Horkay Blog
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent my Employer's positions, advice or strategies.
Sunday, September 06, 2009

Kansas City Natural Wheat

  • 6 lbs.  Weyermann Pale Wheat
  • 5 lbs.  German Pilsen
  • 1 Oz. Perle leaf hops, 7.9 AAU, bittering, 1 hour
  • 1 Oz. Saaz leaf hops, 6.7 AAU, 30 minutes
  • 1 Oz. Styrian pellets, 1.9 AAU, 15 minutes
  • Wyeast Weihenstephan Weizen 3068

Mash schedule

  • 153 degrees F for 60 minutes
  • 170 degress F for 10 minutes

Ferment, Rack onto secondary with 1 pound belgian white candi sugar, or 1 pound corn sugar, dextrose, complete fermenation, prime and bottle.

Sunday, September 06, 2009 8:34:12 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  |  Beer #
Monday, April 20, 2009

Bus Ale Updated - http://www.lifeasbob.com/HomeBrew/busale.aspx 

Recently updated one of my favorite session beers, all grain recipe.

Monday, April 20, 2009 8:58:54 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Fermentables |  Beer #
Sunday, February 01, 2009

Really titled, what else can go wrong...

Recently working a nice light wheat beer for spring.   Nice...until my mash efficiency was off by a too high temperature, 170 degrees, work it down by adding in cooler water, but over-all effect was noticeable.  I increase the fermentables by working in some honey and brown sugar, thinking I'd recovered from the problem, i move on to cooling the wort.

I don't turn my back for a minute, and the 32 quart pot (8 gallons for the mathmatically challenged), now has about 6.5 gallons of wort, the wort chiller sprung a leak (hence the working title of this brew).  Not wanting un-sterilized water in the wort or increased volume of water in an already light beer, I return the wort for another boil.  Removing 1.5 gallons of water takes quite a bit of time and produce a large volume of steam.....

Steam that is vented out of the kitchen via the Microwave.....hmmm....kid needs hotdog, ever see a Microwave catch fire ?  Now my "Sprung a leak Wheat" has ruined a $250 microwave.  Finally I have the beer at an acceptable volume, though it is still weak.

Tasting the flat beer at bottling time reveals a definetly light taste, my first 3.2 beer!

On the bright side, the wife finally relents on the budget and purchases the outdoor beer making equipment ($300), as the cost of replacing the microwave on regular basis is not cost-effective !

Oh yeah, i'll update on the finished product, i'm hoping with carbonation the beer will be tasty.

Sunday, February 01, 2009 2:02:19 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Fermentables |  Beer #
Saturday, January 24, 2009

Never enough beer, never enough time.

Now is the time to start thinking about brewing for spring and summer.

While not traditional spring or summer beers, i had to have some Animal Stout and Dust Bunny Ale.

Easy to make and quick to brew, should be ready in 4-6 weeks.



Saturday, January 24, 2009 9:04:17 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  |  Beer #
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finally got around to tasting the Heather Ale, it's a fine line between Braggot and Ale, but after tasting this, it is definetly an Ale.

The beer is definetly unique.  It pours nicely, quickly developing a very thick creamy head.  First impression is the nose, wow, the combination of Heather and some of the "bee items" (propolis and pollen) creates a cross of freshly crushed pine needles.

The beer takes a bit too drink, it is not a light beer and has some attitude.  One or two bottles of this and things can look right with the world.  I'm quite pleased with the balance and flavors of the beer, which is always a challenge with "big" alcohol heavy beers.  Definetly the dominating profile is the nose from the heather and "bee items".

I want to brew this again, but will definetly cut back on the Bee Pollen and Propolis to 1 or 2 ounces from 8.  Also the Heather Honey from Scotland costs a fortune ($80 for 1/2 gallon), so I'm going to have to find a reasonable subsititute.  Though in my mind the comination of the Heather Honey and Heather tips is what makes this "Heather Ale".  I may try a substitute and compare them.  I currently have a 1/2 gallon of Meadow Foam Honey, which is also some expensive and rare stuff, wonder how it will brew up...Link to original post on creating Heather Ale.

The beer has only been aged 6 months in the bottle (feb 08), having been brewed in Nov 07.  These honey based ales (braggot), take several months to brew and can easily improve with age. 

It'll be interesting to taste over the next year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:58:28 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Fermentables |  Beer #
Saturday, August 09, 2008

Summer is still in full swing, but we've had a day or two of nice weather.  A quick check of the brewing calendar shows it's time to get those Heavy winter brews started.

I'm working on two of my favorites this weekend: 

  • Hard Red Winter Wheat
  • Bus Oil

Hard Red Winter Wheat is a Belgian Abbey, styled after a trip through Kansas City's Board of Trade.  On the monitor were futures for Hard Red Winter Wheat, hence I designed this beer around that name. 

Bus Oil is a Strong Porter, finished with Vanilla Bean for a very subtle, silky smooth black brew.


