I did something today I’ve never had to do before. I had to dump one of my brews. It was a cider actually. I made it before Zenny was born, so it’s not like it hasn’t had time to age. It was very sad. It was just no good. I was rewarded though. On sorting my empties and emptying my cider, I discovered a large bottle that I thought was cider, but was too dark and to red to be cider. I chilled it to try it and see what it was.
The last bottle of my Bourbon Scotch Ale!! OMG. What a treat. And look how crystal clear it is. This cheered me up immensely. I don’t feel nearly as bad for dumping the cider now.
I was so excited about this beer. I spent time researching and formulating a recipe. I wrote out all the equations and calculated all my target numbers. Then I purchased the ingredients. They smelled so good and furthered my excitement.
Brew day came and I set up all my equipment, mashed, boiled, hopped, cooled, and pitched.
A week later i checked my masterpiece and found that almost half my beer was trub and fermentation stopped at the halfway point. It being a lager, which I’ve attempted only once before when I was much less experienced, I figured maybe this is just how it goes. It’s cold so it will ferment slower right?
No. Another week later, nothing changed. I raised the temp a few degrees. No change. Add a little corn sugar, corn sugar ferments and nothing else. Another week after that, still no change. Ahhhhh. WTF?
You know what? I’m just going to bottle the bugger and hope it will be drinkable and non explosive.
I bought ingredients for two more batches. A very black roasty stoutish beer and a very light light American ale. I’m so excited about these beers.
Some people knit, some paint, some eat, some read, some are sports fans, and others just watch tv. Me? I do beer. And not just in the I’m-gonna-drink-and-forget-life kind of way. I really like beer. Hence the beer making.
Today I went to a new pub called the Real a gastropub. They offers rotating draught beers from 24 taps along with 200+ bottled beers. Tonight I tried a oatmeal mocha stout, a doppelbock, and a bourbon barrel aged scotch ale. They were all delicious. The mocha stout was exactly like the coffee Porter I made last year. The doppelbock was strong and complex, and the Scottish ale was sweet and like nothing I’ve ever tried before. It might just be one of my new favorite beers.
As far as the pub went. Not bad. It was a little on the small size, but had a live blues band and was packed full on a Thursday night. The food was quite good and reasonably priced, although the portions were on the small side. Most food they had contained bacon which is always a plus. This included a bacon cheesecake desert. I didn’t have that though. I had a beef slider with onions, bacon, and blue cheese along with a guinness float for desert. Mmmmm.
Consensus? I am going to have to go back to sample every beer on the menu along with all foods on the menu that don’t contain fish. This might take a while though, as their drink menu changes week to week as the legs empty. 😀
I finally received some of the BYO magazines that were mailed to Maui. One of the issues was full of dark beer deliciousness. Of of the recipes was for a hot chocolate porter. It sounded really good and combined two things I love, beer and chocolate.
Yesterday was my brew day. I set up my tent, table, chair, burner and pot and laid out my grains, hops, chocolate and chili. Then I poured myself a beer and started the process. Five hours later, my beer was in to ferment, equipment cleaned, tent broken down, journal filed out, and spent grains out to fertilize. It was a successful and very satisfying brew day. The grains smelled absolutely wonderful steeping away in the pot. And the chocolate addition made it look like I was making a giant batch of fudge. I can’t wait to drink this.
In the mean time, I’ve checked in on my fermenter and found the closet had the most wonderful smell and the airlock was bubbling away happily. I think I need to clear out the Harry Potter closet so when I have beer in to ferment, I can set up the man chair in there, close the door, read, and take in the wonderful smells that is my beer.
There nothing like a classic Hefeweizen. I’ve worked my way down to a really light beer, and this is the finale. It came out quite wonderful. It tastes just as good as it looks. Feast your eyes on this…
7 lbs. Wheat malt
1.1 lbs. Pilsen
.25 oz. Hallertau (6.4% a @ 30 min)
.6 oz. Cascade (5.4% a @ 30 min)
WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast
Steep grains in 3.9 gallons of water @ 150° F for 60 minutes. Strike with hot water and bring to just over 5 gallons. bring to a boil. Add Hallertau and Cascade and boil for 30 minutes. Filter and cool wort. Pitch yeast. Use a blow off tube and ferment at 69° F for 9 days, then transfer to secondary. Leave for 10 days and bottle with 7.5 oz. corn sugar. Condition for 2weeks.