Saturday, December 10, 2011

Big Bear Fest Ale

I've brewed at least a dozen batches since my last recipe post (April).  While I've been trying to use software (BeerTools Pro and BeerSmith 2) to drive my planning and record keeping, parenting has only yielded occasional opportunities to brew, not to sit at the computer for hours beyond the brew day.  I have found myself returning to the days of scribbling my recipe ideas on sticky notes, scratching in amendments as I go, and piling the stickies at the computer for (possible) future data entry.  
Using brewing software has been time consuming.  I started playing around with BeerSmith 2 this past summer and found the learning curve about the same as with BeerTools Pro.  Instead of the software informing my brewing process, I have spent more time trying to train the software to match my measurements on brew day.  Overall, it has been a good experience that does lend to better planning but at the cost of blogging time, very un-chillindamos!
Using BeerSmith 2 for Recipe Formulation
One of the things I like using this blog for is posting my recipes.  I found that BeerSmith 2 has some built in reports for exporting and printing.  I also like that I was able to create my own custom report for specifically exporting to HTML for my blog.  At this point, the custom report is limited to specified variables but there's lots to work from.  Below is my working custom report that exported the recipe below:
BeerSmith 2 Custom Report
On to the homebrew.  This year is our 18th Annual Big Bear New Year's party and I wanted to brew something more extensive.  I have listened to a number of podcasts while brewing, working on the hop farm, and chillindamos.  On the Sunday Session, there's a great interview with Steve Dresler of Sierra Nevada who shares the recipe for Celebration Ale.  There's also a recipe podcast on the Jamil Show, Can You Brew It: Sierra Celebration.  This homebrew is inspired by these podcasts but as I always do in brewing, I wandered off to find my own celebration.
Chillindamos Homebrew Recipe
Big Bear Fest Ale
American Amber Ale

Date: 11/19/2011
Type: All Grain
Brewer: Sean
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min
Equipment: Chillindamos Brewhaus
Est Original Gravity: 1.072 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.2 %
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.1 %
IBUs (Tinseth’s): 83.3 IBUs
Est Color: 13.9 SRM
Total Hop Weight: 7.90 oz
Calories: 201.6 kcal/12oz
Description: Inspired by Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, here's my take on a special amber ale.


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8.70 gal SD Alvarado Water 1 -
0.50 tbsp pH 5.2 Stabilizer (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 2 -
12 lbs 4.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 83.0 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 4 10.2 %
8.0 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.4 %
8.0 oz Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.4 %
1.60 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 54.2 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 8 -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 9 7.8 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 10 18.1 IBUs
1.00 Items Servomyces (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 11 -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 3.1 IBUs
0.80 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
0.75 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
0.60 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 ml] Yeast 16 -
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 17 -
0.65 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 19 0.0 IBUs

Mash Steps

Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 14.79 qt of water at 168.9 F 154.0 F 60 min
Mash Type: Single Infusion, Full Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs 12.0 oz
Sparge Temperature: 165.0 F
Pre-boil Volume: 6.93 gal

Days in Primary: 10.00
Primary Temperature: 60.0 F
Days in Secondary: 10.00
Secondary Temperature: 58.0 F
Days in Tertiary: 7.00
Tertiary Temperature: 65.0 F

Carbonation Type: Keg
Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 12.54 PSI
Carbonation Used: Keg with 12.54 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 45.0 F
Storage Temperature: 38.0 F

Notes: Used homegrown hops, cascade was from Travis. Hops at 0 min were added to a Blichmann Hop Rocket used in the recirculation loop. I made two 5-gallon batches of this beer with an attempt to keep most variables identical. One batch was fermented with Wyeast 1056 and the other with White Labs WLP001. No starters, only original packaging (and process, smack pack) from the yeast manufacturer. Oxygen added for 60 seconds prior to pitching.
Created with BeerSmith

I borrowed a Blichmann Engineering Hop Rocket from a QUAFF buddy to give it a try and now it is on my list of must-have brewing gadgets.  I filled the rocket with homegrown hops at the end of the boil, connecting it to my recirculation pump.  I found it to be perfect for utilizing my homegrown hops.  I should also mention that MoreBeer!s metal shop has been employed!
Hop Rocket in action!


  1. Glad to see a new post from you.
    My friend and I were thinking about getting a barrel this winter. Are you interested with getting help to fill yours? It would be cool to get some experience before we figure out what to get.

  2. Ah, that barrel! I topped it off late summer with water and it did have a funky aroma to it. Maybe a good thing? Still need to get it tested.
    I'm thinking about adding boiling water to it this week. I will just pump out as much as possible, rinse it out, then let it drain upside down and dry out for a day. The boiling water will just be left inside and topped off after it cools. In a month, I suppose I can test it for acetobacter. Perhaps I can just do a double boil cycle to help kill anything in the barrel?
    The oak flavor is certainly gone but it should be a good funk barrel!
    I'm interested in a collaboration. I believe it is 15 gallons so we'll need to figure out how to best collaborate. I have lots of stainless steel in fabrication and will be able to do 20 gallon batches in the near future!


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