Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I HATE IT When That Happens.

So a friend of mine sends me this picture this afternoon...while I'm at work no less...So I've been thinking about a beer all afternoon. I received my Carbonator Cap from AHS today, so when I got home I had "OTHER" things t do than pour a pint. I carbonated some milk for the kids....Don't...Don't even ask!
When I finally get around to a beer at 10PM...I decide to try my Sour Peach. It's a Lacto soured Peach Blond ale that was made in Early September. I'm thinking it could be good by now...Maybe?
Well...Upon examining the bottle, the thing that is most apparent is that I should have given this beer 2 weeks in a secondary to finish clearing! There is so much crap in the bottle that the marginal over carbonation has roused about 60% of the crap in the bottle. It is surprising how sour it smells, somewhat like socks....NICE!
I actually have chunks of granulated yeast sediment floating in the glass, not that you can see through it with the pectin haze. I like the cloudy appearance, and will pursue that in the future, but this is a bit much.
The flavor is pretty sour, giving way to the peach, giving way to the sour again. I am a man that knows what I like...usually....but I can not put my finger on this one. It's either terrible, or fantastic! I am pretty new to sour beer, but I'm a fan for sure. I can't help but think this will get better....maybe I'll freeze the bottom of the bottles.

This brings me to the current glass.
A store brand extract Fat Tire Clone.
It's beautiful! Brewed by SWMBO...Ok, Me with her help, she refers to it as Her Beer. It came to life on Feb 17, so it's got 8 months on it. It's pretty in the glass Wiyh a nice DARK amber color. It is crystal clear, and a beautiful white head. Sofar, it's looking a bit under carbonated, that actually took a very aggressive pour to achieve.
The smell is of mild Carmel and grain husks there is a bit of simple Co2 smell providing a bitter smell.
The first taste is nice, definitely extract. The flavor is malty, but flat. The caramel undertone is nice, but very one dimensional. This is the depth that I would expect from a Coopers Can kit. There is a nice hop bitterness, but it's over powered by the Alka Seltzer flavor that I am going to attribute to "Extract Twang". The twang is much less apparent on a really big gulp of the beer, but it's still there, right on the back sides of the tongue.
WOW, That sounds like I don't like this beer. It's really very good, and I'd say that if it were not for that twang, this would be a dead on clone. I'm not an expert on Fat Tire...I've had a few dozen of them though, and this is pretty close. I would like to convert this recipe to an All Grain and see how it goes.

Plastics and the Economy!

It's no secret to those that listen to me rant about glass that my preferred carboys are glass.  I love the old time feel of glass, the connection to a time long since past.  I am a fan of the ways of our forefathers and have a ToN of respect for  the time effort and dedication that they committed to everything they did. HOWEVER, they had a lot more time to do things back in the day.  I don't think my Grandpa ever had to drive 100 miles to watch the kids play football, make it home in time to watch House, get laundry done, chores, cook supper, do dishes, homework, answer e-mail, watch the news and then bed!  WOW!  Sounds hectic Right!
I'm no able to do everything like my Grandpa did, but Glass carboys are one connection to the old days of brewing that I can still manage.  I love them.  I love the way they look, I love the way they feel, I love how easily they clean up....I love everything about them...except they are heavy, they break...VERY EASILY.... and they are getting more expensive every day!  
So Today I will order a better bottle.  Austin Home Brew supply has the 3 gallon size glass in stock for $25, so I'm hoping to find the plastic for less. I have a coupon for free shipping, so it may be glass anyway.  
I love the 3 gallon size for mead and juice wine.  I like it for experimental batches....because it affords enough end product to be useful, but not overwhelming me with bottle after bottle of failed experiment....and let's be honest...they are not all award winning!
I am lucky enough to have access to #1 PET Water Bottles that I ferment things like Apfelwein and some beer in, so I'm not that interested in the 5 gallon Better Bottles.  I do like Ale Pails, and have used them for years, and I'm not really that concerned about the oxidation factor, so I do not see any reason to be unhappy with the Better Bottles.  I guess time will have to tell!
I am not converting by any means, and I will continue to try and purchase all of the glass carboys I can find, but I'm not going to ignore the plastics solution.  They are now cheaper than glass, and with the economy the way it is, I'm very careful about what direction I throw my brewing budget! They are non breakable, do not chip, and they weigh considerably less than glass.  I suppose they are the coming of the brave new world of home brew.  I am going to be embracing the new, while honoring the past.  I will use both glass and plastic, side by side, in harmony and brewing all the crazy stuff I can think of!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Brewing of the mild.

