Sunday, May 11, 2008

Left Side Lager

I decided it was time to make a beer to honor the place of my birth, San Francisco. I picked up some San Francisco Lager yeast (Anchor Steam) , got a recipe, changed it a bit and then brewed a beer. I let it lager for quite a while... over 4 weeks... and at higher temperatures than normal lagering. I think it turned out nicely, it has a nice cascade aroma, and ABV is around 4.8.
I also added a little bit of rye to the recipe to add a different taste. We'll see how it turns out. I just kegged it today, so in about a week It'll be good and carbonated.

The Golden Ale turned out very well, surprisingly. I was worried that just using dry muntons yeast wouldn't create the flavors i was after, and it didn't. However the beer is very drinkable, a nice light ale with decent flavors. Next time i'll keep the recipe mostly the same, but i'll change the hops to saaz and make sure i use a belgium yeast. I really think that makes a big (huge) difference.

Now.... what to make next. I'm reading a book on farmhouse ales (naturally fermented) but i haven't gotten up enough speed to go into a brettanomyces beer or something naturally fermented. However, the latest zymurgy magazine ran this article about making saisons.... and that has peaked some interest. The last saison i enjoyed very much... Victory makes a saison, part of its V series... and its fantastic. The flavors are amazing and the yeast presence is so forward....
So perhaps a saison, or maybe a wheat beer. Something to bring in spring.

The hop plants from last year are growing nicely. Out of the five plants i planted, three have come back, and stronger than ever. This year i got 5 rhizomes again, and planted them in various places around the house. They say that it takes three years to get a decent harvest, and while i don't really plan to make too many beers from them, it might be nice to make a beer with local hops.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Well it didn't take 4 weeks, more like 11 days... and this is one of the best beers i've brewed. I let this age for a little longer in the secondary, and i think that made a big difference. This dopplebock has molasses in it, and it came through very nicely. There is a definite alcohol warmth.... i think i calculated alcohol to be around 8 percent. I got the recipe from The Homebrewer's recipe guide, modified it slightly and i think it came out very well. Winter is always a good time to make lagers since our cold room in the basement averages in the 40-50s...
Molasses, Caramel, Dextrine malts, light hops... mmmm... beautiful tan head... stays for as long as you drink the beer... excellent excellent head.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bottled Doppelbock

I am looking forward to this one. Last Sunday I bottled my Dopplebock. While I swore i would never go back to bottling after kegging... i decided this beer deserved a bottle. Actually... i'm out of kegs in my fridge (can anyone say expansion?) so i decided to bottle instead. I still have the pumpkin ale and stout on tap, so i've been making some pumpkin java black and tans.

So in about 4 weeks the dopplebock will be ready to drink.. stay tuned

Another thing i thought about: my other beer that is currently lagering is a Belgium Blonde, high gravity... perhaps I should bottle this one as well...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kegged Vanilla Java Stout

Today I kegged the Vanilla Java Stout. Final Gravity was 1.015, So ABV is going to be about 5%. In a couple days the beer will be nicely carbonated and ready to consume.
So on tap now have a pumpkin spice ale and soon to be a stout. I bottled the apricot ale, so that is also available. I need to throw a party...
Currently lagering is a Dopplebock and a Strong Golden Ale.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Strong Golden racked

Racked the Belgium Strong Golden today. SG. of 1.017, just what i was expecting. oh yeah, i sampled some before i put it in the cold room to clear. Not bad... at all. actually rather tasty.
now for 4 weeks in the cold room before i keg it...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dopplebock racked

Today racked the dopplebock to secondary fermentation carboy. It smelled loverly. Took a gravity reading and at 1.025 we are looking good. A couple weeks more in the cold room and i'll have a nice beer. Saved some of the yeast cake...the rest i scooped out and added to the compost bin.