Monthly Archives: May 2014

Tasting Impressions: Summer Blonde

The Summer Blonde I brewed in the beginning of April had been in a keg for almost a month, so I decided to put it into bottles yesterday. The gravity ended up at 1.011 and I measured an alcohol content of 5.78% ABV. I would have preferred it slightly drier and with slightly less alcohol, so if I ever brew this again, I will aim for an OG of around 1.045. Anyways, time to try it!

summer_blonde

The beer pours with a slightly hazy yellow-orange color. The color could be slightly lighter, but it is not something that bothers me. A white head is formed, but it collapses quite quickly. It does leave some drapes of lacing along the glass though. Not much to complain about other than the color. Could maybe be a little clearer as well? The aroma is slightly malty at first (some grainy and bready tones), but it is quickly joined by some fruity yeast esters. This fermented at quite cold temperatures, but the yeast still seemed to have produced lots of esters. In the background you can find just the slightest citrusy and floral hop tones. Not sure if the aroma is typical for a K├Âlsch (I used WLP029 German Ale), as I’ve never tried a traditional one before. The flavour is quite similar, and begins with some malty and bready tones. They feel slightly tart somehow. The flavour transitions into a slight fruitiness with an underlying citrusy hoppiness. The finish is semi-dry with a moderately light bitterness. Overall, a very easy-to-drink beer, that could perhaps be slightly cleaner. I would also have preferred slightly more hop presence, but that would probably put it out of style.

Homebrew: Sour Ale Update

I brewed a turbid mashed Sour Ale about 8 months ago, and it has been in the fermenting vessel untouched ever since. I still haven’t taken any samples from it, as I am afraid to introduce oxygen into the vessel (which could result in the production of acetic acid). Two months after brewing, a nice pellicle had already formed. Six months later, the appearance hasn’t changed much. The biofilm has taken on a slightly whiter appearance, and the size of the bubbles has decreased. After summer, I will add some blueberries and raspberries together with some dregs from a couple of 3 Fonteinen bottles. Will be interesting to try it (even though I’m not a large fan of sour beer)!

pellicle_2

Homebrew: Summer Wit

Yesterday we brewed up a 28L batch of a witbier/saison/pale ale hybrid. The brewday did not go smoothly at all, and we had a ton of problems with the mash (too low temperature, poor flow rate through the bed, and poor efficiency). I think most mash problems were a result of us using raw wheat. A cereal mash might have helped? The beer will most likely ferment very dry, since our mash temperature was really low for most of the mash (60-62 C). We couldn’t recirculate (and thus raise the temperature) throughout most of the mash because of poor flow through the malt bed. We also must have measured the sparge volume wrong, since we ended up with closer to 40 litres pre-boil volume, instead of the intended 30 liters. This resulted in us gaining 7 liters more wort in the fermenter, and a gravity of 1.046 instead of around 1.060-1.065. The problems did not end there, as we cooled the wort to around 23C, pitched a healthy starter of WLP566 Saison II, and set the vessel in the fermenting cabinet with the thermostat set to 24C. The next day I realized the heater was not on, and the wort temperature had dropped to 16C. I turned on the heater, and hopefully something drinkable will at least come out of this batch. The spice mixture (Szechuan pepper, lime peel and lemongrass) was smelling really nice and ‘refreshing’ at least. Hopefully it transfers well to the beer! We hopped the beer with Galaxy in ‘APA amounts’, so this should get a healthy amount of bitterness (~40 IBU) and some nice hop aromas to go with the spicyness from the yeast and the citrus from the spice mixture. Anyways, here is the recipe:

[beerxml recipe=http://beer.suregork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/summer_wit.xml metric=true cache=-1]

Canned Imperial Stout? Ten Fidy and Cinnamon Rolls

It’s not every day that I get a chance to drink great craft beer from a can, especially not an Imperial Stout. Today is my lucky day, since my friend Ingo (of Sad Robot Brewing fame) was kind enough to bring me a can of Oskar Blues Ten Fidy (it was released at Systembolaget earlier this spring) when he was visiting Finland recently. I have really good experiences from trying some of their other beer (Dale’s Pale Ale, Deviant’s Dale and G’Knight), so have quite high hopes for this one. I baked some Cinnamon Rolls earlier today also (recipe inspired by the one found here), which I had planned to enjoy while sipping on the beer. Hopefully the flavours will complement each other.

oskar_blues_ten_fidy

  • Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
  • Country: USA
  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • ABV: 10.5 %
  • Size: 355 ml
  • Bought from: Gift
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

I don’t have much information on this beer, but what I’ve gathered from around the internet, it is an Imperial Stout, has an ABV of 10.5%, has been brewed with 2-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, and flaked oats, and has been bittered to a whooping 98 IBU. There are some rumours floating around on homebrew forums that the name comes from the fact that the final gravity of the beer is 1.050 or perhaps 10.50 degrees plato, but it is more likely that FIDY is an acronym for Fuck the Industry, Do it Yourself (this was also what founder Dale Katechis stated in their Brew Dogs episode). Anyways, it’s not everyday you get to try this complex of a beer from a can, so am really looking forward to having a taste!

[easyreview title=”Oskar Blues Ten Fidy” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours pitch-black and you can directly see the beer is very viscous. Almost looks like motor oil pouring out of the can. A tan-colored fluffy head is formed with the pour, but it collapses quite quickly, leaving brown drapes of lacing along the glass. Looks really delicious!” cat1rating=”4.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is really nice as well, and I get tones of dark chocolate and vanilla in the beginning, followed by roasted malts and coffee. These are balanced by some sweet caramel tones, which hint the taste will be sweet as well. The aroma is rich and strong, even though I still have a slightly stuffed nose from just having a flu. Can’t tell at all that the beer is 10.5%, as the alcohol is well hidden behind the other flavors. Really nice and inviting aroma!” cat2rating=”4.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavour is similar to the aroma, beginning with some roasted tones dominating. Here, the chocolate and vanilla aren’t as strong, rather I find that the roasty and toasty malt tones are in the center together with notes of coffee. Behind this you have a slightly sweet bready maltiness, that ends in a semi-dry and quite bitter finish. I prefer slightly sweeter Imperial Stouts myself, and I like how this one is balanced by the huge bitterness. Again, I can’t tell this is 10.5% ABV. I get a slight warming feeling in the mouth, but no boozy flavours. Really nice!” cat3rating=”4.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a really thick and full body, which together with the low carbonation level makes this a great slow sipper. Not a beer to drink in the sun or as a thirst-quencher, but it definitely suits a cold spring evening as today. The roasty notes and bitterness draw away slightly from the drinkability, but the sweetness keeps them quite well under control.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Overall, a really nice beer, and one of the better Imperial Stouts I’ve tried. The flavours are complex and strong, but they come together really well, making a well-balanced and delicious package. The chocolate, coffee and vanilla notes make this a perfect dessert beer. This shouldn’t be oak/barrel-aged, so not sure how the vanilla notes have entered the picture, but they work really well! The high bitterness works well, but I think I would have preferred a couple of IBUs less. The beer paired well with the cinnamon roll, as the sweet, sugary and cinnamony notes complemented the rich and roasted flavors really well.”]