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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Specialty Hard Cider update

Another week has passed and the yeast is still in suspension.  Gravity check was 1.004, which is where it has stabilized.  I think I'll wait one more week before bottling.  The sample looked almost clear with a very slight haze.  Flavor was good, red apple flavor up front with cinnamon and clove on the slightly tart finish. Tasty!
CHEERS!

Smoked Maple Nut Brown Ale

Brew day today.  It is raining mixed with snow.  Decided to add a little smoked malt to my maple nut brown to change it up a little.  Mash and boil smelled amazing!  Projected gravity is 1.059.  Measured is 1.070.  Wow that maple syrup added some major sugar!)  I used Briess Smoked Malt (30% of my grist),  but I'm wondering if it might be too light on the smoke?  I'll be adding some dark amber maple syrup to the boil as well as to secondary (if needed).
CHEERS!      

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Specialty Cider update

I checked the cider today and it is still hazy.  Gravity check yielded 1.004, placing ABV at 8.66%.  Hasn't changed since secondary.  I'll leave it in the fermenter longer to allow clearing.  Color is light amber.  Aroma of apple, cinnamon, and clove.  Flavor of apple, slight tartness, and cinnamon and cloves on the finish.  This is proving to be a tasty cider.
CHEERS!    

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Specialty Cider update

The cider is starting to clear nicely. Took a sample for tasting today.  Aroma of apple and cinnamon.  Flavor of sweet apple, with slight cinnamon and a hint of clove on the finish.  The yeast I used on this batch seems to be leaving some residual sugars behind.  Still has a week or two to go for clearing, then I'll let it bottle condition.  This one is shaping up nicely.  
CHEERS! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jose's Jalapeno Wheat

Tasting - I swirled the bottle gently to mix the yeast into the beer.  It pours a hazy deep golden color with a quickly dissipating white head.  (Might be due to wax on the jalapenos as I used store bought this round.) Aroma of fresh green jalapeno.  Medium body with flavors of sweet malt with a smooth mouthfeel, fresh green jalapeno, and a nice little rush of heat that hits in the back of the throat.  Not too hot, but definitely noticeable.  (Makes me want to keep coming back for more!)  I introduced this beer to some family members that don't drink craft beer, namely my youngest brother Keith and my 2nd cousin Gabe, and they both enjoyed it!
CHEERS!








Hard Cider update

Racked to secondary today onto 1 oz broken cinnamon sticks and 4 whole cloves that were soaked in spiced rum.  Gravity check was at 1.004, placing ABV at 8.66%.  Aroma of fresh apples.  Taste of slightly sweet apples giving way to a clean tart apple finish.  I like the flavor of the cider overall better than the experimental batches which seemed to have more esters/phenols leaving a mineral-like finish.  This cider finishes clean which to me is a lot more palatable.  We'll see where the spices take it in a week or more.
CHEERS!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hard Cider (6 Gal Batch)

I decided I am going for it and finally making a 6 gallon batch of hard cider.  I brewed a couple of experimental 1 gallon batches utilizing a dessert wine yeast with success.  This time I am using a wine yeast that is better for cider.  They both turned out good and the second batch is carbonating.

Starting OG on this batch is 1.070, which should place it in the 9% ABV region.  My wife says she prefers the higher alcohol version better, so that is what I am going for.  I don't know where this yeast will go yet as it is a different strain than I was experimenting with.  I do like the fact that there is no boil involved, though I did heat a half gallon to liquefy my sugars, but not higher than 165F.  I have some ideas to flavor it in secondary.   I'll keep you posted on my new venture.
CHEERS!