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The Klinsmann – German India Pale Lager

One of the great things about beer is how and why so many of the styles came to be what they are today.  I can appreciate quality examples of all styles of beer, but like most people, I tend to enjoy certain styles more at different times of the year.  For some of the same reasons that the styles were originally brewed, we still tend to drink big, malty, high ABV styles during winter months and lighter body styles that are crisp and hoppy throughout the summer.

So when the first heat wave of the summer hit in June and I was out of a seasonal beer, I brewed a Kolsch and tapped it a few weeks later.  Not the most ideal time to brew a kolsch.  I probably would have been better off brewing it in April or May and letting it lager for a month before tapping it.  It’s really not too big of a deal to plan seasonally, but for a quick reference, there’s a useful post at the BeerSmith blog that offers suggestions on when to brew a style so that it can be consumed during the optimal season.

With seasonality in mind, a harvest style IPA seemed like a good beer to brew in the summer for the fall.  And that’s what the recipe started out as – an American IPA.  This style is more bitter and less malty than it’s English cousin and traditionally calls for American ingredients.  However, after brewing the Kolsch and really enjoying the malt profile of the German grains and Noble hops, I thought it would be interesting to use German ingredients and brew it to AIPA guidelines (below).

IBUs: 40-70 SRM: 6-15 OG: 1.056-1.075 FG: 1.010-1.018 ABV: 5.5-7.5

When Klinsmann was named coach a week and a half ago, I planned on naming the beer after him.  Got thinking a little more, and concluded that a German version of the style should really be brewed with lager yeast, so I adjusted the recipe for the only American ingredient, Wyeast 2112 California Lager.  Unfortunately, when my starter hadn’t taken off by the day after brewday and Homesweet Homebrew happened to be closed, I decided to make a quick starter out of the rinsed Wyeast 1007 German Ale that was used in the Kolsch.  Time will tell whether my sanitation practices are quality; clearly, waiting a full 12-16 hours to pitch is an indication that I need to work on some things.

Here’s the specs:

  • Pilsner – 9 lbs
  • Munich  – 2.5 lbs
  • Vienna – 2 lbs
  • Acidulated Malt – .25 lbs
  • Magnum (13.1% AA) – .5 oz – First Wort Hopped
  • Magnum (13.1% AA) – .5 oz – 60 mins
  • Perle (8% AA) – .5 oz – 40 mins
  • Hellertauer (3.5% AA) – 1 oz – 30 mins
  • Hellertauer (3.5% AA) – 1 oz – 15 mins
  • Hellertauer (3.5% AA) – 1 oz – Flameout
  • Saphir (3.5% AA) – 1 oz – Dry hopped
  • Hellertauer (3.5% AA) – 1 oz – Dry hopped
  • Perle (8.0% AA) – .75 oz – Dry hopped
  • Single infusion mash @ 155F
  • Wyeast 1007 @ 62F
  • OG:  1.073
  • SRM:  5.3 SRM
  • IBUs:  67.5

I had the advantage of an extra kettle, which I used as the third tier of my lautering setup.  The HLT made sparging much easier but really didn’t do much for the efficiency.  I’ll have to revisit this.

The picture from above the cooler/mash tun shows the very last of the wort draining into the kettle. The wort was drained directly onto .5 oz of Magnum hops as First Wort Hop (FWH) addition.  The other image shows my indoor setup.  The 10 gallon pot is placed over two burners on high heat.  Even with the exhaust on, the house still smells like microwaved grapenuts.

The wort sat covered in the sink overnight and was chilled down to about 80F.  I fell asleep with the sink faucet running water into the chiller.  Slick move.  Today, I siphoned the wort into a 6.5 gallon carboy and pitched the [semi] starter.  In the picture to the left, you can see the hydrometer (note: need to get a refractometer).  The SG was at 1.066.

This was my first attempt at rinsing yeast and reusing it.  I did my homework, talked to other brewers and read a few sections of Chris White’s Yeast, so hopefully the yeast is healthy.  Actually, I would have pitched the 2112, but when I didn’t see any activity, I assumed that accidentally leaving it in a hot car for an hour had rendered it useless.  According to this post at homebrewtalk.com, that may not be true, so I saved the yeast.

