Now that we’re two weeks into fermenting with the Brewery In A Bag from Muntons, Mike thought it would be good to provide an update. Here we are with the check on how the bag is progressing with this video:
That Bag is Swole
So after adding water and sealing up the bag, the yeast took off inside with the malt extract mixture. The mylar bag became swollen and Mike was able to have it stand on its own. You can tell that there is enough space for sediment to sit below the spigot, so, in theory, each pour should be clear of the yeast and other particulates at the bottom of the bag.
We continue to wait, following the instructions that came with the bag. Then, we will be able to taste the beer that is fermenting in this thing. Mike’s comment to me last week was, “If I were going to tell someone an easy way to start to brew, this BIB would be it. There no need for equipment – it’s all self contained.”
I think we agree it would be a good place to start, but to stay? I guess we’ll find out.
I love White Ales in the spring time. They taste like victory. Even though 2020 has been a weird year, I still wanted to brew one of my favorite styles. Because I have not been happy with the Belgian Wit yeast strains available commercially and I have more time on my hands, I decide to harvest yeast from a six pack of Hoegaarden and use it in my clone recipe of the famous brew. Watch me talk about the recipe and the process.
Hoegaarden White Clone Recipe
So I brewed a 5 gallon recipe but I will provide the recipe so you can configure it to your setup/needs.
50% Belgian Pilsner Malt (I used 4.5 pounds/2 kg) 50% Flaked Wheat (I used 4.5 pounds/2 kg as well) 1 oz (27 grams) of Saaz hops 3.1 %AA – added with 60 minutes left to go in the boil 1 oz (27 grams) of Saaz hops 3.1 %AA – added with 15 minutes left to go in the boil 1 oz (27 grams) of Bitter Search Results Curaçao Orange Peel – added with 5 minutes left to go in the boil .5 oz (14 grams) of crushed Coriander seeds – added with 5 minutes left to go in the boil
For this recipe, I followed a step infusion mash process. It was the first time I’ve ever followed this procedure. I added 9 quarts or 8.6 liters of tap water that I treated with a Campden tablet at 130°F (54°C) to the entire grain bill, which brought the mash temp to 122°F (50°C) and held that temperature for 30 minutes.
Then, I added another 9 quarts or 8.6 liters of water that I heated to 160°F (71°C) to bring the mash temp up to 150°F (65.5°C) and held that for 60 minutes.
I sparged with enough hot water to collect 7 gallons of wort for a 75 minute boil.
I took the dregs of 6 bottles of Hoegaarden and added it to a sanitized glass jug that was filled with a liter starter made with Fast Pitch canned wort. Since I am working from home nowadays, I was able to swirl it pretty regularly. After 3 days when the activity started to die down, I refrigerated the starter for 2 days. I removed the starter from the fridge and decanted. Once I had about an inch left, I poured in another can of the Fast Pitch canned wort and started the fermentation process again.
Two days later, I brewed my Hoegaarden clone and poured the entire starter into my fermentor (after it was chilled). My beer started to ferment in 12 hours and it smelled great.
Way back when we could go outside our house and congregate with people, we got a product from the Muntons booth at the NHC. It’s been sitting in Mike’s basement for a while. In these uncertain, unprecedented times, Mike decided to give us all a walkthrough and review of their Pale Ale Brewery in a Bag.
The Muntons BIAB Process
So, what’s interesting and convenient about this product is that one only has to add water to get beer. This long cylinder has all the stuff you need to make 25 pints of pale ale. All you have to do is provide the water.
Mike read the instructions carefully. He figured out how to measure the water that was needed to the kit. The big measuring cup was key. The water needed to be lukewarm and because the opening was small, the water addition was a slow process.
After the water was added, he shook up the bag to mix the extract with the water. Then, he got some scissors and opened up the yeast packet. Once that was opened, he added the yeast. The next step was to add the remaining (larger) quantity of water, which thankfully was a lot easier than the first batch.
Once the water was all in, he replaced the cap with one that would allow the CO2 to escape the bag. Now, we wait. In 30 days, the beer will be ready and just maybe we can drink it together in the same room.
This week, we taste a SMaSH beer brewed with 2-row American pale malt and Polaris hops. I have been wanted to brew with this variety for a long time. In the current era of social distancing, we finally got a chance. Here’s our profile of German Polaris hops:
What Do Polaris Hops Taste Like?
Aw, man. I thought these would be more minty than they were. What we got was a lot of citrus pith and spice. I got some menthol-like flavors and aromas.
There was a part of me that thought Polaris hops would work well in chocolate stout to give a minty aftertaste. I don’t think we will be brewing something like that any time soon. These hops would work better in a lager. They had more clean bitterness qualities like other German hops.
If you have experience with these hops, let us know.
We have all had skunky beer in the past, right? What we wanted to do is really understand the effects of direct sunlight on a beer. Check out another one of Mike’s off-flavor experiments. This time, it’s light struck beer!
Light Struck Beer Experiment Details
So Mike took a liter and a half of his Pale Ale and transfer it to a plastic bottle topped with his carbonator cap. He left it in the sun for just 2 hours. When we opened it up, he didn’t think it was enough time to skunk the beer. Well, we were wrong.
Immediately after he poured the light struck beer into the glass, you could smell the skunky aroma. It followed through in the taste. There is no mistaking that flavor – it tasted as strong as it smelled.
Since the skunk aroma and flavor replaced the hops qualities in the original beer, the malty sweetness bled through underneath. It wasn’t detectable in the unaffected beer, but in the experiment better, it showed up pretty well.
Hope you like learning about these off-flavors as much we do. Mike was successful in ruining beer. I hope we will be better at detecting it in the future and know when to dump a beer.