Saturday, 28 February 2015

White Labs Brett Trois Microscopy Pictures

Being a microbiology student has its perks. I've been taking samples of yeast into the lab for a series of pictures in my free time, and with the uproar about Brett Trois I figured I would take some pictures for fun. In the next month I'll be growing up some wild yeast samples that I collected from crab apples, so I figure it would be neat to micrograph those as well, especially because they all seem to form some nice pellicles in the test tube.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Sour Beer on Concord Grapes

A more picture heavy post this time around, there's just so much more of a story to tell when it comes to sour beers. This beer started as a sour red ale, and I wanted to ferment it with just Wyeast Roeselare blend because I wanted to get an idea of the flavor that roeselare has. It was lack-luster, and definitely not sour enough. That's what most people say about it, but I guess I just wanted to have that experience for myself. I like the fruity flavors that come through from the yeast blend, and I figured I could rack it onto some fruit and let it rip to see if anything better comes from it.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Spanish Cedar Aged IIPA

This is a block of Spanish Cedar, but Spanish Cedar is neither Spanish, nor Cedar. I mean, it's not even a soft wood related to cedar. Spanish Cedar is a mahogany from South America. This lignin-laden piece of goodness is the same wood that cigar humidors are made from. Aging beers on Spanish Cedar is not a new thing; in fact Cigar City Brewing does a lot of it. From what I've had of Spanish Cedar aged beers, the wood imparts a peppery flavor with citrus notes that goes really well with IPA's. The main issue that I am facing with this beer is not knowing exactly how much wood to use. I will probably chop off about a third of this block and cube it, weigh it and see what kind of flavor I get from it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Chthonian Dubbel

I've recently had an overcarbonation problem, as you may be able to tell. The other beer affected is the 100% "Brett" trois wit (the problem being, as many in the homebrew community now know, White labs Brettanomyces bruxellensis "Trois" is likely a Saccharomyces strain). The other thing I'm blaming is this Duvel glass, which has a laser etched "D" at the bottom of the glass that serves as a nucleation site to release the carbonation and get more foaming. I personally don't like the laser etched glasses because it drives too much carbonation out of solution which leads to an explosively foamy beer at first that then dies into a sad, flat excuse for the belgian it once was.

Back to the beer: I brewed this beer around October of 2014 when I first started this blog. I wanted it to be ready by about Christmas time as a winter warmer beer. Many people recommend aging belgian beers for 6 months or so, but I figured I would just allow it to age in the bottle instead of the carboy. I feel that the 3 months of aging would be more than sufficient to turn out a tasty beer that I could share with my family.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Sumpsimus Bohemian Pilsner - First Lager, First Water Tweaking

Oh, lagers, the strawman nemesis of the de novo beer snob; the dearest compadre to the uninitiated dark-beer-fearer. As homebrewers, I'm sure that most of us know at least 3 or 4 people who insist that they "can't drink ales", or only drink lagers, which is generally a way of saying that they don't like anything but Budweiser, Coors, or Molson. I've heard the opposite from newer beer-enthusiasts because they choose it as a form of rebellion against the majority lite lager drinking herd. In my opinion, both of these crowds are missing out. While it seems obvious that the BMC crowd may be missing out (in our opinion) on IPA, Stout, Barleywine, Belgian ales, Sours etc, the newer craft drinkers who think that lagers are boring, or that lagers are nothing but the lite corn beer are also missing out. Lagers can have so much flavor!
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