Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Simple White Bread

I baked up a very simple white bread tonight. Ive been reading alot on The Fresh Loaf and plan on baking more often. This bread included only four ingredients and took little effort to make. Knead them together and let rise until its doubled. Knead it down again and let rise again. Then just bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes and we are done.

3 cups of flour
1 1/8 cup of water
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of yeast

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tasting: Dueling Wits

I brewed my Session by Session Witbier and split the batch half on strawberries and left the other half alone. I bottled them last week and the are already carbonated.  I will check back in a couple weeks to see if they matured anymore in the bottle. Both came out lighter than the picture looks, coming as you could wish for using extract. The teaspoon of whole wheat flour I added into the brew kettle as advised in Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing added a nice haze customary to Wits. Overall the strawberry version is my definite favorite. 

Appearance – Both have nice creamy white heads, the unfruited version staying and the fruited beer loses its head after a minute or two. Probably because of oils  in the fruit.

Smell – The nose on the unfruited version has a yeasty wheat aroma. The berried version is a yeasty berry.

Taste – This is where I wish I could of found indian coriander instead of the normal grocery store variety I used, it comes through with a celery taste instead of the bright citrus taste I hoped for. Still tastes like it should, I am just not a big fan of coriander. The strawberry beer is came out exactly as I had hoped, a bright berry, slightly tart taste with a biscuit yeasty background.

Mouthfeel – Light body with medium carbonation, but they should carbonate a little more hopefully. Dry and leaves the mouth wanting more, perfect for a summer beer.

Brewing Notes -  Session by Session Witbier

American Cucumber Wheat

I've had the ingredients sitting there for awhile but hadn't gotten around to brewing it until today. I've been really wanting to play with different fruit and vegetable additions. This thread on homebrewtalk sparked my interest in using Cucumbers in an American Wheat. Sounds like it would of been perfect on a hot summer day but should still be enjoyable now. I plan on putting a portion of the batch onto cucumbers, another gallon or two onto mangos and maybe keeping a gallon without fruit.
This batch also was almost entirely all grain with only a pound of extract used. I may try an all grain batch next, I always thought I couldn't really do all grain on my stove but this has changed my opinion.
The grain bill was very simple this time and I've decided to keep my future grain bills as simple as possible.

UPDATE- My First Pelicle and A Cucumber Wheat

Batch Size: 5 gallons
Anticipated SRM: 4.1
Anticipated IBU: 22.8
Wort Boil Time: 60
Original Gravity:  1.047
3 lb Wheat Malt
4 lb Two Row
1 lb Wheat DME

.5  oz Warrior (16.7%) @ 60 min

Dry Nottingham Ale

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blending Ciders

I was given a gallon of good cider from a local farm, unfortunately it already Potassium Sorbate added before I got it. I had already a gallon of a very dry cider sitting oak chips that I wasn't entirely happy with, so I decided to blend the two together.

My wife really likes the Woodchuck Seasonal Fall Cider, Which is a sweet cider with cinnamon and nutmeg, aged on oak. So I took one gallon of the two and added a small amount of those spices. I hadn't checked on the carboys until a week after I blended the ciders not expecting any fermentation because of the preservative. I happened to glance at them while bottling some mead earlier and saw what looks fermentation, not alot but it definitely seems to be there. There seems to be more in the non-spiced carboy but that is probably just an effect of the spices. So I will these sit and see what happens, the question is if I would be able to bottle these carbonated instead of flat as I was previously planning. A test of some sort to see if the yeast are active will have to be done.