Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strawberry Blonde

The main reason I chose to do a Blonde Ale was to make sure the base recipe was the right Ale to add strawberries to. The Blonde Ale was a success, so I brewed it again. The only difference was that I remembered to use a grain sock this time.

After the Blonde spent a week in the primary, it was time to add the strawberries. Most of my research taught me that 4-5 lbs of strawberries is enough. I want to make sure the strawberry taste is there, so I picked up a 6.6 pound bag of frozen strawberries from Costco, halved them and added the full bag to 2L of water for steeping. The temperature was brought up to 160F, and the blonde was dumped over the strawberries. This will spend 7 days in the fermenter before I transfer to a glass carboy, leaving the strawberries behind. The beer will remain in the carboy until everything has dropped and the beer clears. Here are a few shots:

6.6 pounds of strawberries in the pot

All the strawberries were halved

Steeped to 160F

After one week the Blonde ale was transfered

Blonde Ale being added to the strawberries

Secondary fermenter before it was closed up

Other Updates:

Orange Peel ale is bottled - this beer is unbelievably clear and I have found out that two things I did differently caused this. I used a Whirlfloc tablet as a clarifier rather than Irish Moss, and I used a cleaner fermenting Yeast. I think most of my future brews will implement these changes.

Chocolate Stout V2 brewed - V2 has an extra litre of dark extract to boost the alcohol content and I experimented with adding a little extra cocoa.

Cider - The Apfelwein tastes great, so I decided to try another cider. This time I chose to try a Graff which is a malted, slightly hopped cider.

Next Brew - I will be doing a sort of light beer. I will be using Rice extract with malts to give a lighter body. I am also using an Amalyse Enzyme which will help the yeast ferment right down to close to a gravity of 1.000 which will make this a dry light beer. At the same time I will add a homeade lime extract to half of the batch at bottling time.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Moonstone Rusty Cap Red

The Amber Ale is ready and I think this might be my best yet. Although I love the Chocolate Stout, the Amber Ale is easier drinking and it will cater to a wider group of people. Rachelle approves, and when she is happy, everyone is happy. Brew day post is HERE.

Moonstone Rusty Cap Red

I have renamed this brew ``Rusty Cap Red`` because of its rusty copper color and the fact that when I boiled the caps to sterilize them, I left them wet too long..... some of the caps are actually genuinely rusty. We keep it real around here.

Other Updates:
-Apfelwein is bottled - I chilled a glass and drank it flat, it was amazing already. this stuff is supposed to improve vastly with age, I doubt I will ever know for sure.
-Strawberry Blonde base recipe brewed - The Blonde is fermenting, after about 7 days I will add the strawberries. I will post about this.
-Orange Peel Ale fermentation with the Nottingham yeast was out of control - I need to MacGyver a blow-off tube if I use this yeast again.
-Next brew will be Chocolate Stout V2
-Next Cider will be a recipe I found for Graff which is a cider brewed with malts and slightly hopped. I will likely do this one at the same time as the Chocolate Stout.