Thursday, September 15, 2005
Santa Needs Helpers
It's Thursday night, it's raining and I just finished up bottling a batch of strong brew. I found a use for my vial of White Labs 400 (Wit) and seventeen days ago I brewed a partial mash recipe with five kinds of grain, fortified with a 3.3 pound can of Munton's Light Malt Extract. I used the rest of my German hops; Perle and Spalt, along with some spices such as cardamom, sweet orange peel and coriander. I'm calling it Santa's Little Helper. What I've got so far is a strong light brown ale with a big caramel malt presence, some complex esters and phenols, along with a fairly bitter finish -- the makings of a fairly complex brew. The esters are completely different that what I thought I'd get; mostly caramel, a bit of sugary-vanilla and a hint of leather in the nose. The tartness that I expected is also missing, perhaps due to the elevated fermentation temps of around 83-85 degrees F. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with batch so far. I'll be posting the recipe when I get a chance, but for now it's sleepy time. I love homebrewing, but bottling can be exhausting.