Loosing A Great Recipe

summer_beerSo today was B day for my small beer “Summer Steam”. The good news is the beer is awesome, and I fully plan on going into detail on why. The bad news though is that I have none of my information on it. My recipe, original gravity, all that stuff is gone. When I made the recipe it was mostly just some guess work on grains, leftover hops from my freezer, and guesswork on amounts and times. So rather then having a made out shopping list for ingredients I just entered it all in a recipe calculator, and added OG and hopping schedule in the notes. Then my battery died and I lost it all. The chances of me brewing this beer the same way again are so low that it’s somewhat depressing.

Why My Summer Steam Rules

This beer has to be one of my favorite light beers ever. My inspiration for it came while drinking a bottle of Anchor Small Beer. Was just sitting there thinking about how nice it was to have a beer that was so refreshing and low in alcohol. Then the cogs started turning. Next time I was in the homebrew store I was on a mission. My goal was to pack as much flavor as possible in as small of a beer as possible.

I used amber malt extract, rye malt, and crystal malt for my base. When it came to selecting hops though I knew I wanted to use the hops in the freezer, but I had no recollection at that moment what was in the freezer, nor can I recollect now. Lastly I had to pick a yeast. This part was tuff since I wanted to stay away from using Nottingham like I usually do. Quickly I hit on the idea of making a steam beer. Doug recommended a California lager yeast that fit the bill perfectly.

When I pitched the lager though it didn’t take off immediately and I re pitched Nottingham. After I pitched the ale yest though the lager bounced back, so I had both a lager and an ale yeast fermenting my beer at the same time. For the first 24 hours the ale yeast dominated. The Krausen was a dirty color and not very dense. After that though the krausen had changed to a denser whiter head and fermentation slowed, but chugged steadily for 6 more days. It was the most unique experience I’ve had in brewing

So to recap here are all the things I had never done before I made this beer

•I never had made a beer under 4% alcohol
•All my previous beers had been made with Nottingham Ale Yeast
•None of my previous beers were lagers
•I had never used rye
•This was my first beer made using two seperate yeasts

Needless to say there were alot of variables to this beer for me. The end result was worth the nervousness though. The beer is fairly dry, and according to my original guesstimates it should be around 2.5% alcohol. However since I have no OG reading I can’t say for sure. Although the beer is dry since it’s so light it still manages to be very refreshing. It’s crisp, clean, and flavorful. The bitterness is really distinct, but not overpowering, and the 5 gal I dryhopped are amazing with that light hop aroma. The best part of this beer though is that it comes in under 130 cal per a bottle. This is deffinatly a beer I want to brew again…. That is if I could.

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3 Responses to “Loosing A Great Recipe”

  1. kchophead says:

    If your brew was a human it’d look like the Elephant Man. Bad joke. Seriously though it sounds delicious and falls somewhat inline with my end goal of brewing. Also it kind of has to do with my latest Boulevard post about craft brewers getting into the light beer market.

  2. Davo says:

    The battery died in your “Recipe Calculator”???

    Poor little ol’ me don’t even know what a recipe calculator is. How about reviewing it in a post? But I’m really just not interested. Any calculating can be done on the computer and then a log book or journal.

    Hmmm. A beer brewing journal. Put the recipe on a page, or just changes if you use a “standard” recipe. Write down your notes and anything special that you noticed as it is brewing. Then leave a couple of pages blank before the next brew. On the blank pages your friends who sample it can make comments.

    Maybe that is a stupid idea. But so was not using a notebook at all.

  3. Jared says:

    It was a stupid idea not to use a notebook, especially since I have a notebook specificly for brewing. At the time though I needed to adjust the IBU’s on the hops schedule so I had it in the recipe calculator on my laptop. When my battery died though I lost it. I like the idea of doing a post on the recipe calculator I use, and its benifits. I’ll have to get that done, thanks for the suggestion.

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