Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tart Cherry Melomel Review & Recipe

Bottled  January 1st, 2007

Appearance - Dusty old bottle from the back corner of my pantry.  Pours a very clear dark ruby red, slight effervescence when pouring

Aroma - Huge honey nose, very floral, rounded out by sherry-like aromas of nougat and oxidation

Taste - Sweet non-varietal honey taste, hint of acidity from the cherries but their flavor has long since faded, just like in the nose slight sherry-like flavors that meld well with the sweetness of the honey

Mouthfeel - slight effervescence with a medium body leave it full feeling but not too heavy

Notes/Thoughts - I was actually really worried this bottle would be horribly oxidized or vinegar at this point, but to my surprise it was quite good.  The slight bit of carbonation had begun to push out the cork causing it to leak a sweet concentrated honey-wine flavoring.  This was one of my earlier honey-wine attempts, and was quite good fresh (strong sour cherry flavor) but its still quite good now.  I really think if I could find it possible to age some mead for 5+ years and then add the cherry juice it would be a great blend!


Tart Cherry Melomel Recipe
Ingredients
Amt (lbs)Type
5.0Wild Flower Honey
32 ozTart Cherry Juice (Knudsens)
YeastLalvin K1V116
Stats
2.5galOG1085
8-9% abvFG1020?-didnt measure :)
Notes: Flavor is great ~1mos after bottling and continues to get better, although cherry flavor fades quickly; Fermaid K and wine nutrient were added at start of fermentation and at 1/3 sugar depletion


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving IPA

So we are having some family come stay with us this year for Thanksgiving and one of them (brother-in-law) is a homebrewer! He's relatively new at it, around a 1-2yrs, but he's pretty good at it (tried his spotted cow clone and a bourbon porter).  So I wanted to have something nice around for Turkeyday for us to drink!

The last beer I brewed (Pumpkin Porter) was mostly for SWMBO, and some friends, although I must admit I do enjoy a spicy brown porter myself.  This one though will be for the guys.  I stuck with a recent trend of mine, that is lots of British malts, with some sugar/starch to lighten the body a bit.  Ive really been please lately with how well some of my beers that do this are turning out.  One thing out of the ordinary though, as with the Pumpkin porter, I decided to play around a bit with my water profile.

The water here in Phoenix, at least to my palate, seems to brew up some decent pale ales and IPA's when its diluted a tad with RO (too much Cl-)  However this time around I really wanted to balance the bitterness with malt for a really balanced IPA (how I prefer them).  To do this I started with RO and added a tiny bit of Phoenix tap water get the sodium and sulfate levels reasonable.  I then added equal amounts of CaCl and CaSO4 to get a nice balanced chloride to sulfate level that should produce a perfectly balanced beer. Now there are a lot of caveats to that statement, and one that might be contentious in particular is the use of chloride to sulfate ratios at all.  There seems to be quite a bit of disagreement whether this is a tried and true rule.  While on many homebrew boards its often stated as fact lots of brewers and food chemists think that its only a general guideline and many only be relatively useful under 100ppm levels.  In this beer I should be slightly above 100ppm for both so I'll get to add my own non-scientific data point! (Dortmund is a classic example of >100ppm levels and it's said to contribute a minerally flavor profile)

Thanksgiving IPA
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
9.0Marris Otter (Fawcett)
0.5Crystal 20L
0.5Tapioca Starch
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
0.25Cascade (9.1%)60
1.0Amarillo (10.8%)15
1.0Citra (13.7%)15
1.0Amarillo (10.8%)5
1.0Citra (13.7%)5
1.75Cascade (9.1%)KO<170F
2.0Simcoe (11.9%)KO<170F
0.25Citra (13.7%)KO<170F
0.25Amarillo (10.8%)KO<170F
2.0Simcoe (11.9%)Dry Hop
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
153F1.0qt/lb45
170F1.8qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastLondon ESB WY1968 (500mL Starter)
Stats
5.5galOG1060
86% effIBU57
7gal BoilFG


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