Here is some videos at the brewing of the mild. It's gonna be good...and in 10 days!

Part 1

The Day of the Kegs

Today We Keg!
I managed t get my Braggot kegged last night. It will sit in the keg at 30 psi for 24 hours...later tonight I'll drop it to around 15 then take it to the basement. I will bottle it at some point in the next month or so...depending on when I need that keg.

Both of the 2 ESB experiments are kegged and will also set in the basement for a few weeks before being tapped. I have them both hooked to the High Pressure gas. I will force carbonate them for 24 hours at 30 psi...then as with the Braggot, It goes down to 12 - 15 and then to the basement. When the time comes, I will hook them up for 3 or 4 days at serving pressure and that will allow the carbonation level to stabilize. Giving it a few days at serving pressure before tapping is in my opinion, very important to getting the most from the keg. It seems to prevent foam, and flat pours. My preferred method would be to set all new kegs at 12 - 15 psi and leave them for a week or so, unfortunately, I don't have the capacity for that right now, and I need to get 3 batches kegged and out of the way.

The ESB experiment:

These are 2 Extra Special Bitter beers that were made as an experiment using similar ingredients, and similar color, but at both ends of the bitterness spectrum for an ESB.
The one on the left is 5.6% ABV, 32.9 IBU, and 6.2 SRM. It is made with Pale, Crystal 20L and Vienna Malt, Challenger, Fuggle, and Tetenger hops.
The one on the right is 5.7% ABV, 45.1IBU, and 8.0 SRM. It is made with Pale, Munich, and Vienna Malts, Cascade, Fuggle, Tetenger and EKG hops. The picture shows it being a bit lighter in color, but that is due to the fact that is is not as well cleared as the other beer. My suspision is that it sat where the air temp was a degree or 2 warmer, and did not settle out as much. Both beers should be very clean, as they were both in Primary for 28 days. I do intend to put them on tap side by side...
My current tap list is:
1. Empty - Brittish Mild (ESB UP Next)
3. Irish Red - (ESB Up Next)
4. Apfelwein

The Brittish Mild should be a 10 day grain to Tap batch, and when it and eht Irish Red are gone, I'll hook up the ESB's so we can taste them side by side.

I have an AMBER Cream (that's a cream ale that hit in a bit too dark) that I'll throw in the mix somewhere, but it's not really tasting the way I want it to right now, so it's gone back downstairs to age a bit.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fridays plans.

Well...Reality set in.

Here is what I was hoping:

And what I really did was keg my Braggot and chat on!

Oh well. The weekend is still young....and I may still get to brew either tomorrow or Sunday.

Lunch At the Local Bar.

Southside Bar And Grill.
Southside has been a staple of my diet since I was about 7 years old.  My brothers and sisters all hung out at the Southside when I was a youngster.  My youngest sister is 11 years older than me, and back then, you could drink in the bar at there it is...I've been hanging out at Southside for 23 years.  
Today, Stuffed Peppers on the menu for Lunch.  No beer please.  They have Coors Light and Bud Light on tap, and Killian's Red.  In bottles you can get BMC, plus Corona and Heineken.  
I'll take Ice Tea.

Welcome to the Madness

Just exactly what I need!  More shit to do!  I don't know why I think that the world gives a damn what I think or am doing, but I guess it's just part of the ways of the brave new world.  
I will be cussing and discussing beer and brewing.  That it here!  NO politics, no sports, none of that....well...maybe some.

 But Seriously...I'm here for the beer!

The adventure never stops

The adventure never stops
with the Buck Reilly series