Saturday, July 02, 2011

Brew day: Steam Fog Dampfbier

A couple months ago our good friend Tricia, who lives the next street over, asked us to brew a beer for her block party. We had a tight timeframe so I figured I'd do something quick like a Hefeweizen. However, one day it struck me: this is the perfect opportunity to brew a Dampfbier! For those unaware of the style, you can read more here, but the easiest way to describe it is it's like a Hefeweizen brewed entirely with barley. I decided to tweak my Oktoberfest recipe to get a grain bill that would be fairly malty and slightly copper in color. I settled on a 70% pilsner/30% dark Munich base and added 2 oz. of Carafa III for color and just a touch of nuttiness.

As you can see above, Dorrie was more than willing to help out (and I had to post the pic to show off the shirts that Leah bought us). Our good friend Marta joined us for the day, and fellow HOPS! members Scott and Paul stopped by for a bit as well.

Being the lazy guy that I am, I decided to go with a simple infusion for this beer. This made for a pretty straightforward brew day. I mashed in at 152, did a 45-minute rest, recirculated for ten minutes, and sparged for 50 minutes (that's quicker than I usually sparge, but for some reason the mash kept getting stuck at slow flows, which is odd for an all-barley mash). I boiled for 90 minutes with a single hop addition to bring it to around 15 IBU. For some reason I only collected 4.75 gallons rather than the 5.5 I had calculated, but I was also three gravity points above my target so I diluted with a quarter gallon of bottled water to bring it to 5 gallons at my target O.G. of 1051.

One odd thing is it appeared a bit darker than I had planned; Beersmith calculated a color of 12 SRM (think the color of an Oktoberfest beer) but it appears closer to that of a dark lager. Fortunately I'm guessing most people will be drinking out of plastic Solo cups so they probably won't see the color anyway.

Now my chest freezer is occupied with my Wizard of Saaz Czech Pilsner so after aerating and pitching a vial of WLP 300 Weizen yeast (yeah, no time to make a starter) I placed the carboy in a cooler filled with ~60°F water. The beer fluctuated between 59°F and 64°F over the first few days as a got a hang of how many ice packs it took to lower temps, but for the most part it was between 62°F and 64°F for the first three days of fermentation before I let it slowly warm up to the 68°F it's at today (a week later).

So that's the story of our Dampfbier. I'm curious to finally taste it, as I've never actually tried a Dampfbier before. Will it taste similar to a Dunkelweizen? Or will the lack of ferulic acid (the dominant phenolic acid in wheat, which contributes to the clove flavors present in Weizens) due to the use of only barley malt significantly change the flavor profile? I suppose if you want to travel to Chicago's South Side you can always stop by 100th and Artesian and find out for yourself!


Post a Comment

<< Home