This past Saturday marked the 2014 summer solstice. In celebration of the changing seasons and the beginning of summer, I brewed a Helles Bock. As per tradition, during the summer solstices, I like to brew something pale and strong. Since I am currently brewing German lagers, I thought a Helles Bock would be an appropriate style to brew on the solstice. Consisting of mostly pilsner malt with touches of Munich and Melanoidin malts, I brewed a small batch (~2.5 gallons/9.5 L) of this recipe on the eve of the summer solstice. At present, my summer solstice Helles Bock is fermenting vigorously at 48F. Look for a brew day post soon.
Recently, a twitter follower @tbert_33 requested a blog post on essential small batch brewing equipment for new brewers. With many starter kits available, it can be difficult for a new brewer to know what exactly is needed to start brewing. Upon quick reflection, not much is needed at the bare bones level, allowing for a low-cost introduction to brewing. Expect a blog post later this week.
Lastly, yesterday evening I brewed up an Oktoberfest in preparation of the fall. This may seem counter-intuitive as summer just officially began. However, accounting for fermentation through July and lagering through August, this Oktoberfest will be on tap in September, close to the harvest season. Similar to my Helles Bock recipe, my Oktoberfest recipe is roughly 60% Pilsner malt, 30% Munich, and 10% Caramunich and Melanoidin malts. Last year, I made a similar Oktoberfest with 45% Pilsner, 45% Munich and 10% Caramunich. This recipe was quite nice; however, over time became bock-like. For this iteration, I cut back a bit on the Munich and speciality malts, hopefully making this beer more sessionable.
How was your week in homebrew. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Cheers, and happy brewing!