grove street pilsener

Brown Ale, "Pilsener" and Future Brew Plans

The Grove Street Pilsener has turned out much darker than it ought to be (I incline to attribute this to the mistake with the malt extracts), so I think I’ll have to put the word “Pilsener” in scare quotes when referring to it, from now on.  It’s pretty tasty, though, and the Grove Street Brown Ale is coming along very well at a week from bottling.

Next weekend I plan to brew Grove Street Honey Wheat Lager:

  • 1 3.3lb can light malt extract
  • 3lb honey
  • 1lb wheat malt
  • 1oz Crystal or Mt. Hood, or 2oz Liberty, @60 minutes
  • 1oz Crystal, Mt. Hood or Liberty @10 minutes
  • White Labs San Francisco Lager or Wyeast California Lager yeast

and a couple of weeks after that, if I have my mash tun finished (it’s been on hold in the “nearly-done” state for quite a while now), I’ll be trying my first all-grain batch, with the use of a friend’s burner and brewpot.

Sadly, I think it’s past time to give up on the Big 10/20 Barley Wine.  It started acquiring that awful, cidery-sour taste some time ago, and the fermentation’s been excruciatingly slow for months.  I just haven’t had the heart to pour it out, but I think I don’t have a choice.  Barleywines, like pilseners, are probably something I’m going to wait a while, and read up on some different techniques, before trying again.

I will endeavor to ensure my next post is about something other than beer.

Grove Street Brews news

I haven’t written about beer (or, indeed, about anything else) in quite a while; real life has interfered with my blogging time to an alarming degree, as health, career and living space issues of various sorts have been abundant. In the immortal words of Harrison Ford, however, “we’re all fine … here … now. How are you?”

The Grove Street Amber was a huge success, so I brewed another batch (with slightly different ingredients; two cans of light malt syrup instead of one light and one extra-light, and WLP002 instead of 005), which also came out very good. I finally bottled the Grove Street Pilsener last weekend. And on March 17th I brewed the following recipe, which in keeping with my extremely clever naming system, I call Grove Street Brown Ale.

Two cans (6.6lbs) light malt extract syrup, 1lb Crystal 60, 0.5lb chocolate malt, 0.25lb roasted barley and 0.25lb black patent malt, for an estimated final color of about 31° and OG of 1.055. 1oz of Cascade plugs for 60 minutes, 1oz of Vanguard plugs for 10 minutes and 1oz of Vanguard plugs for 2 minutes, for an expected 33 IBUs. WLP001 yeast.

I expect to bottle that today, so shortly I’ll find out how it turned out.

[Supplemental, 2008-04-14: One week after bottling the Grove Street Pilsener, I’m trying a glass to see how it’s doing. It’s absolutely not pilsener-colored — much too dark, more like a pale ale or even an amber in color; I expect that’s largely because of the mixup with the extracts. But it tastes pretty all right, though it’s not quite possessed of the near-Platonic crispness I associate with Urquell et al. I think before I attempt any more lagers I really need to set up a lagering mini-fridge, because the basement just didn’t ever get cold enough for long enough, it was mostly above 50°F.]

Grove Street Pilsener

On Saturday evening I brewed an attempt at a pilsener-style lager, since my basement is hoving in the high 40s to low 50s now that it’s winter, and I haven’t tried a lager before. I bought ingredients for two batches at once, this and the Grove Street Amber, and when I brewed the pilsener, I mistakenly used one can of extra-light malt extract and one can of light, instead of two extra-light, but I hope this won’t make it too dark. I also used a pound of CaraPils malt.  Saaz hops are hard to come by at the moment, and though I found some, I had to make do with pellets. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing how it comes out; even if it doesn’t end up a perfect pilsener, it should be a decent, crisp lager.