Monday, September 28, 2009

Pumpkin Ale 090409

I've never been a huge fan of pumpkin ales, but I was feeling festive this year, and thought I would try one. 5 gallons of pumpkin beer... what on earth have I done?! Honestly, it tastes pretty good. The way I did it, I spiced it very lightly in the boil, and added a bit more in the secondary. I plan to keg/carbonate in the next few days.

Dayton Road Brewing Pumpkin Ale

11 lb. Maris Otter
.50 lb. Aromatic
.50 lb. Crystal 40
.50 lb. Crystal 120
.50 lb. Special Roast

Kent Golding 4.5% - 1.65 oz. 60 min.

Wyeast 1968 London Ale (yeast cake from an IPA)

Cinnamon 1 min. 1/2 tsp.
Ginger 1 min. 1/4 tsp.
Nutmeg 1 min. 1/8 tsp.
Allspice 1 min. 1/8 tsp.
- Added these to the boil with 1 minute left.

Made another bag of the spices above, same amount, and added it to the secondary. The spices sit softly in the background and aren't over powering. It tastes pretty good, I'm looking forward to tasting it carbonated.

3.90 (4) gallons of strike water

DRB Smoked Porter 090409

I had originally planned on making this earlier in the year, but the store I went to didn't have any Rauch Malt at the time, so I waited until it came in stock. This is a pretty close example to Alaska Smoked Porter. A well balanced Porter, with a very mellow smoke flavor in the background.

Robust Smoked Porter (Got the recipe from Brewing Classic Styles, and tweaked it according to what I had available)

8.5 lb. Maris Otter
3 lb. Smoked Rauch Malt
1 lb. Crystal 40
1 lb. Crystal 80
.75 lb. Chocolate Malt
.50 lb. Black Malt

Kent Golding 4.5% - 1.30 oz. 60 min.
Willamette 4.8% - .75 oz. 30 min.
Willamette 4.8% - .75 oz. 15 min.
Kent Golding 4.5% - .5 oz. Turn off
Willamette 4.8% - .40 oz. Turn off

WLP001 - Cal Ale (yeast cake from the IPA)

Fermented for a few weeks - FG: 1.012 - 7.9%

The taste is wonderful. I had originally planned on kegging this batch, but instead I think I'm going to bottle the whole 5 gallons. I've heard these smoked porters are better a year later, so I'm going to put a bunch up for a year and crack them out next fall to see how good they age.

IPA / Wit update

I had a bit of an issue with the IPA. The cal ale yeast batch, came out around 8%, a little higher than expected. I kegged it and dry hopped right in the keg with about an ounce of hops. After a couple weeks, I removed the hop bag and tried the beer. It tasted like a good IPA base, but no big hop flavor to it. A caramel beer I was calling it. So, after several discussion on Beer Advocate forums, I decided to dry hop the hell out of it. I added 5 oz. more of Cascades and Amarillo. After just 3 days, the beer was tasting like a hop bomb. Amazing what dry hopping can do. After about 5 or 6 days, I removed the hop bag. The beer is pretty good right now, though I'm going to let it settle for about a week. Hopefully all the hops that escaped the bag will settle to the bottom and shoot out on the first pour. I'm pretty happy with the taste now though.
The second 5 gallon of this tasted pretty good, pre dry hopped. It was the London Ale yeast, and fermented out clean - the beer was pretty clear too, compared to the other. I ended up dry hopping with 6 oz. of hops on this one, and plan to keg it this week at some point. I have a feeling this one is going to be much better than the last, but should also be a hop bomb. Looking forward to it!

Belgian Wit: Not much on this one, it turned out perfect. Color, taste, everything. Very refreshing. This was a pretty simple recipe, I plan to keep it around and make a batch each summer.