Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moving, Bear With Me!

Hey everyone! 

I just got a new job so I'll be moving down to the land of Aerospace, Houston Texas.  With looking for a job and a place to live, I've been insanely busy.  You know you're busy when you don't have time to drink beer.  I'm really excited though.  I found an apartment today, and the kitchen is HUGE.  Perfect for brewing.  This is great for me, great for my homebrew, and ultimately great for you as readers as well.  Unfortunately, it means I won't be able to post very much.  I have a lot of stuff in the works, but with packing and moving everything I own, my posts will be infrequent at best.  BUT: I have a lot of new posts coming up (probably next month).

Jaggery Dubbel (A dubbel brewed with Palm Sugar)
Spontaneous Plum Wine (With an update about what I've done since week 1!)

Messina Hof Winery in College Station, TX
Revolver Brewing (Grand Opening) in Granbury, TX

Bottling (no posts, but future tastings)
Mead (my first ever)

Other Things:
DIY Stirplate build. It is awesome, I've had it 2 days and I'm in love.
Kombucha Brewing
Kombucha Troubleshooting (assuming my fix works) 

Post move, I'll be brewing a Barleywine, playing with Cream Ales (how would a porter with California Common yeast work?), a big batch of Cranberry wine, tons of Ciders (straight, ice cider, caramelized cider, and blending), and moving up to closer to 5 gallon batches!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pineapple Pale Ale

Whenever I brew or talk about brewing, I have a few family members that always ask, "When are you going to brew the pineapple beer again?"  I've said in previous posts that I have yet to rebrew the same recipe.  Well, I finally gave in to the pressure.

The idea for this recipe started after a discussion about a friend's trip to Hawaii.  He told me about how there was pineapple-everything there. Pineapple wine, pineapple cakes, pineapple brandy, pineapple soaps, all sorts of pineapple-based goods.  Except no pineapple beer.  (This was before Maui Brewing Company started distributing Mana Wheat off of Maui.)  As an experiment, in my 4th or 5th batch of homebrew ever, I brewed a basic pale ale and added pineapple chunks in the secondary.  And my family hasn't stopped talking about it all year.

This recipe is pretty simple.  A few pounds of 2 row, a little 20L, and Chico yeast.  I decided to try out Safale's US-05 dry yeast on this batch.  I didn't write down how much pineapple I added last time, so I decided to follow the 2 pounds per gallon rule I've heard several times on Basic Brewing Radio.  I ended up getting crushed pineapple instead of chunked since it was cheaper and came in convenient 1 pound cans.  Big mistake.  The crushed pineapple was very fine, not nearly as simple as the chunks.  The additional sugars kicked of a second fermentation, and in less than 30 minutes I was having to punch down the fruit cap with the back of a spoon.  I ended up having to do this about 7 times in 3 hours.  Even though I replaced the airlock with a blowoff tube, the stopper was getting clogged.  Now, the pineapple flesh has settled, but it is very loose.  Not sure how racking is going to go.

Using canned pineapple makes sense to me.  This beer is all about the pineapple flavor/aroma.  Boiling/pasteurizing would cause some of this to be lost, and I'd have to process my own pineapple.


Grain Bill
2 lbs 4 oz  2-row Barley Malt
4 oz          Crystal 20L
2 lbs         Crushed Pineapple (canned)

target temp 150°F
starting temp 151°F
final temp 146°F
Batch Sparge
preboil: 2.5 gallons @ 1.028

20g "Magic Hop Dust" @ 60 minutes
10g "Magic Hop Dust" @ 13 minutes
10g "Magic Hop Dust" @ 0 minutes
("Magic Hop Dust" is Austin Homebrew's way to sell the debris leftover when they break up bales of hops. This batch was estimated to have 7% Alpha Acid)

1 packet Safale US-05 "American Ale" Yeast
//sprinkled directly into wort, per instructions

OG 1.045 (not sure why it was so low compared to preboil)

Hour long cooling rest at 98°F because I got stuck on the phone with my insurance company
Bottled one plain Pale Ale on 9/24/12 (no priming sugar, hopefully it wasn't finished)
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