To the right is picture of the 1007 starter that was made with a cup of wort.  I saw activity after two hours and pitched into the carboy about two more hours later.

In order to keep the temperatures close to 60F, the carboy will sit in my cooler/mash tun with a new bottle of frozen water added each day until primary fermentation is complete.

Notes:  8/8/2011 – 7.5 gallons of 1.045 wort collected, boiled for 90 minutes to a little less than 5 gallons of 1.066 wort.  Lost a little bit more volume taking gravity readings and by leaving some of the sediment at the bottom of the pot.  I normally use a whirfloc tablet with 15 minutes left in the boil but am out, so I took extra precautions to clarify the beer.

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Oktoberfest

Bob and I have collaborated on beers before, and he’s become a go to resource for me to bounce brewing related ideas off, so over a few weeks in July we worked on a recipe for an Oktoberfest/Marzen.  Traditionally, this style is brewed at the very beginning of March (Marzen is German for March) and stored in caves at lager temperatures throughout the summer.  We’re not in Germany, we don’t have a cave, and it’s not March, but just about everything else about this beer fits within the BJCP style guidelines for a 3B. Oktoberfest/Marzen.

Vital stats for the style:

IBUs: 20-28 SRM: 7-14 OG: 1.050-1.056 FG: 1.012-1.016 ABV: 4.8-5.7

We actually decided to brew an 8 gallon batch and split it in half.  Bob took 4 gallons home and pitched an Oktoberfest yeast blend of his own, and I pitched two smack packs of Wyeast 2566 (Oktoberfest Blend).  I’m looking forward to seeing the differences.

  • Vienna – 8 lbs
  • Munich 10L – 2.4 lbs
  • Pilsen – 2.4 lbs
  • CaraMunich – .8 lbs
  • Crystal 60L – .8 lbs
  • Clear Candi Sugar – .8 lbs
  • Tettnanger – .8 oz – 60 mins
  • Hellertauer – .8 oz – 60 mins
  • Hellertauer – .8 oz – 30 mins
  • Hellertauer – .8 oz – 15 mins
  • Step Mash with 30 min rests at 145F and 155F
  • Mash out at 170F
  • OG:  1.053
  • SRM:  12.2 L
  • IBUs:  24
Here’s a few pictures of the process we used to brew on July 30, 2011.

I don't have a grain mill, so the guys at Keystone Hombrew Supply crushed them for me.

We went to Keystone Homebrew Supply in Montgomeryville, PA a few days before the brew.  They always add a valuable perspective.  The picture to the left is all the grains, which they crushed for us and put into a grain bag.
     Here’s a picture of us mashing in at 145F.  We had debated on doing a decoction mash but ultimately decided that an 8 hour brew day at +100F heat was not worth it.  At 145F, we planned to convert the starches to highly fermentable sugars, and then at 155F, we sucked out the unfermentables that would contribute to the body of the finished beer.
We boiled for 60 minutes.  It was ridiculously hot out.  The picture to the left is of my 10 gallon brewpot.  The bottom is clad with stainless steel and does a fine job and distributing the heat evenly.  Since I purchased it, I haven’t scorched a single beer, so I’m satisfied with it.
It’s worth noting that for any beer, but especially a Munich style Oktoberfest, a big rolling boil for the full 60 minutes is essentially.  This drives off DMS and also helps to optimize the beta amylase in wort from modified malts, which contributes to increased maltose levels.

A decoction mash increases the maltose levels, which is why many german beers have such a great malt profile.  Ultimately, that’s what we were shooting for here with the powerful boil (which is a short cut), and we don’t expect any noticeable difference (at least not to my palate).
Here’s a pretty terrible picture of the wort cooling, but it serves to show the 50 foot immersion chiller that I have been using.  Great Christmas present.  I would normally do this outside, but it was so hot out that the ambient temperatures would have made it even more difficult to cool the wort.  In about 30 mins, the temperature dropped to 80F.
The Wyeast 2566 thrives around 50F, so I [reluctantly] untapped 2 kegs from the keezer and put the fermentor inside.  Once it cooled, I pitched the yeast and aerated and am now waiting patiently.
Notes:
8/7/2011 – Gravity of 1.045.  Moving along slowly.  I’ll let it sit in the primary fermentor for two more weeks before opening the lid again.  From the research I’ve done, fermentation may have started slowly because I pitched room temperature  (72F) yeast into cold (50F) wort.  Yeast need to adjust to their environment, and this would have shocked them.  In the future, I’ll pitch the yeast at the fermentation temperature.

