Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Draft handle update

I'm currently pouring two fine and lovely brews, and we sampled them both this evening. Mark's Pale Ale (MPA) has settled down nicely after some early troubles. It is a hop-flavored, honey-colored beer with a crisp finish that goes down much too easily. The Fifty-fest has a more complex profile, with some subtle spicy-floral notes and a rich malt flavor. It is a potent (6% abv) dark beer but, again, goes down too quickly. This one has a dark amber color that is evident when a pint is held up to a strong light source. At first glance, it looks like a porter or stout but lacks the black color and opacity of those brews. It is a deep brown overall, a little darker than I wanted, but not far from the red I was shooting for. The MPA has amber tones highlighting the golden color, and it was not quite as red as I was shooting for. Ah, the elusive red ale--I shall nail one perfectly very soon, I think. Otherwise, I've got two delicious beers on tap for the holidays. Who can complain about that?

a.d. III Kal. Ian.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Forever Fifty

I've been having such a good time turning 50 I think I'm going to stay 50. No more counting. Just say "fifty" when anyone asks about my age from now on. Whaddya think? Speaking of 50, I tapped into the Fifty-fest today. Rick and Nancy were here for the first pints of this dark, lager-like ale with the curiously spicy flavor and smooth, dry finish. So far, so good. I expect this brew will open up a bit with time, and I know I'll get lots of chances over the holidays to dive in and give it a thorough evaluation. It's Christmas Eve eve, and the fridge is stocked with some seriously tasty homebrew. What could be bad?

a.d. IX Kal. Ian.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fifty-fest--a month later!

It has been a month since my 50th birthday and the beer is ready for the refrigerator. This one was unusual in that I gave it a secondary ferment in a fresh vessel and at a lower temperature. The yeast seemed to call for it, and it fit nicely with our travel plans. Brewed 29 days ago, batch no. 169 spent 8 days in the primary in the mid-60s (64-68 ºF), and after racking was dropped down to 56º for 7 days, then got primed for the keg and conditioned for 14 days between 62 and 66 ºF. I'm going to tap it in 10 days, so check back over the holidaze for updates.

Merry Everything!

Id. Dec.
(The Ides of December)