Category Archives: wood

2 Foot Tex IPA – 2011 reboot

Hello punters, its finalls season almost for AFL (one day in September that will actually be in October) and for VicBrew.

Last year I got first place in the VicBrew IPA category with my 2 Foot Tex IPA recipe, a recipe heavily based on the CYBI Union Jack clone. I loved this beer, so hoppy so not crystally, so drinkable. Getting a medal was pretty nice too. Although freshness is the key to this beer (it tanked in the nationals) I did manage to find an old bottle only a month or two ago that was wonderful. The hops had dropped and more of the yeast and malt flavor had come through. I’ve said it before, but I love the flavor of aged American hops with UK yeasts.

I’ve only really entered beers in competitions like VicBrew and the Westgate Brewers Stout Extravaganza for the past couple of years, previously thinking them to be a bit like cake shows, and they are to an extent. BUT you get really good feedback (OK from some of the judges). Each beer judged receives 3 written score sheets with fully independent reviews of the beer. It’s easy for your mates to say “mate that beer is fucking awesome” as they neck their 7th for the evening but an independent unbiased perspective is, well I think welcomed by anyone who is proud of their craft. Not all the judges are awesome, but then neither are all the beers. Some people enter some really shit beers, I’m not a fan of entering something that you wouldn’t drink yourself or serve your mates.

So closing date for VicBrew 2011 is September 10. As today is August 16 that is really close, which means I need to brew this beer this weekend so I can have some hoppy entries. I have not been brewing anywhere near enough this year. It kinda sucks bit I do have some beers in the can for entering. Stout, Porter, and Tripple along with a beer or two pimped out with oak, coco nibs and there may be a bit of bourbon thrown into a beer, just for good measure. There is a old english pale ale (from Dazzapalooza) perhaps a really dark saison I have but no idea what category I’ll enter that in. Really like the beer though. Still I need some hoppy beers, and thats what I’ll brew this weekend. So on to 2 Foot Tex rebooted, or 3 Foot Tex or what ever the hell I’m calling it. Oh and I need to bottle that fucking barley wine, will be young, very young but will see how we go.

Las years beer had an OG of 1065 (bit lower than the target of 1070) for a 23litre batch with a calculated IBU of 82. This year I have a hop back, still in the box untried but it will be part of this beer. Its time to tweak things up for 2 Foot Tex Rebooted to have a crack a reclaiming the prize (or at least getting myself some good beer) 

But maybe its time for a new name? 3 Foot Tex perhaps? I’m not really sure how tall he is (Stu any help here? ). basically I’m bumping the hops up a bit and kicking in some galaxy through the hop back. Drinking Hop Zombie earlier this year just made me want to throw in more hops.

So target OG is around 1065-70, with a boil length of 70 minutes and a 20 minute whirlpool once the gas goes off. The yeast will be the same, 1098 from Wyeast with a low starting ferment temp to keep any nasty hot booze out of it. This beer probably falls in between single and double IPA. I’ll just call it an IPA. So heres the recipe, the hop back amounts may change as I dont know how much it holds?

2 Foot Tex rebooted

83% Pale Ale Malt

10% Munich

5% Carapils

2% Simpson’s Crystal

Mash at 64 for 60 minutes with a teaspoon of gypsum, and throw some in the boil too perhaps

25 gm Warrior at First Wort Hopp

20 gm Centennial at 30 min

20 gm Cascade at 30 min

55 gm Centennial at Flameout, steep 20 min

55 gm Cascade at Flameout, steep 20 min

40 gm Galaxy Hop Flowers through the hop back

Dry Hop #1 – 3 days in primary at end of fermentation

44 gm Centennial

44 gm Cascade

Dry Hop #2 – 3 days in the keg

30 gm Centennial

30 gm Cascade

14 gm Amarillo

14 gm Simcoe

I might as well brew a Pale Ale as well, got to keep the hat thrown in the ring. Just need to invent a recipe now???

Cheers D


Things of stout and wood

I remember the band Things of Stone and Wood had a song called “Happy Birthday Helen” I loved that song. It was little more than a collection of Melbourne cliches and a chorus that was surprisingly full of happy birthday Helen and a bunch of na-na-na-na’s. If you dont know the song click here, I loved that song. And The Late Show take off of the same song is here. I loved that show, ah when Mick M and Tony M were still speaking.

Ah memories. The song is however nothing to do with putting oak cubes into a keg of stout. That’s what I just did with no singing what so ever.

I like the idea of oak in beer. Depending on what sort of oak you use it can add all sorts of flavors, say like the vanilla hit in bourbon, and textures, like you get in a big oakey shiraz to a beer. However to know what flavours you will get you need to know what kind of oak you have and how heavily it is toasted. I don’t know this but the wood is in the beer.

Why do I have such poor info? Generally Aussie home brewers are restricted to using oak chips stave’s. They come in a few different types, or combinations of oak type (usually french or US) and toasts (light medium or heavy). I’ve used chips before but they kind of look like pencil shavings and I just don’t like the look of them, all dodgy and uneven. Stave’s look to be a better thing, they are just too big (and the bag of them just looks too big).

The happy medium appears to be the oak cube but these are not readily available in Australia. I heard about them on the BN and they sound spot on for thowing in a keg. I tried to get Grain and Grape to stock them, but apparently they are a bit expensive (and they have a bunch of chips and stave’s in stock) so no bingo.

Thats them, oak cube samples in little plastic boxes

Thankfully I am a annoying bastard and that is how I came to get my samples of oak cubes. Apparently they got some samples in and Chris (the great man) let me have them. So that’s how I got the cubes. However there is a catch. The labels are really not all that helpful, they tell me nothing about the oak or toast. Instead they say “Red Fermenting”, “White Finishing”, “Red Ageing”. So I figured that since the beer was in the keg, effectively finishing I went with the red and white finishing cubes into my US/foreign Extra stout that dis tasting OK, but not as good as the UK stout.

So stout with wood is int he making, depending how it goes I may throw in some bourbon. Or not? I also got some coco nibs in the mail today, don’t know what I’ll throw them into, perhaps a porter?

Time to watch some TV, oh and have a little more stout.

Cheers D 

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