Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Homebrew Tastings

So Sunday was the big day where I would have a party and use my homebrews for the majority of the drinks. I had 4 things on tap: Kolsch, Wit, Cider and Root Beer.

This is my favorite of the beers and is probably the best beer I ever brewed. The color is dead on. The beer is very clean with a nice hop flavor and light bitterness. that being said, I was really the only one who drank much of it. To make up for his I drank a ton of them. The alcohol must have come in light, because I can drink a ton with basically no effects. I think the clean finish to this beer helps as well.

Wit- This beer has a perfect aroma and good taste but a touch watery on the mouthfeel. This left the beer a very easy refreshing drink and quickly became my wife's favorite. She polished off 2 of them in about 20 minutes which is remarkable for her. Most folks tried this one and several seemed to enjoy it.

Cider- No one had this over the weekend and I need to finish it off and move on to one of my new kegs. I also need to pick up 10 gallons of juice to start my next batch.

Root Beer-
I think this tastes exactly like root beer barrel candy with a touch of creaminess. Everyone enjoyed this and my Dad drank 2. Spilled a bit in the kegerator and will need to clean it out. I have heard mops recommended.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wit Again

I decided to check the Wit to see if it was done or not. I really hoped to have it on tap for the big weekend. The refractometer read 6 Brix which is a whopping SG of 1.023. This is much higher than I was looking for. I couldn't believe how high it was, so I broke out the old hydrometer. From that I got a reading of 1.015. Much more like what I was expecting. Plus I failed to wait until the tiny CO2 bubbles came out of suspension, so the reading may have been high. So finally I settled on the only test the really should count, I tasted it. I noted the smell on Sunday and it was really intriguing. The taste was perfect. Not too sweet, definitely not 6 Brix, with a perfect spiced flavor and a very slight orange flavor. Even the wife thought it tasted good. So I moved it to a keg and then realized that while I have room on the distributor for another keg, I don't have room in the kegerator. So I dumped 3 bottles of the Raspberry Wheat abomination, drank down 2 glasses and then gave up on it and moved the keg out. If all goes well, I should have both a Kolsch and a Wit on tap for the weekend. Now I only need to empty and clean my 2.5 gallon keg so I can use the portable kegerator by the pool.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wit Beer and No Brew Day

I was going to brew today, but I ran into a first. My krausen had not fallen after 2 weeks in primary. A quick search returned the fact that Wit yeast can take a bit longer to ferment out. The suggestion is to either give it time or check the gravity to see if it is done. Having already scrapped my brewing for the weekend, I opted to give it more time. I will check the gravity later in the week to see if it is finished. I am looking for a final gravity of 1.008 - 1.012. Next up is a Milk Stout that I plan to brew way out of season, to give it some time. I am thinking about bottling a goos portion of this from the keg once it is carbonated. I will need to look into bottling techniques as I real don't want to buy a beergun.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Kolsch Tasting Notes

I finally floated my first keg. It was my Double IPA that I brewed last year that never bottle carbonated. It was a unbalanced little beer, but it was the second beer I ever brewed and I will miss her. I had been lagering my Kolsch for about 5 weeks so I decided to hook it up and take a taste. My first impression was that I finally brewed a light colored beer. Late extract addition works like a charm. The second thing I note is that I am still working on dialing in the pressure. Too much CO2. The fragrance was dead on. A clean nose, just like you want out of a Kolsch. The taste is perfect, but it still has some mellowing to do on the after-taste. That's OK as I really didn't expect to break into this keg until Memorial Day, giving me another 3 weeks of lagering for a total of 8 weeks. I expect that this will be a hit at the pool party. I also transfered 10 gallons of cider to kegs this weekend. A warm uncarbed taste test with my wife proved that the brown sugar with ale yeast was more successful. She didn't even ask for back sweetening. We both felt that the apfelwein with corn sugar and wine yeast tasted like a dry version of Hornsby's and that wasn't what we were looking for. Both came out clear as a bell and with more apple taste than my first attempt. So I will start another 5 gallons of cider with 2lbs of brown sugar and Muton's dry ale yeast as soon as I can get the juice from Costco. In the meantime I have around 2 gallons of cider left and I need to clean my keg out and move the American Wheat into it. I have high hopes for the Wit after tasting the Kolsch and I am really excited to try my hand at an Extra Pale Ale and Sweet Stout. Soon I need to zero on a few house beers that I will brew on a regular basis. Kolsch and Dry Stout are in the lead so far.

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