Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Aroma 9/12 - Balanced hop aroma and malt sweetness, very pleasent I thought. Malt has caramel aroma
Apperence 3/3 - Very clean, dark amber color, big initial head
Flavor 12-20 - Good balance between malt and hops but both were on the low end of the style. There was a lingering bitterness.
Mouthfeel 3/5 - Medium body and carbonation. Carbonation was a little prickly. After I reduced carbonation, body seemed much thiner.
Overall Impression 6/10 - This beer was well brewed with a very pleasent aroma. I didn't detect any obvious flaws. I would suggest that making this beer bigger would improve it significantly, and would help it compete better. Nice brewing job!
Total - 33/50
Aroma 7/12 - Citrusy hops, predominate malt component is clean, but could be more pronounced.
Appearence 3/3 - Crystal clean, dark amber, creamy head
Flavor 11/20 - Some creaminess up front, but not enough. Finishes quite bitter. Bitterness lingers too long in throat. Clean
Mouthfeel 4/5 - Med mouthfeel, high carbonation
Overall Impression 7/10 - Well-made, clean beer. Try adding more caramel malt to the grain bill. Balance is too heavily in favor of hops. Cut back on flavor & finish hops.
Back to the kitchen to make this better!!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Racked to Secondary - 2/26/08
Bottled - 3/1/08
Tapped/Drank - 3/20/08
1lb. American 2-row
.5lb Crystal 40L
5.5lb Amber Malt extract
1oz Perle (8%, 60 min)
.5 oz Cascade (6%, 45 min)
.5 oz Cascade (6%, 30 min)
.5 oz Cascade (6%, 15 min)
.5 oz Fuggles (4.75%, 15 min)
.5 oz Cascade (aroma, 1min)
.5 oz Fuggles (aroma, 1min)
Wyeast #1272 - American Ale II
Grains were steeped in a cheese cloth bag for 90 mins. at between 150-153f. I mashed out at 168 for 10 minutes before bringing to a boil. Fermentation was a little slow to start, but finished in about 4 days. I didn't rack until the next week since I was not around that weekend. Secondary had very little action. It was bottled 13 days after brew day. I put some in my mini-keg, and bottled the rest. Priming sugar was used for the entire batch. Next batch I will force carbonate the mini-keg and prime the bottles to see the difference. It was a little cold in my kitchen so the carbonation took some time to come about, but when it did it was right on!
The beer came out better than expected. After my first original recipe, I was a little nervous this would suck, but I am a big fan. I think I could tone down the grains a bit. It did have a strong malt character, that I was hoping was a little less week, but it did balance nicely with the hops.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Throughout the time I've been blogging, I make it a habit everyday to visit the "big guys" of the beer blogosphere. Each day I visited blogs like Appellation Beer, A Good Beer Blog, Beer Culture, Lew Bryson's Beer Blog, Stonch's Beer Blog, Roger Protz and others written by beer writers and other people who have been in the industry for a while. Then it hit me......I realized the struggle I was having trying to get tons of visitors and be a respected beer blogger was similar to the struggle that craft brewers once went through when trying to break into the beer market back in the 70's and 80's against the "Big Guys" of the macro world. And please, by no means am I comparing those writers to macro brewers of the US. They are all great writers, and are doing wonders for the craft beer industry, (hats off the them all) but they are the big guys of the blog world.
After realizing this, I started to think about how the craft brewing revolution finally got some traction. The answer was easier to figure out than I had hoped. They stopped trying to be just like the macros, and started to create an identity of their own. BRILLIANT!!!!! Be yourself, and the rest will take care of itself. Shouldn't this be the motto of every entrepreneur? Distinguishing a different product and offering a choice to their customers? (note to self....do this when you start you're brewery. Express yourself through your beers). I am reading Sam Calagione's book, Brewing up a Business so this is where all these ideas and realization are coming from.
Another great blog that I like to read daily is Ted's Homebrew Journal. Ted is a home brewer from Chicago who is extremely detailed about his brews and essentially does what I originally set out to do. He brews beer, posts about his brewing session with brew stats and his notes and thoughts. Lots of comments on each post discuss his beers, techniques he used, and results. He frequently experiments with yeast's to determine fermentation profiles of yeast strains, brews odd beers like Dandelion wine and herbal beers mixed with ginger, fennel, cardamom and fresh sage. He is a great resource for home brewers and I'm sure he is one hell of a brewer (Ted, if you're reading this.....I'd love to sample some of your beers).
As Pablo Picasso once said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal". So, with that being said, I'm stealing his blog! No, not literally, conceptually. His blog is exactly what I had wanted my blog to be like only I will also post updates as I get closer to opening a brewery, but still very similar. I know, I know.....how can I write about getting my own identity and not following suit, and then copy someone else. Well, here's how. That's what I was trying to do in the first place. Just because I'm copying his format, doesn't mean I'm copying him. Would you say that Harpoon copied Sam Adams? No...they are similar in the fact that they are both craft brewers, but the content of what they brew is a style all their own. Which is what I hope to do.
I'll continue to participate in The Sessions but I am re-dedicating myself to writing about my adventures in beer. I hope you all stick around and continue to read and comment on things I am doing, and your comments and suggestions will be important in helping me. I'm going to try and figure out how I can get a possible distribution list pulled together so I can use some of you as samplers. If you're interested, drop me a line with your address and I'll see what I can do.
Friday, April 4, 2008
While at lunch, we somehow got on the topic of beer and brewing. The Kaiser started his basic explanation of how beer is made. His explanation of how yeast works was my favorite part of the story.."the yeast in the wort eats the sugars. then as it eats, it pee's out alcohol and farts out CO2" Couldn't have said it better.
After that conversation, I let him know that I too was a home brewer....and from that day on our productivity at work went down the drain. He has been an advisor to all things I do regarding brewing. I've already told him that he will be my "Brewery Advisor" once I get my business started whether he likes it or not. He has since left our company and resides in Central Ohio. So, in the spirit of the Session, I decided who better to talk about the Kaiser, then the Kaiser himself. Below in the interview I conducted with him. You can check him out on his Blog, Noch Eins. Enjoy!
JF: Where are you from?
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
S) Smelled of sweet maltiness. a mild hop bitterness was present.
T) First sip was a mouthful of pleasant maltiness. Hints of caramel came through. Hop bitterness appears towards the end of the sip as expected. Very good balance of malt and hop bitterness.
M) Carbonation was great. Bubbles were present with every sip and held through the end of the mouthful.
D) Great beer. Again, Jim Koch over at Sam Adams has created a fantastic beer. After the first one, I was scrambling to my fridge to grab another. This is probably one of my top 5 from Sam Adams.
Well, since I received my rhizomes a little early, I thought if I left them in the sandwich bag in the fridge they might get ruined. So, I decided to plant them indoors. I put them in two large planters and I have them in the room that gets the most sun in our house. I'm hoping that in the next few weeks it starts to warm up and stay warm so I can get them outside permanently.
I found a link online to a hop farm called Puterbaugh Farms, so I emailed them to make sure I could plant them in the planters. Elizabeth, from their staff was great and emailed me back in no time with this response:
On 3/28/08, HopsDirect.com Orders <email@example.com>
Thanks for the inquiry. Hops will typically grow any which way you
train them to grow. Putting them in pots would be fine, as long as there is good
Please let me know if you have any further questions or comments.
HOPS Direct, LLC
So, with that re-assurance, I planted them. More updates once I move them outside!