Raspberry Porter and Jalapeno Ale update

About 1.5 lbs of Raspberries washed and thawed

About 1.5 lbs of Raspberries washed and thawed

This summer hasn’t really been the most optimal time for brewing for me.  I think I’ve made a few good brews, one competition brew, and at least one beer I wasn’t completely satisfied with.  The jury’s still out on the competition beer since I haven’t taken a taste yet, but the others are all either in the rear-view mirror or only have a couple bottles left.  Now, as Labor day is almost upon us (the unofficial end of summer in the US), is as good as any time to look back and talk about the results of some of the more interesting batches.

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On Bottling… And the Unintended Consequences of Experimental Batches

Bottling line @Clipper City

Too bad you can’t fit one of these machines in an apartment (Photo credit: cizauskas)

I’ve been unable to post much the last couple weeks because of non beer related things in my life, but at least I have a bunch of topics queued up for posts now.

Whenever the topic of bottling comes up whether in conversation or while reading there is one thing everyone seems to feel:  Bottling day is a pain in the butt.  Maybe I just read books that hate the process, I’m not quite sure but usually people seem to say the faster you move on to kegging, the happy your brewing life will be.  I happened to disagree with this overall idea… although my recent bottling day has made me at least reevaluate that. Continue reading

Brooklyn Wort Beer and Bacon Maple Beer update

Bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better... I hope

Bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better… I hope

The experiment that is bacon maple beer is a couple steps closer to hopefully turning out as such.  Over the past few days I’ve added bacon and a bit of fenugreek to the beer in secondary.  Tasting the beer two days after the bacon infusion I was unable to get any taste of bacon to come through yet.  I’ll take a taste tomorrow and see if it is any stronger.  The strong, roasty character of the beer is going to be hard to punch through.  The fenugreek seeds I received smell pretty strongly of maple but also have a celery smell to them.  I didn’t add much to the beer, but that too was not coming through the roastiness.  More time is needed to find out just how freakishly this experiment is going to turn out.  Continue reading

Strawberry Wheat Judging Sheet

I got my first score sheet back from the Brooklyn Wort preliminary round and I’m happy with the results.  My Strawberry Wheat beer scored 38/50.

“Looks great, pours nice, with thick lingering head.  Strawberries come through.  Well carbonated.  No noticeable flaws.  Even more carbonation would improve it.  It does have a slightly sweet aftertaste that makes me think it might be better if it was even more dry.”

Not bad, I’d say.  Sounds like the only problems that were found were things that are easily corrected.  Next iteration of this beer will be mashed at a lower temperature and carbonation boosted somewhat.

The decent rating for this beer really gives me confidence that I can brew a beer that can compete for the top prizes in the finals.  Whichever beer that becomes, I will have to start brewing it in the next week or so… but, before that happens, I’m brewing up a special experimental batch that is pretty far out there.

Details of that beer to come very soon… It has a high chance of coming out horribly, but I have to try it anyways.  Besides, a one gallon batch isn’t going to ruin my life if it doesn’t come out wonderfully.