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Blauer Mond

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 December 2016 at 15:23
Last night, 10 December, I brewed a 1-gallon batch of a beer that I am calling Blauer Mond, which is inspired by "Wayne1's" recipe for the original Blue Moon, which he helped create in 1995.

Since Wayne - a member at homebrewtalk.com - has generously shared his recipe, I will post my 1-gallon adaptation here:

Quote Blauer Mond
Inspired by Wayne1's Original 1995 Recipe for Blue Moon

1 gallon

OG - 1.053
FG - 1.012
ABV - 5.43%
IBUs - 14.16
SRM - 4.17


Fermentables

American Pale 2-Row Malt - 1 lb.
American White Wheat - 0.8 lb.
Flaked Oats - 0.2 lb.

Rice Hulls - 0.1 lb. (optional)

Mash @ 154 degrees for 60 minutes


60-Minute Boil

Hallertau Mittelfruh (2.6 AA) - 0.3 oz. at 40 minutes
Ground Coriander - 0.14 oz. @ 10 minutes
Ground, Dried Valencia Orange Peel - 0.2 oz. @ 5 minutes


Yeast - S-05

The important thing to remember about this beer is that it is not a Belgian wit, nor is it intended to be; rather, it is an American take on that beer, made with American ingredients. These points were stressed by Wayne, and I believe that it is an important aspect to making this beer.

This brew went off very well, I think, and I truly enjoyed the aromas that I was getting throughout the mash and then the boil. I used Rahr malted barley and white wheat for the mash, along with flaked oats. Several have suggested the addition of rice hulls as well, in order to help with the sparge, so I added 1/10 of a pound of those.

My only difficulty was in keeping with the specified mash temperature of 154 degrees. I am used to staying within a range of 144-152, rather than trying to hold a specific temperature; however, I succeeded pretty well in this, and am sure that the finished beer will not have suffered.

I followed the schedule for the hops, coriander and Valencia orange peel as described above; the chill-down went very well and I had no trouble transferring to the fermenter or pitching the yeast.

Time will tell, of course, but I think it's going to be a good one!

More as it happens, etc. & c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2016 at 16:37
Dang it. I just tried to lift my box of brewing supplies out of the cupboard to see what I have and it's too heavy. On lifting restrictions for 5 more weeks. Nothing more than 15 lbs. I was thinking I'd try this soon, but I'll need to wait until someone is home that can lift the box so I can figure out what I need to order!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2016 at 16:58
Yowch, Mike! Ouch Heal up soon! I think this will be a good one for you - it smelled really, really good while I was brewing it.

I checked on this today, and fermentation is going well. Krausen is beginning to form and it's looking beautiful. Success, I think!

A few notes to add to the above, for those who might be interested in trying this: 

The main takeaway that I got from Wayne was that this is the recipe. Resist the temptation to mess with it or "improve" it and simply try it as is. I took that advice to heart and am glad that I did; the only real variable is my water, which is from a spring here in Montana that I use, un-modified, for all of my brewing.

The ratios for the grains are exactly as stated by Wayne. Rice hulls are optional and completely neutral; they will not affect the characteristics of the finished beer in any way. American grains are essential to the spirit of the original recipe.

Valencia orange peel is also essential - McCormick is probably best source, unless you have a specialty spice shop nearby...but it has to be Valencia, not some other variety. It also needs to be dried and ground, per Wayne's notes. As for the coriander, Wayne, who created the recipe, stressed that it was also ground, so if you use fresh coriander, make sure you measure it after it is ground. The amounts of the orange peel and coriander that I listed above are an "educated guess" based on scaling down the recipe from 5 gallons; the brew smelled perfect in the boil kettle, but of course I will have to wait and sample the finished beer before I know if I got it right the first time. If I need to adjust for future brews, I will note the development on this thread.

The hops are also perfect for this, in my opinion. You want to add them all @ 40 minutes left in the boil. Check your AAs on the hops in order to hit about 14-ish IBUs. For the ones I had, the amount in the recipe above was just right.

If anyone is motivated to try this, I hope you like it; so far, I am loving it! If you give it a go, post a report and a photo or two! Post any questions if you have them, and I will try to answer.

