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West Coast Brewer Home Brewing Blog

Stainless Steel Braiding

Encasing some of the silicone tubing in stainless steel braiding on the home brewery. There are probably not too many realistic benefits to doing so, but I do like the way it looks!

#homebrew #homebrewing #ss #stainless #stainlesssteel #homebrewer #home #beer #brewing #brewery #brew #brewrig #sculpture #rig #stand

West Coast Brewer NEIPA Hazy IPA Version 2

West Coast Brewer NEIPA – Hazy IPA Recipe v2.0

We just finished brewing our most recent batch of beer!  For this one, we took another crack at a Hazy IPA. Hazy IPA’s have quickly become one of my very favorite styles to both brew and consume.  The combination of tropical hops and fruity esters from the yeast end up creating a hoppy fruitiness that is difficult to resists!

Just a word of caution, if you choose to brew this recipe, beware that there is a good deal of oats and wheat in it and depending on your system it could cause sparge and recirculation issues.  I personally experienced that with this batch.  It may be wise to add some rice hulls to the mash to help prevent it from sticking. It did finally clear, but it was a struggle for a little while. I ended up adding an extra gallon of water to the mash to help clear it.

Ss BrewTech Stainless Steel Conical Homebrewing Fermenter

Ss BrewTech Stainless Steel Conical Homebrewing Fermenter

Sanitizing the stainless steel Ss BrewTech conical fermenter. I ended up chopping the feet off of mine and using a flat top so that it fits inside my cest freezer for fermentation. I also traded out the racking arm for More Beer’s Ultimate Racking Arm solution. I am super happy with it and also have a 14 gallon version.

 

Here is the post boil whirlpool after I added the additional hops in at flame out!  I let it whirlpool for approximately 15 minutes. I added a weldless stainless steel whirlpool arm from More Beer and it has worked out really well for me.  It was easy to install into my kettle and has been completely leek free!

 

The TrubTrapper Post Boil

The Trub Trapper Post Boil

This is probably my best recent purchase! The Trub Trapper did an incredible job on this batch and really exceeds expectations when I use it in conjunction with a whirlpool process.  It captures 90%+ of the hops and trub so that I can draw in clean wort to my fermentor with out worry!

Here is my West Coast Brewer Hazy IPA v2.0 beer recipe!

If you brew it, please let me know how it turns out for you!

 

Beer Name:  West Coast Brewer Hazy IPA v2.0
Beer Style: New England IPA / NEIPA / Hazy IPA / Vermont Style IPA
Recipe Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Mash Type: Infusion
(60 Min) 150F
(10 Min) 169F Mash Out
1 tsp Calcium Chloride
1/2 tsp Gypsum / Calcium Sulfate
Grain Bill: 12 LBS Pale 2 Row US
2 LBS Flaked Oats
2 LBS Flaked Wheat
1 LBS Flaked Malt
1 LBS Honey Malt
Hops: 1 oz Mosaic – 60 Minutes
2 oz Citra – 15 Minutes
1 oz Mandarina Bavaria – 5 Minutes
1 oz Citra – 0 Minutes – Whirlpool for 15 Minutes
1 oz Mosaic – 0 Minutes – Whirlpool for 15 Minutes
Other: DO NOT USE A CLARIFIER
Yeast: London Ale III Wyeast #1318
Fermentation: 2 Week Primary @ 72F
– I ferment this at a slightly higher that usual temperature to increased ester production
and to create a more active fermentation)
On day 3 of active fermentation make the following hop additions
2 oz Mandarina Bavaria
On day 7 of fermentation make the following hop additions
2 oz Mandarina Bavaria
2 oz Citra
Once fermentation has completed or on day 10, cold crash and transfer to keg or bottle.

 

Installed New Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump Upgrades

 

I initially purchased my March home brewing pumps about 7 years ago, well before stainless steel homebrew pumps were really a thing. Once stainless pumps became more popular, I considered upgrading, but my existing pumps worked fine and I could not justify the cost.  Then Blichmann released their RipTide home brewing pumps which feature a tri-clamp attached head!!! In my opinion that is a big deal because it allows you to easily gain access to the pump cavity for easy cleaning.  As it stood, I had to rely on hot water and PBW to do all of the cleaning unless I wanted to spend an extra 30 minutes breaking down, clean and then reassembling each of my March pumps; which is really not something I wanted to do after a long day of beer brewing.  The one down side was that a new Blichmann Rip Tide home brewing pump will run you $199+. So I waited…..

