Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pig Too!

The second ham is up, and this time we tried our brand-new smoker on it. 
 Its a hot smoker, which isn't _really_ the right tool for the job; the bit we've cut so far has lost that lovely red color and looks more like cooked pork.  Might have to smoke it at a lower temperature next time, but the start on the lowest setting wasn't making any smoke.  Still, it tastes great - here with a bit of homemade sourdough, from the starter that Monet gave us - thanks Monet!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Experimental Subject 1a - Report1 (Not Dead Yet)


Its been 6 months since Alan (named for the British cab driver who donated his body to be mummified - For Science!  No relation.) got hung up to dry and its time to find out if he's going to make us horribly horribly ill.
Its not that I don't trust my methods but... well, I've never done this before, and that lump of meat has been hanging around in my cellar for the last 6 months.  That is officially... outside my realm of instinctive comfort.  If I die, I will my stuff to my family, my body to science, and the ham to Doctor Nik.  If I do die, I'm not going alone:

I know that looks a little spotty in the photo, but the mold is actually pretty spare considering, and its all on the surface.  It washed off pretty nicely, but I'm shaving off the outside layers anyways.  First inside peek looks pretty decent:

 Here it is posing with some fresh bread, a 12-month old Manchego and a glass of Chilean Malbec.  I must say its pretty tasty.  If we make it to the weekend we may consider it safe to share.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Black Rye IPA(ish)

Bit obsessed with ryes lately, and wanted to do a dark rye.  Found this recipe for a Black Rye IPA, which sounded intriguing (if possibly a bit busy) and figured I'd give it a go... but the brew shop didn't have all of the hops the recipe called for.

Original recipe:

10 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US Grain 70 %
2 lbs Rye Malt Grain 14 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L Grain 7 %
12.0 oz Carafa III Grain 5 %
10 oz Special Roast Grain 4 %

Batch Sparge, Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out 154.0 F

60 min .75 oz Warrior [17.20 %] (60 min) Hops 41.7 IBU
45 min .25 oz Warrior [17.20 %] (45 min) Hops 12.8 IBU
10 min 1.0 oz Cascade [5.90 %] (10 min) Hops 6.9 IBU
15 min Whirlfloc Tab (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
5 min 1.0 oz Citra [12.40%] (Boil 5 min0 Hops 8 IBU

final volume of 5.50 gal

Safale US-05 Yeast-Ale- Saved from last batch

1.0 oz Citra [12.40 %] (Dry Hop 10 days) Hops -
1.0 oz Cascade [5.90 %] (Dry Hop 10 days) Hops -

They don't do dry yeasts much anymore, but this is an easy equivalence:

Dry Yeast    Wyeast Liquid    White Labs Liquid
Safale US-05    1056           WLP-001

So I went with the White Labs American Ale yeast.

Apparently Citra gets snatched up by all the professionals... but honestly I didn't mind much, as I'd prefer to tone the hops down a bit anyways.  So I ended up with:

60 min .75 oz Warrior [16.00 %] (60 min) Hops
45 min .25 oz Warrior [16.00 %] (45 min) Hops
10 min 1.0 oz Cascade [6.40% AA 5.9% BA] (10 min) Hops
10 min 1 tsp Irish Moss
5 min 1.0 oz Cascade [6.40% AA 5.9% BA] (10 min) Hops

I plan to taste it when I keg it and decide whether to replace the Citra with Cascade in the dry hops, or just leave it out altogether.

Initial SG: 1.050

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rye Saison

Had an interesting rye beer over the holidays (don't remember what at this point; Sierra Nevada holiday brew of some sort, perhaps?) and decided to give one a try. Found this recipe that sounded interesting, and decided to give it a try. Here's the original, in case that forum post goes away:

How Rye I Am - A Rye Saison (15.5 gal.)
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1 lbs Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 2.70 %
25 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (1.8 SRM) Grain 67.57 %
9 lbs Rye Malt (2.9 SRM) Grain 24.32 %
4.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.20 %] (60 min) Hops 24.4 IBU
2 lbs Candi Sugar, Dark (275.0 SRM) Sugar 5.41 %
French Saison (Wyeast Labs #3711) [Starter 4000 ml] Yeast-Ale Mash Profile

Mash @ 152* for 60 minutes. We mashed thin at 1.8qt/lb.

Notes Grain to glass in 7 weeks. Competiton entries (first round) were 8 weeks old. Carbed to 2.7 volumes of CO2. We underpitched by about 20% as to stress the yeast a little for more ester production.

I asked the brew shop guy to help me scale it down to a 5 gallon batch, and then a few things got tweaked, so I ended up with:

 0.5 lbs. Rice Hulls
8 lbs. 2 row
3 lbs. Rye Malt

Mash @ 152* for 70 min. 1.4 qt/lb.

1 lb. Dark Belgian Candi Sugar
1.5 oz. Styrian Golding (AA 3.8% BA 4.0%)

Boil 50 min.

0.5 oz. Styrian Golding (AA 3.8% BA 4.0%)

Boil 10 min.
Belgian Saison yeast.

Notable differences being:
* more hops; lower acid.
* slightly more sugar and rice, because I couldn't be buggered to divide up the packages and then leave myself with weird amounts I'd never use.
* left 1/4 of the hops out til the last 10 mins, to get a bit of flowery late-hops flavour.

1.050 initial SG.