Monday, 24 November 2014

100% Brettanomyces bruxellensis "Trois" fermented "Rye - Wit"

Sometimes I just don't give a damn for the style guidelines. This is a bit of a bastard beer: spiced like a wit, but with rye grain instead of wheat, and instead of getting its fruity esters from a belgian strain, I've chosen to go for the fruity flavors from Brett trois. 

Rye malt on the left, barley malt on the right.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tonka Bean Pumpkin Ale

Okay, I admit: this beer doesn't have any pumpkin in it, but there are tonka beans! I don't see the point of adding pumpkin to the beer when it contributes so little flavor, fermentable sugars, or mouthfeel. Like many other brewers around me, I have forsaken the pumpkin in favor of the spices which I feel are the real star of the pumpkin ale.

For those not familiar, tonka beans are the seeds from Dipteryx odorata: a tree of the pea family which is native to Central and South America. The seeds look like wrinkled black almonds, and smell something like vanilla beans, which were soaked in almond extract and sprinkled with cinnamon. Sometimes I also pick up a caramelly odour as well. I could sit and sniff the jar of beans for ages without getting bored of all the different scents that can be picked up from these weird looking pods.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Fermentation Chamber Complete, and a Scottish 80.

After a few years of homebrewing, it's about time that I made the leap to fermentation temperature control. Anytime you see a thread on a brewing forum that asks what the biggest improvement in a homebrew system is, the overwhelming response is usually temperature control.

While temperature control is important in both the mash and in fermentation, for mashing I'm still relying on an old school dial thermometer. Soon enough I'll order a thermopen to lock in my mash temperatures, but first I wanted to take care of the fermentations.

To start, I got a minifridge off of Kijiji, and took the door off. The fridge was too shallow to fit a carboy inside, so I decided to make a 6" wide wooden frame to extend the front of the fridge.

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