Then, Blichmann release the RipTide Upgrade Kit! The Rip Tide Upgrade Kit allows you to upgrade some of the most common existing home brewing pumps to a Blichmann Rip Tide, for just $99. With this RipTide Kit, you can upgrade your March or Chugger pump with the Riptide’s Tri-Clamp housing.  The RipTide’s head is made from stainless steel and can rotate 365 degrees to fit almost any home brewing setup. The kit also comes with Blichmann’s  integral linear flow valve, which provides superior control and eliminates the need for an upper ball valve in must situations.

 

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit

Here is a list of home brewing pumps that the Blichmann Riptide upgrade kit is compatible with.

More Beer Homebrewing Pumps:

H340, H331, H332, H315HF, H350 and H375

Chugger Homebrew Pumps:

CPSS-CI-1 (115V),CPSS-IN-1 (115V), CPSS-IN-2 (230V), CPSS-CI-2 (230V), CPPS-IN-1 (115V), TCPSS-IN (115/230V) and TCPSS-CI (115/230V)

March Home Brewing Pumps:

809-SS-HS, 809-BR-HS, 809-PL-HS, 809-BR-HS-C, 809-PL-HS-C, 809-SS-HS-C, 809-BR, 809-PL, 809-SS, 809-BR-C, 809-PL-C, 809-SS-C, 815-BR, 815-PL, 815-SS, 815-BR-C, 815-PL-C and 815-SS-C

The Blichmann Riptide Upgrade Kit Can Be Purchased Here for $99

 

After verifying that the Blichmann RipTide Upgrade Kit would work with my current March homebrew pumps, I place my order for two of them.  After placing my order, it took about 8 days for them to arrive. I purchased them from More Beer, but the pumps were shipped directly from Blichmann.

RipTide Homebrew Pump Upgrade Kit

RipTide Homebrew Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Instructions

Next step was to read the instructions (which were relatively simple), make sure I had everything needed (which was just a screwdriver, a couple of wrenches and some PTFE thread seal tape. The instructions from Blichmann came in black and white and unfortunately the contrast made it so that it was difficult to see where the washer was supposed to go, so I included some color photos here to help you out if needed. I began by breaking down my existing march pump per the instructions and removing my existing fittings.  It is important that you just remove the pump head and NOT the magnet collar! The pump head was held on by 4 stainless steel screws in my case.  Here is an image to help:

Blacihmann RipTide Upgrade Instructions

Blacihmann Rip Tide Upgrade Instructions

Next I mounted my home brewing pump on to the included stainless steel pump riser. This was not required in my situation but I like the idea of it because it raised my pump up a couple of inches, bringing it close to my kettles, reducing the amount of tubing that I needed and giving me a little more space to empty the pumps when I had to clear wort from them.  Everyone’s situation is a little different, but it works well on my home brewing rig.  After that you will want to mount the Tri-Clamp adapter bracket on to your pump.  Blichmann includes two sets of screws to use, so make sure that you select the appropriate screws for your pump. Be careful not to over tighten the screws; doing so could crack the bracket or damage the pump. Next, place the impeller housing and the impeller into the pump magnet as shown in the following images:

 

Blichmann Rip Tide Homebrewing Pump Upgrade Instructions

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Instructions

Next is where I nearly had a problem.  Install the pump head o-ring and washer to the stainless steel RipTide pump head.  My first kit was missing the washer and the photo quality on the instructions that came with the kit were so bad, I could not tell if I was suppose to use one of the mounting washers.  Something did not seem right and I would have then been missing a mounting washer, so I checked my second pump kit and could see that there was a smaller washer that was intended for the pump head. It thankfully had two in that box, so all was good.  Here is an image to help you see where to place the o-ring and washer into the Blichmann RipTide pump head:

RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Photos

RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Photos

Lastly mount the Blichmann RipTide pump head on to your pump using the include stainless steel 3″ Tri-Clamp and attach any fittings that you may have. The entire process took me approximately 30 minutes per pump to upgrade an re-install onto my home brewing stand. Except for the issue with the washer, it was very painless.  Here are a couple of photos of the Blichmann RipTide homebrewing pumps after they were installed on to my homebrewing rig.

 

Finished Images Of The Blichmann RipTide Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann RipTide Home brewing Pumps On My Homebrewing Rig

Blichmann RipTide Home brewing Pumps On My Homebrewing Rig

Close up Image of the Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump

Close up Image of the Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump

After that I tested the RipTide home brewing pumps for leaks and checked to make sure all of the ball valve connections were free from leaks as well.  All was good and I also took a short video in case anyone was curious about the type of pressure or flow rate that you could expect from the RipTide upgrade kit.

