Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An Ambitious Amber

Racked another beer into a Party Pig. This time it's what I'm calling Ambitious Amber. The "ambitious" in the title comes from my idea of brewing this beer after work using a 15-minute boil. I boiled a half-ounce of Chinook hops with three ounces of Crystal for 15 minutes along with three pounds of Munton's DME as well as a simple partial mash of a half-pound each of 150L crystal malt and flaked oats. This beer was fermented with a packet of Fermentis S-05 which I had handy in the fridge. The results has latent, sustained bitterness, is orange in color with a fruity nose. The whole batch (minus massive yeast sediment) was transferred to the Pig with about a third-ounce of dry Crystal pellets. So far this beer has a soft mouthfeel, with sort of fruity flavors up front (orange) with some odd, estery flavors (can't quite describe, will hopefully lager out.) The bitterness is pretty assertive for the estimated 40 IBUs. My only other concern with this batch is that Party Pig pouch is situated inside the Pig where it might block the flow. I will relax with homebrew and not worry. As I relax, I feel the need to apologize that this blog may seem boring. I'm mostly writing to record a history of my homebrewing through the years and I figure I might as well share my experiences with the rest of the world. I used to write more about other beers, but now I'm pretty much focusing on my hombrewing experiences. Maybe this is because I'm mostly drinking homebrew these days?

I'll conclude this post with one beer recommendation. I was very impressed with a beer I split with my wife (a.k.a Marcofrau) earlier this evening. I can highly recommend Avery DuganA IPA. It's quite the impressive hop bomb. It's rather strong at I ended up posting a review over at Rate Beer.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's fresh and maybe a bit "green" but I'm really liking the batch I've got in my Party Pig right now. It's a recipe inspired two of my favorite Rogue beers Rogue Brutal Bitter and American Amber. I've been referring to this batch as a Brutal Bitter clone, but it's more of a couple different Rogue Ales. I've been trying to figure out what it is about this batch that I like so much and I think it's the flavor of the Crystal hops with the malts I used, but it might be the Rogue Pacman yeast because there is a definite Rogue character to this beer. I put crystal hops in the amber that I brewed last week, so it'll be interesting to see if this next batch tastes anything like the one I'm drinking now. I have a feeling I'll be attempting another batch of my version of Brutal Bitter. Or I might have to try this kit that I've found at Homebrewer's Outpost. Either way, here's my recipe.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ambitious Amber is fermenting away in the kitchen. About three gallons of amber ale brewed on a Thursday night. I implemented a 30-minute boil (in the interest of time) adding three ounces of Crystal hop pellets at 15 minutes left in the boil and a half-ounce of Chinook at five minutes. The malt comprised three pounds of Briess Golden DME and about two-thirds of a pound of 150L Simpsons crystal malt. I intend to put this batch in a Party Pig. I ordered fresh pouches direct from Quoin earlier this evening.

My Rogue Brutal Bitter-alike has been cooling in the fridge for the past 48 hours. I tapped it awhile ago and was mostly pleased with the results. It's not quite as bitter or hoppy as I hoped, but it's a tasty draft bitter and the pour is fantastic. I've ordered a "Pig Pen" (insulated cooler) for the Party Pig and it shall travel...maybe to you!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Brutal Bitter Clone Pigged

Ended up "pigging" the Brutal Bitter-alike and thought I might yield a few extra bottles, but with all the hops (including those from the previous batch since I racked on top of slurry) I only yielded enough to fill the Party Pig. My last experience with the Pig wasn't so good. The pouch didn't activate. It took a couple tries, but this time I actually heard the pouch activate as I pressurized the Pig with the included hand pump.

I enjoyed a pint (or two) of this beer while packaging and it was quite delicious. There's an assertive bitterness, but a complex malt character that lets the yeast express itself. This is the second batch I've made with the Rogue Pacman yeast and it tasted more Rogue-like than the first.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Waiting to package the Rogue Brutal Bitter-alike because I'm not sure what I want to do with it. I'm inclined to bottle it, but I don't have enough bottles. I do have a Party Pig (and a pouch) but I don't trust the pouch as I don't know how old it is and I've found that old pouches don't always activate. I wish Party Pigs weren't such a pain in the ass. Party Pig fans please console me. I'd like to use the Pig with this beer, but the last time I "pigged" a beer I ended up having to bottle it because it was way over-carbonated. Filling bottles takes time, but it's pretty simple. I'm at 16 days in the primary (glass) which is really no big deal. I think I'm going to go with bottles on this one, but I'm open to advice. Feel free to comment below.