Monthly Archives: April 2014

Vienna Lager

Take a look at that, it’s like an ice cream sundae. I don’t think this beer has even fully carbonated yet and this was after 4 minutes of trying to get a good shot. I was going to wait a little while before writing a post about this one but after I poured it I had to get a picture. It’s very clear and clean and super smooth. Probably too smooth since it goes down very very fast. There is a slightly toasty and sweet maltiness which I like but the hops are subtle. This is apparently what a Vienna lager should be like but personally I would have liked much more hop aroma. Unfortunately I’ve been stuck using pellet hops and I find (just a personal opinion) that you just can’t get the same hop bouquet that you get with whole hops.



The glass looks warped because it has a triangular base.

Here’s the recipe:

7 lb Vienna malt (store bought)
1 lb 10 oz Munich (homegrown)
1 lb 8oz Brumalt (homegrown)

.5 oz Hallertau 60 min
.75 Hallertau 20 min
1 oz Tettnanger 5 min
Yeast Wyeast Bohemian Pilsner
Very soft water with 1/2 tsp gypsum

Single decoction mash 140 for 30 min then 153 for 60 min pH 5.4
Pre-boil grav. 12 or 1.049. 60 min boil
Pitching temp 16 C Fermenting temp 11C for 16 days. Diacetyl rest 2 days at 20 C
Lagered three weeks
OG. 1.053 F.G. 1.0075 ABV 5.9%


It’s still there!


Going, going…

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 28, 2014 in The beers


Tags: , , , , ,

Barley update April 20

DSCN9790So far, so good. I’m pretty happy with how it’s coming up. I’m really surprised with how few weeds I’ve had this year. This is an advantage with growing grains or cover crops, they do an excellent job of choking out weeds. I also have been using the barley straw to keep the beds covered when they’re not being used and over the winter. This keeps the worms happy as well. This bed was only partially covered with re-may now the rest of the barley has caught up and it’s all evened out.

Someone asked me why I didn’t just plant the barley on one half of my plot one year and then the other side the next year. I had thought about doing this but decided to stick with my original plan of rotating the beds  counter clockwise from year to year and staggering the barley in a checker board pattern. There’s no advantage to doing it this way other than ensuring that every second year a different vegetable is planted in each bed and I find it easier to remember where things where in the previous year.

Along with the barley I’m growing two beds of potatoes, by the way we’re still eating potatoes from last year – those two beds produced that much. I’m also going to plant cabbage, jalapeneo peppers, beans, pumpkins, beets, corn, and some summer squash from greece which looked like zuchinni but tasted like artichoke hearts, they were amazing. We also have two types of raspberries some blueberries and this year I threw in some rhubarb because my kids actually like the stuff (?!)   DSCN9792

In the shot above you can see almost all of my plot. My neighbour has the greenhouse on the right and the large yet to be planted area. My plot goes as far as the blue and white rain barrel on the left side of the picture.


Leave a comment

Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Garden Updates


Tags: , , , , , , ,

First Barley Update

It’s coming up really nice, fingers crossed. This is the stage where slugs can do a lot of damage. The re-may cloth has been protecting them so far. Sorry to sound like I’m selling the stuff but re-may is awesome! Not only does it protect your crop from all sorts of critters but it warms up the soil and gets things growing fast. I also use it on my carrots, I leave it over them all season. I could have left it on the barley for another week, it doesn’t hurt the barley, it’ll straighten out once the re-may is removed but the forcast called for nice sunny weather and I’m just too impatient.



What’s brewing: Most of last seasons malt was used for the diastatic brown malt project but I did make the special B which has ended up in a stout which sucked- the stout did, not the special B. The base malt I used was too old, bad mistake. This may have imparted the slight metallic taste to it. On top of that I forgot to treat my water ( I was using reverse osmosis water) Not my best brew day. This beer also had some dark chocolate malt that I made but didn’t write about because it was supposed to be a black patent malt. I had to cut the process short because it was getting so smokey I thought the neighbours would call the fire department. The beer was drinkable but thin and the head would disappear instantly. It was roasty but lacked maltiness and ended with the metallic flavour.


Stout with the Special B

Stout with the Special B











What’s your worst brew day? I think mine was the time I ran out of propane half way through the boil and couldn’t get any till the next day. I cooled down the wort and covered it until I got some more propane. The beer turned out ok!


Next up a Vienna lager which is still lagering right now (third week) For this beer I used the Brumalt and the munich malt. The munich was my first attempt at brumalt which didn’t reach the 50C during the last stage of germination only 25 which made it perfect for munich. The base grain is store bought Vienna which I’ve never used as a base grain so I thought I’d give it a try. Vienna is one step up (darker) than pale malt, kilned at a slightly higher temperature 105C as opposed to 95C (varies according to company) and that’s the only difference. This one is a surprisingly dark reddish brown colour.

Vienna Lager with the Brumalt and Munich malt

Vienna Lager with the Brumalt and Munich malt


Finally, since I had some Special B left I made one of my favourite styles, a Belgian Dubbel. This is based on a recipe I’ve done numerous times. I’m really looking forward to this one since everything went perfectly, fermentation began within a couple of hours.


Posted by on April 2, 2014 in Garden Updates, The beers


Tags: , , , , , ,

To Inspire and Permeate through Chefs, My Kitchen, and Adventures in Food, Drink and Exploration.

Threefrenchs: A Fermented Exploration

Booze, Travel & Food (and maybe a few surprises)

The Meandering Meadery

Cultivating fermented food and drinks one jar at a time


They Who Drink Beer Will Think Beer

Untitled RSS Feed

Growing, malting and brewing beer

Creative Brewing

by Scott Ickes

A Brewer's Wife

Law librarian, brewer's wife and mom of three girls (not necessarily in that order)

From Plants to Beer

The real route of beer

My Own Home Brew

My record and experience in brewing

Romping & Nguyening

Romping around the world and Nguyening since March 2014.

Brewing Beer The Hard Way

Growing, malting and brewing beer

Five Blades Brewing

F' Everything, We're Doing Five Blades

The Jax Beer Guy

This Guy Knows Beer -- Also visit

East Happyland Homebrew Garden Louisiana

Gardening hops, grains, vegetables, and brewing beer in South Louisiana. And they said it couldn't be done....

The Apartment Homebrewer

Brewing small batches of craft beer in a 650 sqft apartment

Bishop's Beer Blog

Just another site

The Quest for Edelstoff

Making Liquid Bread

Home Bruin

The homebrewing adventures of a Boston sports fan