Both of these are very strong, perfect for winter and both require a good 2-3 months to reach peak, so "get your winter brew on", now...

Saturday, August 09, 2008 8:15:20 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  |  Beer #
Sunday, December 16, 2007

  Spring Fornicator brewed up...

Not sure the name is appropriate for an Easter Brew, but it's definetly time to get working on those Lagers that take 3 months.

John Bull Marris Otter Extract 3.3 lbs

BierKeller Light Extract 3.5 lbs

12 Oz. Carapils Crushed Malt (mash 30 minutes 158, 1 gallon of water).

2lbs Clover Wildflower Honey (last 15 minutes)

1 Oz. Tettnanger Hops (bittering)

1 Oz Saaz Hops (finishing)

White Labs Zurich Lager yeast (swiss lager).

Standard 1 hour Boil and hopping schedule.

Not sure how the Zurich yeast will work, but it is a lager yeast and wanted something a bit different.  I expect this to take 6 weeks of fermentation (2 weeks primary, 4 weeks secondary) and at least 4-6 weeks of lagering in the refridgerator.  Plan on 1 week in primary at 50 degrees F, than cranking down to 40 degrees.  Will raise temp day before bottling to 55 degrees to "wake up" yeast, hold bottles at 55 degress and crank down temp every other day 2 degress until 45 degrees than hold there for 2-3 weeks and then work down to 40.

So long to wait...

Transferred 12/29/2007.

Bottled 1/19/2008 - Beer smelled great, sampled great, did not clear much at all, cloudy (protein haze from honey?), who needs clear beer ? I have a liver! 

Sunday, December 16, 2007 9:52:14 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  |  Beer #
Friday, November 23, 2007

Today was marked by a Heather Mead Ale, braggot; inspired by Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, "Historically it was almost impossible to extract the honey unless the entire comb was removed from the hive and boiled.  In the making of mead from heather honey, this would mean that the entire contents of the hive would be boiled together: angry bees, propolis, pollen, royal jelly honey and wax."  I left out the bees and wax, but got the rest !

This mead, beer or braggot, not sure which it really is, took some time to source the fermentables, of note is the use of real Heather Honey from scotland, royal jelly, propolis and bee pollen...none of these were cheap or easy to find.  My most expensive 5 gallons, I expect fermentation to take 2-3 months, and then 9-12 months in the bottle before a tasting.

Heather Mead Ale (braggot).

10 Good Earth Green Tea Bags (must be good earth w/lemon grass)

3.3 Pounds Marris Otter malt extract; $15.00
1 Pound Dry Malt Extract (Muntons), extra light $5.00
1 Oz Fuggle Hops bitter
1 Oz Cascade Hops finish

4 Oz Heather Tips

6 Pounds Heather Honey (scottish); (approx 1/2 gallon) $80.00
1 Pound Wild Flower Honey
8 Oz. Royal Jelly $45.00
8 Oz. Bee Pollen $5.50
8 Oz. Bee Propolis Powder $26.00

Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast 125 ml.
Top fermenting yeast which leaves residual sugar after fermentation.

Basic concept was an extract beer formulation, than I strained the hops from the hot wort, added 1 gallon of water to cool the wort a bit, then added the honey and honey products (royal jelly, propolis and pollen) and heather tips.  Stirred vigorously than topped up to a complete 5 gallons. 

11/23/2007 - In the bucket, no sign of fermentation; nasty heather tips floating on top, smells like a combination of mown grass, piney tree sappy and sickening sweet...i'm expecting a very explosive and messy fermentation....blow off hose in place

11/25/2007 - Fermentation progressing nicely, no issues with blowoff or clogging, temperature at low end of range, 65 degrees, turned cold in kansas city, will be hooking up a "brew belt" to warm up the fermentation a bit. Progressing well

11/27/2007 - Too cool, still fermenting well, but placed a space heater in closet with bucket.  Raised temperature up to 72-74 degrees.

12/2/2007 - Racked to secondary.  What an ugly mess.  The mass of heather tips floating on the top with yeast was a unique odor.  Maybe should have filtered out the heather tips before fermentation, but i've read that the combination of yeast and naturally occurring mold on the heather tips add to the medicinal, inebriating and pshycotropic powers of the brew.  Carefully siphoned to secondary, removing most of heather tips, very cloudy at times when siphon either clogged or sucked up stuff from bottom.  Lost a good gallon of product to ensure that too much sediment and trub was not picked up.  Definetly the most trub i've seen, propolis looks to have settled directly out of the wort, looks the same for some of the bee pollen, lots of heather tips and standard trub; the compost pit is getting the most expensive trub i've ever produced !  I plan on letting it sit in the secondary 3 months, at least until Feb 2008.

From the bonny bells of heather,
They brewed a drink longsyne,
Was sweeter far than honey,
Was stronger far than wine.

From Heather Ale, a Galloway Legend
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, November 23, 2007 7:32:22 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  |  Beer #
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