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» 2011 » February

  • Brewer’s Best IPA

    I just can’t stand to have any empty fermenters.  So after I transferred my  Oktoberfest to the secondary, it was time to get something cooking in the primary again.  Of course its another Brewer’s best kit… hey they were buy one get one half off!

    Now it seems like all the breweries have been trying to “out hop” one another and make the hoppiest, yet drinkable, beers.  These beers may not be everyones cup of tea, but I rather enjoy a very strong hop presence.  Which led me to try and “hop” this kit up a little bit.  This pre-packaged kit came with 4 oz. of  hops total. 2 oz. of cascade and 1 ounce of Columbus for bittering. and 1 oz. of cascade for aroma.  I added 2 more oz. of Columbus and 1 more of cascade.

    Again these kits are very simple, and I won’t bore with the same process that is basically repetetive, but I will share the basics of the recipe.

    • 2 3.3lb cans of  Munton’s light malt extract
    • 1 lb of Light spray malt dry extract
    • 1lb Crystal malt 40l
    • 80z. Victory malt

    And my hop schedule was as follows:

    Based on a 60 minute boil

    • 60 min.-    2 oz. Cascade
    •                      1 oz. Columbus
    • 40 min.-  .5 oz. Colulmbus   
    • 30 min.-   .5 oz Columbus
    • 20 min.-   .5 oz. Columbus
    • 10 min.-   .5 oz. Columbus
    • 5 min.-     1 oz. Cascade
    •                 .5 oz cascade dry hopped in primary bucket
    •                  And .5 oz reserved to dry hop in the secondary

    This kit claims 45-49 IBU so with my additional hop additions I’m hoping to be somewhere around the 70 IBU mark.  But I’m no mathlete, and to lazy to figure out any formulas.

    I was also pretty much spot on as far as my gravity is concerned. With the kit stating 1.061-1.065,  my gravity reading just before yeast addition came in at 1.060.

  • Brewer’s Best German Oktoberfest 1-29-11

    Well, here in Michigan its colder than a well diggers ass.  Which makes my cement block basement also cold.   The low temperatures make it hard to enjoy the man cave in the basement, but on the plus side its still perfect for lagering some beer.  The thermometer next to my brewing station stays pretty steady around 50 degrees, and that is right where I want it for primary fermentation of my German Oktoberfest.

      The Brewer’s Best German Oktoberfest kits was the first partial mash kit I tried and I had really good luck with it.  It was a big hit all my friends that came over, even ones that don’t usually drink craft beer explanation.   The local home brew store just happened to have it on sale so I couldn’t say no. Especially since the last batch has been long gone.

      The brewing process of this kit is very simple.  There are 2 small amounts of Crystal malt included as the specialty grain, which we steeped at around 160 for 20 minutes.  Then after bringing the wort to a nice boil we added the 1lb bag of Amber Dried malt extract and the 2-3.3lb cans of Munich Liquid malt extract.

      Upon bringing the water back to a boil it was time for start the hop schedule.  This kit only included 2 oz. of hops, 1 oz. of Willamette hops was added for bittering as soon as the water reached its boil.  Then with 20 minutes to go  in the 60 minute boil we added the other 1oz. package of Willamette for the flavoring hops.  Let it boil for that final 20 minutes then it was time to start cooling the  wort.

       Our “Ghetto” cooling contraption is basically just a large metal tub we fill with ice or snow, in this case snow, and set the brew kettle down into.  It usually works quite well especially with  such a low quantity of water as this kit was designed for only a 2.5 gallon boil.  Once the water cool off considerably it was poured into the primary fermentor and topped off with cool water.  The bucket was capped and airlock filled, and we let everything sit for about another hourto cool before pitching the yeast, since the yeast in the this kit was designed to work between 48-58. 

    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take an Original gravity reading since my dumbass broke my last hydrometer as I was sterilizing all my equipment before makeing this batch.  But visually the beer was fermenting quite nicely after a few days, and should hopefully be juat about fermented out in 2 weeks when I will transfer to a secondary.