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Grapefruit Honey Ale

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 June 2015 at 19:26
I was finally able to brew my Grapefruit Honey Ale tonight:

http://brooklynbrewshop.com/beer-making-mixes/grapefruit-hon ey-ale-mix

It is in the middle of the boil as I type this.

The process went fairly easily, with no significant event or complication. As always, I brewed this beer with Big Spring water from Lewistown, Montana as a
foundation. Temperature control during the mash was quite consistent, thanks to my use of my enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. Sparging was easy and efficient,
thanks to my use of three vessels. At the beginning of the boil right after the hot break, I added my Columbia hops.

At 30 minutes I will add some Cascade hops, and at 55 minutes I will add more Cascade hops along with the peel and zest from one large grapefruit. At the end
of the boil, I will add in my Belgian candied sugar and some honey from our local apiary. After that, I will cool the wort down below 70 degrees, pitch my
yeast, set up my blow-off tube and forget about my beer for two or three weeks, until it is time to bottle.

I am expecting some very good beer, if the aromas during the mash and boil are any indication.
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2015 at 05:01

Update - I checked the fermenter yesterday morning, and again today. Fermentation is going very nicely, with plenty of active signs including a bubbling blow-off tube, a nice, clean foam on top of the wort and the beginnings of some wonderful, healthy krausen.

So far, so good!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 June 2015 at 03:43

I've been checking my fermenter daily, and it looks just about right. There never was any overly-vigorous fermentation, but it is definitely taking place, and that is what matters. Ambient temperatures have been steadily in the high 60s, so the conditions are all right. I might "kick the jug" (figuratively speaking) in order to make sure that the yeast are doing their work, but things are looking good.

Tonight, I will replace the blow-off tube with an air-lock, then wait out the rest of the time (probably 3 weeks total) until bottling. In the meantime, I've got a couple of ideas for label design.....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 September 2015 at 06:51
I had an extremely long and bumpy month of July, followed by an August that wasn't much better; as a result, I did not get this beer bottled until last night.

The beer itself looked great - it was amazingly clear and had a nice, dark-amber colour that really looked incredible. I believe that it turned out a little darker than it should, but I am not overly-concerned about this. The aroma was very enticing - malty with a warm citrus note that I am really looking forward to experiencing.

The bottling went very smoothly; I always hope for 10 bottles from my 1-gallon batches, but this time I only got 8. This seems to be par for the course - now and then I might get 9 bottles, but I end up with sediment when I try too hard to squeeze every last bottle from the batch. With my next batch or two, I might try racking to a secondary after a couple of weeks, and I will see if that helps.

One "trick" that I picked up which is especially helpful is to have my son shine the flashlight of his iPod toward the bottle while filling. The room that I usually bottle my beer in must not have the best lighting, because I can never seem to see what's going on in the necks as I fill the bottles. The flashlight helped with this immensely.

There was a little beer left over after bottling, perhaps a third of a bottle, and I was impressed with the sampling I took. In every way, I think that this might ultimately be my favourite brew yet. The grapefruit came through perfectly, balancing the malts and working with the hops to provide a unique bitterness that was just enough without being too much. I know that this is supposed to be a summer beer, but I can't help thinking that - with the substitution of orange and the addition of a cinnamon stick and a few cloves - it might be excellent for the holiday season, as well.

I am not sure if the extended time sitting in the fermenter helped or hurt, but all-in all, the beer was definitely worth the wait - and will continue to be so, I hope. I will allow the beer to condition in the bottles for three weeks, then refrigerate for an additional week before sampling. I'm looking forward to trying it, and will try to remember to report on results.

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2015 at 04:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CB900F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2015 at 12:33
Taz;

Were you aware that there is a grapefruit hefeweizen
available commercially? I have not yet (and quite possibly
never will) found the fortitude to order a bottle yet, but
the local bar has it.

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Birth certificate!? He don't need no steenkink birth certificate!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 September 2015 at 03:54
I've tried a couple of different beers with grapefruit - I think one was a hefeweizen, and the other was a shandy. They weren't bad at all but as I recall, the shandy was a little on the bitter side.

With this, I tried to minimize the overly-bitter aspect by using the zest of the grapefruit, rather than the whole peel, since it is the pith that contains a lot of the bitterness. Hopefully, it will still be in balance - I'll find out sometime in the coming days when I FINALLY sample it. I'm worried that I may have over-carbonated the beer a bit, but we'll find out after opening CAREFULLY.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2015 at 07:22
I sampled my Grapefruit honey Ale today, and was truly
impressed. I must definitely give a huge "shout-out" to
The Beautiful Mrs. Tas for getting this for me and
opening the door to my brewing interest! I was a little
worried about this one, because it sat in the fermenter
far longer than I had intended, by about 2 months.
Fortunately, the extended time had no effect on the
quality, except perhaps to improve it.

The beer itself was a little over-carbonated, but that
was my fault. If one is careful opening the bottle, the
effort will be worth it, for sure. This American pale ale
has a wonderful aroma, which is rich, malty and slightly
sweet, but with a fresh and bright citrus highlight. This
combination seemed to really bring out the honey as well,
as when I close my eyes it was the first thing I thought
of. Pouring into the frosted mug, it came out with a
beautiful, deep-golden hue, just slightly hazy from the
touch of wheat in the grain bill. There was a very nice,
very white and very creamy head, which lingered kn the
sides of the mug, promising a smooth mouthfeel.

The flavour of this beer is really unique and very good,
as well. A light and bright balance is achieved with the
hops and grapefruit, bending the sweetness of the malts,
grapefruit and honey into a whole new flavour profile
that is nothing short of amazing. It really was good in
every way, and I would most certainly recommend that
anyone who brews beer at home should try this, either
using Brooklyn Brew Shop's pre-packaged, all-grain mix,
or by using the recipe. In every way, this is a very
nice, easy-drinking, refreshing beer that I will
definitely be making again!
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2017 at 10:09

After cold-crashing the beer a little longer than intended, I bottled my third batch of this beer (and a double batch, at that) last night.

This time, I brewed the beer "from scratch," rather than using the pre-packaged mix. The recipe came from Brooklyn Brew Shop's BEER MAKING BOOK, which is a wonderful resource that can be found for a very good price on Amazon:

 
One substitution that I made was in using all Amarillo hops, which are known for their grapefruity qualities. I tried to keep the hop bitterness between 25 and 30 IBUs, to account for the fact that the grapefruit element itself would provide some extra bitterness. This seemed to be a good move.
 
Everything was routine and normal with the bottling process; The transfer to bottling bucket was a little dicey, because my mini auto-siphon, for some reason, was acting up. But, we got it done and the bottling itself was without incident. I was pleased to see that the beer was very clear and had a colour very similar to the one in this photo from a previous batch:

I decided to use the Brewers Best Carbonation Tablets, as I have done before:

http://a.co/ds0cLBF

I wanted a "medium" carbonation, so I added 4 tablets to each bottle.

I was able to get 18 bottles from this double batch, and almost a 19th. The resulting sample was very good, with a lot of character from the Amarillo Hops and a nice touch of that special bitterness that only grapefruit can provide. These worked very well with the malts, which were quite enticing in aroma. Since it had been cold-crashing, the beer was nearly ice-cold; as the temperature came up a bit, everything seemed to get even better, the aroma, the flavor etc.

I think it's going to turn out pretty well; hopefully my friend will like it, as he is getting 2/3 of this double batch! Beer



Edited by TasunkaWitko - 17 November 2017 at 14:39
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2017 at 10:48

Updated label for this beer:



Edited by TasunkaWitko - 16 November 2017 at 10:56
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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