Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New arrivals...

I tapped 2 new kegs recently, the new Garden Ho' and the Phat Tyre. Here's the low down:

Phat Tyre - Still a bit young, but better than expected. I had overshot my Mash Temp on this one by quite a bit. In a panic I turned to my comrades at The Brewing Network for advice. I got the temp down and decided not to toss the batch, hoping for the best.
Now, for those who don't know, when you make beer you have to convert the sugars in the grain into "smaller" sugars that the yeast can break down into alcohol and CO2. There are enzymes in the grain that do this, but they need the right environment to work in. If it's too hot these enzymes will go to pieces (denature) and then the sugars are not broken down. I made it too hot and the concern was that if it was too hot for too long there would not be enough enzymes to do the job.
Long story a little longer, it worked out OK. The beer is a nice Amber color, malty with a slight hop aroma and flavor, and just the right bitterness. The White Labs Belgian Ale Yeast adds a different flavor from the Wyeast I used in the past. The result is a little more of that tell-tale Belgian fruitiness. Still a little cloudy but hopefully will clear up nice.

Garden Ho' - Now THIS one... I LOVE THIS BEER! This time I added zest from 6 oranges and 1 grapefruit at the end of the boil. Zest is the peel of the fruit without the white part (too bitter.) I also used a little more Cascade hops than is usually called for. If you've tasted Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (and many other American Ales) you know Cascade hops. Citrus through and through, the Cascade adds another layer of citrus flavor and "forces" conditioned beer drinkers to recognize it. It makes the brain say "ooh, citrussy!"
I used more oats than my award winner to lighten up the color and get as close to White as possible. I also added the corriander to the end of the boil and crushed it up real good in my Mortar and Pestle (imported from Thailand!)
The Result? VERY pale, golden hazy beer with a nice, lasting white foamy head. Citrus smell with a hint of corriander. The flavor starts in with citrus and goes right into wheat and malt. A slight citrussy bitterness follows taking you to... the end. I need another sip of that......

I'm also modifying the schedule a bit. The Wife and I were at the General Lafayette Tavern in Lafayette Hill, PA. I got a taster and one of the beers I picked was a Chocolate Porter. Lisa tasted it, and she actually liked it! It could be the baby (it's OK to taste Beer when you're pregnant), or maybe the Chocolate, but in any event the 1447 has been replaced with a Chocolate Porter. I pick my battles....

On Tap:
Garden Ho'
Phat Tyre

On Deck in kegs:
Nutty Brown Ale

In Bottles:

Oatmeal Stout
Funky Monk - Dubbel
Schmupay Grande Reserve
Garden Ho'
Witberry - 8 22oz bottles of Garden Ho' w/ Raspberry extract added - almost ready to taste
Nutty Brown Ale - not quite ready yet

In Secondary:
Patriot Pale Ale - American Pale Ale
Phat Tyre - 10gal
Schmoopyfest Oktoberfest - a few more weeks til bottling... no tasting 'til September!

Off this week, but the following weekend is... The Stuttering Ho'! A Double Wit aptly named by Lisa! It'll be based on the Garden Ho', but about 7.5% ABV, more aggressively hopped to offset the higher gravity, and with Orange Marmalade.... mmmmmm.....

'Til then!