Archive for January, 2009

The Adequate Winemaker?

Jan 31, 2009

I’ve threatened to make wine for over a year now.  My wife decided that it would be something she would like to make only recently.  Just before the winter holiday, I mentioned to her that James Spencer of Basic Brewing was putting out a winemaking DVD and that I’d like to see how winemaking was done.  I was sure that most of the equipment would already be in the house, but I felt that I needed to see the entire process before I invested $70-$110+ in a wine ingredient kit.



Dry Hopping

Jan 21, 2009

I dry hopped one of my experimental American pale ales yesterday with some of my new Centennial whole hops.  I’ve never used whole hops before so this was an experience.


Tasting The Heartbreak

Jan 10, 2009

My foreign extra stout with bourbon and oak chips has now been in the bottle over a month and seems ready to drink so I thought I’d give a review.  Heck, I even gave some away during the recent holidays.

The carbonation is fairly low but solidly carbonated.  The head is a light brown and sticks around for quite awhile.  The aroma is like coffee with hints of chocolate, oak, and bourbon.   It’s strange, but I think it could use a bit more of the bourbon.  Since I didn’t want a “bourbon bomb” I only added an ounce (by weight) of Maker’s Mark but I think that a little bit more would make it slightly more present.  Right now, I don’t know that bourbon would come to mind if I didn’t know it was there.  The oak on the other hand, is slightly present and adds a layer of flavor and aroma that is quite nice.  One might not say that it smells or tastes like wood, but there is a certain earthy, woodiness in the beer.  It’s nice.  Perhaps the beer overall, is a bit thin and could have used the extra alcohol that the recipe predicted.  Apparently my process is slightly off, because it only turned out to be 6% when the recipe predicted it would be about 7%.

Overall, I am pleased with the beer as it is a nice extra stout.  I just wish the flavor of the bourbon had come through a little bit more.  Not much, but a little.

The Adequate Brewer

Using the New All-Grain Equipment

Jan 2, 2009

Okay, well sort of…

Today, I used some of the new all-grain brewing equipment that I received this past week.  All I have to say is wow!  Okay, I’ll say more, but I have to start with, wow!

I made an American Pale Ale recipe found in BYO magazine because I wanted to make something fairly easy and I am doing a sort of comparison of American Pale Ales to see what different recipes taste like.