Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mmm....homegrown hops.

Well, what I've just brewed is probably a very dark bitter that will almost be a brown ale. It will be hoppy, with 2.5 ounces of Chinook hops for the boil and two more steeped, even though I only boiled for 35 minutes. The hops were dried in mesh produce bags for about two weeks after picking at my friend Eric's house. I have three more bags of these hops. I have no idea what the alpha acid or beta acid of these hops are since they were homegrown. My malt bill for batch was one pound of Thomas & Fawcett 60L Crystal, one pound of Weyermann Munich malt; a half-pound of Thomas &Fawcett Amber and 30L Crystal and four ounces of Weyermann CaraAroma. The base malt was a three-pound bag of Munton & Fison dry light malt extract. I chose Wyeast #1318 for my yeast. This yeast is a top cropper so if I'm ambitious I'll scoop some krausen out of the bucket in a two or three days to use for the next batch. I just used one packet and no starter since the gravity was 1.042 which is on the low side.  I had hoped for an ordinary bitter, but my utilization was much better than expected, so I would like to brew an ordinary or standard bitter next.

So long Summer...

I wistfully bottled up the session saison last night. I filled 19 22s and three Sierra Nevada bombers. It was a long primary and secondary ferment on this one. I lost track of the calendar due to so much going on and just life in general. The bottling session went very smoothly and the beer tastes good so far. My tasting notes:
Moderately phenolic nose with melon and floral scent. Very light and dry with a very slightly viscous body. Touch marzipan sweetness, dry finish just shy of being sweet. Not bitter at all, but some peppery spice. Despite it's low ABV, I'd like to cellar this beer until next summer.