Monday, February 24, 2020

This poor little neglected blog....a lot has happend since November 2019. The black ale I brewed back in September has turned out pretty good except for being over-carbonated. No gushing bottles, but it is very carbonated. This of course lends itself to a lasting rocky head. One just needs to be patient though as to not swallow a bunch of gas. I haven't opened a bottle of Belgian-style black ale in months. I've dubbed it Porter des Ardennes. It is deep brown and quite like a Batlic porter brewed with a Belgian yeast. My tasting notes:
Whoa...lots of carbonation...but not a gusher...just think I added too much priming sugar. Need to measure on the scale and hot the measuring cup/glass. Sustained head. Deep dark brown color. Candi sugar aroma with raisins, plums and dark chocolate. Very little discernable hop nose. A bit prickly on the tongue due to the high level of carbonation. Sweet up front with baker's chocolate bitterness and black rum but finishes long with a bit winey and tart with a bit of bitterness that fades to candi sugar and toffee. Hard to believe it's been six months in the bottle.
 I haven't tasted the Biere de Garde in quite awhile, that will likley happend another night. In the meantime, I need to update this blog with the details of three other batches of beer: the red ale that I brewed for Christmas, another Porter and a Grodziskie. The red ale is almost gone. I gave away a few bottles but stopped after noticing a possible infection (yes, gushing bottles.) I haven't been able to tell if the beer is infected but there is a sort of rose water character that my wife likes but that I think is a sign of infection. The beer is otherwise drinkable and fairly tasty once it settles down. Following the red ale I brewed a Brewer's Best Robust Porter kit in which I substituted the Hallertau finishing hops for Chinook. Following that I brewed a Grodziskie (also known as a Gratzer), an ale made with entirely oak smoked wheat malt. I used the Hallertauer hops from the Brewer's Best kit for bittering this beer and some Styrian Goldings at the end of the boil for finishing. The Grodziskie is still fermenting but will likely get bottled in the next day or two. Both the Porter and Grodziskie were fermented in my Brewjacket Immersion Pro with the temperature set in the 60s. I pitched Nottingham dry yeast for the Porter and Safale K-97 for the Grodziskie. The Nottingham fermented at 66 to start and I raised it to 70 after the first four days. The K-97 started at 64 and I let it rise to 68 after the first five days. It'll be 10 days in the fermenter in another day. I'm a bit worried about using too much gypsum in the Grodziskie but want the beer to have a bracing bitterness. We'll see how it turns out.

Here's the three-gallon recipe for the Grodziskie: