Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Okay. I have several brewing related goals for this year. The first is to keep this blog more updated, hopefully I can post once a week. The second is to brew more... a lot more. I'm aiming to brew at least two times a month. The third is to brew sour beers, and a lot of them. The goal is actually eight for the year, so that later next year I can go back and blend.

I actually did the first sour yesterday. The base for the beer was pretty close to my Belgian single from last year, however I added some Munich and victory malt for added breadiness, upped the chocolate to a quarter pound and got rid of the special b. For hops I just did a FWH addition of Willamette. You want something low AA since bitter and sour don't jive. I pitched a smack pack of Roeselare straight from the package. That package of yeast is a very specific blend of yeast and critters. Making a starter will throw off the blend, so don't build one when using the blend. You don't really need to worry about the pitching rates as much because the bugs will attenuate it our over time. I got lower than expected efficiency (65%) so I added 1lb of light DME to it. This beer is going to set for about two months and then getting hit with some fruit.

I'll post the full recipe tomorrow. I've also tried harvesting wild yeast by placing mason jars with weak dme solution outside. I got small signs of fermentation with no mold growth in two of them. Last night I pitched then into a starter actually pulled from the mash of yesterdays beer. Should it take off I'll be brewing a Hoppy Saison with it.

Look for several posts soon with tasting notes on a lot of last years beers.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hoppy American Amber Brewday. Epik Tasting.

So my brother is in town from college and has been interested in homebrewibg for a while. So I decided to teach him how. Now originally I had planned on doing the hoppy farmhouse table beer, but my brother was interested in making an American Amber. So we did that instead. We also drank a fair amount of beer. Including some that I have been aging and waiting to open. Sorry there's no pictures but when you start your brewday at 9:00 and begin drinking at 10:00 so as not to anger the brew-gods..... you tend to forget stuff.

EKG American Amber

7lbs. Two Row - US
1lb. 12oz. US crystal 60L
2lbs. Homemade amber candy syrup

1oz. Willamette 5.5%AA - FWH
1oz. East Kent Goldings 5.0%AA - 10min
1oz. East Kent Goldings 5.0%AA - Flameout
1oz. East Kent Goldings 5.0%AA - dry hop 14 days

Yeast - US-05 dry yeast

Measured O.G. 1.054

Epik Tasting

I tried the first bottle of this a few months back but it wasn't ready so didn't post about it. This is the beer that started out as a utopias clone
then realized it would do better as a barleywine.

Pours a deep rich crystal clear mahogany with a small build up of an off white head that then dissipates quickly (not surprising considering.the 14%+ ABV. Held io to the light there's a slight reddish color at the edge of the glass, probably from the munich and caramunich.

The nose is sweet and boost without being solventy. Notes of fig, dried plums and tobacco dominate the nose followed by a thin whisp of fruity and perfumey alcohols.

Not nearly as sweet as I had initially feared from the nose. It did attenuate extremely well afterall. Nice figgy and sherry like taste up front with bits of slightly tannic oak in the middle.The alcohol is nice and warming without being harsh.

Overall great beer... still needs another six months to round out.