Monday, September 20, 2010

Successful Brew Day

Yesterday marked another successful brew day.  All told, I got three batches done: one Kolsch (with/for my friend Dominick), and two that fall well into the "Kitchen Sink" category.  They are looking more like brown ales than anything else.

An interesting thing to note about my "Kitchen Sink" beers, those I make out of the dribs and drabs of whatever ingredients I have on hand: they are, more often than not, the best things I've made.  The Kolsch, for instance, is derived from a Kitchen Sink Kolsch I made two years back.  My Impropmtu Ale was quite tasty, as is a Golden Ale (very Helles-like) that I have on tap right now--both "Kitchen Sink" style.  So, while you never really know what you're getting, I have high hopes for these.

What was perhaps the most fun was doing the same beer back-to-back, with the same techniques, and watching the numbers fall out identically.  The pre-boil gravity was spot-on; post-boil, same.  Efficiency was identical.  Not to brag, but while I knew I had my process down, I didn't think I was *that* good at this!

I did change a couple of things up between the batches.  The grain bill was identical, but I added an ounce of Maltoferm Black to the second one.  This changed it from a deep reddish brown to something approaching a porter.  I also changed up the yeast--the first batch was dosed with California Ale yeast, and the second with a British Ale yeast.  Regardless, they were both fermenting happily this morning, and (as mentioned) I have high hopes for them.  Stay tuned for updates...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Two Pleasant Evenings

As promised, I'm posting from Pensacola.  Granted, I'm in the airport, on the way out, but that will have to do...  I dined at Hopjacks Tuesday and Wednesday nights...  I would probably have gone elsewhere, but there was a bit of a travel fiasco on the way here, so that evening was shot.

Tuesday night was a night for German-style lagers.  I started with Gordon Biersch's Marzen, then switched to something a little hoppier afterwards.  I can't recall exactly what, and I wasn't taking notes at the time, which I regret, because it was a lovely drink.  The Marzen was pleasant enough, but didn't have enough of a hop bite to stand up to the pizza I ordered; something to remember for next time.

Last night, I went more British with my drinks.  I started with a Fuller's ESB; again, it had difficulty matching up to the food (Belgian Fries, fried in duck fat--yummy); for the most part, though, I blame the saltiness of the fries.  I moved from there to a Smithwick's, which did a lovely job of cooling down some Buffalo Wings.  To finish up, I moved to an old standby, the Newcastle Brown Ale.  The pleasant, well-balanced maltiness was just what was called for, short of moving to a "dessert" beer.  I'm inspired to head down the ESB road again; perhaps I should dig out a Fuller's clone recipe; failing that, I may shoot for Smithwick's.  All of that, of course, in between batches of my Kolsch, which is turning out to be quite popular.

Recommended Books