24 November 2011

What's Brewing @ Troegs T2 (Munich Helles & Cocoa Porter)—Upcoming Scratch Beers

Troegs13Oct 2011 014

Just a quick update from John Trogner on what the brothers have been brewing at the new Troegs T2 Hershey Facility.  This update from this Thanksgiving morning's TroegsBlog entry:

Harrisburg operations are complete. The packaging line is coming together in its new home and the T1 fermenters are filling the new cellars. T2 is crawling with German welders, engineers, and fabricators, as well as a ton of local electricians, riggers, welders, and assembly guys. We have a mountain of new equipment and processes to learn, but we’re still finding time to brew. To date we’ve made 500 bbls of Hopback, 600 bbls of Troegenator and 300 bbls of Pale Ale, and close to 1000 bbls of Mad Elf. One new thing we’re all excited to use is the 15 bbl Scratch brewhouse. So far we’ve brewed 3 small batches: Munich Helles, a small batch of Hopback to feed our ale yeast, and Cocoa Porter.

We christened it with what was meant to be a Munich Helles lager in honor of our German friends from BrauKon. Due to increased mash efficiency and higher boil-off than anticipated, our starting gravity was much higher than a traditional Helles. We started with a base of Bohemian floor-malted pilsner malt and added a bit of Munich malt for character giving us a post-boil gravity in the 16-17 Plato range. Hersbrucker hops, known for their pleasant, grassy/floral aroma, were used in 3 additions with a target of around 20 IBUs. We fermented with our house lager yeast and it’s currently in conditioning. Look for our Helles Bock in the coming weeks.

Next up was an easy small batch of Hopback for yeast propagation. Not much to say. It was Hopback and we used it to grow up a pitch for a 300 bbl brew.

Most recently, we took what we learned with our chocolate stout and put it to use in a cocoa porter. Starting with a good look at the Dead Reckoning and Scratch #27 recipes, we lowered the starting gravity a bit and reigned in the “burnt” character by cutting the black malt and reducing the roasted barley. The addition of a bit of lactose to the boil rounds out the mouthfeel a touch and brings a little sweetness to the table. We used a blend of black and red cocoa powders this time around, mostly out of curiosity. If you remember, cocoa nibs were used in the hopback and conditioning tanks in our previous chocolate excursions. We anticipated some bitterness from the cocoa powder so reduced the hops to around 30 IBUs of Warrior and Cluster in 3 additions. Yesterday we racked this from the fermenter to a conditioning tank where it will sit on a pile of cocoa nibs and vanilla beans. We’ll pull samples every week or so until we’re happy with the chocolate character then it will be on it’s way to you.

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