Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Naughty Amber ... ale" brewing

Sounds dodgy huh?

This time I used orange and agave syrup in strong amber ale!

Actually, it's not my first time to use fruits in brewing. I brewed Belgian wit with Dan using grape fruits I can pick from the garden outside of my flat and also used the same stuff for brewing Saison Dupont clone with Josh. Belgian wit I brewed didn't go well, because of the other spice I added and the beer tasted odd. My friend said to me "weird flavour combination". Saison Dupont clone is still bottle conditioning, but I'm expecting to be pretty good. I added only grape fruits to saison, but nothing else. Saison's 'tart' 'grassy' 'fruity' can get along with 'citrus' 'sour' 'bitter' flavour of grape fruits. 

This time's brew's idea was totally came from nowhere. Well, actually came from the bar. I was thinking about trying some brown sugar or honey for the brew and I was staring at agave nectar that we use for making Margarita. Then, I was thinking about Margarita recipe. Cointreau is used to make Margarita as well as Tequila, lime, salt. Cointreau is an orange liqueur from France. Obviously this proves that agave syrup and orange is a good couple. 

My flavour inspiration from there reached to one idea 'caramel orange'. The beer smelt like just peeled orange and tasted great after the brew. The beer was pretty clear from a good rolling boil. I cleaned my gears more carefully than usual, too. It was very motivated from my trip to Galbraith's ale house. I was getting training on cask beer serving and brewed a batch of beer with the head brewer, Ian Ramsay. It was very motivational and educational. 

Absolutely fantastic experience before getting into industry. I am starting to brew commercially. The beer is called Funk Estate and starting with my favourite Black IPA. This Wednesday, 18th April is the Funk Estate's first brew day. I'm so stoked!

Recipe for Naughty Amber
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.00 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC) Grain 1 53.3 %
2.00 kg Munich Malt (17.7 EBC) Grain 2 26.7 %
0.20 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (157.6 EBC) Grain 4 2.7 %
1.00 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (78.8 EBC) Grain 3 13.3 %
0.20 kg Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) Grain 5 2.7 %
0.10 kg Chocolate Malt (689.5 EBC) Grain 6 1.3 %
50.00 g Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 7.8 IBUs
10.00 g Pacific Jade [13.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 8 13.3 IBUs
10.00 g Pacific Jade [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 9 12.4 IBUs
30.00 g Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 7 15.8 IBUs
50.00 g Fuggles [4.50 %] - Dry Hop 0.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
100.00 g Orange choped (Boil 15.0 mins) Spice 11 -
250.00 ml agave syrup (Boil 0.0 mins) Flavor 12 -

The original gravity was 1.069. It was a lot lower than expected. From how the grain looked I'm guessing the grain didn't get milled enough. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Failing coconut stout

Metallic, not enough coconut and smoky...

It's my 3rd batch of coconut porter. I call it coconut stout, because I add coconut to my dry stout. However, this time the beer was not cool. The beer had metallic flavour and also smoky character. I know why. That is why I'm so disappointed to my self. 

The smoky flavour was obviously coming from burnt coconut. I usually toast coconut to nice brown to sterilize and get rid of the oil in the dried coconut meat. When I did this I was in hurry and I burnt some of coconut to black. I dumped in the beer anyway, because I had to run to my work. I assumed, since the base beer is stout burnt flavour from toasted (burnt) coconut wouldn't be a trouble. Yeah, BIG MISTAKE. The most important ingredients in good beer making is CARING and PATIENT!

Metallic flavour usually comes from 
- rusty brewing gear
- aluminium
- poorly stored malt
- low fermenting temp
- iodophor (maybe not)

The most likely brew fault is fermentation temp. The second is rusty brewing gear. I am guessing the tap attached to boiling kettle is rusty, because I don't use the tap and don't clean it that often. I must, now!

It's cool learning from mistake. Screwed, but will never forget!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brewing in Bangkok!! - bottling -

It's been a week after I came back to Wellington.

I ran a workshop and brewed Amber Ale while I was in Bangkok. I think it was quite a challenging experience I did in Thailand as well as eating ants egg and baby buffalo's eye ball.

I had fun on brew day meeting new people who's interested in getting into beer brewing or craft beers and cooking with Sam. The beer was fermenting in the room with the air-con on 24 7 to keep the room 20℃.
Before I head up to Chang Mai around 7th March, a homebrewer I met, Brian kindly offered me to store the fermenter in his new temperature controlled fridge.
The beer was fermenting nicely while I was eating exotic food in Chang Mai and up until 17th. On 12th March, just before I went to Singapore I dropped by Brian's and dry hopped the beer with 50gram Galaxy hops. The beer was smelling good, already by then.

After drinking good beers in Singapore, there was the last part of brew workshop, bottling session on Saturday, 17th March.

I was thinking about bottling the beers in the glass bottles and cap them using the bottling tool, but it will make the brewing difficulty higher for them. They cannot get the bottling tool in Bangkok unless they order from overseas. We used Coke bottle after all.

Collecting the empty bottles we can use

The beer smelt like pineapple as I expected from Galaxy hop

Sterilizing the bottles using iodophor

The final gravity was 1.011 and the beer was 5.4%

Managed to get some priming sugar

Stirred the priming sugar in the bottling bucket using a ruler......   a part of EPIC brewing BKK!
Thanks to the nothingness and improvisational brewing because of it

Bottling in Coke bottle

Wrapped these bottles with news paper afterwards to avoid the beer getting light strike

It was just brutal after all. I thank to NZ having many homebrew suppliers. I wish the people who came to the workshop good luck with their beer brewing. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beers in Singapore.

