Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tonight's Activities

I am going to finally bottle the Mandarin got quite shaken up during it's trip up the stairs this weekend, so it was delayed by a few days.  It still isn't as pretty as it was before moving it, but it will finish clearing (again) in the bottles!!

Also, I am going to start batch #2 of the White Grape Pyment that won a 3rd place at last year's HHHC.  I am going to use Sage Blossom Honey this time (no Cactus Blossom on hand), and will quite possibly add a little less than last the area of 2.5 pounds versus 3.  I want the grape character to shine through a little bit more.

And third, I am going to start yet another new experiment...the "Sublime Lemon-Lime Mead" will being it's journey this evening.  Here's the recipes for each:

White Grape Pyment -

2.5 - 3 pounds    Sage Blossom Honey (Northern Brewer)
1 gallon               Wild Organics White Grape Juice (Shop 'n Save)
1/4 tsp.                Fermaid-K

Lalvin D-47 yeast

Sublime Lemon-Lime Mead -

3(ish) pounds     Orange Blossom Honey
1 (64 oz.)           Minute Maid Limeade concentrate (Shop 'n Save)
1 (64 oz.)           Minute Maid Lemonade concentrate (Shop 'n Save)
1/4 tsp.               Fermaid-K

Red Star Montrachet yeast

Hopefully all goes well!

Update:  as of 7:00a 10-28-10, they were both fermenting well!  AND...

The Mandarin Methomel is not too bad!  It has a slight flavor of the spices and is honey forward.  Overall very subtle and drier than most of my others lately, finishing at a 1.008.  This one may do some good in competition next year!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bottling Day (10-23-10)!

I bottled The Aphrodisiac and the 2010 Cactus Blossom on Saturday.  Here is a summary of my thoughts on bottling:

The Aphrodisiac - While this mead was solely an experiment to see how chocolate would work in a mead, it has made me realize a couple things.  First, chocolate is a very subtle flavor apparently...the maple syrup added in secondary really masks the chocolate flavor, but it is still there!  Second, I really like experimenting!!  Overall, I am pretty pleased with this first attempt...I WILL be tweaking this recipe and trying again!  Flavor is maple up front with hints of chocolate lingering behind...we will see what age does to it.

2010 Cactus Blossom - Three gallons of this may have been a bit much!  While it still tastes really nice, it didn't dry out as much as last year's one gallon batch...nothing was done differently, other than the size.  I may have added less honey than I thought last year, or added too much this year...who knows.  I will probably get more honey and make it again...I still like the flavor!  Perhaps tone it down a little bit to about 2.75 pounds per gallon and see if that helps...also, not having crystallized honey would probably help with my accuracy!!  Flavor is all hot alcohols or anything off.  Like I said, it tastes good, just a little sweet...

So, overall these two were successful, but there are changes to be made to make them better.  Going to start The Aphrodisiac (version 2.0) soon...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Happenings...

While I brewed nothing new this weekend, there are a couple things that need to be mentioned.

First off, the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce was very happy to see the Brewhemoth and the "masterminds" behind it there as we were able to collect a little cash for their event!  Went for more than both Dale and I thought it would and made a new brewer (hasn't brewed a single batch - yet) very happy!  Have a good feeling that a couple other sales will come from it to, down the road...

Second, I had a beer accident!  After the American Stout started on Wednesday, it filled the airlock with stout by the time I got home from work.  Changed the airlock and all seemed well...or so I thought.  Checked in on it twice Thursday and on Friday morning and it was going just fine, but between Friday morning and Sunday morning...the airlock blew off and I had stout on the floor!!!!  Thankfully, it seems to be salvagable...

That's all for now...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

American Stout

Brewed this one last night (10-12-10).  Missed the gravity by ONE point!

Here's the recipe:

12  pounds North American 2-Row
  1  pound  Pale Chocolate Malt
  1  pound  Roasted Barley
 .5  pound  Crystal I (45L)
 .5  pound  Dark Crystal I (65L)
.25 pound  Extra Dark Crystal (140L)
  1  pound  Flaked Oats

  1  ounce  Horizon Pellet (12% AA) @ 60
  1  ounce  Cascade Pellet (6% AA) @ 30
 .7  ounce  Cascade Pellet (6% AA) @ 5

Wyeast PacMan Yeast

It smelled and looked pretty good last night, so I have high hopes for this one!  Not sure if I will Dry Hop this one or not...will know that when I take it to the clarifying step.

Hopefully I will brew again soon...need to free up a couple fermentors first, though!  Got too much mead aging, I guess...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vertical Epic...

I was reading a little bit about Stone Brewing's Vertical Epic and thought, "Wow...that's a cool idea!  Wish I would have thought of that!"  Of course, I wasn't brewing in 2001 when they started, but that doesn't mean I can't start my own version!  I am thinking it will be a once a year brew of something really huge and off the wall, that age will not negatively affect, like a Barleywine strength beer and brew in the following schedule:

9-10-2011 - Brew version #1 (the "base" version)
10-11-2012 - Brew version #2 (perhaps wood aged)
11-12-2013 - Brew version #3 (perhaps spiced & wood aged)
12-13-2014 - Brew version #4 (perhaps "bretted", spiced & wood aged)

Basically, follow the same recipe but add a new twist on top every year.  Then you get to taste the differences each year, just to see how things change!  The idea needs some tweaking, of course, but that is something that I have almost a year to plan out and get right.  Should be FUN!!!

Got some new stuff going...

Well, I was planning on brewing beer Sunday, but my shoulder had other plans.  So, I started a couple things that required less heavy lifting:

Eckert's Sweet Mead - One Gallon

4 Pounds Eckert's Orchard Pure Honey (wildflower or clover, I am sure)
1/4 tsp. Fermaid-K
1 pkt. Lalvin D-47 yeast

OG: ~1.160
Estimated ABV: 18%

This one was going nuts less than two hours after pitching!  I had to replace the airlock already once...

Indian Summer Cider - Five Gallons

5.5 Gallons Indian Summer Apple Cider
2 Pounds Golden Brown Sugar
1 pkt. Wyeast 4766 Cider yeast

OG: ~ 1.070
Estimated ABV: 8%

This one was showing signs of fermentation after just a couple hours as well...though not as big and aggressive as the mead.

Planning on brewing an American Stout on Tuesday night!!