Blichmann RipTide Pump Video

 

If you are looking to purchase a Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit, they can be purchased here for $99

 

Portland Beer Tour

Portland, Oregon Beer Tour

Portland, Oregon Beer Tour

I just got back from a trip to Portland, OR with a few of my friends and just wanted to post a few comments and suggestions of places that you may want to visit in case any of you are heading up there in the future.  If Portland is not on your beer radar it probably should be.  While we were up there, a Lift driver mentioned to us that Portland now has 98 breweries, which is the most of any city in the United States.  I am not sure if either of the statements that he made were true, but I can tell you this, Portland has A LOT of breweries! If you only had time to see one of them, I would suggest that you visit Great Notion Brewing!

 

Great Notion Brewing, Portland, OR

Great Notion Brewing, Portland, OR

So why Great Notion Brewing?  Well, for the beer.  Their beer is so good, my friends and I visited the brewery 3 times and we were only there for 4 days. For a brewery with such a small brewing space, they push out several great beers.  If I recall correctly, when we were there they had at least 8 of their own beers on tap, plus 2 from other local breweries. They had everything from a super juicy NEIPA to a Maple Syrup Stout that was just incredible.  I personally got hooked on their “Cuddle” NEIPA. To top things off, the folks who work there were helpful and friendly and the crowd was relaxed and down to earth. The only bad part about the brewery is that they are so small that they do not have any distribution in California and I am unlikely to try it again until I have the chance to visit Portland next.

 

Stammtisch, German Beer & Food

Stammtisch, German Beer & Food

Another great destination on my list is not a brewery, but you will find excellent beer there. It is a German Restaurant / Bar called Stammtisch.  I happen to enjoy German Beer and German Food and was excited to visit their location. If you do as well, this is a great spot to add to your list.  After a failed hike attempt at Multnomah Falls, due to last years fires in the Columbia Gorge, we headed back to Portland for lunch at Stammtisch.  It had just opened, so there we were some of the first people to arrive and we got a great table.  The people who work there were supper friendly and happily recommend some of their favorite beers for us to try. Everything from the beer to the chicken schnitzel sandwich was fantastic!

 

Bridgeport Brewing, Portland, OR

Bridgeport Brewing, Portland, OR

Bridgeport Brewing, is another notable destination that we visited while there.  They had a giant beer selection and a large / beautiful establishment.   We unfortunately did not have much free time to spend there and for that reason could not take advantage of all of the beers they had to offer.  That is why they are on my list of breweries to check out again when I am in Portland next. Bridgeport had a wide variety of IPA’s on their menu, from straight up West Coast to New England Haze.

 

Culmination Brewing, Portland OR

Culmination Brewing, Portland OR

Culmination Brewing is a smaller sized brewery in Portland, but they are putting out some great  beers.  I sampled a variety of them, including a super clean table saison featured in the image above, a Marrionberry Sour and a NEIPA. All of them were quality beers.

When it boils down to it, with approximately 98 breweries in the area, you can’t really go wrong.  If you do not like the beer at one brewery, walk a few blocks down the street and you are sure to find one that has something you will like. While we were there, we hit Modern Times, who now has a brewery in Portland, and we also hit up Cascade which is a sour beer lovers dream. So if you love beer, I suggest you book a plane ticket to Portland as soon as you have the chance.

 

Portland, OR Beer Trip

Portland, OR Beer Trip

Converting a Home Brewery Banjo Burner To Natural Gas

Converting A Banjo Burner To Natural Gas

Converting A Home Brewery To Natural Gas

 

I do not know about you, but I am not the biggest fan of having to store and maintain propane tanks. They take up space, run out of gas in the middle of a boil, the pressure changes when the tank gets too low and they are expensive to refill; and all the while I have natural gas available 10 feet away from my home brewery.  So I decided that I would try converting my banjo burners from propane to natural gas. Let me start off by saying that I am not a professional plumber, a mechanical engineer, or a scientist that specialized in flammable gasses; so you should consult a professional. PLEASE CONSULT A LICENSED HEATING PROFESSIONAL FOR INFORMATION ON CONNECTING YOUR OUTDOOR BURNER TO YOUR HOUSE NATURAL GAS.

