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#121 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 12:24 PM

Ok, first iteration is in the keg and it's good.   Obviously it's a little yeasty, uncarbed and 65F, but it's damned close.  The Wy2565 is definitely the way to go.  It's got that sweet fruitiness from the warmer kolsch yeast even though it's actually pretty dry.  Went from 1.046 down to 1.005.  Now the 46 is my fault for bad efficiency, but I'd hoped it would stop about 1.008.  Hops are pretty close.  Bitterness is right there, but it needs more of a noble aroma and a touch more flavor.  The amount of wheat seems about right.  I don't notice any Bandaid taste, either.

 

Getting ready to head to the store and get the stuff to brew the next one.  Last time was 9 lb pale, 2 lbs wheat malt and 6 oz Carahelles. I'm going to up the Carahelles to 8 oz to get a bit more color and residual sweetness.  One ounce of Sterling at 30 minutes will stay, but I'm going to increase the 5 minute addition of Liberty from 1/2 oz to a full ounce.

 

Tall glass is the Spotted, and mine is the short glass.

ilEadwJ.jpg



#122 matt6150

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:19 PM

Nice work.
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#123 djinkc

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:26 PM

It's nice to see you brewing again

 

:cheers:


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#124 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 06:56 AM

Excellent work. I looked at the pic and thought the short glass was OJ. :P Even though the beer seems simple, it's still tough to determine what's in it so the best you can do is get close and be happy with a beer that's in the spirit of the original. You may be playing with the recipe for a couple more batches but it sounds like your zeroing in on it. Cheers.

#125 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 08:23 AM

Excellent work. I looked at the pic and thought the short glass was OJ. ...

LOL, that glass had so much yeast in it that by the time I'd finished "testing" it, there was a visible layer at the bottom.



#126 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 07:20 AM

Now that it's carbed and conditioned, I can't really tell the one I made apart from the NG version in cans. As I said before, mine could use a touch more hops, and I've got one like in the fermenter now, but they're close enough as is that I'd need to look to see which one I was drinking.

So mission successful on the first try, I guess. I think that the only thing this beer really has going on is the kolsch yeast fermented warm, and if you get that you're basically automatically there.

Of course, now I'm getting a little bit bored with it...

#127 ER Pemberton

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 07:38 AM

Now that it's carbed and conditioned, I can't really tell the one I made apart from the NG version in cans. As I said before, mine could use a touch more hops, and I've got one like in the fermenter now, but they're close enough as is that I'd need to look to see which one I was drinking.

So mission successful on the first try, I guess. I think that the only thing this beer really has going on is the kolsch yeast fermented warm, and if you get that you're basically automatically there.

Of course, now I'm getting a little bit bored with it...

With some amount of experience drinking beer, carefully tasting beer and also making beer, getting into the zip code can be relatively straightforward and it can be very fun and rewarding too. As a newbie, I might look at a beer (say, an Oktoberfest with some color to it) and say to myself, "Oh, I can do that. I need some 2-row and some crystal 60 and just go easy on the hops, etc". Of course I would be wrong and you need to know a little more about various styles and ingredients to do that. I'm a fan of European lagers so I use a lot of pilsner, Vienna, Munich and Carafa and almost NO crystal malt and the beers are so much better. For Spotted Cow, it's possible that any number of things are in there to get the desired effect but it's possible for you to skip one ingredient, use another and still land in the zip code. That's a nice job for someone who has been away from the hobby for awhile. Also, I agree on the yeast. Yeast lends a lot more character to a beer than some people think. How warm did you ferment it?

#128 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 07:52 AM

Freezer was set for 68F, but I was only able to chill to 74F. So the first day was a ramo down.

#129 ER Pemberton

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 08:05 AM

Freezer was set for 68F, but I was only able to chill to 74F. So the first day was a ramo down.

