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.

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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.

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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.

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