Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Home Brew Wednesday - Gus HBW #4 Gémeaux (Gemini)

Well it's Wednesday again!  That means it's time for another Home Brew Wednesday post.  I've brewed a couple batches here lately.  I'm going to get these into bottles for conditioning then start brewing some of my IPAs.  This post is one I brewed about a week and a half ago.  It was my firs All Grain brew.  Well it had a little DME in the end but that was to balance out my grain bill that I had for this brew.  I wanted to spike it just a little bit but didn't want to use table sugar.  My grains had me a little lower on the Starting Gravity than I wanted to be.  So added 1 LB of DME.  My next All Grain won't have anything but the grain in it.

This brew is a Belgian Dubbel that I have dubbed Gémeaux.  That word is French for Gemini.  Since this is a Dubbel I thought that seemed fitting.  Most of my Belgian style brews will have French names I think.  I will see as I brew more.  Now I just have to decide on a theme for all my IPAs and Stouts.

My Recipe

6.60 lbs Pilsner (2-Row) German
1.50 lbs Munich Malt
1.00 lbs Aromatic Malt
0.50 lbs Special B Malt
0.50 lbs White Wheat Malt
0.50 lbs Biscuit Malt
1.00 lbs Candi Sugar (added at the 30 min mark)
1.00 lbs Light DME (added at the 15 min mark)

1.00 ozs Saaz @ 60 mins
1.00 ozs Hallertauer @ 20 mins

White Labs Trappist Ale WLP500 (2 Vials)

Wirlfloc Tablet @ 15 mins

Pretty basic Belgian recipe.  I'm interested to see how this turns out.  I love a good Dubbel.  Maybe I can brew one!

For this brew I used my newly completed mash tun.  I took a 54 quart cooler and built a manifold to go in the bottom out of CPVC.  It's good to use it because it isn't toxic and is rated for high heat.  Then I picked up a ball valve from Bayou Classic here in town.  I couldn't find stainless hose barbs so I ordered some from Rebel Brewer.  Check out their site if your LHBS doesn't have something you are looking for or can't get it.

I let my grains mash for an hour and then Batch Sparged to get the remaining liquid that I would need for the boil.  Always remember to Vorlauf to get your wort as clear as possible.  If you aren't sure what Vorlauf is, click the word and it will take you to an explanation.

For the Batch Sparge I heated the remaining water to 170F.  That would get the remaining sugars out of the water and get me set to go.  I use my stove top for this but I won't have to use that for brewing any more!  You will see below why.

This is why I don't have to use my stove top any more.  I recently got a new Brew Kettle from Bayou Classic.

I also picked up a propane burner from them while I was there.  This should cut brew times way down for me.

After I filled my Brew Kettle with enough wort to start my boil I moved it to the burner outside.

In under 20 minutes I had a full and rolling boil.  That was so much nicer than having to wait closer to an hour inside.  This also gives me the benefit of having bigger boils increasing the amounts of flavor.

I use the iBrewMaster app on my phone when brewing.  It's really handy and I recommend anyone who brews to download it.  It has timers built in and even keeps you organized for your additions throughout the boil.

I added my recently built Hop Spider and added the first additions of hops.  Throughout the boil there were two additions of hops and a few other additions of Belgian Candi Sugar and the DME at the end.  iBrewMaster kept me on schedule and didn't let me miss a thing.

After the boil was complete I threw my sanitized Wort Chiller in and began lowering the temperature to pitch the yeast.

All in all the brew day was much shorter than any I have had.  I kept it organized and everything went smoothly.  I didn't quite reach my Starting Gravity of 1.064 but I was right there at it with 1.062.  I wasn't worried about hitting my ABV though as all of my brews so far have been getting lower than my target Final Gravity.  The brews are a little drier and easier to drink though.

I checked the gravity of the brew on Monday this week and I was already down to 1.008.  I started the chilling process in my fermenter to hault any other fermentation and start the clearing process.  By this weekend I should have it down to 45F and keep going another week to clear up.

Thanks for reading my HBW post!  Hope other brewers out there are having as much fun as I am.  Let me know if you brew yourself and what you brew.  Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also follow Tom and I on UnTappd to see what we are drinking.  Our handles are listed in the side bar to the right.

Cheers and happy brewing!