Sunday, January 22, 2017

"Country Eyes" Farmhouse | Tasting Notes

Appearance: Amber gold color, very slight haze, nice bright white fluffy foam head and lacing.

Aroma: Musty funk of grapes, much like white wine -- sort of like a mid-priced sauvignon blanc. Delicate, sweet floral note peers from behind, with citrus grapefruit and pear near by.

Taste: White grape sweetness, followed quickly by a funky tartness. Perhaps more of a perception of sweetness. Finishes dry like a sauvignon blanc. Good hop bitterness, but nothing discernible. Effervescent from a slightly elevated CO2 level, 12 PSI.

Final Thoughts: I wasn't sure what to think of this beer when I poured my first draught. It seemed too sweet, not nearly dry enough, and without much grape character. All of that changed with age. This is one of the few beers that I have brewed that has improved with age. The sweetness has receded, and become more tart and more wine-like. It's difficult to know if this is due to the yeast finishing fermentation, or falling out of suspension. The beer has definitely gotten cleaner over time, and the wine-like character really shines through.

If I were to brew this again, I'd simply give the Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison yeast more time to complete its work and possibly drop the mash temperature to 149-150F. I'd also add even more grape juice or must to condition.

Thanks again Webendorfers for the fun experiment!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Door Creek Apple Cider

Brew date: Oct. 23, 2016

2 one-gallon carboys each filled with ~0.75 gal cider
6 oz brown sugar in each
1/16 t metabisulphite each
1/2 t pectin enzyme each
1/8 t nutrient each
Wyeast 4766 cider yeast

Ferment at 64-66F.

11/20/2016 - Bottle
20 g corn sugar
1/2 c filtered water
2.3 CO2 vol @ 60F
1.5 gal cider

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"City Eyes" Red Table Grape Wine

Press date: Sept. 15, 2016
1.5 gal grape juice

My first attempt at wine making, and the second part to my fun experiment with grapes from Webendorfer farms.

The whole process was a cinch, at least compared to brewing. Just press it and forget it.

I covered the picking and pressing in my last post, "Country Eyes" Farmhouse Ale. Suffice it to say, once the grapes were pressed and in the fermenter, all it took was pushing the cap that formed back down below the surface every 12 hours for about a week.

It was fascinating to see the color of the wine change over time -- from an opaque green to a bright ruby red. Very similar to a blush or Zinfandel.

I'm looking forward to opening a bottle sometime in the spring, but the initial flavor was fairly dry, without much real flavor beyond a light peach fruitiness. Aroma was also pretty faint.

"City eyes" refers to my buddy Wes, and his apparent lack of ability to see most animals in nature. I can neither confirm or deny this accusation. You'll have to ask his "country eyes" wife.

9/15 - Press grapes
1 gal grape must at 1.050
Add 1/4 t Potassium metabisulphite
Add 1/4 t gal Filtered water
Add 1.43 oz sugar

9/16 - Add following:
1 lb sugar
1/2 t Pectic enzyme
1/8 t Yeast nutrient
1 pack Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast

9/24 - Rack
OG 0.998 - 1.000