Saturday, September 29, 2012

“Peter Peter Porter Eater" Pumpkin Porter [Bottled]

Bottle date: Sept. 28, 2012

  • 16 oz water
  • 87 g Light DME

Bring water to boil. Remove from heat. Slowly stir in DME. Boil 5-10 min. Slowly add priming solution to bottling bucket while still racking beer from carboy. Stir priming solution into beer. Bottle.

  • FG: 1.020 (1.019 @ 70 'F) - A little higher than I wanted but its been almost two weeks and the flavor and mouth-feel is good now.
  • Desired vol. of CO2: 2.3
  • Desired conditioning temp: 66 'F
  • Taste: Pumpkin, but not over-powering at all. Nice roasty balance against hop bitterness
  • Color: Black. Nice clarity
  • Smell: Pumpkin, allspice, roasty, hint of hop

Sunday, September 23, 2012

“Peter Peter Porter Eater" Pumpkin Porter

Brew date: September 16, 2012
3 gal

I will be the first to admit that I'm not big on pumpkin beers. Scratch that. I hate pumpkin beers -- too sweet, too malty, too much allspice, whatever. Then, last fall, the wife and I dropped by one of our favorite bars in Madison, the Mason. They always have a great selection of craft beers on tap, many of which I've never tasted and seldom less than delicious. So, low and behold, on that particular visit, there was a pumpkin porter listed.

Now, given my tastes, I wasn't about to sample this particular brew. But Jenny, in keeping with the season, decided to give it a go. Afterwards, you'd think she never tasted anything so good in her life. And she rarely gushes about a beer. Obviously I had to try this... Disbelief. Here, at last, was a pumpkin seasonal that I could enjoy. Great balance from the roastiness and bitter coffee against the otherwise sweetness. A light touch on the spice additions. And a bit of hoppy bite to cut through it all.

Unfortunately, we no longer remember the name of beer we tried that night. (Obviously we suffered some sort of pumpkin-induced shell shock.) But, since then, I've been on the lookout for a promising recipe. I found it in the Extreme Brewing book I recently picked up. The recipe below is a fairly faithful reproduction.

  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 1 t gypsum
  • 10 oz Black Patent Malt (Briess)
  • 16 oz Pale 6-row Malt
  • 1.252 kg Golden Light LME
  • 1.85 lb Amber DME
  • 273 g Dark DME
  • ⅔ oz Hallertau hops
  • ½ oz Cascade hops
  • 1.5 t Irish Moss
  • ⅓ oz Hallertau hops
  • ½ t Cinnamon
  • ½ t Nutmeg
  • ½ t Allspice
  • Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast

Add black patent and pale 6-row malts, and pumpkin to 2.5 g cold water. Heat to 150-160 'F for 45 min. Strain. Add malt extracts and bring to boil for 5 min. Add ⅔ oz of hallertau hops. Boil 60 min. 20 min prior to end of boil, add Cascade hops and Irish Moss. 10 min before end of boil, add rest of Hallertau hops. 5 min before end of boil add spices. Chill wort to pitching temp. Transfer to carboy, top off to 3 gal. Pitch yeast.


OG: 1.073 (1.070 at 86 'F)
Target Gravity: 1.078
Smell: Gingerbread cookies, roastiness, hint of pumpkin
Color: black, deep brown foam
Taste: think, sweet, cinnamon, nutmeg, slight bitter spice

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

“27 Stitches" IBA [Bottled]

Bottle date: Sept. 10, 2012

Due to my brewing mishap, I am only now finally getting around to bottling the India Brown Ale. Overall, the process went smoothly -- no problems siphoning this time.

  • 16 oz water
  • 100 g Light DME

Bring water to boil. Remove from heat. Slowly stir in DME. Boil 5-10 min. Slowly add priming solution to bottling bucket while still racking beer from carboy. Stir priming solution into beer. Bottle.

  • Complete sanitation of bottling bucket, all racking equipment BEFORE beginning boil of priming sugar.
  • Get bottling tree?
  • Get shorter length of hose for bottling.

Monday, September 3, 2012

27 Stitches for Homebrew

Date: Aug. 23, 2012
Let it never be said that I haven't bled for homebrewing...

While rinsing my carboy in the bathtub, I managed to lose my grip, destroying it (and my knee) in the process. How could this happen? Well, let me tell you...

I was hunched over the tub emptying the last of the water out of my carboy. Somehow, my hand slipped off the bottom. Under normal circumstances, this would send the vessel crashing into the center of the tub. However, since I was still holding onto the handle, the carboy swung towards the edge where I was leaning, and into my knee. 

It shattered, slicing a 5 inch long gash in my knee. Ironically, in the shape of a "7". Nothing like looking down and seeing a bloody pulp where your knee should be. Thankfully, the wife was home! After she determined that I wasn't just swearing because I broke the carboy, she called the paramedics and I was on my way to the ER.

27 stitches, a partially cut knee joint, a leg immobilizer, and a LOT of pain. Thankfully, it turned out that I didn't broken my knee cap.

I've been pretty much laid up since. No brewing. :(

But, I do have a name for the Indian Brown Ale: 27 Stitches IBA. And, one hell of a story. :D

Great Taste of the Midwest beerfest

Date: Aug. 11, 2012
My dribble of cognac barrel-aged Dark Lord

My buddy and his girlfriend managed to score me an extra ticket (at face value!) to the Great Taste of the Midwest beerfest! Awesome time. Tons of beers. Very good beers. The sheer number and diversity is mind-boggling.

Best beer: Dark Horse Brewery's Reserve Special Black Ale.

I did manage to get a dribble of Three Floyds' 2012 Cognac-Barrel Aged Dark Lord. It was spectacular, but waiting almost an hour to get it, was probably not worth it. I had managed to get a taste of the Dark Lord a few years ago at the same beerfest. Although it's arguably the best beer I've ever had, the extremely limited release makes people a little crazy to get it. I thought the people behind us in line were going to go ape-shit when they learned they weren't going to get any.

Also had a blast checking out some of the pre-parties the night before.