Sunday, February 22, 2009

Patriot Homebrew Contest results

I received the results from the Patriot Homebrew contest. I entered two beers, Robust Vanilla Bourbon Porter and American Brown Session Ale. I scored a 33.5 out of 50 for the porter and a 32.6 for the brown ale. Although the score was lower, the feedback was much more positive with the brown ale and it scored second place in Category 10 C. I was pretty happy with that, and the criticism I received was deserved. I knew I had an issue with this recipe, as I stated in my previous post, because I added Munich malt. The biggest criticism was it had a roast malt flavor so when I brew this again this weekend, I'll replace the munich with Cara-pils.

Next up, the Sam Adams Longshot Homebrew contest.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lagering - Part 1

I took my first step in being able to brew a lager. This weekend I converted my basement fridge into a lagering fridge. No, I say "converted" but all I really did was reinforce the bottom shelf of the firdge with a piece of plywood and braced the shlef to be able to withstand the weight of my carboy. I know, it's not much. But it's a step in the right direction and I can now fit a single keg on one side of the shelf and the carboy on the other.

I've already put together a Munich Dunkle recipe that I'm going to try out. It's second in line now to my Sweet Crystal Ale, which I'm hoping will be close to the Sixpoint Sweet Action I wrote about. Hopefully I'll be able to brew the dunkle before I leave for Red Sox Spring Training in March.

Here are my questions to you....have you ever brewed a lager? Was it difficult? What did you brew?

I'm not set in stone to brewing the Munich Dunkle, so if you have a good recipe, let me know.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Organic Belgian Wit

This weekend I tasted the Organic Belgian Wit that I bottled from the keg. It was my first time force carbonating in a keg, and I definitely need to study up a little more on that. The beer was pretty close to flat. It was in the keg at 50 f under 18 PSI for 5 days and it had very little carbonation. I used the keg carb stone and it still didn't work. I have my APA II in there now, so I'll see if I leave it in there longer if it will help.

Besides the carbonation level, the beer was pretty good. Great spice from the coriander and orange. I used marmalade based on The Bearded Brewers recipe, and it went well. The marmalade I used had bits of orange peel in it as well. The one taste issue I had was with the aftertaste. It had a heavy orange peel bitterness to it at the end of the bottle that i was not expecting and was unpleasant. I'm not sure why, but I will re-make this with either a different kind of marmalade or with regular dried orange peel. The staple cloudiness of the beer was perfect and the color was very light pale, almost white. Not a bad beer. I will definitely go back to the drawing board with this one as I think it could be a great beer.