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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Smoked Porter, Special Edition

Well, my creativity is trying to get the best of me.  I have opted to brew a smoked porter, but with some special additions, which only a few people know about, so hush hush until I reveal please. (I recently tried Stone's Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers and found that to be quite a tasty brew.)
The brew day went very smoothly today.  I decided to use Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, sparingly. Yes, I did say sparingly.  Smoked malt addition is only 15% in this one. Recipe projected OG: 1.056. Actual measured OG: 1.060.  5.25 gallons into the fermenter.  Stay tuned when this goes to secondary as that is when things will start to get interesting.

Cherry Cider, Still

Bottled today with an FG of 1.014 placing ABV at 7.35%.  I decided to go still on this one as I think the flavors meld together better.  It is more wine like since I used Sweet Mead Yeast.  These will have to age a little but the flavor is nice.  Black cherry up front gives way to the lime and finishes with a touch of acidity.  Not too sweet and not too dry.  I ended up with 4 bottles from the 1 gallon batch.  Tasty!

Kettle Black, Irish Dry Stout

Racked to secondary this morning with a gravity of 1.014 placing ABV at 4.73%. Aroma of coffee and cocoa from the roasted barley, flavors of roasted barley with a nice smooth mouthfeel.  Color wise, this stout is more on the deep brown side with deep amber/red hues. I decided to go to secondary to help it clear up as it may be possible to see through this one when it is finished. Flavor wise, I think it is what I have been aiming for!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kettle Black, Irish Dry Stout

And two days into fermentation about an inch-and-a-half krausen. I added 8 drops of FermCap-S at the beginning of the boil and it seems to be working at keeping the krausen under control.  No problems with hop additions when adding slowly. I didn't have any boil-overs, thank goodness! Holding the fermentation temperature at 67F. Lookin' good so far! I'm getting anxious on wanting to taste this one.  I think this recipe is where I want it finally.  Debating on going to secondary. May just let it finish up in the primary.  Depends on clarity and yeast flocculation after one week.  I'll keep you posted!  CHEERS!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon

Racked to secondary today with a gravity reading 0.992 placing ABV at 14.17%.  The airlock became slightly active again after rousing the yeast.  This wine will sit in secondary for about two weeks to assist with clearing and make sure that fermentation is complete.  Then we'll move on to the clearing stage using chitosan  and will kill all yeast with potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfate.

Ruby Red Melomel

Racked to secondary today with a gravity reading of 1.002, placing ABV at 14.43%.  Taste: definite alcohol, mild honey, not much on the grapefruit end.  This will definitely have to age and clear as it is quite cloudy at this point as well.  I'll probably rack to tertiary if there is a lot of dropout.

Kettle Black - Dry Irish Stout

Happy brew day!  Mashed in at 7:00 a.m.  Strike temp 164F for a mash temp of 152F.  Nothing like the smell of mash in the morning!  Nice roasty aromas! Stout is one of my favorite styles; anything from Dry Irish Stouts, to Oatmeal Stouts and Milk Stouts, to Russian Imperial Stouts.  Sometimes I enjoy American Stouts, but it can go either way.  Occasionally they are just way to bitter from the hop additions.  I think certain hops fight with the roasted malt and can be quite unpleasant.

Pictured below from left to right are the mash from this morning, the boil underway, and 5.25 gallons into the fermenter.  Projected gravity was 1.046.  Actual measured is 1.050.  I used UK Target hops.  I love those hops in my stouts! Sorry for the late post as both sides of the family showed up for visits.
Kettle Black In the Fermenter

Kettle Black Mash
Kettle Black Boil

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kettle Black, Irish Dry Stout

On deck for brew day 6/22/14 will be my Irish Dry Stout.  I am working on dialing in this recipe.  I love stout so I need one for the summertime.  I have 9.375 pounds of grain in the mash tun ready to go.  The water is measured out and in the kettles for heating.  I'll post stats tomorrow after brew day.  CHEERS!

Cherry Cider

Hello all!  The Cherry Cider was racked to secondary and the gravity was 1.014.  I have decided to let this one be a still cider.  The black cherry flavor is moderate and the brightness of the lime shines through. (Reminiscent of cherry limeade.)  Cheers!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ruby Red Grapefruit Melomel

I used 3 lbs of Ambrosia raw and unfiltered honey, the zest from one Ruby Red grapefruit, the zest from one lime, and some Ruby Red grapefruit grapefruit juice for acidity.  Starting gravity is 1.112.  I rechecked it a second time, and still the same.  I'm interested to see where this finishes up.  It will definitely need some aging. The yeast strain can tolerate alcohol up to 15% so no worries there.  It is designed to leave residual sugar for a sweet mead.  I used White Labs WLP 750.

