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My try at Ron's Blauer Mond

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    Posted: 19 February 2017 at 18:16
Well I gave Ron's adaptation a try today.
http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/blauer-mond_topic4731.html

It went fairly well. I tried the brew-in-a-bag method for the first time but I screwed up and the bags I had were way too small, so I had to put half the grain in one bag and the rest in the other and let them float around so I was a little worried about them not getting enough contact with the mash water. Then I overshot the mash in temp by a few degrees and over compensated and had a hard time getting up to the right temp. It spent most of the time around 147-149 instead of the 154 I was shooting for. Beyond that it went OK. OG was 1.051 which is close enough to the target of 1.053 for me. Now we wait while it ferments.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2017 at 20:42
Fermentation is going well, though it hasn't been as vigorous as I was expecting. I'm also having trouble keeping the temps where I want them, even in the coldest closet in the house it's still running between 72 and 74 which is right at the upper end of the US-05's range. I'd prefer it in the mid- to upper- 60's. I tried it in the garage for a couple hours and it's too cold out there. :( might have to resort to the wet t-shirt trick.
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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 09:11
Hi, Mike -

I found the same "slow-but-steady" fermentation when I made this beer. I am guessing that it is simply a characteristic of the S05 yeast that is used.

My fermentation temps also ran a tad high - nothing terrible, but about the same as yours. It didn't seem to affect the beer much, if at all. Usually, I have the opposite problem: in our old house, the warmest closet is generally too cold; a space heater keeps temperatures in a good range, but it is hardly precise.

No worries, though - you and I will both manage to make good beer, especially with this recipe.

I cold-crashed mine for what turned out to be a ridiculous amount of time, just because that's how things worked out. I'd say 2 or 3 days is all that would be "necessary" (and I use that word lightly, since the procedure really isn't necessary) - not so much to clear the beer, but in order to compact the sediment and get a little more yield out of the batch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2017 at 09:58
Thanks for the confirmation Ron, everything seems to get going according to schedule, and now that the fermentation is less active the temp has dropped down to 66-68ish which is right where I was hoping for. I'll start checking the gravity next weekend to see how we're doing, then cold crash it for a couple days and get it into bottles. I can't wait to try this one, as blue moon is my wife's "go to" beer so I'm hoping it'll help get her hooked on home brewing even more. 
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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 10:11
Sounds like a good plan. I'll post more when I have time, but if yours turns out even half as good as mine did, I think you will be making it often.

Remind her that this is the "original" recipe for Blue Moon, from one of the guys that developed it in 1995. Since then, the company has unfortunately gone to using "filler" grains, extracts etc., so it really should be better, in my opinion, than the current version. The next time I try one of these, I intend to have a current 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.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2017 at 14:04
Hopefully (fingers crossed!) I'll be bottling this tonight. Here's the label I'm working with. We decided to change the name of it, since we added vanilla it didn't seem right to call this Blauer Mond anymore. Though I'm not sure Orange Crème Ale is fitting either, since it's not a cream ale. Oh well. :)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zgb06iu5q4uczpq/label_BlauerMond.png
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2017 at 09:18
So I didn't update the thread above so some of you are probably wondering about the vanilla I mentioned in my last post. Well at the urging of my wife, we put a split and scraped vanilla bean in the fermenter at day 14. The plan was to let it go a week (day 21), then bottle however, as is usual, life got in the way and I didn't get to bottle it until last night (day 24).

I ended up with about 7-3/4 bottles. Had a bit more equipment loss than I would have liked, between the heavy trub layer and spilling some, etc., but it'll do. I have a couple ideas to make less loss next time.

Final gravity was 1.012, which was the target (yay! I love it when that happens). With the slightly lower OG it worked out to 5.1% ABV instead of 5.4% but again, good enough for me. This is just for us to drink so it's not like we're entering it in a competition or anything ;-)

The sample from the hydrometer flask was quite good. A very definite vanilla nose, backed by a hint of citrus. The taste was almost backwards of that though, first you get notes of orange and some malt/wheat, followed by a big hit of vanilla on the back end. I almost think that it might be just a touch too much vanilla but we'll see once it carbs up and conditions. Right now I'm thinking that if I had been able to bottle over the weekend like I'd planned it would have been the perfect amount of vanilla. Either that or I should go with 1/2 a vanilla bean and let it go 2 weeks.

I'll let you know my final thoughts after it finishes bottle conditioning.

BTW, from what I tasted last night, Ron's Blauer Mond recipe it damn near exactly what I recall Blue Moon tasting like (it's been a while since I've had it.) Great job on that Ron, and thanks for sharing. I will certainly be making this more now.
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2017 at 07:56
I think you've got some good things going on there, Mike - I'll be looking forward to how this goes.

One thing I noticed is that this recipe tastes "better" than the current Blue Moon, at least in my opinion. I am guessing that the primary reason for this is because it is using the actual ingredients, without cutting corners, rather than filler grains, extracts and such. I am certain that this recipe is true to "the original" from 1995, and it is one that I will continue to brew many times in the future, including with your vanilla variation!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2017 at 10:49
Results?

(Actually, I know the results...however.... )
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2017 at 16:54
Well! it seems that I have forgotten to update this thread with the results.

I sampled a bottle of this almost a week ago and it came out pretty dang good. Tastes very close to the blue moon I had the weekend before, though this seems a little drier to me. Probably due to mashing at a lower temp than desired. I'll have to keep the temps up higher next time.

Surprisingly the vanilla that was pretty strong at bottling is completely gone in the finished product. Nothing on the nose or taste. Maybe I'll bump it up to two beans next time. Or just scrap it all together. Though after letting the beer warm up just a hair I was able to very faintly detect a bit of vanilla on the nose, so maybe this beer is better enjoyed warmer. Ron noted this effect with his Root Beer Stout so I will have to try that soon to see how it affects the vanilla in this.

In all it's a great beer and my thanks to Ron for doing the hard work of coming up with the recipe.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2017 at 08:34
Looks great to me - I love the way that the carbonation bubbles climb up the glass!
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