Thursday, March 10, 2011

Brew Parade and Rally

The past couple of months have been productive ones! After making the Red Rye IPA (WhyNottaWryRye), several more beers came to be in a fairly short amount of time.  First was the Oatmeal Stout.  I used two pounds of flaked oats in this one in order to taste a beer with too much oat.  I also decided to mash at a slightly lower temperature to keep the beer tasting dry, which is very unusual for the commonly sweet and smooth beer style.  It turned out great, and even has a bit of a bite from the oats in the finish.  The next time I make this beer I plan to use about half of the oats and step up on the roasted grains a bit.

Next to come was a new version of the Vanilla Cream Ale.  I used more grains in this extract version than any previous beer I have made.  I also used a little less vanilla than usual.  It finished conditioning in the bottles a couple weeks ago, and I have to say for my taste it is way too sweet.  This could be from a number of things, but I am quite certain it comes from using the Euro Blend Ale Yeast.  This yeast strain tends to leave more residual sugars in the beer; I underestimated this greatly.  All is not lost however, Mel seems to really like it and I am extremely capable of having one every now and then.

The same day as making the VCA, I made my first Cascadian Dark Ale.  It consists of a simple malt bill plus a small amount of debittered black malt to give the beer its dark color while not adding too much body, or a heavy taste.  Total amount of hops in this one is about half a pound, and after adding the dry hops to the secondary last night it smells amazing!

Finally, I made a Juniper beer.  This is a bit of a wild one.  In total there a half pound of Juniper Berries in the five gallon batch.  Four ounces in the mash, two in the boil, and two just after the boil (flame out).  The recipe is as follows:

  • 4 oz Juniper Berries, crushed
  • 2 lb flaked Rye
  • 1 lb Aromatic Malt
  • 1 lb Crystal Malt 80L
  • 4 oz flaked Wheat
  • 4 oz CaraPils
  • 4 lb extra light/pilsen Dried Malt Extract
  • 2 oz Hallertau Hops (90 min)
  • 2 oz Juniper Berries, crushed (90 min)
  • 2 oz Juniper Berries, crushed (flame out)
As if this beer isn't strange enough, I used Belgian Ardennes Ale Yeast.  Which should give the beer some interesting fruity and spicy notes.  Also, it is really really difficult to crush dried juniper berries.  So, add water and use a blender.  It looks gross and gets a very pungent smell/taste.  It is however, fun.

This Juniper beer dubbed "Jumpin' Juniper" will be bottled tomorrow.  In the spirit of this experimental beer, I will use honey to prime the bottles for conditioning.

Last week I returned from Houston, TX where I visited family and attended the American Homebrewers Association Rally at Saint Arnold's Brewery.  It was an educational and inspiring trip to the brewery.  I met a lot of homebrewers and everyone was friendly.  Instead of boring you with words, how about some pictures?

Saint Arnold Parade Car
Mash-tun, Lauter-tun, and Kettle
 Weather permitting, I will be brewing another Imperial Stout in the next week.  Any of you who read this should suggest what other beer should be made next.  I see you, I know you read this, say hi sometime.

1 comment:

Satan said...

hmm. perhaps another easy peasy IPA??