Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Homebrew Beer

So now I am on batch 5 of my own beer. My first attempt was a brown ale copy of Moose Drool. Lots went wrong with this beer. I messed up the recipe, did not get my grain to the right temp and a couple other issues as well. We had a hot spell to had to cool in a tub of water in the closet which was OK but not great. It came out black and had some strong flavors of ash and burnt coffee. There were some other good things like chocolate and some fruity esters. Fresh, it was really hard to drink. I tried. This was affectionately named Moose Droppings a.k.a. Joe's Black Ale (JBA).

Next was a second attempt with the proper recipe and tighter procedures. Again, I missed some target numbers but the process was better. This was much more drinkable but there was a slight off flavor I can't describe. By this time, about 2 weeks from brewing JBA, JBA was mellowing out. A couple weeks later, I started blending JBA and JBA#2. This was something I really, really liked. So much so I was going to submit it to the Northern CA Homebrew Competition. The night I went out to bottle, the keg emptied while pouring some for the missus. Sigh...

Next was an IPA. A hoppy IPA. Everything seems to go right except maybe not achieving my desired starting gravity. The fermentation went OK in my tub of cool water and swamp cooler design. Something went wrong though. Maybe a bacteria. There is a prominent band-aid smell and taste. I can drink it but I don't like it.

Then came JBA#3. This is my own recipe that was designed to try to replicate the blended concoction of JBA#1 and JBA#2. I brewed this at Antony's house on my gear using his water. the process was really good. Again, my starting gravity was lower than desired. The ferment was done in my dorm fridge in the garage. I even put a video of the fermentation on youtube. Kegged after a week and force carbonated. It was immediately drinkable. Notes of coffee, chocolate, malt, hops, bitters, something fruity too. Really nice beer! Too nice. It is going too fast.

Now Brew #5 is fermenting. Trying an IPA again. Followed a recipe in brewing Classic Styles for a Hoppy IPA but changed all the hops to try to get what I wanted in bitter and aroma. Fermentation in the little fridge is going well. Smells like beer! Looks like a churning madness of a yeast orgy.

Time for brew #6. JBA#3. I'll be heading to MoreBeer today to get the ingredients. Not sure when to brew. I am bringing my brew gear to a community brew day with the Almaden Valley Brew Club this Saturday. Maybe I should season my equipment and brew on Friday or Sunday. Since my method uses all my gear, I would rather have it to share with the club than hog it all myself.

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