The kolsch yeast 2565 has a low fermentation temp (58° maybe?) so I have been in the habit of using it on the low end (maybe 60-62°) so I get that character but there is less of it. Not sure that I have used it in the high 60s but it would be a sure way to get more of that character that Spotted Cow has. Sounds like you hit a home run, George. :frank:

#130 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 04:59 PM

Guess which is which?

 

22090134_1132116986890094_22856041602876



#131 miccullen

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 05:47 PM

yours on the left in the back


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#132 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 05:49 PM

yours on the left in the back

You only guessed because it's more than 12 ounces. :P



#133 miccullen

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 05:53 PM

You only guessed because it's more than 12 ounces. :P

lol


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#134 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 03:46 PM

Damn keg blew this afternoon. :(

Good thing I have another in the fermenter to transfer tomorrow.

#135 ER Pemberton

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 04:04 PM

Wow. Way to drain it George!

#136 neddles

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 02:33 PM

Wonky formatting as I copied and pasted from an email from Craft Beer and Brewing. Anyhow some good info here WRT the recipe which we talked about at length in this thread.

 

 

The History of Spotted Cow

The inspiration for the best-selling beer in Wisconsin.

Spotted Cow is ubiquitous in Wisconsin and the stuff of legend for beer fans who live out of state. Immediately recognizable by its friendly green-trimmed label with a jumping cow, the flagship beer from New Glarus Brewing Co. is a lot of things, including just a pleasure to drink. 

But, what is it exactly? Dan Carey, the brewmaster of New Glarus and creator of the beer, has been asked this countless times over the brewery’s 25-year history, and honestly, he would like people to stop trying to assign labels to it. 

“On the one hand, I have empathy for the question; on the other hand, it’s moderately annoying because it doesn’t matter,” he says. “It’s like trying to categorize music. There’s a human need for categorizing, and that’s a human weakness. We never imagined it as a category, and I know that homebrew judges have an issue with that.”

 

As a brewer, Carey spent time working for larger breweries. When he and his wife, Deb, started New Glarus Brewing Co., he wanted to break away from that mentality and try something different. That’s certainly evident in the multitude of beers that the brewery turns out after they are wood-aged, blended with fruit, and expertly soured. Some people call Spotted Cow a cream ale, but it doesn’t fit into those style guidelines because it’s unfiltered, Carey says. At the brewery, they call it a farmhouse ale, but so long as people drink it, they don’t much mind what you call it. 

The farmhouse plays a role in the overall history of the beer. While touring an open-air museum and walking around farmhouses that had been re-created from various periods of Wisconsin’s history and representing various immigrants, Carey stopped into the German farmhouse and discovered beer bubbling on the stove, covered in cheesecloth. It got him thinking about the 1850s and the immigrants who came from Germany and their likely desire for beer. At the time, he says, lagers and Pilsners were becoming vogue, but it was more likely those immigrants were making ale. And even if it was top-fermented, it was almost certainly unfiltered. If they were savvy farmers, they might have been able to get shipments of Saaz hops. 

So he went to work to create something that those farmers would have enjoyed. He never imagined that it would become a flagship beer. But they started making it, and people started drinking it, so they made more and people drank more. That continues to today. When Carey first made Spotted Cow, the beer featured about 10 percent corn in the grain bill as “a nod to what the farmers might have used. And I live in Wisconsin, and we’re surrounded by corn.” Knowing it can sometimes be a controversial ingredient in beer, he offers this: “If Germany had been chest deep in corn crops, corn would have been part of the Reinheitsgebot.” 

 

 

Still, a few years back, when worries about GMOs started creeping up, Carey re-evaluated the recipe. Since he couldn’t guarantee that GMO corn wasn’t blended with the natural product, he took the recipe all malt. The only thing they did to alert people was take a reference to corn off the label copy. Very few people noticed. This may be due in part to the fact that the brewery moved to a low-protein malt, since corn, overall, dilutes the protein of the mash. So, making this swap kept the beer within its existing parameters. 

