Friday, September 19, 2008

Brewing News

Well, it's been awhile since I've blogged about the brewing news. Since the last post, I've blown through the Columbus APA keg. The latest of my single hop APA/IPA series of the summer, I was pretty happy with the results, but I think Columbus, for my taste anyway, needs to be blended with other American hops. Just a little too rough around the edges for beers following the Bush Doctrine of go it alone.

I also buckled down and made my first wine, a Chilean Pinot Noir, that is in secondary right now. Wine kits are a little pricey, but they are ridiculously simple. It took about a half hour to make the thing! From what I hear, they are pretty hard to mess up, so I'm hoping that around Christmas time I'll be sipping some good wine that cost about 4 bucks a bottle.

Right now I'm drinking my Big Bill's Brown ale and will be kegging Jamil's Mild sometime tomorrow. The brown is a little on the young side, only 2.5 weeks since brewing, but it's nice and clear and has a nice sweet chocolate malt backbone with a good hop punch to balance things out.

I picked up ingredients to brew another blonde ale this weekend, as well as the 50 pound sack of DME I ordered. For the blonde I'll be using my hop harvest as well as a bunch of huge Cascade cones that I harvested from the hop yard of a guy in my homebrew club. Last Sunday another club member and I went to his house to help him get rid of his crop. When I saw the trellis I almost cried. It was like a wall of hops reaching to the heavens. After 3 or 4 hours of picking, I got about 3 pounds of Cascade and about a pound each of Saaz and Fuggles. Some of the Saaz will be going into a Czech Pilsner that will be dumbed down with ale yeast since I can't lager yet and the Fuggles will be going into a Stout or Porter of some sort. Seeing this hopyard really got me thinking hard about making a major expansion to my yard next year.

Finally, I picked up all the parts for a partial mash tun so that I can start experimenting with some different base malts like Golden Promise and Maris Otter, but I don't have any solid plans for what I'm going to brew for my first partial mash brew. I'm leaning towards an Oatmeal Stout or maybe a Smoked Porter, but that may change. Any suggestions?

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