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Old Walt Smoked Wit Beer

Progressing Step by Step

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I haven't been so good about keeping up with the old Brewhouse Blog these last few months. The learning curve continues on the new equipment, particularly with what have proven to be some finicky glycol units on the new fermenters. Some of the beer (Hellsmoke Porter, Beached Blonde, Vlad the Inhaler) made a good appearance at the North Fork Craft Beer Festival in August, but some of it hasn't turned out as good as I'd like (temperature control issues with the new fermenters). So, some of what was to be put out on shelves is being shelved. Beer will be flowing this month, however -- today I'll be bottling and kegging the batch of Old Walt Smoked Wit.

Back in the Brewhouse

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sorry - I haven't been on the blog in a long time, but I have been back in the brewhouse.

Currently fermenting away is some of the Old Walt Smoked Wit and something new that I brewed some test batches of back in May. It's a Belgian-inspired blonde ale, but on the lower end of the ABV scale (4.5%). I'll be brewing more of it this weekend, it's currently waiting on TTB approval -- not just on the label, but they wanted a copy of the recipe/formula as well.

More bottles finally arrived, so I'll be able to get back on the old bottling line again (which is me hand bottling with a Blichmann Beer Gun).

Bottling and Brewing

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lots to do this weekend:

  • Bottle up some of the Hellsmoke Porter
  • Bottle up some of the Harborfields HefeWeizen
  • Transfer another batch of the Harborfields HefeWeizen for conditioning
  • Transfer that latest batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit for conditioning
  • Brew up a test batch of another possible Summer Seasonal
  • Brew up more of the Hellsmoke Porter (which I decided to not quite retire yet for the season)

Plus the usual cleaning and sanitizing.

On to it...

Test Batch Sunday

Monday, May 18, 2009

I hadn't brewed my smoked wit since I got the new smoker, so Sunday saw me smoking and brewing a test batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit. For this one, I smoke about 20% of the total grain bill -- a portion of the flaked wheat -- over mesquite wood chips. The idea is to end up with light notes of the mesquite smoke.

More of the hefeweizen is now conditioning, I tested some of the earlier batch and it wasn't quite ready on Saturday. It might be ready for bottling next weekend, so I'm hoping to roll it out soon.

Catching Up

Summer officially fades away soon, and while I've been away from the Brewhouse Blog, I've been keeping busy in the brewhouse itself test batching some Fall and Winter Seasonals. The August 30th batch of the Wheatley Hills Weizenbock will likely be kegged up soon.

Got that new smoker, and tested it out with a small batch of the Hellsmoke Porter, now fermenting away. Much better control of the smoke is possible with the new smoker than with my previous Flintstones method. While I personally liked previous incartnations of the Hellsmoke Porter, the feedback concensus was that it was oversmoked. I'll also be taking another crack at the smoked wit soon.

I'm also experimenting with a dry stout using a local ingredient, so watch this space. The TTB won't approve the label for this one until they give the OK on the formula, but I also won't release it unless it is worthy.

Belated Weekend Update

A belated update on a busy weekend, which saw me smoking some wheat over mesquite and then brewing up another test batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit Beer. I oversmoked the last batch, and I have a new smoker on order which should give me better control over this aspect of both the Old Walt and the Hellsmoke Porter.

Tonight, I'll be kegging up the test batch of the Gersten-Weizen brewed on August 2nd.

Hops, Yeast, and Smoke

Was able to pick some of the Chinook hops after work yesterday, to add to the Centennial hops picked in July. There should be more of both varieties as the season progresses, along with some not-as-yet-pickable Nugget hops. While I planted some Hallertauer, Fuggles, and Willamette this Spring, I'm not expecting much yield from those this year.

The yeast is happily working away at Saturday's test batch. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to brew this weekend (will be attending this Saturday's North Fork Craft Beer Festival -- as a spectator -- and Sunday is somewhat booked up.)

Sunday should see me smoking some more grain in preparation for the next brewing of the Old Walt Smoked Wit Beer.

Test Batch Update ["Best-Laid Plans" Edition]

Was all set today to brew a test batch of the 6ixth Sense Ale (Belgian-style golden ale, formerly known as "Suckerpunch Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale"), when I discovered that a crucial burner is malfunctioning. While the burners under the brew and mash kettles are operating fine, the burner under the kettle that is used to prepare the water for mashing and sparging is acting oddly. Oddly enough to cause safety concerns, and not just reduce efficiency or effectiveness.

My amateurish plumbing attempts were to no avail, so I'll be calling in the services of a licensed plumber who knows what he (or she) is doing. However, no test batch today. :(

No brewing didn't mean I didn't get to have some fun, I did the next best thing -- another round of cleaning and sanitation, just to keep things flowing along in the ol' SABCO.

Meanwhile...The yeast in the test batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit brewed two weeks ago are still happily working away. Am looking forward to keg and bottling it up soon.

Father's Day Test Batch

Brewed a test batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit Beer, came in on target with an Original Gravity of 1.052. I smoked some of the wheat for this beer briefly over some mesquite.

This was a beer my Dad (who passed away three months ago) liked, so it was a different kind of brew day for me today. Raising a glass to Dad! He was otherwise a Coors drinker, but he liked the wheat beers (particularly the Hefeweizen), having developed a taste for them when he got them fresh in Germany many years ago during his Army days.

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