My home brewing setup uses 3 banjo burners and a 120v electric RIMS system to generate heat. So my first step was purchasing the natural gas valve to replace my existing propane valve.  Since natural gas is pushed with a lower pressure than compressed liquid propane, you can not simply use the same valve.  The good news is that the replacement valve is not that expensive.

Converting a banjo burner over to natural gas

Banjo Burner Natural Gas Valve

Williams brewing sells the valve for $9.99 and this Banjo Burner natural gas conversion valve is compatible with the  Bayou Classic KAB4, KAB6, and BG14 Banjo burner.  To use this valve, you will need a gas connection hose with a 3/8″ female flare end to attach to this valve to your natural gas source.  This valve has an orifice diameter of approximately 1/8″, and features 1/4″ male npt threads to attach to your gas burner. These home brewing burner natural gas conversion valves also fit the Blichmann Top Tier Burners and Blichmann Floor standing burners. You can see the difference in the two burner valves in the following photo.

Converting Bayou Home Brewing Burners to Natural Gas

Converting Bayou Home Brewing Burners to Natural Gas

The natural gas replacement valve is on the left.  You can see the gas outlet diameter is much larger than the propane on the right.

The process was pretty painless and I was able to replace all three burner valves and test for leaks in about 60 minutes.  I used natural gas safe teflon sealant on all of the valves. One important factor to keep in mind is that natural gas is lower pressure than propane and you are going to put out less BTUs than you would with a propane tank.  So if you were already struggling to achieve a boil with a propane tank, converting to natural gas is probably going to be a bad idea. I have yet to test how long it takes to reach a boil, but the flame tests all look great so far!

Converting A Home Brewery From Propane to Natural Gas

Converting A Home Brewery From Propane to Natural Gas

Once I have the test in, I will let you know how it work out!

Pliny the Younger Review

Pliny the Younger, if you are not familiar with it, is one of Russian Rivers most elusive beers and by many, considered to be one of the worlds best examples a West Coast IPA \ Triple IPA. Many of you may be familiar with Pliny the Elder. Well,  Pliny the Younger is the Elder’s bad ass offspring. Where Pliny the Elder is a double IPA clocking in at 8% ABV, Pliny the Younger is a tripple IPA with an ABV of 10.25%. Pliny the Younger is not sold in bottles, you can not get a growler of it, and to make things worse it is only distributed by keg to a limited number of breweries; most of those are located in California. Ohhhh and did I mention that they only brew it once per year? The good news for me is that one of my local breweries, Tustin Brewing Company, out of Tustin, California is one of the distribution points in California for Russian River beer and Pliny the Younger. That being said, I have been trying to get the beer for 8 years now and not until yesterday had I succeed. The problem is that as it turns out, I am not the only person interested in having a glass. Every year at about this time the Tustin Brewery celebrates Russian River week! They bring in a wide array of Russian River beers including some of their most prized sour and wild beers like Consecration and Supplication. They also offer some of Russian Rivers best pale ales and IPA’s like Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder; but the crown jewel is Pliny the Younger. In order to secure yourself a pour of Pliny the Younger, you must line up in the parking lot at approximately 9-10:AM on a Wednesday morning.  If you are one of the approximately first 70 people in line, you are provided with a wrist band that will entitle you to a 8 oz pour of Pliny the Younger once the brewery opens at 11:AM.  Unfortunately for me, I have a job with a not so flexible work schedule that has not allowed me to take the time off for this event. This year was no different. As my hopes had all but faded, the Tustin Brewery sent out a tweet late yesterday afternoon.  It turns out that they received not 1 but 2 kegs of Pliny the Younger this year. If you were one of the first 70 to claim a ticket, and could reach the brewery by 6:PM, you could receive a pour from their 2nd Pliny the Younger keg. The process was a little confusing, and I was not certain that I had properly claimed my ticket, so I raced to the brewery. It felt as though I was competing in some form of craft beer Olympics. I had to accomplish a variety of tasks, and only the fastest participants would receive the prize.

When I finally arrived at the brewery, the parking lot was a mad house. It was packed with beer lovers and moms dropping off kids with colorful belts to Taekwondo practice. I drove to the furthest reaches of the parking lot and found one of the only available parking spots. It was hidden away behind all the buildings far from the brewery. I speedily walked towards the Tustin Brewery entrance with other middle aged men all thirsty for a taste of this rare beer. I narrowly avoided being struck on the sidewalk by a man apparently not familiar with how to park his over sized truck in a sub compact parking space; I was almost to the door. This was clearly one of those situations where nobody was going to hold the door open and let you go in ahead of them. I entered the brewery behind a chubby man who was huffing and wheezing from his long brisk walk from his parking space. The brewery was packed and energized with the voices of hundreds of patrons reveling in the atmosphere and drinking their beers.

