Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tasting Honey Pilsner Ale

I popped open one of the Honey Pilsner Bottles to do a proper tasting.

Appearance: It pours a nice blonde with a white one or two finger head that immediately diminishes into a small layer of foam. The ale keeps nice strong legs in the glass as you drink it.

Smell: A strong almost foral quality coming from the honey. No other real strong smells.

Mouthfeel: A smooth feel with a little bit of bite from the carbonation. 

Taste: An immediate strong honey taste that is followed by nice malt taste that seems to disappear the farther you get into the glass. I think next time I would pull back on the honey to let the hops and malt flavors come through more.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Its amazing what 20 dollars can buy.

I just bought all this for twenty dollars. Its a 6.5 gallon carboy, two 5 gallon carboys, ninety six 22oz bottles, Hydrometer, and various tubes, blowoff's, stoppers, etc. I am very satisfied with my purchase. Also included in the purchase are about 6 bottles with some sort of stout in them. I already threw one in the fridge and am going to try it later.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Graff Experiments and Kolsch update

I racked the Graff into two different 3 gallon carboys. One was left alone and the other was racked onto tart cherries. The cherries were fresh picked, frozen and thawed to break the cell walls. The Graff is a lot darker than I expected but I expect that is from the crystal 120. Within twelve hours a new krausen had formed on the on the carboy with the cherries.
At this point it seems like most fermentation on the Kolsch has slowed down almost entirely. Its pretty cloudy but also its very young still. Its got a nice color that should be a nice blonde color in the glass. In the picture below left to right; Normal Graff, Cherry Graff, Kolsch.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kolsch'ed up.

I brewed the Kolsch I've had waiting.

Wyeast Kolsch Yeast
3.3 lb Pilsen LME
2 lb Wheat DME
12 oz. Carapils
.25 oz of torrified wheat

2 and 2/3 oz of Willamette hops
1/3 oz of Cascade hops

Other than the changes to the ingredient list noted above, I followed the procedures included in the kit. Including the late addition of the DME to help ensure the light color. Unfortunately one of the side effects of a late night brew session is I forgot to get the gravity of the wort. The estimated OG is 1.042 to 1.046.
The carboy is sitting in a tub of cold water with ice added periodically and a fan pointed into it, Keeping the fermenting temperatures down in the recommended range for Kolsch. I plan on later racking half this batch onto raspberries and leaving the other half alone.

Tasted and Bottled. Blueberry and Honey Pilsner

I have bottled all of the Honey Pilsner ale into both bombers and 12oz bottles. It came out to a final gravity of 1.012. This makes it an estimated 4.61% abv.
We also tasted the blueberry wine I bottled awhile back and it tastes complex and smooth, with a very fruity blush wine taste. The only thing I am not happy with, is a sulfur taste. But hopefully that will fade with time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Brandon O's Graff (For the most part)

 Every attempt I've made at straight cider using juice, sugar and yeast came out thin and dry. Not at all like commercial sweet ciders. This is supposed to be sweet and have body like Strongbow or Woodchuck. Perfect for my significant other and other friends who don't care for beer.
I brewed up a 5 gallon batch following Brandon O's recipe as stated here. The only difference is I used 1.25 Oz of torrified wheat and just amber DME as it was all I had on hand. I used Crystal 120L as suggested in the recipe as I used cheaper juice. Cascade hops were selected as they seemed to go well with cider flavors.

I kept some of the yeast cake from my Honey Pilsner Ale and repitched it into this. The yeast is Safale US-05. After 12 hours the airlock would bubble every 5 seconds or so. Upon pitching the yeast the final gravity of the wort was 1.062. The only thing I am worried about is its currently fermenting at around 70 degrees. I really need to figure out a way to control fermentation temperatures, I'd prefer lower temperatures so no off flavors develop. I have high hopes for this cider.