Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Vienna Lager Tasting

I have a confession: I'm loving homebrew lagers.

After much trepidation, anticipation and eagerness, I have finally brewed my first Vienna lager. As I mentioned in my brew-day post here, I have always wanted to try a Vienna lager. The flavor descriptions for this style sound mouth watering: malt-centered, toasty, fairly dry. Brewing this beer also gives me the opportunity to play more with lager yeast and fermentation temperatures. I've really begun to enjoy making lagers due to the fact that they present a difference in techniques, ingredients, and results. I wouldn't say they're that much more complicated than ales as long as you follow the basic guidelines: ferment cold, diacetyl rest as fermentation is dying down, lager until clear and sulfur dissipates, then bottle or keg. The big breath-holder for me about this beer was that the ingredients were expensive this time around. My LHBS charges Vienna and MO as specialty malts instead of base malts, so for MO I usually try to emulate with a bit of amber malt in the grain bill, but for this beer I really wanted to see the difference that Vienna malt makes.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

2013 Spontaneous fermentation aged on Crabapples

This beer has been a bit of an ordeal for me - mostly because of the risks involved with spontaneous fermentation. At first, when this culture started fermenting it threw off more sulfur than I've ever smelt from a beer before. The noxious gas I sniffed from the airlock within the first few weeks had me second guessing my choice in this foray into the great unknown, but I held stubborn to the beer anyways. The thing about sours, and especially sours wherein you forego the commercial cultures, is that you can't tell how the beer will be after 8 months, or a year, or 2 years. This one was an adventure in testing my blood pressure.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Double Brew Day - Spanish Cedar English Pale Ale & Sour Stout

The semester has finally come to a rest, and it tastes of success and good beer. I decided to celebrate by brewing up two batches of beer in a day: an English Pale Ale to be aged on spanish cedar brewed in the morning, and a sour stout with my girlfriend in the evening. I really wanted another go at using spanish cedar, and both my girlfriend and I have really wanted to make a batch of sour stout since we first tried a bottle of Tart of Darkness.
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