Cherry Cider

I started an experimental 1 gallon batch of cherry cider today.  I used a half gallon of black cherry juice, a half gallon of apple cider, and a little lime juice for some acidity.  I'm trying another strain of yeast for this one to see where it ends up.  Starting gravity was 1.070.  I'm interested to see how this one ends up.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Janell and made a Cabernet Sauvignon today.  The starting gravity is 1.100.  Already starting to get some action in the airlock tonight.  Yes, I do make and drink wine also.  progress will follow.

Friday, June 6, 2014

300 Suns Brewing, Longmont, CO

Stopped in today to drop of a Summer Beer entry for their Colabeeration Homebrewers Contest, and decided to check out their brews.  I sat at the bar and was greeted by Nicole, the server.  She was very polite and gracious!  I ordered a flight of all that they have on tap.  Then I was greeted at the bar by Jean, the owner.  We struck up a conversation about their beers and the brewery and other breweries as well, as I imbibed their tasty brews. (Run down on the beers will follow.)  It is nice to be able to sit down and talk to the owner and server freely, and without reservation.  We talked location, beer, food, and the like.

I really enjoyed the smaller, homier feeling atmosphere.  It is very welcoming!  The decor is nice and it is a good looking tasting room and patio.  (I should have taken some pictures.  Sorry.)

The beers I had are as follows:
1. Blue Corn Maiden Cream Ale - A tasty cream ale with the addition of blue corn gives a nice aroma nad earthiness that was quite enjoyable!
2.  Colorado Sunday SMaSH 2.0 - Avery tasty SMaSH beer with Chinook hops imparting slight resinous pine and citrus flavors.  Tasty!
3.  1st Avenue River Pale Ale - A nicely balanced pale ale that was quite quaffable.
4.  Cap'n Long ESB - Nicely balanced ESB.  Delicious!
5.  Rabbit Mountain Red Ale - Big malty backbone with a moderately bitter hops finish.  Very well done red ale!
6.  Hop & Sol IPA - Nice bright IPA with a very balanced malt to hops ratio.  Quite good!
7.  Sun Wortshipper Brown Ale - Delicious brown ale.  Nutty with a slight roastiness and just enough residual sweetness to keep me coming back for more.  (One of my favorites here.)
8.  Old Burlington Stout - Big smooth roast malt flavors of chocolate and coffee with just enough bitterness and enough residual sweetness to balance it all out.  (This was my favorite of the day!)
9.  Sunglasses At Night American Black Ale - A nicely done black IPA wit just enough roastiness to make it smooth, and just enough bitterness to balance it all and tie it together.

300 Suns is located on First Avenue about a half block west of Main Street.  It is situated in an industrial area just south of the old Longmont Foods Turkey plant.  The Cheese Importers Warehouse is on the east side of First Avenue, a good place to get some cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, and chocolate to pair with your beer if you would like.

I enjoyed my visit at 300 Suns Brewery and highly recommend a visit sometime.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Spring Spruce Tip Blonde

I bottled it tonight after 7 days in secondary.  FG is 1.012 which keeps the ABV at 5.5%.  This might prove to be a tasty beer!  Color is a deep golden with some orange hue to it.  Aromas of sweet malt, citrus and fresh pine on the nose.  Flavors of sweet malt, citrus, and light fresh pine with a slight resinous pine finish and a hint of bitterness.  I am anxiously waiting for this one to carbonate!  My friends and fellow brewers, I don't think you will be disappointed!  It is brewed to the Blonde Ale style with fresh spruce tips from my own pine tree added.  Nothing like keeping to fresh local ingredients!  I look forward to sharing this one!  Spruce tips aren't just for Winter beers!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Kokopelli Beer Company, Westminster, CO

Stopped in at Kokopelli Beer Company this afternoon to check them out.  I purchased a flight of 6 and an extra to get a taste of what they have to offer.  I'll give a run down on the beers shortly.  They offer food as well which is nice.  I ordered a personal cheese pizza for my daughter and had to have a taste as it looked delicious!  (And it was!)  I watched a few of the huge pretzels go to other tables as well and they looked AMAZING!  (Comes with a spicy beer-cheese dip as well!)  The beers were quite solid and quite tasty.  I had the following:
White Lace White IPA - Nice white IPA with a moderate hops bitterness
Gatekeeper Saison - (Seasonal) Good saison with a mild sweetness and nice esters from the yeast
Pale face Ale - (Pale Ale) Nice citrusy flavors from the hops and quite quaffable
Red Moon Ale - (Red Ale) - Nice malt forward red with mild bitterness from the hops
Goofstaf Altice Amber - (Amber Ale) - Very malt forward with a light bitterness, (My favorite of the day)
Cow Tipper Milk Stout - Nice roasted malt characteristic of a good stout with a creamy finish, (Janell's fav.)
Hop Slugger IPA - Touting 70 IBU's was a good IPA.  Bitter but not overly so.  Enjoyable
Weizen Up - (Hefeweizen) - Has banana and clove phenolics that were balanced but not overpowering
All in all, I would highly recommend Kokopelli Beer Company if you haven't tried it yet.  We had great service provided by Samantha.  We will definitely be returning!