoptimus Prime

Legacy Brewing's Hoptimus Prime

All in all, the evening was a great mix of friends, good eats and wonderful brews.  The whole evening was like an Old Milwaukee commercial –  it doesn’t get any better than this!

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Columbus IPA Tap Handle

Columbus IPA Tap Handle

One of the things I like to experiment with in my brewing is making single hop ales.  It really allows you to see what a particular hop variety brings to an ale.  To take this one step further (and feed my background as a former science teacher:), I like to take a recipe for a single hop ale, and brew it again, changing only one thing – the variety of hop.  Basically, this means keeping the hopping schedule, individual hop charge IBU percentages and overall brew IBUs identical to the original ale.  Tomorrow, I’ll be taking my Two Hearted IPA recipe, and changing only the hop variety – from Centennial hops (my hands-down favorite, only one hop to brew with on a desert island:) to Columbus hops.

Additionally, I’ll be bottling up a few bombers of the Two Hearted IPA, since I know the second keg will be gone before the Columbus IPA is ready, to allow for side by side comparisons of the two ales.  I just finished filtering my water and milling the grain for tomorrow’s brew day.  As always, the milled grain smells wonderful:)

Here’s the recipe for tomorrow’s brew day:

Columbus IPA
14-B American IPA

Size: 10.08 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 317.28 kcal per 16.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.071 (1.056 – 1.075)
Terminal Gravity: 1.018 (1.010 – 1.018)
Color: 7.27 (6.0 – 15.0)
Alcohol: 7.03% (5.5% – 7.5%)
Bitterness: 61.1 (40.0 – 60.0)

Ingredients:
20.0 lb Pale Malt(2-row)
4.0 lb Vienna Malt
10.0 oz Crystal Malt 10°L
6.0 oz Crystal Malt 40°L
1.0 lb Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt
.5 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60.0 min
.75 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added during boil, boiled 45.0 min
.80 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added during boil, boiled 20.0 min
1.0 lb Corn Sugar
1.5 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
1.5 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
2 ea Whirlfloc – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
2000 mL White Labs WLP001 California Ale

Milling grain for Columbus IPA

Milling grain for Columbus IPA

One other difference in this brew from the Two Hearted IPA is the yeast.  Unfortunately, I’m out of Pacific Ale yeast, but I’ll be restocking soon since a trip to B3 is in my near future.  This ale should dry out just a bit more than Two Hearted IPA, but I can adjust for that with a slightly higher mash temperature.

Brenda is off to San Franciso in the morning to take up another load of stuff to Meagan at AAU, so I’m on my own for the brew day.  Unfortunately, Meagan is using my older PowerBook G4 at school, until the new MacBooks are released in a couple weeks, so my iTunes server is MIA. I’ll have to rely on Sirius for brew day tunes:)

On a Roll – Brewing Again!

On June 24, 2008, in Homebrewing, Recipes, by Mark Ranes

Two Hearted Ale IPA LabelLast minute decision – time to brew an IPA!  I recently found a clone recipe for Bell’s Two Hearted IPA and I’d like to give it a shot.  I did mix it up a bit, by juggling the crystal malts and adding some corn sugar to dry out the ale.  I’ll also be using White Labs Pacific Ale yeast – just because I love it so much.  I used a couple additional White Labs Cal Ale yeast vials that were outdated by a month, but they should add to the yeast cell count by a huge margin – and then get out of the way.

In the past, I’ve embraced single hopped ales – to get to know the bittering and flavor profiles of the hops.  I’ve also told numerous people over the past few years that if I was stranded on desert isle, with only one hop – it would be Centennials, so I’m excited to taste this ale.

Two Hearted IPA
14-B American IPA

Size: 10.08 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 317.28 per 16.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.071 (1.056 – 1.075)
Terminal Gravity: 1.018 (1.010 – 1.018)
Color: 7.3 (6.0 – 15.0)
Alcohol: 7.03% (5.5% – 7.5%)
Bitterness: 60.84 (40.0 – 60.0)

Ingredients:
20.0 lbs Pale Malt(2-row)
4.0 lbs Vienna Malt
10.0 oz Crystal Malt 10°L
6.0 oz Crystal Malt 40°L
1.0 lbs Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt
1.0 oz Centennial (10.5%) – added during boil, boiled 60.0 min
1.0 oz Centennial (10.5%) – added during boil, boiled 45.0 min
1.0 oz Centennial (10.5%) – added during boil, boiled 20.0 min
1.0 lbs Corn Sugar
1.75 oz Centennial (10.5%) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
1.5 oz Centennial (10.5%) – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
2.0 oz Centennial (10.5%) – added dry to primary fermenter
2 ea Whirlfloc – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
1600 mL White Labs WLP041 Pacific Ale

I’m wanting to get up early and get this brew going.  With all of the fires around all of California, I want to get out of the smoky air as soon as possible tomorrow.  Today I was outside for a couple of hours and came away with sorry lungs and a huge headache…

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