Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Looking back at the Sunshine and talking about blood oranges and stout

Wow. My first batch of Liquid Sunshine, which I later brewed as Japanese Sunshine back in July, is holding up quite well. There's an orange-y-citrus nose. (Very sunny.) It has a nice clear gold color to it and well, tastes fantastic. Lightly citrus fruity with a definite wheat flavor. Finish is perfectly balanced, perhaps a touch sweet (to be expected after nine months!) I'm quite pleased at how well my summer brews hold up. It was nice brew to accompany a bottling session the other day. I bottled the Blood Orange IPA and it's well, very hoppy! There's a pronounced fruity flavor (citrus, guava, mango, name it, it's in there.) I'm eager for this beer to be carbonated so I can start enjoying it's wonderful hoppiness. The only thing I would change is I'd like to try using more blood orange juice and even more zest; just more orange flavor, I guess. Blood oranges have a real interesting flavor and I'm kind of missing it in this beer. I'm looking for that grapefruit tartness and bitterness that comes from a good blood orange. Not entirely sure if I need to use more juice or more zest or both.

I'm enjoying a Bell's Amber Ale (well, a few of them) this evening and I'm thinking I package up the dry stout I brewed early last week. It's had a few days of diacetyl rest and should be ready to go, especially noting that I used the Fermentis S-04, which seems to ferment rather quickly. I'm looking forward to a roast toasty stout for St. Patrick's Day quaffing. Yes, I brewed a dry stout 13 days ago and it fermented rather quickly. Looking back at my notes I see that I pitched a combination of the S-04 and Wyeast 1318 slurry that had been sitting in my fridge for at least a couple of months. Fermentation was very active for about 36 hours. I used a blow off tube instead of an airlock for the few days of fermentation. I used a full pound of roasted barley in addition to a half pound of black malt in the stout, so I'm expecting some burnt roasted malt flavor and substantial bitterness. It might end up being a good stout for black and tans. (The tan ideally cutting the burnt grain bitterness.) As I said earlier, I hope to package this beer soon. It will go into two Party Pigs, which always seem to deliver a nice creamy pint of stout.