Saturday, April 18, 2009

Too Busy to Blog?

Wow! I've been kind of busy lately. Since my last post, I've made several beers and assisted in the making of some more. I finished up my teaching gig in early March, so I thought I'd be busily blogging here and elsewhere but, instead I've just been busy doing other things, none of which seem important but just had to get done.

Here is a little bit of what's been going on in the life and times of Beerme, beer-wise:

The tweaked, second attempt at the perfect English Dark Mild came out a bit sweeter and a bit earthier, due to the Goldings hops. I am going to enter it as a Southern English Brown Ale. Cross your fingers! I like the first one better, though, so I will enter that as the perfect English Dark Mild!

I racked a Robust Porter onto the yeast in March and it finished a bit weaker than a US version of Robust Porter should be (less roasty and not as much mouthfeel), so I may enter it as a Brown Porter. Competitions simply do not respect historical (restrained) guidelines. Bolder beers (only just incrementally so) seem to do better, in my humble opinion. Here is the 10 gallon grainbill:

20 Lbs. 2-Row (US)
2 Lbs. Crisp Crystal 45
1 Lb. US Chocolate Malt
.5 Lbs. Roasted Barley
2 Oz. Nugget (Homegrown) 60 Minutes
1 Oz. Cascade (Homegrown) 20 Minutes
Irish Moss
Yeast cake of WLP 002 English Ale Yeast
OG: 1.054 FG: 1.012

On April 11, I brewed a big Barleywine. It finished at 1.091 and the additions of homemade caramel syrup and beet sugar brought it up to 1.106. I added these incrementally during the first week of fermentation. I just racked it to secondary and it is already a hefty 9% ABV! The gravity check yielded a still sweet 1.030. It has a ways to go but it tastes pretty darned good right now! Vinous and very sweet, there are heavy dark fruit notes and a spicy and hoppy counterbalance to the malt-heavy backbone. Here is the 5 gallon grainbill:

20 Lbs. 2-Row US
4 Lbs. German Pilsner Malt
2 Lbs. Crisp Crystal 45
1 Lb. Belgian Caramunich
1 Oz. Nugget (Homegrown) 60 Minutes
1 Oz. Cascade (Homegrown) 20 Minutes
Irish Moss 1.5 Teaspoons 15 Minutes
2 Lbs. Beet Sugar (prepared as equal additions of syrup, one of which was inverted and caramelized)
Yeast Cake of WLP 002 English Ale Yeast (Finally retired!)
OG: 1.106 FG: 1.026 (Expected) currently at 1.030.

I will leave it in secondary until mid-May and then rack to a keg and bottle in 7 oz. bottles for keeping. This one will not be ready for competition until Fall, at the least.

The Lapeer Area Brewers is a growing concern! We have a new member nearly every month and the brewers are getting better and better! We have a brewing demonstration scheduled for Big Brew-National Homebrew Day, on Saturday May 2, 2009 at Replays Sports Tavern just North of Lapeer. At least two beers will be brewed: one all-grain and one extract. We will have some samples on hand and a host of experienced brewers to answer questions and give advice on this great hobby. Anyone in the area is encouraged to come by and enjoy the fun! There may be some trivia games and even a Red Wings playoff game to watch, after the work is done! The bar beer menu is limited to BudMilCoors and Oberon, on'll have to do. Hey, Miller is "triple-hopped", ya know!

Until the next post, Prosit!


camojack said...

Dude! I was beginning to wonder...

Beerme said...

Yes. I was wondering a bit, myself. It seems I also missed commenting on my blogiversary on April 15. It was four years on that date since I started this effort. My, how time flies...

Velky Al said...

The porter there sounds grand. Just brewed up a smoked chocolate stout, which I have high hopes for and my lime witbier turned out quite good - or at least the version which sat in the fermenter an extra ten days did.

Beerme said...

We'll see how grand, soon. I've entered three beers, including the porter, in the upcoming World Expo of Beer, in Frankenmuth.

Your Lime Wit sounds really interesting! Don't bottle too soon!
So, now that you've done a few are you liking this brewing hobby????

Velky Al said...

I love it! Thankfully so far I haven't brweed anything undrinkable, and have now started doing extract with speciality grain brewing.

Once I move to VA in August I plan to get myself a decent setup so I can brew up to 10 gallons a time. Then I will work out a brewing schedule for special projects, such as a 1 year old barleywine to be brewed at Thanksgiving and then opened at Thanksgiving the following year. Maybe even a big Christmas Imperial Stout.

The Lime Witbier I think will become my annual summer beer.

Beerme said...

Velky Al, got the bug!
Have fun and brew on, my friend!

Gites said...
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