Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Birthday Brown Ale (a.k.a. Almost-a-Porter)

Bottled up the Birthday Brown Ale yesterday. I'm using mostly plastic bottles with this particular beer, with a few 12-ounce glass bottles for competitions. I like the plastic because it's convenient, reuseable and doesn't break. I found the pint-sized plastic bottles at Grape and Granary. I racked the contents of the primary (plastic bucket) fermenter into the bottling bucket with a half cup of priming solution (corn sugar mixed with boiled and cooled water.) I'm pretty surprised so far at how much coffee flavor got into this beer. I could see cutting down the amount of English maltster Beeston's Amber Malt (available at Grape and Granary) to half pound from one full pound if I try this recipe again. The coffee flavor seems a bit pronounced for a brown ale and the beer really is too light in color to be a stout. I suppose it's too early to make any snap judgements about this brew.

I haven't tapped the mini-keg of Leftovers Sparkling London Ale, but I don't think it'll be around after this Friday night. At about three weeks of conditioning, the 'Leftovers' has turned out pretty well, with a moderate bitterness and hop flavor, and a bit of malt accented aroma. The malt flavors are pretty simple, nothing complex (with really only two malts), but the yeast seems to add a little bit of fruitiness and earthiness.