Sunday, November 26, 2017

It seems I'm having a bit of a problem with color lately. It's hard to brew pale beers with extract on an electric stove. The Chinook "Golden" IPA with Wyeast #3522 has turned out much darker than I thought. I realize the color could fade with age, but this is a beer that I think is going to be consumed fresh for it's hoppy flavor. That said, I will try and reserve some bottles to see how it cellars. Tasted from the fermenter the fresh Chinook hoppiness is outstanding. The nose is not hoppy, but rather shows off the yeast esters. The finish is bitter, but really more resinous, with grapefruit and blood orange. The dark candi sugar seems to have added some complexity and perhaps has contributed to the nose. A lot to say about a beer from the fermenter. It could be whole different animal in a few weeks or months. Tasting this next to the Eastchester Amber has informed me that a lot of the "Eastchester" flavor is not the hops but the Wyeast #1318 yeast. The 1318 yeast adds a lot of fruitness and interesting rose water note, while the #3522 is more banana and hard to pin down higher alcohol esters. I fermented the #3522 at the top of the optimal range around 72F-74F. I did not use my Brewjacket like I did for the Eastchester. It was a warm October so I used the jacket to keep the Eastchester at 72F. Not sure what I'll brew next. I still have some Chinook whole hops left (about four to five ounces) so I'd like to use those. Maybe something dark next time.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Chinook red came out more amber. It's a bit more Ruedrich's Red Seal than Santa's Private Reserve but I'm okay with that. There's a pleasant (not too assertive) Chinook hoppiness that mixes well with the malts and English yeast.

A couple weeks ago I brewed a Belgian-style golden ale with more of the homegrown Chinook hops. I was going for a Belgian IPA. I used about five ounces of whole Chinooks and another ounce of pellets. I have the feeling that my hop utilization might not be as good as expected and I might end up with more of Belgian pale ale or saison. I used Wyeast #3522 Belgian Ardennes which seems to throw a lot of phenolics at first but they dissipate after several weeks or months and the beer ends up fairly dry. It was an all extract batch with Briess Pilsen extract. I used two cans of the LME and two pounds of the DME. I was going to add spices, but I forgot to add them. I checked on the beer a couple days ago (about a week into fermentation) and there was still quite a bit of krausen on top. I'm thinking of racking to a secondary with some more of the Chinook hops and maybe adding a bit of lactic acid for some tartness. We'll see...