Kegged two of my pilsners today and both were very clean with low esters and sulphur. So I decided to brew another lager on a 2nd generation yeast cake from my Bohemian Pilsner. A couple twists on today's brew will be the addition of Pecan Smoked malt and toasted flaked oats. The rest of the grist is American Pale two row, Maris Otter, dark Munich, Biscuit, and Crystal malts. The grist bill is much different from the 50/50 Munich/Vienna in traditional maibocks. Another part of today's brewing process will be to reduce the first gallon of first runnings in half and add back to start of boil. This process of reducing the first runnings aids in creating a malty finish in the brew. First wort hopped with Vanguard, Celiea, and Willamette. Bittered with Willamette and finished with Celiea and Willamette hops.

Triple Smoked Cocoa Brown Porter

Brewed with three different smoked malts. Cherry wood smoked malt, pecan smoked malt, and German rauchmalt. With almost 30% of the grist being smoked malt this is a fairly smokey beer. Still not Schlenkerla Brewery in Bamberg levels of smoke but still smokey. I just decided to add some minimally processed S. American cocoa to the end of today's boil for this smoked Brown Porter. The cocoa is cured over a open fire which gave a slightly smokey flavor to my Chocolate Porter I brewed with it. I think the cocoa will be a nice addition to this brew, adding a layer of complexity and depth. Watched the sunrise as I was pitching yeast into this brew.

Grist bill: Briess two row, Cherry Wood Smoked, Pecan Smoked Malt, Weyermann Rauchmalt, Amber Malt, Coffee Malt, Crystal malt, Chocolate Malt. Hopped with Vanguard. Fermented with chico yeast.

Wild Rice Brown Ale

Once again using an alternative grain in a Brown ale. Brewing with Minnesota grown Wild Rice. Adding a nutty character to this robust brown ale. Target abv of 6%. Brewed a few brown ales last year. A brown shugga clone, toasted rye brown, and most recently a buckwheat brown ale.

In the mash tun today. Pale malt, Amber malt, Coffee malt, Crystal malt, Chocolate malt and Minnesota grown wild rice. The rice adds complexity to an ordinary brown ale. Lightly hopped with Willamette and fermented with chico yeast. The rice added a great flavor to the finished brew and really made it an interesting brown ale. Rice in beer isn't always a bad thing.

another Tangelo Wit

Brewing the same recipe Tangelo Wit as I did this last Sunday. The only change will be different yeast. Fermentis Safbrew T-58, a very versatile dry yeast. I enjoy both brewing and drinking Belgian whites. Today's beer is brewed with barley, wheat, and oats. Spiced with hops, coriander, lemon peel, and tangelos. Most likely I'll be brewing two batches of my White Heat (a double white with hot peppers) onto the yeast cakes of the two tangelo wits.

Beer Advocate describes Belgian White biere as, "A Belgian Style ale that's very pale and cloudy in appearance due to it being unfiltered and high level of wheat, and sometimes oats, that's used in the mash. Always spiced, generally with coriander, orange peel and other oddball spices and herbs in the back ground. The crispness and slight twang comes from the wheat and the lively carbonation. This is one style that many brewers in the US have taken a liking to and have done a very good job of staying to style. Sometimes served with a lemon, but if you truly want to enjoy the untainted subtleties of this style you'll ask for yours without one. Often referred to as 'white beers' (witbieren) due to the cloudiness/yeast in suspension."

Bohemian Pilsner

The next few weeks are supposed to be cold. Lows in 20's and highs of 35f. I've never really been able to brew lagers at home because they ferment cool, around 45-57f. The basement where I'm living right now has been staying steady at 50-55f during the winter. I've been able to brew a couple lagers so far and I'm happy to brew another before temperatures start rising and I won't be able to brew anymore lagers this season at home. The other four lagers I've brewed this year are 'lagering'. The word lager by the way translated in German means 'to store'. Lagers are beers brewed to store and mature before drinking. The lighter and more subtle flavors of most lagers leaves little for the brewer to hide behind. Leaving only the ingredients and skill of the brewer to be judged. I prefer to brew and drink ales but lagers are a fun new challenge, weather permitting.

The Bohemian Pilsner, first brewed in 1842 was the original clear, light colored beer. I'm using Wyeast Bohemian Lager 2124 for a classic crisp pilsner flavor. Brewed with German pilsner malt and American pale two row.

Tangelo Wit

Went to the grocery store the day before the Mid-Atlantic blizzard to get clementines to brew another batch of Clementine Wit. Though when I arrived at the store I noticed a lack of clementines and the only other interesting citrus was tangelo's. Tangelo's are a hybrid of tangerines and/or pomelo and grapefruit. I brewed an Amber Tangerine Wit last October and was pleased with the flavor the tangerines contributed. In short, I'm brewing a Tangelo Wit beer today.

Brewed with barley, wheat, and oats. Spiced with hops, coriander, lemon peel, and tangelo's.