Monday, December 10, 2012

Brewed a Wee Heavy

I brewed a Wee Heavy tonight. It's a kit beer that I've brewed before with good results, from Northern Brewer. Everything went pretty well. I followed the instructions, which called for adding six pounds of Maris Otter extract at the beginning of the boil and six pounds at 45 minutes into the 60-minute boil, no doubt to prevent excessive caramelization of the wort. (I'm a stovetop brewer so I tend to favor extract-based kits.) The kit included just one ounce of Northern Brewer hops added at the start of the boil, so this beer is definitely going to be a malt bomb. I plan to ferment it in my 75-degree kitchen (yeah, I now kinda warm) for a couple weeks and then lager it off-site at about 60-65 degrees (I'm guessing) for a couple of months. The yeast start didn't show a crazy level of activity, but it smelled good, so I pitched and off we go. I used about a quart-sized starter (probably a little more.)

I still have a flask of Wyeast 1318 in my fridge that I'd to something with, maybe another bitter, but I'm also kind of thinking of brewing my first Mild ale. I think I might be lazy and get another kit from Northern Brewer.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Merry Ale Tasted

Well, the Marcobrau Merry Ale has turned out nice, with a surprisingly earthy, minty hop aroma and a smooth minty hop-accented caramel malt body. No discernible off flavors. Rather balanced, especially in the finsh. Yes, I'm quite pleased, although I expected more bitterness. This beer sort of reminds of Rogue St. Rogue Red (the old version.) I will be handing out 22-ounce bottles of the Merry Ale to friends and other folks this holiday season. In the meantime, I've ordered a Wee Heavy kit from Northern Brewer. I've brewed this kit before with good results. I plan to do the primary ferment in my kitchen at about 73-75 degrees, then I'll move the beer to a 55-60 degree environment for secondary fermentation for about two months before bottling. Patience, patience...