Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sweaty Bretty Rye - Brett Rye Saison

I was a bit disappointed in my last saison experiment (in December, no associated blog entry). I believe the carafa II that I used threw some "nutty" notes into the beer, and it turned out an ugly brown. Not what I was going for. (The brett C portion tastes promising though.)

Recent failure in mind, I thought I'd brew up a replacement batch that was more in line with successful past batches. I wanted to make it peppery, but with a soft mouthfeel (I'm targeting something similar to one of my favorite saisons, Logsdon's Seizoen Bretta). For the pepper and mouthfeel I used 15% each of wheat and rye in the grainbill.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Requested Recipe: Little Heater Brett Stout

I've had a few requests for this recipe, so I thought I'd publish it here. It took first in the Belgian Specialty Ale category at Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews in November, and is a great winter beer. Funny thing is this was a "clean out my grain stash" beer, where I tossed a bunch of random stuff together...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Turbid Mash Lambic 2014

If I was to drown in a vat (or hogshead) of beer that I'd prefer it to be Lambic (or Gueuze). For my palate, Lambic's complex combination of funk and tart is heaven in a glass, and I can imagine no better style-driven drinking session than one exploring these beers. They can be a bit pricey, but it is a special treat to sit down with a few friends and drink around a few bottles.

Despite my affection for the style, I have never brewed one before. These beers require not only prowess in the brewhouse (as I will detail shortly), but also patience after brewday. There is no hard-and-fast rule regarding how long you should allow Lambic to sit in secondary (most brewers would say at least a year), but I had previously shunned tying up one of my vessels for such a long time. With a recent purchase of more kegs, I decided the timing was right to try my hand at brewing a Lambic.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tasting Notes - Haskell's "BOD 09 XX"

Here are some tasting notes on a second bottle of Haskell's beer. (I posted my notes on what I believed was his Flander's Red a few months back.) This one was labeled "BOD 09 XX" on the cap. Judging only from what I poured into my glass, I believe this one is a bourbon-oak-aged imperial stout. I take the "BOD" on the cap to mean "bourbon-oaked d___"; the "09" to be the year (making this beer around 5 years old!); and the "XX" as a warning to the consumer regarding its alcohol strength.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Brewery Resolutions for 2014...(If its on the internet I have to do it, right?)

2013 was a great year of beer. (From Hill Farmstead's Zwanze Day).

It being the time to make resolutions and all that, I thought I'd post a couple of my personal goals for the upcoming year in beer. I'll just rattle these off:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Washing and Freezing Yeast with Glycerin in a Frost-Free Freezer

In this post I'm detailing a method I have used to wash and freeze yeast from a slurry, including how I made my glycerin mixture. I did this ONCE at the time I wrote this post, so I am new to this stuff. Yes, this has been done before by others, and I provide links to a few sites where I got my info. This post is meant to track the method I am using.

A big ol' healthy starter. This is what
we're after! 
First off - a warning... This is a new process for me, and I'm still learning all the "best practices." I culled my method from a few sources--most notably a friend on the Albany Brew Crafters homebrew forums who has been banking yeast for awhile now, the washing and freezing yeast page on, and this great how-to write up on Homebrewtalk. Seriously, check out these resources -- they go into more of the "why" behind this process. Also, I'm doing this for temporary storage purposes of some of the strains that , and don't have a giant lab or complex equipment (beyond that of a geeky brewer). I work under sanitary conditions, not sterile conditions. Some will scoff at this, but I'm going for simplicity here, and don't want to dedicate too much time or money to this endeavor. I use star-san because that's what I have. I don't own a pressure cooker or a microwave (its ok to laugh...), so I use my stovetop and electric teakettle.  I am not a scientist, nor do I play one on the internet!!