Enchiladas for USA vs. Mexico in Philly

After the last beating we took from Chicharito, Gio dos Santos and the Mexican squad, this fixture is gearing up to be big time.  The USMNT has canned Bob Bradley, who in my opinion, epitomized the American people and did wonders for the game in the States.  We’re ushering in a new era, and we’ve signed famed player/coach Jurgen Klinsmann to lead us to the next World Cup.  And to cap it off, he’ll debut as coach in my backyard.

This provides me with a ton of options.  Klinsmann is a German ex-pat who lives in California, which works well with an Oktoberfest that I brewed with Bob this past weekend.  It also works perfectly with a German IPL that I’ll be brewing in the near future.  The GIPL will consist of all German grains and hops, and then I’ll swap an ale yeast with Wyeast 2112 and lager it for a month or two.

For now, I have a great recipe for enchiladas that I based on the one from Rick Bayless’ website.

Ingredients:

  • 2 poblano pepper
  • 3/4 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley & 1/4 cup curly parsley
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken – I also made a vegetarian version for Keri)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups flour
  • About 3 cups of shredded chicken (I went w/ a rotisserie)
  • 5 tortillas
  • 1-2 cups of mild cheddar or Monterey jack
  • salt
*If I do think one again, I would toss in a jalapeno or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to give it a kick.

Directions:

  1. Roast the poblanos over a flame or on the grill until they are charred.  Make sure to rotate and blacken all sides.  It should take about 10 minutes.  Take poblanos off heat and put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

    Put the poblanos right over a medium flame

  2. While the poblanos are cooling, put the milk and broth in a saucepan over medium heat and then begin preparing the roux.
  3. Put all the butter into a good sized pot, toss in the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until the garlic has lightly browned.
  4. Add the flour to the pot and stir it into the butter and garlic.  As it thickens, continue stirring so that it doesn’t burn.
  5. Then make thinned out bechamel by pouring the hot milk/broth into the roux and continue stirring.  Let it boil.  Keep stirring.  It should take about 5 minutes.
  6. Pour half the bechamel into a bowl, blender or food processor with the poblanos, parsley and spinach.  Make sure you’ve rubbed the skin off the peppers and removed the core/seeds.
  7. Blend.
  8. Take a 9″x13″ baking dish and pour some of the non-green sauce into the bottom just to lightly coat it.  Then take the tortillas and evenly distribute the chicken and the sauce into each.  Roll the tortillas and place them into the baking dish.
  9. Coat the top of the tortillas with the green sauce and the cheese.  Lightly brushing the exposed tortillas with canola oil would be a good idea.  I sprayed a little olive oil on after 10 minutes of baking.
  10. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

This is an excuse to watch more soccer, brew more beer, and cook more food.

Over the past few years I’ve spent way too much time in front of the TV watching soccer and in the kitchen or on the grill cooking something up.  And then when my girlfriend, Keri, gave me a homebrew kit for my birthday last year, a third obsession for crafting beer began.  It’s about time that I come up with a solid excuse to continue doing what I’ve been doing, and for now, this blog is going to be just that.

My plan is to focus on interesting matchups around the world and create meals around them.  Most Saturday mornings I’ll be watching the English Premier League (rooting for Liverpool), but I’ll spend some time on international fixtures (rooting for the U.S.), individual players, and various leagues.  It should be fun to do a bit of research into the culture of the food and drink behind the game.

For the most part, writing about what I cook and giving my comments on a game will be pretty straight forward.  Brewing, however, should be an entirely different animal because of the length of time that I’ll be devoting to fermenting and conditioning each beer.  Additionally, brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer isn’t exactly the right amount for a meal (unless you’re Joey Barton), so I’ll have to be strategic.

I’m also going to come right out with a disclaimer and say that there won’t always be a clear link between a recipe and a match.  I want to catalog my good and bad efforts, and this is going to be a good way for me to look back at my notes so that I can refine and improve my skills.

So with that said, let’s get to it.