More as it happens, etc. & c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2016 at 09:49
I checked on my beer this morning, and fermentation is proceeding, slow and steady.

I thought that S05 was a little more active than this, but I could easily be wrong. There isn't as much Krausen as expected, but temperatures are fine and we're definitely making beer...and it looks nice, too!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2016 at 11:44
Here is the label that I came up with for this beer:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2016 at 19:40
I checked this when I got home from work tonight and I am happy to say that it looks as though fermentation is picking up pretty well. The "pace" of the "blip blip blips" coming out of the blow-off tube is quicker, and there is also a noticeable Krausen that is forming. The brew is smelling very nice, as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2016 at 08:36
what are you using to make your labels, and are you printing them yourself? I feel like this question has been asked and answered somewhere already but I can't seem to find it this morning. Maybe the pain meds messing with my brain. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2016 at 09:05
G'morning, Mike - I hope your recovery starts to smooth out soon ~

I'll say at the outset that there is probably an easier (or at least more efficient) way to do this, but the labels that I make work well enough for my purpose, and they are very easy for me to make, as well.

I owe the basic layout to Andy and his excellent label-generating website, which can be found here:

https://www.beerlabelizer.com/

A very awesome and friendly member on the forum at homebrewtalk.com named JINKS (who was also a fellow Montanan) used to make the labels for me (and others), using this Labelizer program as a base.

As you know, my German ancestors originated in Bavaria and Alsace before migrating to Ukraine for a few generations. After that, they emigrated to the USA and settled in North Dakota. JINKS knew of my affinity for my heritage, and designed a "logo" for me (found in the lower-left corner of all of my labels); we also came up with a basic conceptual theme of using a painting that (usually) recalls images that would have been relevant to my "Germans-from-Russia" and North-Dakota/Montana background, even if in a peripheral way. He designed several labels for me that were spot-on with what I was trying to express with my beer and my labels, and his help was invaluable.

Unfortunately, JINKS passed away, leaving a heck of a big pair of shoes to fill. Since then, I've sort of taught myself how to continue in the same basic style that he used. The big challenge, for me, was the font. Keeping with the German thing, I needed a font that had that German look.

Luckily, I found a way to do this. Using the "labelizer" link above, and paying the very modest 5$ fee for the customizable labels that allow you to upload an image, I create a blank label, choosing a background colour and a painting (from the internet) that has some relevance to whatever beer I am making, then save it. Depending on the size or layout of image that I use, I sometimes just create a blank label with the "strips" of colour on the top and bottom (and the border around it) and then add the image later in the step below.

Once that is done, I open the saved label "prototype" with this free photo-editing program that is very easy to use and versatile:

http://www.getpaint.net/index.html

This program allows me to first lay the "logo" onto the label; then, after saving the label, I open the label again and use the text tool to put all of the text on in the font that I prefer to use. I then save the label, print a bunch out on a laser printer, ask my wife (very nicely) to cut them out for me, and I attach them to the bottles with a glue stick. It sounds more complicated than it actually is, but if I can do it, anyone can.

Hope this helps - it works for me, and is straight-forward enough to be fairly user-friendly. Once you do a couple, it is pretty easy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2016 at 11:21
sounds pretty similar to how we used to do it back in the day. Of course the internet was just in it's infancy then so we pretty much had to do the whole thing by ourselves from scratch. After we'd printed the labels we used to spray them with some clear spray paint to make them water resistant, so we could throw the bottles in ice filled coolers without the labels bleeding and peeling. Of course NO one had a color laser printer back then so it was ink jet and would bleed really bad with any moisture, including condensation. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2016 at 12:36
Hmm. well seems the only thing on the list that I have is the 2-row. I have some flaked barley, but not flaked oats. I wonder if it would make that much of a difference
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 December 2016 at 16:47
Originally posted by pitrow pitrow wrote:

Hmm. well seems the only thing on the list that I have is the 2-row. I have some flaked barley, but not flaked oats. I wonder if it would make that much of a difference

   You can go ahead and use the flaked barley with good results, but I don't believe it will give you the mouthfeel the original poster intended.  So, if you wanted to get an idea of what the original poster intended...I'd wait until you can get flaked oats.  If you find you can't wait, or won't be able to get them right away...brew it with the flaked barley.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 December 2016 at 10:21
I'm a week into this one, and it's looking and smelling about right. The colour, as I remember from previous tastings, also seems very close to what it should be.