There were good beers in Singapore. This is my conclusion.
I visited Brewerkz, Ji Biru, Jungle Beer brewery (Barefoot Brewing), The Pump Room (brew pub), Red Dot (brew pub).
I met brewers, too. Aditya from Jungle Beer. Collin from Archipelago Brewery. Scott from The Pump Room.

The best beer pub was probably Brewerkz, as they had the biggest beer menu. However, I spent most of my time at Ji Biru. I liked The Pump Room a lot, just because I can have the best IPA in town there. Actually I better to say Clark Quay is the place to drink beer. I saw couple more places selling craft beer. There was a pub putting up Stone Brewery's poster on the wall and as I expected they had some of Stone beer in the fridge.

Big menu at Brewerkz

The Pump Room imported their brewing system from New Zealand

Their IPA was gooooood

Singapore is importing most of the product they demand in the country. Probably that is why they have so many options of imported craft beers. Craft beer production within Singapore is increasing, too.

Red Dot was little bit out of the way, but they sell some interesting beers and seasonal brews. The green beer they sell through the year was okay. They were calling 6.5% stout, Imperial Stout. Seems like the brewer doesn't like paying more tax to brew a proper Imperial Stout.

Jungle Beer is pretty new. Adi started brewing & selling the beer around August 2011. He used to work in the brewery in Scotland. His beer is unique, which he told me "Everyone is brewing main stream beer, so I will do something interesting".
He had a nice room upstairs with the view over the brewery with couches, pool table and beer taps. He has his brewery license and also bar license for that room, so actually he can throw a party there. Very cool!

Jungle Beer brewery and the VIP room. I liked the pool table and the painting on the wall. 

The beers in Singapore is not only Tiger beer, Heineken, Guinness or Hoegarrden. Singapore is a great place for someone who likes somewhere warm, eating Asian food and also love good beers. 

I was at Ji Biru every day

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Japanese craft beer pub in Singapore.

I have been on my holiday for over 2 weeks now and guess where I am now!

I'm in Singapore eating and drinking good beers. I never imagined that I can get good beers in South East Asia.
I was drying for some good beers while I was in Bangkok and chose to drink Thai rice wine. It was actually pretty good. They make it from rice, but from Kao Nyao rice (sticky rice) and taste different from Japanese sake. Taste lot more fruity and acidic like white wine.

I found a cool pub in the central city of Singapore by Somerset MRT station.
It's called Ji Biru. Craft Beer in Japanese. They serve mainly Japanese beer and some locally brewed boutique beers. It is often from Jungle Beer.

Yona Yona Ale by Yahho Brewing with the smoked duck and checking FB. They have Wi-fi as all the pubs should do. 

Indian Summer Saison from Shiga Kogen. The best bottle beer I tried in Singapore. Reminds me little bit of Sorachi Saison by Dave. Probably Japanese hop Shiga Kogen used is similar to Sorachi Ace. Very lemony.

Kinshachi Red Miso Lager. I tasted the miso in the beer. It was very odd. The beer tasted more like Scotch Ale.

Jeremy, the owner was a very cool guy and the bar staffs were very friendly, too. This is one of the bars you must visit if you are in Singapore.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Brewing in Bangkok!!

It was a very hot day for sure. The sun was burning the asphalt and the heat was killing us even though we were brewing in the shade. Probably from the boiling the wort as well.

I ran beer brewing workshop for my friends here in my parents' house in Bangkok on 3rd March. I had no gears shipped from my house in Wellington except a refractometer and ordered every thing else from online shops in Australia and Singapore. Also bought bucket and few from the supermarket.

Talking about malt extract. I could not get malt for the workshop, so I had to use Cooper's Amber Malt Extract.

 Explained about the reasons for boiling the wort.

 From the top: 10g Aurora Hop - 60min, 20g Aurora Hop - 20min, 60g Aurora Hop - 10 min, 50g Galaxy Hop - 5min
Adding the 60min hop.

The original gravity was 1.055

Cooked the mussel from Sriracha. Few people asked Sam if we brought them from NZ. They were fresh and delicious.

Belgian Mussel with Hoegaarden Wheat and Beer Brats with Pilsner.

Chilling the wort in the ice water. Actually it took about 30-40min to chill the wort to 19℃.

Syphoning the wort into the fermenter I built 2 hours before the workshop.

Pitched Saf-yeast US-05 and the room is chilled to 20℃. 

The hard part of the brewing was building the fermenter. It was very hard to find the best one, but I probably could find better one than this ice cooler box from supermarket. I didn't have time as I landed here on 1st and ran this workshop on 3rd. I hope the beer is going to be good anyway. The bottling is on 17th. Need to through 40g of Galaxy for 3days dry hopping. Brewing in rush is quite stressful and probably there will be diacetyl in the beer as the temperature may be too high (I needed the thermometer sticker for the fermenter), but hopefully bottle conditioning longer will make it better.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Awesome beers from AUS and US

Tried these great beers recently. My work mates brought them back from America and Australia in addition to some new beers came into my work.