At first I was a little overwhelmed. Trying to take it all in, I thought to myself; shit, this is a lot of people, how do I get my Pliny the Younger and I hope this ticket thing worked. Thankfully a couple of the girls who work at the brewery, Krystle and Rachel were kind enough to help me figure out where to go and what to do. I proceeded to go to a table where they verified my name on their list, collected my cash and provided me with a red ticket!

Pliny the Younger Beer Ticket

Pliny the Younger Beer Ticket

From there I was directed to a sign hung high on the wall of the brewery near the bar exclaiming  “Redeem Ticket Here, Pliny the Younger, Tustin Brewery Loves You”! I walked through the crowded bar, and stood behind another man as we waited for them to tap the Pliny the Younger keg and begin serving. Finally I could begin to relax; my beer was nearly in hand.  I heard one pub patron complain about Russian River Week as he awkwardly tried to move around the crowded bar to get a refill of his mug with Golden Spike Blonde Ale. He was clearly not impressed by the rare keg that was now being connected just feet from him. Others were just happy that Friday was upon us and that there were so many hard to find and great beers available this week. I stood silently, waiting in anticipation.  Finally, after 8 years, the moment had arrived. The man in front of me, received his Pliny the Younger and it was my turn.  I handed the bartender my ticket and he pulled back the tap handle, like some form of epic beer slot machine and filled my glass!

Pliny the Younger Animated Gif

Pliny the Younger Animated Gif

I grabbed my beer securely and began to walk to the patio. I took a quick sip; just in the off chance that an earthquake would strike and cover me in falling beams, I was at least going to get one mouthful of Pliny the Younger first! I did my best to move through the brewery, avoiding the mobs of people and avoid spilling even a drop of this rare and special beer. Thankfully there was no earthquake, but there was Juan. Juan is one of the best things about the Tustin Brewery, he is always wearing a smile, cracking a joke and slapping you on the back with the strength or Hercules and Oden combined as his way of saying, great to see you, let me rearrange your vertebrae for you. As he turned and saw me approaching, I remember thinking f#&k, here comes Juan.  A smile came to Juan’s face and I knew exactly what was next. I grabbed my Pliny the Younger as securely as I could with both hands; all I could do was hope that the collateral damage would not be too severe. WHAPPP, the shock of Juan’s hand on my shoulder sent reverberations down my arm, to my elbow and finally to my hands.  As hard as I tried, I could not stop the glass from bucking. A small wave of the cold beer rolled over my hand and slapped the hard tile floor. Juan just smiled and laughed as he saw dismay form on my face. He was right, it was a little funny. After all, I still had a nearly full glass and this was a time for celebration. After saying hello to Juan, I quickly made my way to the patio before he could shake any additional beer from my glass.

There was a small table available on the crowded patio; I set my beer down and took a seat.  This was it. I braced myself for disappointment. Recently I had watch the movie Dunkirk. I had heard so many wonderful reviews and yet when I watched it I was left so disappointed. It looked great, but there was not much to it. Was Pliny the Younger going to be the Dunkirk of beer I wondered? 8 years is a long time to wait for something, I have had Pliny the Elder probably 40 times in that time period, was this really going to be any better? Often times, Triple IPA’s are terribly unbalanced and sometimes painful to drink, would that be the case with Pliny the Younger?

 

Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger Russian River Beer

I am not one of those people who likes over the top beer reviews. You are no going to hear me say things like it washed my taste buds with the pleasant essence of virgin pine drippings, or the mouthfeel is reminiscent of  water from pristine deep water brackish caves. So here it goes.  I rate Pliny the Younger a 100 out of 100. I was not let down in anyway. I had extremely high expectations and it exceeded every one of them. Pliny the Younger is hands down the most well balanced triple IPA I have ever had and more importantly the most well balanced beer I have ever had.  Simply put, it was perfect. This sounds a little lame as I write it, but the mouth feel was exceptional.  As I slowly drank it, trying to appreciate every sip, I analyzed it; wondering if they added salt to the mash and how much; what hops were in the boil and what did they dry hop it with. I wanted to make it or myself!  The volume of my glass kept being depleted with each taste and I just kept hoping I would not have to wait another 8 years for my next glass.  If you have the chance to get some, even if it will be a pain in the ass, in my opinion it would be well worth it.

