Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Rogue Mead

Bottled the Mead last night...well actually it was the wee hours of this morning...and it is just wonderful. The oranges, raisins, and spices make it a sweet, delicious, warming nectar. It sort of tasted like Christmas, and it made me want to make LOTS more and let it age until the winter months. The recipe was so easy since it was made with all household ingredients, I don't see any reason not to make a bunch more to be drunk when the weather gets colder. The recipe I made had a very mulled-wine-like character to it, and I see that as something that would be very pleasant in winter. I also want to try making some raspberry mead, as that would probably be amazingly delicious as well. So glad that I have a couple of one-gallon carboys and a great recipe for household ingredient-made Rogue Mead!

Nectar of the gods!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whoa whoa whoa whoa

Forgot to mention in today's entry that I have officially procured equipment to go draught with my homebrew. I found a super inexpensive kegerator on craigslist that was in great shape, and I treated myself to two corny kegs and the proper connectors from Beer and Wine hobby. I am incredibly excited to be pouring my next batch off of the faucet! The only investment on the kegerator that I anticipate probably wanting to make is the purchase of a dual tap tower so that I can have two different homebrews flowing at once. Should make this homebrewin' summer even better!

First taste of the BowThai

Yes, I added a 'w' to the name of the beer...I decided that it looked better on paper as I was filling out the entry form for the Sam Adams Longshot Competition! Just tasted the BowThai Ale last night, and it is amazing. The initial flavor is that of a primo conventional pale ale accented by delicious citrusy Cascade hops, and that flavor then gives way to an amazing bouquet of the coconut, coriander, ginger, and basil flavors with a finish of just a little heat from the (red) hot chili peppers. This is truly an amazing beer, creative and differently flavored enough for "Category 23," with more than enough classic beer character to it. I would say that even the flavor itself is much better than when I tried it in its flat and warm state. I am SO excited to be drinking this for a while.

The Youzaho Light is in bottles, and I'm hoping to bottle the "Rogue Mead" sometime today. There are even a few bottles of Sunny's Ginger Wit left! Great times.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baking bottles, graduation tankards, etc.

Just a few updates...

First of all, I would like to dedicate this entry to my classmates at Vanderbilt who graduated this past Friday. My readers will be glad to know that my friends and I celebrated with some homebrew, Sunny's Ginger Wit to be exact. Who could ask for a better graduation present, right? Delicious.

Tonight, I am baking bottles for sterilization as well as soaking a few in ammonia solution to remove the labels. By the end of this week, I will have bottled my Bo-Thai Ale, Youzaho Light Lager, and Rogue Mead. Two weeks from now, we will be quaffing tankards of ale and mead, just like medieval times! Delicious!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bo-Thai Ale

I just had my first taste of my Thai-Spiced Honey Coconut Ale, which I have now given the quick and clever moniker, "Bo-Thai Ale." It tastes AWESOME. The coconut is present and delicious. No mistaking the flavor, but the whole thing still tastes like beer, which is thrilling. The Thai spices taste wonderful in the ale, and the delicious, citrusy Cascade hops manifest themselves as part of the whole spice mixture, which is incredibly pleasant. The hot peppers are a perfect and pleasant addition, contributing just the right amount of heat so as not to overwhelm the rest of the flavor in the beer. It is perfectly, subtly detectable. I am super happy about this beer. The honey and coconut compliment each other perfectly and their sweetness totally stands up to the Thai spices. I'm not going to jinx myself with this one, but this has some amazing potential in the Longshot competition, as it is incredibly interesting and different as a specialty beer, but it is still beer, without a doubt (as in, the other flavors don't ruin the integrity of the barley and hops). I am so excited to unleash it on the world! Bottling soon, and then fame and fortune!!!

Basic math:

+ + =...


-Bo-Thai wearer and brewer

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Been a while...exciting updates!

I will categorize my updates into categories for easy reading :)

Longshot Contest Entry:
My specialty beer, an all-original recipe brewed last night, is fermenting away in the carboy. I am very excited about the recipe, which I will of course not share it its entirety, but which is something along the lines of a Thai-spice coconut honey ale. Awesome, right? Yeah, you know it. I did a partial mash for this brew, which is a stepping stone for all grain brewing (meaning no malt extract, just malt from which one creates one's own extract). So, I used a manageable amount of malted grains and a much smaller amount of malt extract in this brew. This will make the brew even more "homemade" and make it taste even better and more refined. I ended up hitting my Original Gravity (OG) on the nose, so I know that I didn't screw anything up. After mashing in, I started the normal boiling process as usual, enhancing the beer with coconut, honey, and Thai spices including (but not limited to) basil and hot pepper. Mmmm did this stuff smell delicious. I used cascade hops to add a citrusy character akin to the lime accents that one often tastes in Thai food. I used a White Labs California Ale yeast culture for this one, just to pay a little more homage to the Pacific. After smelling this and tasting the unfermented wort, I think (hope) this will really be a winner! My only minor concern is with the temperature here in Andover, which seems to be fluctuating a lot but staying within range. I also took much longer to cool the wort this time because the boil volume was greater, so I definitely need to invest in a chiller. I think all of this will still be fine, as long as fermentation doesn't stop prematurely. The beer seems to be kraeusening just fine. I also NEED A CLEVER NAME FOR THE BREW, so I'm open to ideas.

Pictures from brewing:

Spent grains (left) and boiling wort (right)


Hop Growing:
I now have three plants of Kent Goldings Hops and two of Cascade hops in my possession, thanks to a great afternoon with horticulturist and fellow homebrew enthusiast Peter Konjoian. On Saturday, I will prepare the patch of my yard for growing and make a trip to the Home Depot for trellis supplies. I plan on doing a tent-pole trellis, which should be very effective. It will definitely be a great construction project for Saturday. If anyone else wants to help me with edging, tearing up sod, digging holes, burying poles, doing geometry, and tensioning guy lines, you are more than welcome to join me in a fun and rewarding day. Currently, Peter's hops are almost all ready to put in the ground, and mine are still about ten days to two weeks away. His plants look beautiful, and mine are just today showing signs of sprouting. Hopefully some good weather will bring these babies out. Peter's have even grown since I brought them home on Sunday...that bodes well. Here's a photo of my beautiful flora, still in pots:

I promise to post trellis pictures this weekend.

-Your favorite homebrewdude