Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Next Project

Well, before I fill you in on my latest planned brewing adventure, how about an update on my stash? The DIPA is kicked, along with the Deported stout, and my Blonde Abbey and Full Monty are dangerously close to being gone. Sniff. On the upside, my Bourbon Barrel Brown is tasting pretty damn good, although more oaky than I expected, especially since I only threw in an ounce of oak chips for 4 days. I do really like it and think that it's one of the better brews I've made, it's just not a session brew - probably a good thing, that will force me to keep some for a while and see how it changes over time.

My all-Cascade Hopburst APA is now carbed and tastes awesome, if I do say so myself. It's not as citrusy like I normally associate with Cascade, which I'm thinking is the result of only doing the late additions. It is a beautiful gold color, clear, nice white head, sweet malty backbone, a taste of sweet caramel or honey, with the citrusy, piney hops balancing it out nicely. This was a really easy beer to make too, so if you want the recipe let me know. With lighter colored beers like this I'm really digging the full boil action - I was never able to get golds and yellows on the stovetop.

I bottled my Wee Heavy Saturday, the sample was a nice mahogany color, very malty sweet, a little alcohol in the finish, and just a slight peaty or smoky flavor, which is weird since there isn't any peated or smoked malt in it. I'm anxious to see how this one develops over time - the plan is to drink some young (an ale brewer's version of a maibock?), and then keep the rest for next fall and winter.

Now on to the PLAN. So my buddy Cole and I have both been enjoying the Bell's Hopslam lately. Over a few beers after work on Friday, we devised a plan to tag team a clone of this, splitting the work and cost. We both figured that with the cost of hops lately and the high gravity of this bad boy, it will get pretty spendy. I've figured out from the Bell's website that the OG is around 1.090 and I'm thinking around 100 IBUs. This is the best thread I could find so far: http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=67588 . On this thread, somebody said that according to Bell's, they "use Hersbrucker, Centennial, Glacier, Vanguard, & Crystal in the kettle, and then dry hop with Simcoe." Does this sound right to you? I don't know much about a lot of those hops, but I don't recall ever hearing "citrus" associated with any of those except Centennial and Simcoe. Any ideas? I'm thinking more about Ahtanum, Centennial, Amarillo, Cascade, Galena, Simcoe, Columbus. We'll be brewing this up in 2 weeks (I've got a dubbel on deck for next weekend), so any input you've got would be great!

3 comments:

atypicalheroine said...

Uniquely interesting blog; a good read.

Bri said...

I found this comment from some other forum.

Per Bells: We use Hersbrucker, Centennial, Glacier, Vanguard, & Crystal in the kettle, and then dry hop with Simcoe. Hopslam has an unusually high degree of fermentation, so you also encounter a fermentation profile that you wouldn’t find in many of our other beers.

I just had a bottle of your bourben barrel brown. Hops off to you dude. Right now I'm comparing a bottled and tapped version of my phat tire. I bottled from the tap just over a week ago and I wanted to basically check the carbonation in the bottle. Side by side they are identical. So my unprecise process of tapping a little bit(roughly a 16th of a tsp) of priming sugar into the bottle just before capping seemed to work.

I hope you can find the hops and come up with a good recipe for the hopslam. That is an awesome beer. It's been a long time since I brewed. My buddy has all his ingrediants for a 10-gallon all grain batch and I might go over and see what all-grain is all about.

rich.tessler said...

Thanks for the compliments on the brown dude. I still have one of your phat tires left, I didn't notice much of a carbonation difference between the ones I had at the dells and the ones I've had at home so far (2 down, 1 to go). The last one I tasted (Saturday) had more head space and less foam when I poured, but it didn't affect the flavor at all. I would think you could even try to do it next time without the sugar? Worth a shot to have less of a hassle anyways. Have you done a side by side with the real thing yet?

You must've seen the same forum I did. I still don't know what to make of that comment, it just doesn't make that much sense to me. Decisions, decisions.