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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Russian Imperial Stout, Bottled

Bottled this today with FG of 1.020 placing ABV at 8.66%. Aromas of dried stone fruit, chocolate, and spice. Flavors of chocolate, spice, and dried stone fruit as well. Nice silky-smooth, medium to full body, with a nice lingering bitterness that is customary for this style. The finish is on the drier  side to avoid being cloyingly sweet. The flavors are very rich and complex and will benefit from some bottle aging.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Russian Imperial Stout, Secondary

Racked to secondary today. Gravity was 1.020 which places ABV at 8.66%. There is still some airlock activity. Color is a deep brown with orange/red highlights. Aromas of chocolate, spice, prunes, and dried stone fruit. Flavors of bitter chocolate, dried stone fruit, and spice, with a lingering bitterness. The finish is slightly dry due to the rye malt. The alcohol is warming but not "hot". This beer will be in secondary for about two weeks or until it clears up. It will definitely require some aging in the bottle to allow the flavors to meld. I'll post again when it is time to bottle.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Russian Imperial Stout

My brew day went fairly well. I was a quart over with my water measurement, but ended up with 5.5 gallons going into the fermenter. Had a little boil over when the hops went in. (Not fun scrubbing the outside of my kettle that had caramelized wort and hops baked on.) Projected SG was 1.093. Actual was 1.086, most likely due to the excess water. Projected ABV should be around 9.5%. The color was calculated at 42 SRM, but I'm not sure if it will be that dark. The wort is definitely dark brown with ruby and amber/orange hues. Full krausen at day 1 and everything is looking good! I'm excited to see how the flavor develops. The rye and chocolate rye should add some nice spiciness. The Special B should add some deep caramel and raisin/prune flavors. I'm keeping the fermentation temperature around 60-62 degrees with Fermentis US-05 yeast which is a high attenuator and neutral in flavor.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year, A New Beer

Hello all! Just a quick note about ringing in the new year by brewing a style of beer I have not brewed before. For those that know me, you know Altbier and Stout are two of my favorite styles. Well, I decided to go big and picked up the ingredients for a Russian Imperial Stout. And for those who know me in the brewing realm, you know I like to play with flavors and go outside the box. Well, this brew will be no exception. I picked up 18.25 lbs of malt for this brew which will be the biggest beer I have brewed to date. I'll be using Gambrinus ESB malt as the base, Briess Roasted Barley, Dingeman's Special B Malt, Weyermann Melaniodin Malt, Weyermann Rye Malt, and Weyermann Chocolate Rye Malt. I'm seeking the raisin/prune flavors from the Special B, and the spiciness from the Weyermann Rye to add some uniqueness to this Russian Imperial Stout. It will be pushing 10% ABV, so it will indeed require some aging. This may be my holiday beer for 2015! I'll be posting again when I brew. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Halter Top, Dusseldorf Style Altbier

Hello! Bottled today with an final gravity of 1.016, which is higher than I was expecting. Projected was 1.009. The ABV on this one will be lower than expected at about 4%. (This will be easy an easy drinking beer!)

Aromas of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar, with some spice and floral notes from the hops. Flavor is good, nice smooth malty backbone, with flavors of toffee and sweet malt, which gives way to a moderate but smooth bitterness with hints of spice.

Color is an orange/amber with ruby hues to it. Quite pretty!

I'll post again in a few weeks at tasting time after conditioning has completed.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Halter Top Altbier, Dusseldorf Style Altbier

Hello all! Sorry it's been a while since I brewed, but I'm back! I decided to brew one of my favorite styles, Dusseldorf Style Altbier. Malty and hoppy this a great style that is usually balanced and in my opinion is great when you find a good one. There are a few local breweries here in Colorado that make great ones. Grimm Brothers out of Loveland, CO, Prost Brewing out of Denver, CO, and Kokopelli Brewing out of Westminster, CO, just to name a few.

Here is a picture of the pre-boil wort. I wish you could smell this! Big, big, malt and grain aromas!

Here is the boil underway. 90 minutes of rapid boil to drop out proteins and trub. (Grain fragments and sediment.)

And the cooled wort racked to the primary fermenter. Starting to get some airlock activity after 5 hours of adding the yeast.

The recipe original gravity was predicted at 1.048. Actual measured original gravity is 1.046 which should place the ABV around 4.8%, which makes for quite a quaffable brew. 

This is one of my recipes that I keep tweaking in hopes that I'll nail it down soon! I think I'm getting very close. I chose some different malts to get a bigger malt flavor and aroma, and also increased the hops to get a little more bitterness to balance out the malt. I'll post when I rack to secondary which will be in 1-2 weeks and I'll check the gravity at that time.  

Thanks for reading!



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Punkin' A, Taste Test

After 1 week in the bottle, it's time for a taste test.  Aromas of pumpkin, oak, rum, spices, and vanilla.  Flavors of pumpkin, oak, and spices, with a finish of rum and vanilla.  This beer has a big, smooth mouthfeel that is cut to a medium mouthfeel with the carbonation. The flavors linger a little on the palate with some residual sweetness, but gives way to a crisp dry finish. At 7% ABV, it is slightly warming but no alcohol is noticed on the nose or on the palate. I look forward to sharing this beer with friends and relatives during the upcoming holiday season.  CHEERS!