Sunday, September 25, 2011

Toasty English Pale - Fall Restocking

There isn't too much of a why or how I'm brewing up this beer, basically I need to replenish my stocks for the fall and winter. For the first time in a long time I almost, didn't have a keg ready for each of my taps! So I thought what is a quick turn around very drinkable beer? Well I'd be hard pressed to think of something that hits the spot better this time of year than a nicely balanced English Pale.

I took a couple slightly different approaches this yeas versus what Ive done in the past. I left out the dark crystal malts, well sort of, and changed up my yeast selection. I also decided to eliminate any late flavor hopping and go solely for bitterness and aroma, I may also dry hop in the keg. I also purposely kept the OG fairly low and mashed high. I did this to keep the alcohol down a bit so this can be a sessionable beer to enjoy as the weather cools.

In many of my EPA's I like to use C120, its hard to beat the nice way it meshes with earthy hops and English yeast. This year though I decided I wanted to make it a tad darker and use a new malt for me. Coffee Malt. It supposedly adds a nice coffee flavor, although from reading experiences from it, Id bet that its not so much coffee like and more toasty. I mean really how many people can pick out 1/4lb of a toasted malt in a stout? Tasting the wort after the brewday I'm thinking its really more of a toasted flavor. I did add special roast to this beer as well, I really like the bit of toffee and sourdough that it adds to any beer.

For whatever reason I also decided to switch up my yeast selection on this beer as well. I decided that I didn't really want the Fuller's character in this beer and was going back and forth between a couple yeasts before deciding on Thames Valley. I'm hoping to use this one a couple times in the near future so I hope I chose well.

Toasty English Pale

Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
7.0Marris Otter
0.5Coffee Kiln Malt
0.5Special Roast
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Fuggles (6.0%)60
1.0Fuggles (6.0%)5
1.0Fuggles (6.0%)KO <170F
Mash Schedule
170F1.9qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastThames Valley WY1275
86% effIBU22
7gal BoilFG

Review - 12/3/2011 - Notes & Thoughts

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Corn Kolsch - Review

Appearance - Pale Golden yellow, extremely clear (pic doesn't do it justice, I was shuffling around kegs and stirred up the lees before I pulled the pint) One to two finger head that dissipates to leave nice amounts of lacing.

Aroma - There are hints of corn in the nose, but strangely the hops dominate the aroma!?! Which is weird given I didn't add any late hops, only a bittering addition. Some mild fruity esters round out the aroma.

Taste - Nice sweetness from the corn along with that bready sweetnes that pilsner malt is great for. Slightly more bitter than I would like a Kolsch to be, and a bit less fruity than I would like. Unfortunately its more lager-like than Kolsch like.

Drinkablilty - Well, I had a couple people over the day I tapped the keg and I'm about to pull the last pint off it soon, so its pretty drinkable. Very smooth, corn sweetness up front with a lingering hoppy bite leaves you wanting more.

Overall - A good beer, not very Kolsch-like, but very much like a lager. I guess that bodes well for the lager version of the beer! Its strange to me how much the hops came through in the beer even with just a bittering addition.

Monday, September 12, 2011

D'Artagnan Perry - Oaked Version Review

Appearance - Dark Gold, superb clarity. No head formation

Aroma - Hints at its sweetness, an appley/pear aroma that really hits you in the face, with a wisp of oakiness in the finish

Taste - Moderately sweet, fairly strong apple/pear flavor. I could easily pass it off as either. A bit of acid in the finish along with subtle oak tannins cutting the sweetness. It seems to have a very low level cellar-like quality that makes me think there may be a brett presence in the cider.

Mouthfeel - Moderately full, even with next to no carbonation. This is from all those unfermentable sugars in pears and it really makes the mouthfeel quite silky.

Drinkability - Great first attempt at a perry. Both versions are quite different from one another (other one is very fizzy) Each definitely has a different time and place. This version is great with a nice dinner or as a sipper on its own

Overall - Somehow this perry could be considered the best apple cider Ive ever brewed! I really like the sweetness of the pears and how the subtle oak perfectly balances. The low carbonation fits the flavor profile very well, and I'm very interested in seeing how this one progress, provided there is really brett in there

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wandering, Translating, and Drinking.......

The posts have been few and far between this summer. Somehow I think it's gotten hotter here in the Desert this year, and it can be tricky to brew when your tap water is pushing 85F! Let alone wanting to deal with standing around a propane burner when its 115F. Luckily I was traveling a lot for work and pleasure this summer AND had managed to stock up on beer during the spring.

Unfortunately I'm running really low on homebrew (well at least on tap!) and I need to get out and brew. In all my wanderings this summer I had a chance to try a myriad of different brewpubs and interesting takes on different styles. All in all it was a good experience and all the different brewpubs I tried really help to get the creative juices flowing again. I cant recall all the names any longer but there were quite a few (Chicago, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Pinedale WY, Salt Lake City, Lihue HI, Flagstaff, Cheyenne, Daytona Beach, Waimea HI, Los Angeles, Layton) . What can I say I'm a sucker for a brewpub!

While I may not have done much brewing, or drinking of my own stuff (yet it all disappeared) I was somewhat busy with brewing related activities. Ive been working on a translation of a brewing text from the late 1700's. Admittedly its going a tad slow. But I'm hoping to step up the translation processes a bit in the next month or two. Its a dissertation on the method of brewing a type of sour beer style that seems to have died out or been absorbed into other styles, however it does have a few very interesting and unique properties. I will give a teaser below, eventually I will offer a full download of the translated text for anyone interested.

I'm hoping to brew up at least one new beer in the next week or so. I will be traveling a bit again in the near future so I'm guessing that lots of beer reviews will be popping up soon (Sauerkraut Gose, Corn K├Âlsch, Dark Table Beer, Smoke Sticke, Kriek, Unblended lambic)

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