Saturday, July 23, 2011

Now bring us some figgy pudding...

...and a cup of good cheer.  Today I brewed an ale that I've been wanting to get going for a while; the English counterpart of my Père Noël de Bruxelles Belgian Christmas Ale.  Ah yes, this is the fabled Figgy Pudding Ale that I have been planning for a while, a spiced English-style barleywine/old ale-ish beer with mission figs added in.  Since the Nashville water is horrendous right now (I think they call it an "algae bloom," I call it "the water tastes like potting soil,") I was forced to brew with carbon-filtered drinking water and Burton Water Salts (it had been a while since I had used those!), which should actually yield some great results.  After oversleeping this morning and getting a late start, I really had a great brew day.  Things went smoothly and cleanly, and by the end of it, I had a wonderful high-gravity brew that smelled of Christmas.  Seriously, this was one of the best-smelling beers on brew day that I have ever made.  Hopefully that bodes well for this one as I let it ferment to perfection.  Here's the recipe (2.5 gallons):

7 lbs. Maris Otter
.5 lbs. Biscuit Malt
.5 lbs. Amber Malt
.5 lbs. Belgian Dark Candi syrup, 90L (amazing stuff)

Mash at 152° for 45 minutes and then raise to 158° for the last 15

1 oz. Challenger hops (7.7%AA) @90 min
.5 oz. East Kent Goldings (7.2%AA) @15

1.5 lbs dried black mission figs (these were amazingly good)@10
.5 T cinnamon @1
.5 T nutmeg @1
1 T ginger @1

Danstar Nottingham Yeast (no starter made)

OG: 1.096 (oh yeah!)
IBU: 47
Anticipated SRM:19

Also added some French oak to my Belgian Christmas ale today.  I've been soaking some oak chips in rum to add to the Figgy Pudding Ale.  Delicious!

Additionally, Ryan of Ryan Brews fame (check him out!) has asked me to do a review of the Belgian Table Beer for his blog and the HomebrewTalk recipe database.  It is delicious and I am looking forward to giving it a review.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quick updates

I figured I should do a quick entry since I haven't updated in quite a while, just to let people know what's up with Jeff's Delicious Homebrew hobby.  Here's the skinny:

  • I've been enjoying the Cicada Imperial Red for a little while, and I'm already halfway through it.  It's just so delicious I can hardly stop drinking it.
  • The first bottles of the Belgian Table Beer have been tasted, and it is awesome.  Perfect summer is light and refreshing but not lacking in flavor...complex in its simplicity...sorry, you caught me in a moment there.  Anyway, I can already tell that one won't last long either.  Friends, family, and coworkers have already given it the A-OK.
  • I've been wanting to brew my English Christmas Ale (Figgy Pudding Ale) for a while, and this weekend seemed like the perfect time to do it.  Unfortunately, the Nashville tap water currently tastes like moldy potting soil.  If I brew, it may have to be with some jugs of distilled water and a little bit of gypsum/Burton water salts.  More on that soon.
  • With all of these batches being drank so quickly, I think I may have to squeeze in one more batch this summer.  I am currently wavering between a few (rather) different ideas.  Right now, I'm trying to decide between Berliner Weisse, SMaSH Ordinary Bitter, and an all-grain adaptation of Sunny's Ginger Wit.  Suggestions welcome