India Pale Lager

The idea for this batch is to brew a Vienna style Lager but increase the hop bill to IPA levels. While still using traditional German Noble hops Hallertau and Tettnanger. This batch will be fermenting outside in the cool early winter temperatures in the mid 40's to mid 50's. Perfect for fermenting lager beers. I'm brewing this beer to discover the flavor of an aggressively hopped German style beer. When Americans travel to Germany I've many times heard that the beers were great but that everyone missed the flavor of hops. Most German beer styles are barely hopped compared American Craft Beer. Using Munich malt as the base malt to create a traditional Vienna style lager malt character with Noble German hops being showcased.

Recipe: Munich Malt, Biscuit Malt, Honey Malt, and Carastan. Bittered with Super Galena hops, flavored with Celeia hops, and then finished with Hallertau and Tettnanger hops. Fermented with Fermentis Saflager 34/70 German Lager Yeast.

Munich Dunkel

As Winter approaches and the temperatures drop I'm able to brew Lager's at home. My first lager this season will be a Munich Dunkel, a rich, dark, and malty beer brewed with noble German hops. The cool fermented Lager yeast strains prefer temperatures around fifty degrees Fahrenheit (which it just happens to be outside right now). While Ales prefer fermentation temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (room temp, making it easier to brew ales at home). The BJCP comments that Munich Dunkels "can taste like liquid bread, with a yeasty, earthy richness not found in the exported filtered Dunkels". So the next best thing to going to Germany to try this style of beer is to attempt to create it at home in all it's unfiltered glory.

Recipe: American Pale Malt, Munich Malt, Carastan, Caramunich 60, Chocolate Wheat. Hopped with Super Galena for Bittering. Hallertua and Tettnanger for flavor. Fermented with Fermentis Saflager W-34/70 German Lager Yeast.

Flemish Style Red

The complexity in the best examples of this style of beer called the "Burgundy of Belgium" by BJCP is nearly sublime. A red ale fermented with a plethora of different yeasts and bacteria such as Brettanomyces, Lactobicillus, and Pediococcus. This is done to create sour beers ranging from lightly tart to full on pucker face. The sourness comes from the lactic and acetic acid produced from these acetobacters that convert ethanol into aforementioned acids. Where as usual brewers yeast ferments from start to finish (for the most part) in less than two weeks it can take up to at least 6 months or more until there is a noticeable sourness in the beer, many times aged up to two years. Putting patience to task and creating an opportunity to blend different aged beers in the souring process to hit a desired flavor profile you're looking for. Blending young and 'old' beer for not only consistency but to balance the vinous flavor, sourness, and fruitiness (cherry pie, plum, and red currant flavors are desired) in the final beer.

For my first attempt at this style of beer I'll be using Wyeast Roeselare Blend which has brewers yeast, sherry yeast, and myriad of souring bacteria (as talked about above) to achieve the complex flavors in this style of beer. The Wyeast website suggests that it takes 18 months of aging to achieve desired flavor profile. Is it sour yet?

Recipe: Munich Malt, Biscuit Malt, Honey Malt, Carastan 30-37, and Chocolate Malt. First wort hopped with Celiea. Fermented with Wyeast Roeselare Blend.

pLambic 1.2

In August I brewed my first beer fermented with wild yeast and bacteria. A pLambic style (more info on style in first post) beer fermented with White Labs WLP655 Belgian Sour Mix. Today I'm brewing up a batch using Wyeast 3278 Lambic Blend in one carboy. Then I'll be racking the first batch out of primary into secondary and knocking out the rest of today's batch of wort onto the White Labs yeast cake. The grist bill in today's batch is similar to the first with only the addition of some Honey malt to add more un-fermentables for the bacteria to feed on during conditioning. Excited to taste the 3 month old batch of pLambic when I rack it today. To start racking these 'wild' beers I purchased a new Auto Siphon and retired my old one to rack my FunkHouse beers only. Unless you have an autoclave at home I would recommend not using the same equipment (cane, hose, bottling bucket, etc.) for racking both funky beers and 'clean' yeast strains beers. Have separate equipment and keep it separate, or everything could go sour.

Recipe: American Two Row, Munich Malt, Flaked Maize, Wheat Malt, Honey Malt, and Acidulated Malt. First wort hopped with Celeia. Now we wait.