Two Beers, and a Foam Snake

01_October2013_DSCF1913All Hail the Foam Snake!  This is an image I took while racking a Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet to secondary.  The sample from primary was quite good, but this is a wine that is months or years away from being ready.  Will rack again in a few weeks, and then bulk age for a few months prior to bottling.

I brewed two beers this week, a Carmel Amber Ale and a Cream Stout.  I have brewed both beers before and liked them, so wanted to do them again, especially since I have no beer in the bottle yet.

The recipes are fairly straight forward, with the exception of the Amber Ale, which required the addition of Belgian Candy Syrup. As I did not want to spend $6.00 on 0.25 cents of sugar, I decided to make my own.  A rather simple process of mixing sugar, water, and di-ammonium phosphate and cooking it until it reaches 290 degrees.

One of the nice things about living here is the availability of brewing supplies.  I now have a huge hop 01_October2013_DSCF1907inventory, with many of the hops being leafs rather than pellets.  Fairly pleased with that, as well as the availability of yeast that has not had to travel weeks to get to me.  The problem I am having is accounting for the greater water absorption of the leafs versus pellets.  However, so far I have hit all of the volumes accurately and interestingly, my efficiency has been 80% for both of the following beers. 

The recipes follow:

Recipe – Caramel Amber Ale:

Boil Size: 6.75 gallons
Batch Size:  5.50 gallons
IBU’s:  37.7

Grain:

75.0% – 7 lbs 8.0 oz. Brewers Malt 2-row
15.0% – 1 lbs 8.0 oz. Caramel/Crystal Malt 90L
10.0% – 1 lb Candy Syrup Dark Amber – ? SRM

Hops:

0.80 oz. – Chinook (Leaf– 37.7 IBU’s) – 60 minutes
1 oz. – Chinook (Leaf- – 0.00 IBU’s) – 0 minutes
1 oz. – Williamette (Pellet- – 0.00 IBU’s) – 0 minutes

Yeast:

1 pk – American Ale (Wyeast Labs # 1026 – 2 liter starter)

I am attempting to alternate between brewing one light and one dark beer, so here is my stout recipe:

Recipe – Sweet (Cream) Stout:

Boil Size: 6.75 gallons
Batch Size:  5.50 gallons
IBU’s:  40.8

Grain:

60.5% – 7 lbs  Brewers Malt 2-row
13.0% – 1 lbs 8.0 oz. White Wheat Malt
8.6%  -  1 lbs  Caramel/Crystal Malt 90L
6.5%  –  12.0 oz. Chocolate Malt
3.8%  –  7.1 oz. Roasted Barley
3.2%  –  6.0 oz. Cara-pils

Hops:

1 oz. – Magnum (Pellet– 40.8 IBU’s) – 65 minutes

Additional:

8 oz. Lactose (Milk Sugar) – 15 minutes
1 teaspoon Yeast Nutrient – 10 minutes 
3.5 oz. Coffee Beans – cracked – Flameout

Yeast:

1 pk – Iris Ale (Wyeast Labs # 1084 – 2 liter starter)

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