Thursday, June 28, 2012

Orange Blossom Mead

My second attempt at a mead is going to be more of an experimental batch than the first. As I may have mentioned Derek produced a standard mead so I want to keep my meads in the experimental range. To that end I am going to take a carbonated mead and add orange extract and vanilla extract to the bottles prior to capping.

I made this mead with all orange blossom honey.  I've enjoyed this honey on chicken and toasted bread. The honey is very sweet with light floral notes.

1.0 pkg Pasteur Champagne (Red Star)
2 lbs Honey (1.0 SRM) 100.0 %
2.00 Items* Vanilla Extract (@ Bottling)
3.00 Items* Orange Extract (@ Bottling)
*Approximate number of eye droplets to present in the nose.

Bottling Volume: 1.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.069 SG
Estimated Color: 2.4 SRM

I used Laney Farms California Orange Blossom Honey from a 19oz squeeze bottle. For the extracts I will use Orange Extract from Beanilla. I'll be using Tahitian Vanilla Extract. I've used these extracts in sodas I've made; it's a winning combination. I am hoping that as a subtle addition to a mead It'll be like a honey orange soda mead.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Iron Brewer Part 2

I submitted my recipe a few days ago with a few minor tweaks. I finalized the rosemary to lemon ratio. I also affirmed my yeast choice talking to my girlfriend when she reminded me of raisin foccacia. This is a flat bread made with raisins, and rosemary. I've seen recipes in my baking books that feature some of the spices contained in apple pie spice. My hope is that the fruitiness from the hops adds the raisin like fruit notes.

To finalize the lemon and rosemary ratio I made a tea from lemon and rosemary. This was a simple feat given my purchase of a french press some time ago.
Lemon Rosemary Tea Tasting (I made 2 batches of tea)

Batch 001 - Even Mix
8 cups boiling water
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp rosemary

Batch 002 - 100% Increase in Lemon
8 cups boiling water
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp rosemary

Tasting Notes:
Batch 001 was very rosemary dominant; the lemon barely registered in the foreground of the flavor the aromatics of the rosemary were crazy, this is going to be a good ingredient. Batch 002 was better, the rosemary didn't dominate much, I am going to try one more batch later with fresh zest.

Recipe Tweaks:
After reading a bit about Admiral as a bittering hop I have decided that the metallic taste imparted by this hop is not what I am looking for. I'll be using Sorachi Ace with a bit blended forward into the Strusselspaltz to hopefully accent the lemon flavor. After reading the Hill Farmstead interview over at Embrace The Funk I was interested in ICU counts for consistency sake across my beers. 10g in 3gal is 833 ICU. Their Mimosa product was around 500 ICU, this allegedly provided plenty of rindy citrus flavor. I am going to reduce my grams of citrus zest by about half. The Mimosa also featured Brett which I will assume added some amount of citrus flavors. 6g of lemon and 3g of rosemary

Final Submitted Recipe:
3 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) 54.5 %
2 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) 36.4 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) 4.5 %
4.0 oz Caramunich II (Weyermann) (63.0 SRM) 4.5 %
0.20 oz Sorachi Ace [12.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min 14.3 IBUs
0.30 oz Strisslespalt [4.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min 4.3 IBUs
0.05 oz Sorachi Ace [12.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min 2.2 IBUs
0.20 oz Strisslespalt [4.00 %] - Boil 7.0 min 1.3 IBUs
0.05 oz Sorachi Ace [12.00 %] - Boil 7.0 min 1.0 IBUs
6.00 g Lemon Zest (Boil 0.0 mins)
3.00 g Rosemary (Boil 0.0 mins)

Brew Day:
Brew day looks like it will be on or about the 29th of this month. This will give me 2 weeks to ferment the beer out and then I'll bottle it. It's a tight time table to brew, bottle, and mail a beer but it's my hope that everything works out.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Belgian Quadruple w/ Tart Cherries

Belgian Quadruple

Appearance: Red and Hazy, A thick head rises and then falls into a ring, there is no lacing to speak of for how much sugar and tart cherry there are in the beer. I think the fruit really thinned things.

Aroma: Fruit oozes up in the nose. The maltiness is also there but the tart cherries dominate like you would expect them to.

Flavor: Tart Cherries on a malty almost bready backbone. Really a pleasent flavor. The ardennes yeast is apparent as it is in most beers I've made with the yeast. I'd like to try more belgian strains, maybe this fall.

Mouthfeel: Properly Carbonated. Thinned by the fruit addition. Sugar coats my mouth and fills my palate.

Overall: I'd say A-/B+. Derek told me he really enjoyed this beer, sharing it with his girlfriend because there were only 3 bottles made. This was the final bottle and I am a bit sad that it is gone; I would have liked to have shared it with more people, that said I probably won't brew it again for a while, if ever. I'd like more dark fruit in my quadruple. I'll attempt to track down more source material before my next attempt. I have another bottle of Westy 12 aging in my basement. I want to try more quadruples and take tasting notes, compile recipes and try again with real candi sugar.

Tart Cherries: Tart cherries did the trick in this beer. They add to what would have just been a strong malty brew. The cherry flavor doesn't really apply but the tartness and richness of the fruit does show.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Iron Brewer

Months ago I registered for IRON BREWER after reading about it at another blog. Truth be told I had totally forgotten doing it until the email came a few nights ago. I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the competition because I like being in a competitive setting. When I received the return email letting me know that I had replied soon enough and the mystery ingredients I began to get excited.

(read more after the break.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review: Ginger Rye Munich Saison

Ginger Rye Munich Saison

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow body. Tall rocky white head. Visible effervecent carbonation.

Aroma: Ginger. The nose has a strong spice from the rye and the ginger. Other subtler flavors are over powered in the aroma.

Taste: Spicey: Rye and Ginger. The bready malts and yeasts come through in the flavor as well as a vague sweetness from the malts. If fresh/crispness was a flavor I'd note that as well

Mouth: Dry, Refreshing. The carbonation/spices leave a bit of a tingling on the tounge as the beer flows.

Overall: I'd give this an A- after I try out a few more saison strains I will select one and probably turn this into a 5 gallon brew and put it on tap. When I get sick of it I'll put the remainder in bottles. Derek really liked it, kyle seemed to like it. I am happy.