All The Small Things – Notch-Yo Lid

Like with many hobbies, home brewing has a learning curve.  Initially there is a lot of information to take in and many processes to keep track of. In time, you gather knowledge and experience and you master the fundamentals of brewing.  Where home brewing differs from many hobbies is that once you have done so, there are a variety of tangents that you can pursue. For instance you can explore water chemistry and the impacts on different styles of beer, design your own beer recipes and figure out which hops best compliment a specific yeast strain, try different mashing techniques and focus on boosting your brew house efficiency or even build and customize your own brewing hardware. At some point along the way, if you home-brew long enough; what makes your beer unique is all of the small things that you learn, apply in your process and customize along the way.

On the topic of all of the small things, one of the things that I should have done long ago was place a notch in my mash tun lid to accommodate my sparge arm. Prior do doing so I had to leave my lid ajar, allowing heat to escape from my mash tun, requiring my RIMS system to use more energy to compensate.  I am not going to lie, any upgrade or project that requires me to drill into or cut in to one of my stainless steel Blichmann kettles make me a little nervous. After all, the last thing that I want to do is ruin one of my vital pieces of home brewing hardware. The good news is that I almost never use a lid on my Boil Kettle, so if I jacked up the mash tun lid bad enough, I had a backup!

I used three tools for this project, an angle grinder (costs about $30 if you do not already have one), a file to clean up the rough edges and sharp spots and a dremel (or drill) with a fine grinding bit to shape the groves more precisely so that the lid would fit snugly against the sparge arm. Although initially intimidating, it really was not so challenging.  My best advice is to measure conservatively for your initial grinder cut and use the dremel to remove any excess metal. The vertical cuts are easy with the grinder, but the horizontal cut can be challenging if you are not careful. As a final touch I may add a silicone stopper and trim it to fill some of the small gaps that still exist; but even with out that I am very happy with how it turned out! Also, if you are looking for an incredible stainless steel sparge arm, I can not recommend the More Beer Ultimate Sparge Arm highly enough.  I have used it for around 3 years now and it had performed flawlessly.

More Beer Stainless Steel Sparge Arm

More Beer Stainless Steel Sparge Arm

NEIPA Hazy IPA Recipe

I just finished up my latest batch of NEIPA, North East IPA, Vermont Style IPA,  New England Style IPA, Juicy IPA or Hazy IPA; however you chose to label it and it turned out incredible so I wanted to share the recipe in case anyone else out there was interested in brewing one. The basis for this recipe is MoreBeer’s Haze Craze IPA which can be purchased in either an Hazy IPA Extract Beer Recipe Kit or Hazy IPA All Grain Beer Recipe Kit. I just made a couple of small tweaks to mine. Although the West Coast was slow to latch on to the NEIPA trend, we have sunk our teeth in and they are currently all the rage. The haze of the yeast, hops and yeast esters pushes the boundaries of what an IPA is and can be. In order to fully enjoy them you need to discard your expectations of what an IPA is and embrace the haziness and sometimes juicy and tropical flavors that are created by new varieties of hops and unconventional yeast strains.

Hazy NEIPA All Grain Beer Recipe

 

Beer Name: Hoptic Thunder Hazy IPA / More Beer Haze Craze IPA
Beer Style: New England Style Hazy IPA
Recipe Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Mash Type: Infusion
(60 Min) 152F
(10 Min) 169F Mash Out
1 tsp Calcium Chloride
.5 tsp Gypsum / Calcium Sulfate
Grain Bill: 11 LBS Pale 2 Row US
1 LBS Flaked Oats
2 LBS Flaked Wheat
8 oz Carapils Malt
8 oz Wheat Malt
4 oz Honey Malt
Hops: .5 oz Warrior – 60 minutes
1 oz Citra – 10 Minutes
2 oz Mosaic – 0 Minutes
1 oz Citra – 0 Minutes
Other: DO NOT USE A CLARIFIER
Yeast: London Ale III Wyeast #1318
Fermentation: 2 Week Primary @ 70F
– I ferment this at a slightly higher that usual temperature to increased ester production
and to create a more active fermentation)
On day 3 of active fermentation make the following hop additions
2 oz Mosaic
1 oz Citra
On day 7 of fermentation make the following hop additions
1 oz Mosaic
2 oz Citra
Once fermentation has completed or on day 10, cold crash and transfer to keg or bottle.
Notes: The More Beer Haze Craze IPA Beer Kit can be purchased here:

More Beer Haze Craze Hazy IPA Beer Recipe Kit

 

NEIPA Hazy IPA Beer Recipe

NEIPA Hazy IPA Beer Recipe

 

Cider, The Gateway Drug To Beer!

