Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone is doing well this Holiday season. The morning package-opening festivities have wound down at our house, and all parts of the dinner are at their proper stage (roasting, chilling, baking, rising, etc.). All is as right with the world as can probably be expected.

It did my heart good last night, listening to my two Daughters (ages 6 and 8) discussing what to leave Santa for a snack. "Something healthy" was elected for the solid part; the interesting thing was their discussion of what type of beer to leave him--whether he'd prefer an IPA (for its hoppy crispness) or a Brown Ale (malty sweetness). Wiser heads (my Lady Wife) prevailed, however, and Santa got a glass of milk. (For the record, Santa would have preferred the IPA; Mrs. Claus isn't such a hop-fan, and the Brown Ale would have been more her style.)

My web-site is undergoing changes, and I hope to have it back up fully early in the New Year. Please stick around, Dear Reader, for 2010--I've got quite a few things planned, projects to make, and (of course) beer to brew! Once again, Happy Holidays, and a Joyous New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's On Tap, 15 December 2009

Well, it's been long enough since I've done an update, so here's what's perking:

On tap, I've got my First Class Pale Ale, and CC's Peachy Wheat. The Pale Ale is an American IPA; it was brewed the first of August. I figure I'm almost halfway done with the keg. It's got a bit of a haze to it, but is nearly clear despite that. It has a lovely aroma of Amarillo hops, a good malt backbone, and pours with a dense, rocky head that lasts to the last couple of sips. All in all, I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5, and "yes, I'll have another."

The Wheat is an American Wheat Beer/Fruit Beer; I brewed it 'way back in June, so it's a bit past its prime. For all of that, it's still quite wheaty, despite being a bit more "kristall" than I might like. The peaches that were added late in fermentation make a faint background appearance. I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of wheat beers--I brewed this for my Lady Wife--and so I'm not as devoted to this as I might otherwise be. I'll give it 1.5 out of 5, and a "what else do you have?".

On deck are two more of CC's beers (brewed, as above, for my Lady Wife): Cherry Brown Ale and Blackberry Stout. I'm reserving judgment on the Brown, but think the Stout might be noteworthy, albeit slightly low on the blackberry. Additionally, I have an American Brown Ale that started life as an Amber--it was a "kitchen sink" beer, using up some of my random ingredients, and came out darker than anticipated. It is likely to be mediocre-to-decent... Then, there's the ones I'm really looking forward to: An English IPA and a pair of Scottish 80/- ales. The EIPA went into the keg last week; one of the 80/-'s was kegged a couple of weeks ago, and the second 80/- was just brewed thes most recent weekend. The IPA tasted extremely well-balanced, with a lovely biscuity maltiness combined with a firm bittering, that I think will be marvelous to behold. The first 80/- seemed a bit sweet and under-attenuated; I hope that additional time, plus some carbonation, will dry it out a little.

This past Brew Day saw me doing a tweaked repeat of the 80/-. The weather tried to help by being "more Scottish"--it was about 35 degrees F with a cold rain throughout. In spite of that, I managed to hit my temperatures and volumes to a pretty good precision--I was aiming for an OG of 1.054, hit 1.056. I got a lot of yeast pitched, fermentation temps have been satisfactory since then, and it has smelled magical from the airlock. If this turns out as it has the potential to do, I will likely have a new permanent 'haus' recipe in my stable.

Recommended Books