Sunday, October 27, 2013

XXX Homegrown Golden Ale

It has been months since I brewed a batch, and I was itching to get back in the groove. It was a gorgeous autumn afternoon here in the State of Jefferson*, and I was happy to be outdoors with my cooker, kettle, and the aromas of malt and hops. I harvested about 3/4 pound (dry) of mostly Cascade hops from my bines last month, and I used them for flavor in my formulation. I kept it simple: six pounds of organic Briess pale extract, and an ounce of organic whole Ivanhoe hops (8% α-acids) for bittering. I used the homegrown cones to jazz things up, tossing in a huge heap (3 ounces!) for the last 15 minutes of the boil. I know that's a ridiculous amount, but my garden hops don't have the same density as the commercial ones, and even though they have a nice aroma they are rather loose and flaky, not tightly packed. I figured I would get very little bittering and I wanted as much of the essential oils as I could squeeze out of them. We'll see how the brew comes together. I used Safale-04 yeast and had the fermenter in the closet by 1400. By the time I'd finished cleanup the wind started howling and dumped a mountain of leaves into the brew area! Got it done just in time. Should ferment out pretty quickly and be ready for quaffing next month.

a.d. VI Kal Nov.

*I have nothing to do with the Siskiyou County nut-jobs who want to secede from California. (Memo to them: please stop.) I've always thought the State of Jefferson was a lovely nickname for our beautiful and remote slice of the Pacific Northwest. I'm happy to be a born-and-bred Californian!