Monday, January 31, 2011

Strisselspalt Alt Bottled

Bottled the Alt last night after three weeks of cold conditioning down to near freezing. Filled 22 22-ounce bottles and two 12-ounce stubbies. I didn't add any additional yeast, so hopefully it's still viable. I guess I'll find out in a week or so when I pop the top off one of the bottles. The flat beer out of the secondary fermenter tasted pretty good. I poured the hydrometer sample into my Frankenheim cartridge (tumbler.) The beer was light brown to amber and yeasty hazy (of course.) No real evidence of dry hopping. Aroma was neutral. Touch of chocolate in the aroma. The beer is real smooth with caramel malt flavors balanced by a little bit of chocolate malt and a dusty hop bitterness. Finish is dry. No real noticeable hop flavor, but malt is balanced by a very light anise-like flavor, no doubt from the Strisselspalt hops. God willing this beer will be quite good once it's carbonated. I saved the yeast and I'm thinking of brewing another alt or slight bigger, hoppier one, but I might keep it secret....

Sunday, January 09, 2011

German Brown (Alt) Ale Bottled

Racked the German brown ale (a.k.a. Altbier) this evening and it was a bit stinky. Yes, stinky...but I'm not worried because I've read that the yeast I used (Wyeast 1010) can be that way initially. It's a slightly sulphur-like smell that I'm told will go away with some lagering and it is lagering that I intend to do. I'm knocking around the idea of moving the wort (heavy five-gallon glass carboy) to another location (friend's house) where the temps are considerably cooler than they are in my kitchen. The temperature in this area seems to fluctuate a bit but stays cooler than 55 and doesn't get colder than 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, I'm wondering if anybody out there has ever moved fermenting beer to another location to lager and how it worked it out. I'm otherwise fairly pleased with how the batch tastes so far. There is a heavy caramel; almost roast coffee with cream note in the beer which I find interesting and which I'm sure is due to the dehusked Carafa I malt.

As I'm writing this I'm sipping on a sort of spiced wheat beer I made back in July. It is spiced with orange peel, lemon peel, coriander and about three tablespoons of black pepper. I also used the Safbrew T-58 yeast which is supposed to add some spiciness, but I think that the yeast esters are blown away by the black pepper.For that matter, the lemon and orange seems to be blown away by the black pepper at this point, too. Although, upon reflection the orange peel is coming through pretty good up front. If I were to brew this recipe again I probably wouldn't change too much accept maybe add even more orange peel.

Of course, as always, I'm looking forward to the next batch. I had planned on "pigging" the Alt that I have in the secondary right now but I might just bottle it so I can have the Party Pigs ready for an all Fuggles bitter.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

It's Time to Brew an Alt

Brewed a light brown ale yesterday that I hope resembles an Alt. I'm using Weyermann malts for the first time along with Briess extracts, Strisselspalt (instead of Spalt) and Wyeast 1010 instead of the recommended 1007. Fermenting rather warm at the high end of the range for the yeast, at 73 degrees. Perhaps this is why the krausen blew the fermenter lid earlier this evening. I cleaned it up and put it back on the bucket with a sanitized airlock but an hour or two later the lid blew again. I've finally given up and the lid is resting on top of the bucket with krausen oozing out of the top. I'm not happy about this, but I'm not sure what else to do. I've posted the details of the recipe here.