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Archive for December, 2009

Brew Day! Steam Beer/Cal Common

Posted by Jeff on December 27, 2009

Today I’ll be brewing a Cal Common.  Due to a slight miscalculation, I’ll be making a bit less than normal as I am shooting for 4.5 gallons as opposed to 5.5 gallons.  I’m a little short on gravity and don’t have any DME lying around… so I’ll just have to sacrifice some quantity to for a gravity boost.

Here’s the recipe:

Thirsty Mallard Brewing – Cal Common
All-Grain, 4.5 gallons
60 minute boil, 68% Eff.
EST OG – 1.045
EST IBU – 36

Fermentables:
7 lbs – Two Row
0.75 lbs – Crystal 45
0.50 lbs – CaraPils

Hops:
0.75 oz – Northern Brewer – 8.5%AA – 60 min.
0.50 oz – Northern Brewer – 8.5%AA – 10 min.
0.75 oz – Northern Brewer – 0 min.

Yeast:  WLP810 – San Fransisco Lager

Mash:   Single infusion @ 153F for 60 min

So there you have it.  The hopping is a bit weird, but I wanted to keep the hops on the lower end of the style, so I played with them a bit.  The 0 minute addition was just the hops that would be left over, so I figured I’d throw them in for good measure.  Plus I like the aroma of Northern Brewer, so I think it will be a nice touch to the final beer.

I won’t be fermenting in my temp controlled conical this time.  As it goes, any beer I put in there seems to come out tasting funky.  I’ve had quite a few batches go south and after a process of elimination, the fermenter has to be the cause.  I think it’s because, since I’m so smart, I’ve never replaced the gaskets and I have a funky bacteria living in them.  I’ve ordered new gaskets in hopes that the problem goes away.  I’d hate to not be able to use a $1,500 fermenter… but I also am getting tired of ruined batches.

So this batch will go in a carboy and sit in the cool garage and I’ll just hope for the best.  Anything has to be better than the funky beers I’ve been cranking out lately…

I’ll post with progress after the ferment!

Cheers!

PS – I’ll need a good name for the beer.  I welcome suggestions.

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Holiday Pumpkin Spice Ale

Posted by Jeff on December 8, 2009

It’s like drinking pumpkin pie!  If pumpkin pie kind of tasted like beer.  And had 7.5% ABV.  And was carbonated.   But I digress…

This is my second year to brew this annual treat.  Last year it was really well received and, quite frankly, it was one of the best beers I have ever made.  It’s a surefire holiday hit!  Oh, and this beer is best when fresh… I’m talking within 2 weeks of bottling.  So it’s a good one to make around Thanksgiving and have ready for Christmas!

I brewed this beer on Black Friday and will have it ready to drink on Christmas Eve.  The only thing I need to make it complete would be a catchy name.  Let me know if you have any ideas.  Here’s the recipe:

Holiday Pumpkin Spiced Ale
Thirsty Mallard Brewing
5.5 gallons, 90 min Boil
Est. OG – 1.070 (65% eff.)

Fermentables:
9 lbs – Maris Otter
4 lbs – Munich Malt (20L)
2 lbs – Aromatic Malt
10 oz. – CaraMunich (55L)
5 lbs – Cooked Butternut Squash (peeled) – 90 Min
0.5 lb – Dark Brown Sugar – 15 min

Hops:
1.25 oz. – Fuggles (UK) 4.6%AA – 60 min

Spices:
1 Tbsp – Ginger Root (Fresh ground) – 5 min
1 Tsp – Nutmeg – 5 min
3 Tsp – Saigon Cinammon – 5 min
4 Tsp – Vanilla Extract – Secondary

Yeast: White Labs WLP002 English Ale (starter made)

Mash: Single-Infusion, 154F for 60 min.

To prepare squash:  Day before, cut into cubes, sprinkle with brown sugar and cook in oven at 300F for 2-3 hours or until soft.  Peel away skins and put pulp in a bowl.  (DO NOT ADD ANY SKINS) Store in fridge until brewday.

Notes:  Ferment at 68F for 10 days, move to secondary and add vanilla and any additional spices (to taste).  Bottle and carbonate on the low end to allow rich flavors to come through.

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