Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Beer Model Brew Day

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, this past Saturday was National Home-Brew Day , and my wife decided to help brew a wheat beer that she called Summer Lovin' American Wheat. This was the Beer Model's second brew day, and SheppyBrew's first all-grain wheat beer (BIAB).

The brew day gets started a little later when I have to wait for the Beer Model to wake up.  But, it is ok, because she is so pleasant to look at.  We pretty much shared the brewing workload, although somehow I got stuck with the clean-up.

Here are some pictures of the Beer Model and her brew day:

Filling the brew pot

Removing / draining the BIAB bag

Adding Hops

Orange Zest

Siphoning wort into carboy
The Brewing day went pretty well.  We got a bit over 5 gallons into the carboy, and it was bubbling away nicely on Sunday and Monday.  I would have preferred to get a bit more wort with a little less of the cold-break material.  I think I need to start designing my recipes to leave a bit more of the wort behind in the brew kettle.  I'm also thinking I may want to get a pre-chiller for cooling down my wort in the summer.  The wort went into the carboy at around 70, which is ok, but I prefer to get it down closer to 60.  Plus, the weather was nice and warm, but not as hot as it will get later in the summer, so cooling will just be getting more difficult as the weather gets warmer.

Another thing we did was compare beers from the newest version of Buckwheat's BPA.  This batch was an experiment where I brewed up 5 gallons of wort and split the it into 2 Mr. Beer fermentors.  In one fermentor, I pitched SafeAle US05 yeast and in the other I pitched Safbrew S33 yeast.  The idea, of course, was to see which beer the Beer Model preferred.  Personally, I tasted a little more of a subtle fruity "Belgium" character in the S33, but not enough of a difference to declare one my favorite over the other.  The Beer Model decided that she did prefer the S33, which was a bit of a surprise to me.  I am pleased with this result, though, because it means I probably picked the right yeast in the original recipe.  The fact that I picked up a little of the Belgium funk in the S33 makes me feel a bit better about calling this beer a Belgium Pale Ale as well.  I think we are done experimenting with Buckwheat's BPA.  S33 is the winner!

Newest BPA comparison
The boys built a fort in the living room during the brew day.

Fort in our living room

Summer Lovin' American Wheat looks like it will be a beautiful pale-gold color.  It should be light and refreshing with a subtle orange zest and coriander flavor.  It should be on the malty-sweet side with just a touch of honey flavor.  It will be pretty dry and relatively low in alcohol.  We are going to keg this beer, and if it lasts, share it with the Beer Model's family when they come to visit this summer.  If it does last until then, I don't expect it will last much longer.  We might have to brew it up again before the summer is over.

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