I've been very busy with life outside of brewing the past few months but I've been thinking about getting back to it. One of the brews I still have around is a bit disappointing. My Chinook bitter seems to have succumbed to an infection that has caused it to be over-carbed. It tastes okay, but it's a fizzy mess. The Chinook saison, on the other hand, shows no evidence of any Chinook hop flavor but is pretty tasty. There is an oddly floral aroma with a light caramel sweetness but that is countered by a dry rusticity. I typically brew a couple saisons once the weather starts getting warm and I think it might be time. The key to a good saison in my experience is time. All of saisons ways taste a little more complex after one year. In that way, brewing saison is kind of like brewing wine. I find this interesting as the Dupont strain of yeast is rumored to have come from a wine yeast.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Sunday, September 18, 2016
The stove has been fixed for weeks, but I have not brewed a beer...until tonight. I toyed with the idea of brewing a saison, but I've been busy with work and other things and it didn't happen. A lot of fresh homegrown Chinook hops could be coming my way and still had an ample quantity from the previous year...so I brewed an English IPA this evening. Everything went pretty well. The fermentatbles included two cans of Munton's Maris Otter LME, a pound of Weyermann CaraRed malt, about six or seven ounces of torrefied wheat and five ounces of corn sugar. I used an ounce of Chinook pellets for bittering and a quarter pound of my friend Eric Keeley's homegrown Chinook hops were steeped at the end of the boil. They were last year's crop, dried and stored in the freezer. They still smelled great, not cheesy or anything. Lots of resin. I'm using American hops, but I'm calling the beer an English IPA because I used Maris Otter malt extract and I pitched Wyeast London Ale III which is a very temperature forgiving English ale yeast. The optimal fermentation range for this yeast is 64F-74F. As I type this the wort is currently about 85F. I'm hoping my Brewjacket immersion chiller will bring the temperature down to at least 74F before fermentation really starts rocking. It's really too warm to brew a "normal" ale right now. The outside temperature is in the 80s and my tap water I use for chilling is in the 70s. I suppose I should of stuck with my idea to brew a saison-type ale. Has anyone ever brewed a saison with Chinook hops? Nevermind, this guy has and it seems like it turned out pretty good. Damn.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
The stove is fixed! I repaired the receptacle that was damaged and the 10-inch burner on my electric stove is back in action. I tested it today by cooking some pinto beans for a couple hours and the burner did not quit. I plan to go to the homebrew store tomorrow to pick up ingredients for a saison.
I'm celebrating the repaired stove with a glass of Control ALT Delete, the altbier I brewed a few months ago. It was fermented in my BrewJacket with great results! This altbier is probably the cleanest beer that I have brewed. There are absolutely no off-flavors. The carbonation is a touch high, but there are no off-flavors. In my opinion, the perfect alt should be clean and bitter in the finish with a solid body but a somewhat dry finish. I think I nailed that with this beer. The aroma is slightly hop-accented, but not out of the specifics for the style. (I used Spalter hops.) Although the carbonation seems a bit too bright, I do think it accentuates the hop bitterness, which I like. On to the homebrew shop!
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Well, my red ale turned out okay, but I'm having stovetop issues. I think that all my years of brewing are taking a toll on my electric stove. I'm trying to decide if I want to go induction or just continue taking a break from the hobby. I seem to have less and less time these days. I don't even cook as much as I used to do. I blame it on being in a new job and being on the road most of the week which is a new lifestyle for me.
So, the Eastchester Red, the last beer I brewed is a little off the mark in terms of bitterness. This is no doubt due to the burner quitting on me during the boil. I'm not sure exactly at what point the burner quit, but I'm guessing I boiled my hops for 35 minutes instead of 60. That said, the beer is not a complete disaster. It is a bit of a malt-forward beer but the bitterness does balance it just enough. The use of amber malt really seems to have added the coffee character that some people describe along with a profoundly robust and deep caramel malt flavor. The other thing I've noticed with this batch is that the carbonation takes a while to integrate into the beer. I have to chill the bottles for several days in the back of fridge to the carbonation to calm down, but it is eventually perfect. The batch before this one was an alt and that is holding up quite well, although it seems a little plain, as it is not quite as bitter as I would or that malt forward. A very balanced, if not boring beer, but one with no other flaws and very clean.
Part of me would like to brew again, but I just don't trust my stove anymore, and I'm having a difficult time finding parts for it. Another part of me wants to go ahead and try induction. I should probably just fix the damn stove.