Posts Tagged ‘Brew Review’

Summer Blues

Jul 12, 2010

Just like my last post, I have the blues.  Only now it’s the middle of summer.  The beer closet is all but empty.  I brewed a summer beer and an IPA around March and I am down to just a few bottles of each.  I still have several Old Ales, Imperial Stouts, and three or four of the Number 8 aging.  I brewed a summer Saison a month ago and I have yet to bottle it.  I know, the adequate brewer has turned into the lazy and depressed brewer.

The summer beer from March was an interesting brew and one that I really am proud of because I made up the recipe once again, and once again it is good.  I used flaked wheat, oats, barley, and corn as steeping grains and all my fermentables came from extract.  The flaked grains came out of the steep looking like gruel and smelled like they would be good with a little salt and butter.  The resulting beer is super-hazy, highly carbonated, and light, much like a Belgian Wit.  I used the Wyeast French Saison yeast and gave it plenty of sugar for carbonation.  While bottling it, I started thinking of what to call it and the words Gruel Summer came to mind in the form of the song Cruel Summer by Bananarama.  Yep, that tells my age right there.  I laugh every time I think of it.

The IPA that I made in March is dark and hoppy.  I wanted to make a dark-colored IPA and little did I know at the time that the Cascadian Dark Ale or whatever they are calling this “new” style would be all the rage.  I haven’t followed many of the brewing podcasts or publications lately.  I mentioned that I am now the lazy and depressed brewer, right?  Anyway, the dark IPA idea worked great in theory, but the resulting beer is not all that good.  I used all extract, as it was too cold out and I was just plain lazy by not at least doing a partial mash.  I used a whole bunch of hops that I don’t remember and the Safale US-05 yeast.  The beer is darker than most IPAs and quite bitter with a good hop aroma, but overall it’s just not that good.  I’ve drunk most of them, but that’s typical and not indicative of flavor in my house.

So okay, I have boo-hooed enough for today.  I’ll try to post more… when I brew more.

The Adequate Lazy and Depressed Brewer

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Winter Blues

Jan 13, 2010

I’ve got the winter blues.  The holidays are over, I’m back to work and school, and it’s been below freezing here for a couple of weeks now so I just don’t feel like brewing.  The trouble is that I am running a bit low on home brew.  I have plenty of beers aging and a few styles ready to drink, but I just get nervous when I can walk several feet into the beer closet.  It’s usually packed full.

I have a plan for a dry stout with cherries that I am going to brew as a partial mash so I don’t have to go outside, but I just can’t seem to get a free day or two to prepare and brew it.

The Raspberry Blonde has carbonated but not yet to my satisfaction because the house has been cool for quite a while now.  I’ve sampled a few and they are quite good.  The clean malt flavor is supported by a touch of hop bitterness and raspberry flavor.  The aroma is nearly all raspberries with a touch of malt.  It’s also very light-colored and extremely clear.  Here is the recipe for any that may want it. 

Raspberry Blonde
OG: 1.052
FG: 1.010
IBU: 29
ABV: 5.5%

Malts/Fermentables
8 lb 14 oz Pilsner malt
1 lb 2 oz UK Pale Ale malt
4 oz US Caramel 40L
1 oz US Caramel 20L
12 oz Frozen Raspberries @ 0 min.

Hops
.75 oz US Amarillo (8.9% AA) @ 60 min.

Yeast
Wyeast #2565 Kolsch

Single Step Infusion Mash – 149 degrees F/ 60 min.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post about this beer that I was originally planning to do a partial mash but changed to a full mash the day of the brew.  I also didn’t have enough of any one malt to make a full mash.  So, the recipe seems a bit strange with unusual amounts of malt.  These specific amounts don’t need to be replicated.  Rounding the malt amounts or using all Pilsner or all UK Pale Ale malt will result in a very similar beer, in my opinion.  I would do it this way if I were to re-brew the recipe.

The Adequate Brewer

(Funky) Old 49er

Aug 18, 2009

I’ve now tried two of the Old Ale I brewed sometime back and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.  When I bottled it I used only 1/4 cup of corn sugar to prime as I feel that this kind of beer should have low carbonation and I feared the Brettanomyces would cause over-carbonation since it would be in there working away over time.  Also, the beer was very cloudy when I transferred it to the bottling bucket because I forgot the Irish Moss, or so I thought.  (more…)

All-Grain Brew Review

Jul 14, 2009

My first two all-grain batches have turned out well and the verdict is still out on a third.  There are some things I will change, but all in all, I have enjoyed all-grain brewing.

The main things I wish I could change about the process are location and chilling the wort.  I don’t have a covered patio so I am at the mercy of the unpredictable KY weather.  I am tempted to move to the garage but I’ve been spooked by stories of carbon monoxide poisoning even with the garage door open, so I may not try this.  Maybe I’ll get a carbon monoxide detector.  Chilling the wort is another thing that I need to reevaluate.  Right now I am using a big metal wash tub and lots of ice.  In the fall or early spring it works okay, but in the heat of summer it takes a very long time… and a lot of ice.  I plan to get an immersion chiller before the next batch but I need to get new hoses.  My garden hoses are in poor shape and the connections leak.  The last thing I need is garden hose water spraying into my kettle as it cools.

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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