Hey, I thought that West Coast Brewer was a home beer brewing site, why are you making cider?

Yes, it is a homebrewing blog; but I figure that cider making is in the same wheelhouse and that I would share what I learned on the topic in case anyone else was interested in making a batch. The idea of making a batch of cider came to me when I was considering what I wanted to fill my next batch of kegs with. My goal was to having something for everybody. That got me thinking. We all know one of those people who is “Not a beer person”. Whenever I hear someone mutter those words I immediately think that they just have not found the right beer or had a bad beer experience where instead of someone easing them in to beer, they pushed a double IPA on them or gave them a poorly made sour.  Although Hard Cider is not beer, many people consider them to be somewhat synonymous with one another and it has to be one of the most approachable alcohols on the planet. It has a low ABV, it is relatively sweet, can be bubbly and has next to no bitterness; it is the gateway drug to beer!

Making cider is easy! Making good cider is a bit more difficult but not too hard if you have the right equipment and a little bit of patience. The good news is that if you are a home beer brewer, you probably have just about everything that you will need in order to make a batch of cider.  If not, do not worry, I will go over all of that with you. So you have a few options.  If you are happy with mediocrity, I highly recommend you purchase a cider making kit! For approximately $45, you can purchase a Mangrove Jack apple cider kit and create a 5 gallon batch of hard cider that will produce somewhere between a bad and mediocre cider. These kits come with all of the ingredients that you will need, include instructions and make the process very simple. It may not be the best cider you have ever tasted, but it you have never made cider before and have no home brewing experience, this may be a great way to go.  You can purchase a Mangrove Jack Apple Cider kit here. You can also find some helpful information on making cider from a kit at HomebrewingDeal.com.

If you have higher aspirations and want to try and create a good to great cider then keep reading and I will do my best to help you reach that goal. The batch of cider that I ended up making was a hard apple cider aged on oak and Oregon Sour Cherries. To make a good cider it is critical to start with the best ingredients possible.  Your base ingredient will be apple cider.  If you have it available to you from a local apple orchard, pick up fresh pressed cider! If like most people you do not, a great alternative is Musselman’s 100% Apple Cider.  It can be purchased at Walmart for approximately  $4.50 a gallon.  It is pasturized, so there are no additives that will negatively impact your cider and is a great compromise between cost and quality. You need minimal equipment to make cider and the most important item is a fermenter that can hold approximately 7 gallons.  If you can swing the price, I highly recommend a Stainless Steel fermenter that will last you a life time.  You can purchase a 7 Gallon Stainless Steel Brew Bucket Fermenter here for $199 with free shipping.  You will also need to bottle or ideally keg your cider when fermentation has completed.  Items for kegging and bottling cider can be found here at MoreBeer for a reasonable price and ship free on orders of $59+. If you need any specific suggestions or help with this, please leave a comment or shoot me an email and I would be happy yo help you.  Okay, so here is the recipe that I used to make my cider:

 

How to guide to making hard cider

How to guide to making hard cider

 

Step 1: Prepare for fermentation

Clean and sanitize your fermenter and anything that will come in contact with you cider.  If you need a food grade sanitizer, I highly recommend Star San Sanitizer.

Add 5 Gallons of Musselman’s 100% Apple Cider to your fermenter
Add 1 (12oz) container of 100% frozen apple juice concentrate (make sure that there are no preservatives aside from Ascorbic Acid(Vitamin C))
Add 2 Tablespoons of Pectic Enzyme (for clarity)
Add 1 Tablespoon of Yeast Nutrient (for yeast health and a strong fermentation)
Make sure that your cider is at an ideal fermentation temperature for your yeast strain (typically 68 F)
Add your yeast, I like Wyeast 4766 or Cote Des Blancs dry wine yeast; both are great choices for cider yeast.
If possible, take a specific gravity reading. Make sure that your gravity is above 1.045 or else you may have stability issues with your finished cider. You can add additional apple juice concentrate if needed to boost your gravity.
Next seal your fermenter, place it in a temperature controlled location and let it fermenter for 2-3 weeks until your fermentation has completed.

