Monday, October 19, 2009

It's hoppy Charlie! - Brown Ale

This is my second brew for one of Aaron's parties and it came out wonderful. I racked it to a secondary tonight and dry hopped. I wondered how the chocolate-ness of a brown ale and the hops of an IPA would merge.. let me just say, it's fantastic. The aroma already is good, but the dry hopping will top it off. I'm going to dry hop it until next Tuesday or Wednesday, then keg it and have it ready for Aaron to take home on Friday, to settle before the party.

Here's the recipe:

7 lb. Maris Otter
1 lb. Crystal 40
1 lb. Wheat
1 lb. Belgian Biscuit
1/2 lb. Chocolate Malt
1/2 lb. Caramunich

2 oz. Kent Golding 4.5% AA - 60 min.
1 oz. Kent Golding 4.5% AA - 15 min.
1.5 oz. Cascade 5.4% AA - 10 min.
1 oz. Amarillo 7.5% AA - 10 min.
1.5 oz. Cascade 5.4% AA - Turn off
1 oz. Amarillo 7.5% AA - Turn off
1 oz. Amarillo 7.5% AA - Dry hop
.70 oz. Centennial 8.5% AA - Dry hop

Yeast: Wyeast London Ale (yeast cake - 3rd generation)

IBU: 60.2%
OG: 1.058
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.8%

Friday, October 2, 2009

15 gallons = Bottled!

I took the day off today with plans to bottle 3 beers: Belgian Dubble, Belgian Sour Brown and a Smoked Porter. I set up last night, and couldn't resist starting the project. Well, I'm not one to leave a project halfway through, so I ended up blasting through all 15 gallons of beer. I finsihed around 2:30 a.m. Oops.
I hate bottling, but I had a reason to bottle all of these. Both Belgians are pretty high in gravity. The Dubble is around 10%, and should age nicely.
The Sour, hasn't even "soured" yet. I'm hoping it will, but it came out to around 9%. It wasn't intended to be that high, but, I did make this in early spring, when I wasn't as knowledgeable about controlling my alcohol levels. Lessons learned, but, this beer is going to sit another year before I try one. I've read online, that White Labs Belgian Sour yeast can take some time to actually sour. It's still drinkable though, I'm just hoping it sours up more.
The Porter, came out awesome tasting. I read that it ages very well too, and to save a bunch for a year or so later. The flavors will blend even more and that subtle smokey flavor will really blend in nicely. I will crack some of these out around Halloween though, I'm anxious to try it. This one came out to 7.9%. Big, but I tasted the finish product and it's amazing. Can't wait for this fall sippin' beer. :)

I might add, the two big Belgians, I added dry yeast (thanks Nate!) to them both a few days ago, since they've been aging for 6 months or so. Got the tip from Beer Advocate folks that have bottled aged beer before. Hopefully it helps in the carbonation process.

Oh yeah, I also waxed the tops on the Belgians. I had only planned on doing the Dubble, but I had so much wax made, I did the Sours' too. That was fun. The wax took a while to heat up (I put it in a jar, then put the jar in a pot of medium high heat water. After it heated, I started dipping. I learned if I flipped the bottle up right away, it dripped down some, which gives it a cool looking effect. I don't think I'll wax tops too often, only on beers I plan on aging a long time - heck, for that matter, that's about the only time I'm going to bottle. Bottling sucks, but when it's all said and done, it's kind of nice having all that beer bottled.

Speaking of, I found two 12 packs of homebrew stashed away yesteday. Some of my old Weizenbock, which I was just wishing I had saved some for this Halloween, some IPA's I bottled last year, and a Christmas Ale that came out kind of off tasting, so I figured I would age it some. We'll see how that tastes this Christmas! I also found some other bottles that I have no clue what they are. I almost think they're a Kolsch that I did over a year ago, as well as some, potential Apricot Wheats. I'm saving those to test out on DRB customers.. :p