Kyle’s Crawfish Boil

Kyle’s Crawfish Boil

Saturday, May 24, 2014, South City, St. Louis.

Starting Saturday afternoon and continuing through the night into the wee hours of Sunday morning, Kyle L. and his wife Michelle hosted an assortment of characters for their annual crawfish boil. An event where good food (especially if you love mud bugs the way some of the guests did), and good beer find a home in the bellies of party people. The atmosphere was rich with music and conversation. It was definitely the place to be on a beautiful late spring evening.

Slightly after 3:00 pm people started arriving for the festivities, but the guests of honor were of course the crawfish. Piled in a creepy, crawly mass of claws and feelers, the crawfish were a site to be seen. The fact that they were residing in a kiddy pool while waiting for their impending doom made things a little bit more disturbing.

Kyle dipped the first batch of creek roaches in his witch’s brew of seasonings. The anticipation was thick as the first round was dumped onto the tables. It was like Old Country Buffet went Cajun! The smiles all around confirmed the partiers had gotten what they wanted.

The All Grain UndergrounD agreed to supply beer again. They arrived early and set up their beer droids (pink pods) for the masses to enjoy. This year, the UndergrounD leveled up and brewed 20 gallons for the event. They had five gallons each of Dickie’s Pale Ale and Irish Red Rye. They also brewed 10 gallons of Kyle’s Kölsch specifically for the boil.

Last year, lead brew architect Tom set up shop at the boil with 10 gallons of beer. His tasty supply of Pale Ale and an Irish Red were a hit. The two kegs were finished by 9:00 PM. After doubling their production from last year, the beer lasted until 9:20 pm. It’s hard to imagine that twice the beer only lasted about 20 minutes longer than the previous year.

Although everyone had an opinion of which beer they liked best, they all agreed the beer was really good. Just more validation that the guerilla brewers over at the AGU make great beer! Next year, the guys are talking about making even more beer for Kyle’s annual Cajun shindig!

 

Kyle’s Kölsch

April 26, 2014

At Dickie’s Pale Ale brew, Kyle and Tom discussed a Kölsch, a top fermented, German ale with mild hop character. The grain bill was pretty much straight Pilsner malt with a little Munich and/or Vienna thrown in. We went with the Spalt hops as it seemed appropriate for the style and to try something besides Hallertau in the German beers. A single infusion mash at about 150 F should give us a dry German ale.

We had a great day for brewing with a lot of firsts. First time we’ve done a Kölsch. We went mobil for the first time and brewed at Kyle’s. We couldn’t find leaf Spalt hops so tried the pellet.  At the end of the day, all went successfully.

20 gallons- Single Infusion Mash

Brewers- Kyle L, Charlie U, Mike C, Andy D, Tom V

Grain Bill-

  • 35# Pilsner malt
  • 2# Munich malt
  • 1# Vienna malt

Hop Bill-

  • 8 oz 3.2% Spalt pellet hops

Yeast-

  • Wyeast 2565 Kölsch Ale

Mash Schedule-

  • 10 gallons of mash water
  • Strike Temp = 168 F
  • Mash Temp = 148 F; added a couple of gallons of hot water to bring temp to 153 F and held for 2 hours
  • Added 5 gallons of 190 F water to raise temp to 170 F. First official mash out with the big equipment!

Lauter-

  • 10′ recirculation
  • 15′ runoff
  • 60′ sparge with 15 gallons of water treated with a teaspoon of phosphoric acid
  • Collected 24 gallons of wort (used a total of 32 gallons of water and nailed the 24 gallons for pre boil)

Boil-

  • 60′ boil add all Spalt hops
  • 15′ Irish moss and cooling coil
  • 1 hour cold break
  • Collected about 20 gallons to fermenter
  • Starting Gravity = 1.051

A beautiful day for brewing! Everything went well. We hit all our marks. Quite pleased with the starting gravity. The sample was good but I noted a hint of cardboard flavor; we’ll monitor as we go forward. First time with a solid Mash Out. Still need to go a little hotter with the strike water as we never seem to come in hot enough. Overall a great brew day.

Package-

Friday, May 9.

This is a quick turn beer. We’re trying to get it ready for the Crawfish Boil, one month after brewing. We kegged 10 gallons of the beer for the party and racked the other 10.
Final Gravity = 1.012

ABV = 5%

The sample was good, still a little on the hoppy, green side, but it looks like it will mature into a nice beer.

May 25, 2014- Post Crawfish Boil

We drank all 10 gallons of Kölsch at the boil. It was a little too over carbonated the first few pours, but the head settled in and it was pretty much a hit. Some didn’t care for it, preferring the Pale or the Red, but it was so much a criticism of the beer but rather the style, I think.

The spalt hops was different. At least I was tasting a bit of “off” flavor that may be a remnant of the “cardboard” flavor I mentioned early in the sample. It could be from the hops, but perhaps it is a factor of the long, 2 hour mash. Did we lose too many long-chain sugars? Am I thinking too hard about this?

I did think, of the three beers, the Kölsch served best from the iced down keg. I thought the Irish Red and the Pale were way too cold to be appropriate, but the Kölsch was good cold.

The beer seemed to get better as the night went on. It went well with the crawfish. Most really enjoyed it, but we still have 10 gallons that need to be packaged and I think it will continue to improve with cold aging.

St. Patrick’s Brew Day

March 15, 2014

Checking the mash temp
Checking the mash temp

Today we brewed 20 gallons of an English Pale Ale and celebrated St. Patrick’s day weekend with stout and Irish Red. We enjoyed an easy brewing session, a beautiful sunny day in the 60′s, and delicious corned beef and cabbage thanks to Christine.

Brewmaster- Dickie S. (great job on his first time at the helm)

Brewers- Charlie U., Kyle L., Rob S., Tom V.

Grain Bill-

  • 36# Maris Otter
  • 2# 60L crystal (UK)
  • 2# Carapils

Hop Bill-

  • 4 oz East Kent Goldings 5.0% AAU for 60′
  • 2 oz East Kent Goldings 6.3% AAU for 60′
  • 4 oz East Kent Goldings 6.3% AAU for 30′

Mash Schedule-

  • 13 gallons of liquor, strike temp 165F
  • Mash temp 144F, too low, add ~3 gallons hot liquor to raise to 155F
  • Hold for 90′
  • Mash out, add ~4 gallons of liquor to raise to 160F (not much of a mash out)

Lauter-

  • 10 minute recirculate
  • 15 minute run off
  • Sparge with 14 gallons at ~170F (had additional 5 gallons to push through the grains)
  • Collected 24 gallons and shut down runoff

Boil-

  • Boil 15 minutes, add 6 oz of hops (4 oz @ 5% and 2 oz @ 6.3%)
  • Boil 30 minutes, add 4 oz @ 6.3%
  • Boil 15 minutes, add Irish Moss and cooling coil
  • Boil 15 minutes, shut down
  • Coldbreak ~ 1 hour until racking into primary

Starting Gravity =  1.060. On the top end of the range. A good, strong number. More volume than the Oktoberfest and should have a solid 20 gallons when we go to packaging. Sample was appropriately hoppy and sweet with no off flavors. Looks like another winner.

Fermentation-

Strong bubbles in the airlock the morning after brewing. Temps at the bottom range of yeast, 64F.

March 27- Racked the EPA. Gravity = 1.011. Wow, we are brewing some strong beers! ABV calculates to 6.4%. Sample was right on, strong, green, hoppy (but not in American hippy way).

 

Date Set for 2014 AGU Oktoberfest

Bavarian Flag
Bavarian Flag

Mark your calenders! Planning and preparations are being made for the Official 2014 AGU Oktoberfest.  This will be the third annual installment of the  Oktoberfest celebration by the UndergrounD. The date has been set for September 27th, 2014. We encourage all who participated last year to join us again this year.

AGU Oktoberfest 2013 - Biergarten - CJU Photography
CJU Photography

After a long, grueling day the UndergrounD brewed our Oktoberfest Bier yesterday. It sits in primary fermentation right now. We will let it lager over the summer and have it kegged and ready to go for this year’s festivities.  All indicators say this beer will be better than last year’s Oktoberfest Bier that was such a huge hit at the party.

 

Ein Prosit!
Ein gut Bier – CJU Photography

Last year we ran out of beer (pooh pooh on us) and we do not intend to repeat that mistake. We have taken production to another level in anticipation of the people wanting more good beer. We look forward to seeing you all there again.

We will keep the site updated with news and plans. As we get closer to the date we will have more details to pass on. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or want to volunteer please let us know.

 

Think Globally; Brew Locally