Archive for November, 2008

Farmhouse Ales Part II

Nov 23, 2008

Last night I tasted the farmhouse ale that I brewed back in October and as it is obviously not ready, I can’t really comment.  Okay, so I can comment all I want.  It is “wheaty”, earthy, and slightly fruity.  The fruit in question here is banana.  The earthy aroma and flavor, I suppose is coming from the hops.  It is very light in color and reasonably clear at this point.  Some carbonation still needs to be achieved, but it should be plenty bubbly when all is done.  All of this seems a bit disconnected and green at this point but in another month, the flavors should meld together.

The malt bill is mostly Pilsener malt and flaked wheat, with a bit of Munich and CaraMunich to lend a touch of biscuit and slight toast flavor.  I added a load (12 oz) of Turbinado sugar at the end to dry it out and create the light mouth-feel that I planned as well as add a slight rum flavor.  I ended up using Sterling hops for the bittering addition and French Strisselspalt for the flavor and aroma additions.

I need a name for this batch if it turns out to be as pleasant as I hope.  Something quiet and peaceful. 

The Adequate Brewer

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Heartbreak Motor Oil

Nov 11, 2008

I just brewed a Foreign Extra Stout to which I plan to add oak chips and a small amount of bourbon.  Think Guiness but with a hint of bourbon and oak.  And I do mean hint of bourbon and oak.  I plan to add only an ounce of each into the fermenter after fermentation has ended.  I think the name fits too.  It is a reference from a Warren Zevon song.  I felt that something big, black and strong,  appropriate for drowning one’s sorrows over the winter months deserved such a name.

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Big Mini Mash

Nov 11, 2008

I have figured out, I think that I can do partial or mini mashes in my bottling bucket.  Before this past weekend, I had been using a 2 gallon cooler with a giant mesh bag.  I have read that bottling buckets will work but that they lose heat quickly.  This turned out to not be the case for me.  My bucket/mash tun with six pounds of grain, only lost one degree in an hour.  I think my cooler/mash tun lost that as well. 

What this all means is I can now mash more grains and use less dry malt extract (DME).  This gives me more flexibility and less cost.  I can basically now brew all-grain beer and use no DME at all.  I am limited only by my means to heat mash water.  I typically heat 1.5 quarts of mash water per pound of grain and I have a 4 gallon pot (effectively able to heat 3.5 gallons) so I can mash in the 8-9 pounds of grain range.  This is all very exciting.

Now the bad news.  To brew like this I need to be able to brew outside using my big kettle and propane burner.  It’s now November and it’s getting cold.  I may have another weekend or two to brew outside, but that will be about it for this year.  Come on Springtime!

The Adequate Brewer