Sunday, October 19, 2008

It was soooo yummy

That's how my lovely bride responded to the question "how'd you like the beer?"

We cracked open a bottle of the Harvest Ale this afternoon. It was warm and sunny on the patio and we had a glass with our chips and salsa. The brew was smooth with a delicate maltiness but a full body. The hops were just right--balanced to give it a clean, dry finish. The color was dark brown in the glass, with rich amber hues when held in the sunlight. Overall, the mouthfeel on this brew is the winningest point. The flavors are soft and subtle, but the effect on the palate is big and satisfying. This organic malt is good stuff. I'm also happy with the new mashing arrangement. Tomorrow we'll tap the keg.


p.s. We drank the dregs of no. 162 today as well. We got a final pint to share. Fitting, for today the Rays and Sox decide the ALCS. One of them will end their season tonight. Full Season Ale was a success. Despite being sweeter and more alcoholic than my usual fare, it was drinkable and refreshing, with a good flavor. Looks like the first weekend in November will be my next brewing opportunity.

XIV Kal. Nov.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


The latest batch, Harvest Ale (# 163), went to the refrigerator today. By the time I tap this one (in a couple of weeks), the "harvest" season will be long past. We had freezing temperatures in the State of Jefferson yesterday! I left this brew in the Main Conditioning Room (hall closet) for a few days longer than necessary, mostly due to forgetfulness. Hovering around 68-70 ºF, there's no harm done. The plan was to cook up another batch this weekend, but a cold virus has seized me and I plan nothing more strenuous than laying about and drinking healthful beverages. Brewing is a vigorous and time-consuming pursuit. I'm up and down all day long, organizing, cooking, and cleaning. I don't like to do it if I can't fully enjoy it. Too bad, it looks like this weekend will be sunny. The autumn is the best time to make beer. The days are still long enough, like summer, and the chill in the air is refreshing, unlike the mind- and finger-numbing winter cold. Next weekend, perhaps, will be a chance to brew. I've got those great Northern Brewer hops and a heap of wonderful crystal malts--after a pale and a brown an amber is next on the list.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Homebrew joys

Beers are alive. They don't just sit there in the keg--they grow. They mature. They sometimes die. (That's a serious beer foul. Drink your beer.) The nice thing is that they "don't age in the glass" as Cap'n Bill would say. Each pint is a frozen moment in the life of that brew. Today's draught version of Full Season Ale was a beer at its peak. Fully blended and settled, the rich hop flavor perfectly complemented the malty sweetness and warm alcoholic aroma. Two things to learn: be patient, and add hops in stages. I did multiple additions in this one and it is clear that hops add much more than bitterness. The complex taste sensations are too hard for me to describe. (Where's WordMan when I need him?)

Best to just drink and go mmm-mmmm!

a.d. IV Non. Oct.