Saturday, May 23, 2009

There's more in there than beer

I start today's posting with 57 minutes of a 75 minute boil to go. I feel like I've been in the kitchen all day. This morning, the kids and I made 4 gallons of root beer using an extract. We heated a gallon of water, dissolved the 8 cups of sugar and mixed in the extract. This went into the bottling bucket I use for beer and the kids added 3 gallons of water. We put the mixture in regular beer bottles and boiled the caps. The kids had fun, but it took over 3 hours to get finished. Then it was lunch and a few errands.

The next endeavor for the day was bottling the second version of my oatmeal stout (see Crystal My Oats). Racking off the oak chips and yeast was pretty easy, but the kids decided they didn't want to help dad anymore. I had all the bottle wash and filling all to myself. Since I am low on bottles, I had to break into my last box of bottles from 10 years ago. They did bring back some memories as there are bottles from Oldenberg, New Knoxville Brewing Company and Volunteer Beer. I do remember the Swanky ale having an odd taste in it, but not much of the others. A few readers will remember Oldenberg. They were a bit ahead of the curve of craft brewing here in Cincinnati. They were off Buttermill Pike in Kentucky, held tours and once a year conducted Beer Camp. I always meant to attend, but never did. I did go on the tour of the brewery though. As you can imagine, there wasn't much to see. I need to see if there is a wiki page on them and link. They closed a few years ago.

Seven minutes to next ounce of Cluster goes in.

This ale is supposed to be in the American Brown section of style. The half pound of chocolate malt will make it quite dark, but not stouty. This is the first time I've used Munich malt, so I am anxious to see how it adds to the body and feel.

When I picked the supplies up this past week and Listermann's, I also asked about the equipment I need for full mash brewing. It will take some time and money, but that is where I am headed. I will no doubt need to clean out the garage very well as this style of brewing will force me to graduate from the kitchen to there. I already have a stand and gas burner for deep frying the turkey, so at least I have a start. Next on the list is a ten gallon water cooler and false bottom.

Three minutes to hop add.

I have picked up several followers on Twitter of late for brewing. I'd like to welcome them to odyssey it is following my adventures. Just ask those with whom I have worked what manner of fun it is.

Pause for hop add. A bit early, but I have to fetch them. First ounce of Fuggles goes in twenty minutes. It might be an interesting idea to do this ale with the hops reversed, I'll think about it.

The stout yield was just over 5 gallons. I guess I added a touch too much water for the priming sugar. No worries. The bottling bucket also still smelled like root beer, so who knows how this will all turn out. I'll try one of these in a week and see. I'm also eager to see how the bourbon soaked oak chips affected the batch.

I picked up some Avery labels at Wal-Mart today. The idea being to label the beer batches as just using different bottle caps is too confusing. Holy cow though, when did these things get so expensive? The first labels will be pretty simple, my name, beer name and date of bottling. I'm also not sure what they will do when the bottles get used again.

I'm stopping here for now. Once I have the OG from this batch, I'll update the post.


The OG for the ale is 1.052. Right were BeerSmith predicted. 'Night all.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sprecher Barley Wine - 2007

My father came home from the hospital today (yeah, finally), so I was not able to get to Listermann's. I hope to go sometime this week during my lunch break. I need to talk with Chuck anyway and he only works during the week.

Up today is Sprecher's Barley wine from 2007. I was given it by the local barley wine enthusiast as a measure of the style and a gauge for my own. I did try some of mine today to check how it is doing. It needs to age more. About a year more.

On the pour, the Sprecher is fruit on the nose. The malty sweetness is quite noticeable and there is very much the lack of hops. Alcohol is notable, but not overwhelming. On the tongue, the fruitiness and maltiness dance around one another. The sweetness is quite strong and there are hints of yeast esters that tell of its French origin. There is almost the hint of Abby Ale.

As the beer warms up, the sweetness tones down a bit and the alcohol warmth increases. No hop prescience, but less sweet. This is definitely a sipping barley wine. Quite nice.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bourbon in the oats

Ever wonder what would happen to 100 proof Kentucky Tavern if some was left in 4oz of medium roast French Oak chips? Here's what.

Kentucky Tavern bourbon starts a medium deep golden color in the bottle. Into each of two Mason jars went 2oz of medium roast French Oak chips and enough bourbon to cover them. The jars were placed on a self, out of the light, for a week. The end result. A side-by-side comparison.

The chips were put into the secondary to await the arrival of the Oatmeal Stout. The bourbon was recycled into another jar, this time containing 4oz of chips. A second jar was setup with 4oz and fresh bourbon. Not sure what I am going to do with it, but I'll figure that out later.

The Oatmeal Stout was racked off to the secondary and is now chilling for the next two weeks. The aroma from the stout was quite nice and I look forward to bottling day.

Racking the stout

Perhaps next time I'll take more pictures.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Red my eyes see

I finally had an opportunity to try the Irish Red Ale again. The color has deepened toward red a bit and it is still hoppy on the nose and tongue. The finish is nice and smooth. The head is quite thick and stays for the entire drink. As it warms, the maltiness comes up a bit, but the hops are still stronger. A very nice ale, I must say. Only minor changes will be needed in the next run. I'll start by cutting the dextrine in half. This will be a fun one to develop. The Cluster Fuggles ale is up next.

Friday, May 1, 2009

There be barley in me wine

Bottled last Saturday, it was time to do a sanity check on the barley wine. I put one in the fridge this morning to have it properly chilled. I left it out for about 15 minutes to let it warm close to what is required. Also, as I write, I am in listen and watch of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the fair Anna Friel. In advance I must pray for the forgiveness due me should I start to rhyme or write as of onto Shakespeare.

In the pour, it is shown that the yeast fights against the 13.5% to generate adequate carbonation. What little head it contains is removed quite quickly, with no rise in bubbles thereafter. The color is of caramel and the beer is quite clear and still. The sweetness is a bit high, perhaps due to the honey and the feel is full. Mid month, the alcohol has a nice burn and the finish is a combination of burn and sweetness. Holds promise does this brew and it may require me to raise the price of admission. Time is needed against this lot to judge. The local barley wine snob needs to appraise me of this concoction.