Step 2: Post Fermentation

Once your fermentation has completed there are just a few more tweaks.
Add 1 Teaspoon of Malic Acid  (gives the cider a little zip) You may want to add a little more or less depending on your taste

 

Step 3: Back Sweeten Your Cider or Add Fruit (Optional)

At this point your cider will probably be somewhat dry. I suggest that you back sweeten it to help highly some of the apple flavor it in. In order to do so, you will need to render the yeast unable to ferment the new sugars that you will be adding to the cider. To do so conduct the following steps:
Crush 5 campden tablets and mix it with 1 teaspoon of potassium sorbate  and it to your cider.  If possible, drop your fermentation temperature down to 45F.  Wait 24-48 hours.  At this point your fermentation should be completely halted.
A 1 (12oz) container of 100% frozen apple juice concentrate (make sure that there are no preservatives aside from Ascorbic Acid(Vitamin C)) for sweetness and flavor
Add fruit if desired.  I added 2 can of Oregon Sour Cherries
Let the cider age at 45 F for an additional 7 Days

Step 4: Transfer Your Cider To The Keg

I use a keg partially because I am lazy and partially because it is the best choice.  If you want your cider to be carbonated and you chose to back sweeten or add fruit to it, kegging is your only reasonable choice. Otherwise you will need to add yeast to it once again to force carbonate it in the bottle and risk both over carbonating and undoing all of the effort you placed in to back sweetening the cider in the first place. If you keg, you are able to bottle once the carbonation level that you desire is reached and the cider will come out much cleaner!

Clean and sanitize your keg and anything that will come in contact with the cider.
Transfer your cider from the fermenter to the keg, doing your best to avoid drawing in any of the particulates that have settled to the bottom of your fermenter.
Add oak sticks or oak cubes to the keg for additional complexity if desired. I think it adds a nice touch to the cider. Oak takes time to impact the flavor of your cider, so as it ages in the keg its flavor will become more noticeable.
Let the cider carbonate and condition in the keg for approximately 2 weeks. Your first few pours from the tap will be a little cloudy but after that it should begin to clarify rapidly.

That is it. If all goes well, you should now have a delicious glass of cider in front of you!  Please let me know how yours turns out or if you have any comments, questions or suggestion.

 

The Kegerator Has Been Filled

The Kegerator has been filled to capacity once again thanks to lots of holiday home brewing. I am carbonating a hazy New England IPA and MoreBeer’s Hop Gatherer IPA. I plan on reviewing them in a week or two once they are fully carbonated and have some time to condition.

I dry hopped both of these batches, but what was unique about the Hop Gatherer IPA beer kit is that it came with something I had not previously used, Chinook distilled Hop oil. It comes in a tiny vial but smells incredibly potent! It is used as an alternative to dry hopping but I decided to use it in conjunction to help really develope the aroma in this West Coast IPA!

Distilled Hop Oil

Distilled Hop Oil

As you can see from the photo above, the vial is tiny and only holds about 10 drops or so of the distilled Hop oil. I dumped it right in to the keg immediately prior to putting the hatch on the keg to carbonate. The oil smelled strong to say the least. I put the empty vial on a shelf and my garage still smells like hops, which makes me happy; talk about aromatherapy!

Getting a little inspiration for my next Hazy IPA

Getting some liquid inspiration at Greek Cheek Brewery in Orange, California.  They are making some of the very best Hazy IPA’s in Southern California and if you have the chance to check them out, I highly recommend that you do! They typically have 8+ beers on tap and are constantly rotating in new beers. If you are a fan of New England style Haze IPA’s, this is a great destination.

MoreBeer.com Promo Code for 10% Off All Grain and Extract Home Brewing Kits

MoreBeer.com Promo Code for 10% Off All Grain and Extract Home Brewing Kits

MoreBeer.com Promo Code for 10% Off All Grain and Extract Home Brewing Kits

More Beer Coupon Codes for January, 2018
MoreBeer.com Promo Code Date: 1-5-2018 to 1-7-2018
More Beer Promo Code: Enter Code BHY18 at Check OutCoupon Code Description: Enter the More Beer promo code BHY18 at check out and save yourself 10% off home beer brewing recipe kits. This is More Beer’s way of wishing you a Happy New Year and a Happy Brew Year! Orders over $59 will also qualify for free shipping, making this an incredible deal.  So now is a great time to stock up on some of their most popular home brewing recipe kits like Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, Haze Craze and more! This deal is good for both extract beer brewing kits and all grain brewing recipe kits.

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