As for what makes up Spotted Cow, it’s a blend of Pilsner malt, white wheat, and caramel malt. The water comes from a well on the brewery property and has a hard character to it. Hops are the finest Saaz he can get during selection each year in Europe, and it’s fermented with a German ale yeast. 

Carey notices “a subtle fruitiness of peach, orange, apricot, and banana. It’s mildly sweet with a somewhat sour twang at the end. And, of course, it has to have a mild haze. Not too much haze, but a good consistent one. Most Americans are not comfortable with haze, you know.”

At 5.1 percent ABV, it’s “eminently quaffable.” And while beer fans and nerds might go nuts for the beer because of its limited footprint or just because of its place in the craft-beer Hall of Fame, it’s the drinking part and that it’s approachable for every beer drinker, that makes Carey most proud. 

He remembers early on encountering farmers and residents who would drink only lager by brand, so they couldn’t understand what he was doing. As the beer caught on, he still had to fight stereotypes, both because of the haze and the style. One customer, Carey says, would drink the beer when he was in the mood for something dark. Still, they keep coming back, and these days you’re hard-pressed to find a place that doesn’t serve it, and it’s been the best-selling beer in the state—across all categories, not just craft—for the past several years. 

“The reason we’re successful is that normal people drink our beer,” he says. “We don’t push it; we’re pulled by our customers. They like it.”

Maybe customers are pulled by it in part because it reminds them of where they are and what once was. The name for the beer came after the Careys were traveling in England and noticed fields and fields of sheep in the farmlands they were visiting. It reminded Deb of the Holstein cows back at home, and she remarked that it’d be funny to have a cow on a beer label and maybe even name a beer after the animal’s appearance. The rest, as they say, is history. 


And while some might love the name—as is evident from all the logo merchandise that goes flying off the shelves daily at the brewery’s gift shop, Carey remembers one visit, years ago, from a retired beer salesman. This gentleman had worked for a major beer company and was hopping mad. 

“He came in asking what the hell we were doing, saying beers are supposed to have a real name, like Coors, and that he couldn’t figure out what our name meant,” says Carey. “This was 1995 or 1996, and that thought reflected the times, but we were on our own trail and it really wasn’t easy at first."

The history books have already been written, and this beer, no matter what people want to call it, is firmly in the memory of all beer drinkers—all thanks to a creative brewer who looked to the past for inspiration and then forward in search of customers. “I’m brewing a beer that is not loud,” he says, “but is beautiful in its subtlety.”

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#137 neddles

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 02:41 PM

 

 

1.045

IBU 18-20 (max.)

 

XX% 2-row

15-20% Wheat malt

6-8oz of something like Carahell or other very light crystal

Mash to finish ~1.007-10

 

Bittering hop of your choice, maybe something noble/American noble derivative

1/2oz. of American noble of choice or a blend @15 (crystal/sterling/liberty etc)

1/2oz.of the same thing again @5 

 

WY2565

 

Well I was close. Sub in pils for 2-row and Saaz as your noble hop and swing away.


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#138 ER Pemberton

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 03:01 PM

Last winter we were up in Cedarburg on our way for a long weekend in Oshkosh.  We stopped at a place for lunch (they had Hofbrau Original on tap so I drank that) and then another bar afterwards and me, my wife and my daughter all had Spotted Cow.  My wife likes it and my daughter had never had it but she tried it and liked it.  I officially concluded at that bar that I don't really care for Spotted Cow.  I had already determined that the beer wasn't really my thing but I hadn't had it in awhile.  When I bust through the cheddar curtain for New Glarus, I usually pick up Two Women and Moon Man, sometimes Totally Naked and other times Staghorn Festbier.  I like beers made with 2565 and I'm a fan of Kolsch in general (I'm not saying SC is a kolsch but the 2565 is distinct) but there is something I don't like in the flavor.  Maybe they ferment it too warm and the 2565 is producing more esters or something?  It seems like a beer I would like but it's not really my thing.  




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