My last beer-related post was in early January about the upcoming batches of Crimson & Clover (Irish Red with Rye) and a Raspberry Chipotle Stout that I was getting ready to brew that weekend… I also said that I would take pictures and of course forgot until the fermenters were in the fermentation chamber, so at least got the shot at the left. As per my previous post, I am now in brewing school, so decided to try and get as many batches in process before the coursework started on 1/20. Not only did I manage to get the above two beers brewed, the following weekend I knocked out my Kolsch 45 and a batch of the Roasted Grapefruit IPA. An update on these beers follows:
All but one of the beers are still in the fermenter and that being the Crimson & Clover, which I kegged yesterday. It’s my version of an Irish Red, similar to Smithwick’s®, but without the corn syrup and with Organic maple syrup instead. The base is also primarily organic and this was my first time using a traditional Irish Ale yeast in the beer. I think this turned out really well, as the traditional yeast finished out for the most part clean and added a hint of diacetyl, which is common for the style. The beer clocks in at a low, easy-drinking 3.4% and just got placed on tap, so we’ll see how it progresses.
The Raspberry Stout base is basically a Dry Irish Stout, but a little over the typical alcohol range, currently around 5 1/2%. The beer received almost 2 lbs of Organic raspberries added to the secondary and is currently finishing out. Taste-tests show that this is a super smooth beer with prominent raspberry notes and a hint of tartness accentuated by chocolate and roasted malt notes. I have decided to take half of the batch and keg the base as-is and the other half and add the Chipotle extract at bottling.
Kolsch 45 was a recipe that I came up with on our way to NHC last year and what I think is a pretty cool name! After deciding to finally brew it and doing more research, I decided to completely change the recipe around. I tried to stay close to style, which if you know me, is very hard for me to do, as 95% of my beers are out of style, but I still had to add my touch, which was a hint of honey malt. I also hopped the beer more moderately than most would and initial tastings are presenting it as a really smooth and enjoyable beer. I am starting to slowly drop the temperature of the fermentation chamber to begin cold crashing it and allowing it to lager. Of course, as I am not one of tradition, I may be forced to taste it during lagering just to make sure it is progressing well! 🙂
The last of the beers that I brewed was the Roasted Grapefruit IPA and it was completely impromptu. I have been wanting to brew it, but after my neighbor moved out, who used to give me a bunch of grapefruits from his tree, I have not had access to them as easily. Well, after brewing the Kolsch on Saturday and coming home, I found a bag of oranges and grapefruits in the kitchen from my wife’s friend’s tree. So, I figured why not and decided to modify the recipe accordingly so that I could brew without a trip to the brewing store. Brewing commenced the following day and all went well. The cool part about this beer is that it has a robust malt backbone with caramel and specialty malts to balance the grapefruit, which is segmented and smothered in brown sugar, roasted in the oven and then added directly to the fermenter (seen at left). Once this was complete and the secondary fermentation that this created started to slow, the beer was just transferred to the secondary over some hops and Grapefruit zest and will dryhop for 7 days. This was completed yesterday, so this one should be kegged next weekend.
What next? Well, now that I am in school and know the process and time that my studies take a little more, I am going to brew this weekend. I will be rebrewing a double batch of my Hop Assassin, a double IPA that clocks in at 8.2% typically and contains a ton of hops, usually ranging from 3/4 lb to 1.25 lbs based on batch size. I promise that I will take more and better pictures this time! Thanks and wish me luck.