We'll see what we end up with, but I can't help thinking that, even if it isn't "perfect," it's going to be wonderful!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2017 at 12:11
Quote 30 December 2016 -

I'll be putting this in my refrigerator tonight in order to cold-crash over the weekend.

I plan to bottle it Monday, but it might be a day or three after that.


Quote 8 February 2017 -

Long story, but I bottled this tonight (8 February 2017). I had put it in to cold crash right before New Years, and it froze in my mini fridge. It eventually thawed, and I was finally able to bottle it this evening.

Note to self: I used the "gold" caps for this batch.

I was able to get 9 bottles from this batch; unfortunately, I somehow snagged one when I was finished, and it tipped over and broke, leaving only 8! Due to the extended cold crashing, this beer was exceptionally clear, and looked wonderful. Colour was a darkish orange, and it smelled incredible, with a hint of both the orange and coriander.

I had enough left over for a small bottling sample; it isn't carbonated yet, of course, but first impressions are that I have a winner here. Malts and hops came through well, with a good wheat character and a nice smoothness, presumably from the flaked oats. There was just a touch of spice from the coriander and the orange peel; enough to announce their presence without taking over. It seemed just slightly more bitter-tasting than I expected it to be, but I'll reserve judgment until it is finished and bottle conditioned for a couple weeks or more. It certainly tasted great all-around, and I really, really liked the aroma.

I'm pretty sure this will be one that I brew again and often, exactly as written above, but we'll see how it ends up!


Quote Later that same evening -

I should add: due to the unintended extended time cold-crashing, and the fact that it ended up being frozen for a time, I thought it might be a good idea to add just a bit of yeast when bottling. I mixed a half-packet of a generic brewing yeast in a bottle of bottled water, then added a couple of tablespoons of the result to the (1-gallon) batch in the bottling bucket. I have no idea if this was a good or bad idea; successful or unsuccessful; necessary or unnecessary, but we'll find out in a couple of weeks, I guess.

Also, I used 1 "carbonation drop" per bottle, composed of corn sugar, which is what is normally used for priming bottle-conditioned beer; next time, perhaps honey, but this works very well for now as there is no real difference.


Quote 20 February 2017 -

Great news ~

As mentioned above, I had some concerns about whether my Blauer Mond was carbonating. I'm happy to report that I cracked one open last night and gratefully heard the satisfying hiss of carbonation.

I was going to just re-cap the bottle, but then figured, why not? and poured a few drops into a cup to sample...just enough to get a taste.

Well, there were definitely carbonation bubbles dancing on my tongue, which was good; however, the really awesome thing was...it tasted great! I'll hold judgment until I'm drinking a full glass of it, but I think this may be one of my best.


Quote 27 February 2017 -

I sampled the finished beer for the first time on Saturday, 25 February 2017. I will have more to post on this later, but here are some very brief "first impressions."

The beer had a great colour that seemed a small bit darker than predicted by Brewer's Friend. I could be wrong about this, as I accidentally deleted the photo that I took of it. Carbonation was good to possibly a bit too high, in spite of my earlier worries about it. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no head and of course no head retention. This is NOT the recipe's fault. It was my fault for at least two, possibly three reasons. The first is that my temperature control was very erratic during fermentation; the wort spent time being both way too warm, and way too cold when it was inadvertently cold-crashed and even frozen for about a month. The second reason is that I bottled this at the same time as I was bottling a Peanut Butter Porter that turned out to be suffering from excess oil issues, and I am pretty certain that some of those oil issues transferred over to my bottling of this batch. The third reason? Probably something I haven't yet considered; but given that this recipe has both wheat and oats in it, there should have been a great head. Whatever happened, it was my fault, I am certain of that.

The beer smelled absolutely perfect. The malts, hops and the spices (Valencia orange peel and coriander) made such a wonderful combination that I could find no fault at all. This aroma carried into the taste - It was malty enough, bitter enough and "spicy" enough that everything seemed, to me, to be as close to perfect as I could imagine. The orange and coriander were in amazing proportion - I was concerned about having too much or not enough, but it was just right. My dad, who is a committed Bud Light disciple, raved about it and said that he would like to brew it.

