Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pictish Ale Final Tasting

Appearance - A dark yellow with orange highlights, a bit hazy - very different from the last tasting, previously it was a very light golden color, oxidation seems to have set in....

Aroma - Sour, A tad barnyard, apples, subtle yeastiness, floral aroma is absent this tasting, and is a bit dissapointing

Taste - Pils sweetness, a bit of honey flavor but, all at the back of the tongue, fairly dry, carbonation a bit sharp now, leaves your mouth feeling dry reminiscent of drinking a good gin

Drinkability - Well this ones nothing like it was when it was younger, its displaying its age, and the lack of hops to stabilize things, definately something that was better when it was younger (~14mos old now)

Notes/Thoughts - I was thinking of making another batch of this soon, so I thought Id taste the last bottle I happened to come across, Im very disappointed in the last bottle, it was much much better even 3mos ago, this brew has most definately seen better days, Im not sure where the barnyard/fecal aroma came from, maybe this was a bottle that was "contaminated" with brett from other things I do, but at this point Im a bit hesitant to do another full batch, as its not an everyday drinker, I think a half batch would be good unless you drink it quickly (<10mos)>

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vanilla Cream Soda

Its really hot here in Phoenix during the summers, so hot that even my dog will only scoot along in the shade when going out to relieve herself, if theres no shade, she holds it, even to the point you can tell she's hurting. Ive even seen kids frying eggs on the concrete and having pretty good success.

As a result my brewing slows down quite a bit during the summer. I mean its really hard to want to be brewing outside when its 110F+, and lately the humidity is killing me, monsoon season is here and its horrible to be outside. Fortunately Ive got a bit of homebrew to keep me going, but I am starting to run pretty low

So this week, to scratch my brewing itch, I brewed up a batch of homemade vanilla cream soda, all in the comfort of my kitchen (74F!). I don't normally drink much soda, but I love a good cream soda, it reminds me of summers as a kid running around my grandparents house getting into all kinds of trouble. Ive used various extracts in the past, but they never quite did it for me, and besides they were a bit too easy, So Ive brewed this one up from scratch from things I had around the house. Hopefully my first shot at a soda from scratch will turn out something drinkable

Shenanigans Cream Soda

5gal: FG: 1030

2.0 lbs Raw Honey
2.0 lbs Brown Sugar
0.5 tsp Molasses

8.0 oz Vanilla Extract (homemade vanilla beans + diluted everclear)

Take 1gal water, honey, sugar and molasses and bring to a boil, immediately pour into keg and mix with 4gal cool water, cool this down then add vanilla (go easy you can always add more)

Notes: I went light on honey/sugar to begin with as I'm not really sure how sweet I want this one, most extract recipes call for 3-6lbs of sugar, Id rather start light and add more to taste than have to dilute, same idea applies to vanilla, I think I could have added a bit of maltodextrin for body, but didn't have any on hand, it's currently in the keg carbing and chilling, I hope to post a pic and a review within the next few days

First Tasting - 8/2/09
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Buckwheat Braggot First Tasting

Appearance - Light brown with dark orange highlights, very clear, nice head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a thin cap and moderate lacing in the glass

Aroma - Nutty, Earthy, Strong honey aroma, with emphasis on the buckwheat honey smell, with a subtle alcoholic finish

Taste - Strong Honey flavor, a deep earthiness (leather, fresh dirt), not the typical honey flavor however, it is much richer and bolder, a bit of alcoholic/solventy in the finish indicative of a mead/braggot that is far too young and one that is fairly alcoholic (~11.5%), I wish the bitterness was a bit more assertive than it is

Mouthfeel - Amazing mouthfeel, it is extremely creamy and thick, not something you expect from a braggot that finished at 1.010, I wish some of my beers had this type of body in them!

Drinkability - I'm not the biggest fan of meads/braggots but this one I could see myself drinking quite often, and see it pairing well with a rich meat dish (Beef Burgundy etc), to date this is by far my favorite mead or braggot that I have tasted or brewed.

Notes/Thoughts - Still a bit young, alcohol is in the background but still present, definitely displays the traits of a very green mead, in my experience another 4-6mos and this will largely have faded, and will continue to get better with age. Hop bitterness is a bit restrained, while its good this way I think bumping up the bitterness another 20IBU or so would help it age better. By far at this point my favorite part of this braggot is the mouthfeel, I just cant get over how smooth and creamy it is

Brewday 3/8/2009 - Recipe & Notes

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