In short, I am going to cautiously say that I nailed it the first time (most likely due to luck and good guidance, certainly not due to skill), and that anyone wanting to brew a 1-gallon batch of this should follow the amounts and numbers in my original post.

The next time I try one of these, I intend to have a Blue Moon for a side-by-side comparison, as well as a bottle of "Beltian White," which is brewed not too far from me, and practically just over the hill from the hamlet where The Beautiful Mrs. Tas spent her childhood and teenage years:

http://www.harvestmoonbrew.com/beltian-white-belgian-style-wheat-beer/

We'll see which of the three wins out, but I can honestly say that this Blauer Mond is a serious contender; based on memory alone, it is tied for 1st place, if not the actual winner. This judgment of course excludes the problems with the head and head retention described above; I will fix those next time.

More as it happens - I will do my best to provide a photo next time, but be warned: that wonderful, beautiful head that is to expected probably won't be there, unless something extraordinary and fortunate happens with some bottle conditioning.

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2017 at 13:05
Here's a photo from 11 March 2017:



One thing to note - because of the very-much extended cold-crashing time, this came out clearer than I think it is probably meant to be; because of that, I think that the look is not quite what it "should" be, but it is still a beautiful beer as far as I am concerned.

I compared this side-by-side to the current Blue Moon, as well as to Beltian White, from Harvest Moon Brewing Company in Belt Montana. I found it to be better - in my opinion - than the current Blue Moon, and at least as good - in my opinion - as Beltian White.

Over-all, the Beltian White edged out the Blauer Mond as the winner, because a couple of mistakes I made resulted in a lesser-quality colour and head; but other than that, I think that I did a very good job with this, and I will absolutely be making this again, looking for improvement in my methods to result in a winner.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 April 2017 at 15:07
Here is a photo from 10 April 2017 -



This photo was taken about 10 seconds after pouring, and you can see how quickly the head disappeared; other than that, it is a pretty nice-looking beer, in my opinion, and it tasted incredible.

I am guessing that my next batch will not have the head problem, but the only way to know, of course, is to brew one - hopefully soon!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2017 at 09:45
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:


This photo was taken about 10 seconds after pouring, and you can see how quickly the head disappeared; other than that, it is a pretty nice-looking beer, in my opinion, and it tasted incredible.

I am guessing that my next batch will not have the head problem, but the only way to know, of course, is to brew one - hopefully soon!


Is this from the same batch as the post above it Ron? I had that same problem with mine. The first bottle I poured had a nice head that lasted the entire time it was being drank, while the second bottle started with a nice head, it had completely disappeared by the time I walked from the kitchen to the couch.

If it's different batches I could see maybe a difference in mash temp affecting the proteins and such that good head (hehe) needs, but within the same batch I'm kind of stumped as to why one bottle would be good and the next not. The only thing I can come up with there is soap residue in a bottle or glass maybe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2017 at 09:56
Hi, Mike -

These are from the same batch...I was just a bit quicker with the camera the first time.

you could be 100% right about the possibility of the problem being with the bottles themselves. I have gotten in the habit of rinsing the bottles well after pouring, them drying and storing them; when they are ready to use, a quick brushing, rinsing and sanitizing is all that they need, but something could have happened. Every now and then, my son "helps" with the process; I can't remember if he helped this time or not, but if he did, he might not have been as careful. As you said, a little residue does indeed make a huge difference, and this is a possibility, here.

My dad was really impressed with how this beer tasted, and we both noted that this batch is almost gone. He and my mother had to make run to Billings this week, and I wrote down the ingredient list for him. If he has time, He will pick up the ingredients and try brewing this one, too - so we might see how it turns out, soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2017 at 19:46
I'm thinking this has to be something environmental. Either the bottles or the glass. It happened again tonight. My glass had nice white head that lingered until I was finished. My wife's glass had zero head. Identical glasses poured the same way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2017 at 08:37
With the wheat and oats, the head should be more than adequate - it should be glorious, in fact - so it would make sense for it to be something in the bottle or glass.

I'll be extra careful when bottling, and the results will hopefully be better.
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