NEB Tasting

Another tasting, the Northern English Brown I brewed in December.

Appearance-

Pours dark, darker than I initially anticipated, with a beautiful creamy tan head. Held to light a touch of red comes through, but only if you are looking for it.

Smell-

Malty, almost no hop aroma.

Taste-

Heavily malty. A touch of hop bitterness comes through and also a bit of bitterness from the roasted malts. It finished a bit thinner than I had intended, and I think I might cut back the roast a bit and maybe toast a pound of the two row to add a bit of bready toast and cut back on the bitterness.

Mouthfeel-

As before stated, its a bit drier than I had envisioned it, but overall a pleasant mouthfeel. Certainly fitting for the style I think.

Overall, I’m quite pleased, I wish there was a bit more toasty flavor, which is easily remedied with a bit of a toasting of some of the base malt, and a slight reduction of the roasted malt element, I’m also curious to try out pale chocolate, might try to sub that in next time.

American Amber Tasting

In the spirit of waiting for boiling wort, I got a camera together and figured I’d start through a backlog of tastings.

This is for the American Amber I brewed in January. I had originally brewed this last spring and tweaked it a bit for this rebrew.

Appearance-

Pours nicely, I think I would like a bit more carbonation in it, it has minimal but lasting head and a nice amber color. I think I might like to bump the color to something like 14 or 15 srm, maybe with a touch more chocolate malt. A bit less clarity than I would have liked, I think the oats played a sizable part in that.

Smell-

Nice hop notes, primarily the cascade, but hints of spice come through from the columbus. Pleasant and drinkable.

Taste-

Dominated again by the hops, the interplay between the distinct cascade fruitiness and the spicy, earthiness of the columbus makes for a really drinkable flavor. The bitterness also balances nicely with the malts, overall I’m really happy with the balance. The malty nature of the biscuit peaks through and the crystal makes for a really pleasant body.

Mouthfeel-

Pleasant mouthfeel, nice body from the oats, though maybe a touch too sweet, could have handled a F.G. a few points lower.

I’m really happy with how it turned out. I think in the long run I’ll probably cut back the oats significantly and try and supplement with something else. I think they lent themselves to less clarity than I would have liked, otherwise really enjoying this, I think it’ll make a great spring/summer beer (if it lasts that long).

Americans Abroad Mild

Fairly busy weekend, felt I should catch up on the brew/bottle log a bit as I didnt get much done last week. Realistically I need to write up tastings and take pictures for a ton of beers as well, but my school schedule has been really busy.

Bottled the American Invasion Oat stout yesterday, I was really happy with how it turned out. Final volume was ~ 3.8 gallons, primed to 2.1 volumes. I also tried a new thing, I bottled a single bottle in a newcastle brown bottle so I can better observe how it carbonates. I dont know if this will work, mostly I just like to pull it out and look at it. The beer has a really nice color and seeing it in a clear bottle is way cool.

Also; the robust porter I brewed earlier seemed to have stalled, which I wasnt psyched about. But when I was shuffling carboys the other day I noticed a previously absent krausen. Hoping it isnt an infection, but it appears distinctly yeast-like and doesnt have any off flavors, so maybe it’ll drop a couple more gravity points and I wont be so upset about the performance of the neobritt I used in it.

However, also, brewing today. I decided on a bigger than usual batch of mild. I brewed a rye mild some months ago (I think almost 9 now) and was really underwhelmed with how it turned out. It got bottled at a time when I had a bit of an infection issue in my bottling setup (lacto) so that didnt help, but even when the infection hadnt come to a head yet I wasnt happy with the beer. So, I came up with a new recipe and decided to punch it out today. It’s another strange combo, I wanted a really clean yeast profile, so I went with US-05, but english malts, yadda yadda whatever.

Americans Abroad Mild

Batch size 5 gal, est O.G. 1035, est F.G. 1009, 21* SRM, 19 IBU’s

Grist:

83% Maris Otter (6lbs)

7% Flaked oats (8 oz)

5% Chocolate Malt (6oz)

4% Crystal 120l (5oz)

0.5 oz Nugget @ 60min, I used some older hops, I adjusted for age and used ~9.5 AA.

Fermented w/ 1 package US-05 dry yeast

Mashed @ 1.7 qts/lb, 153*F. 2 vessel style recirc sparge. Trying this method out.

Notes:

Measured O.G. 1041, which puts me at about 84% efficiency. Not so mild, more like a brown, but such is life. Cooled to 63*F in about 15 minutes, aerated by shaking several times and pitched one packet US-05 @ 6:15pm.

English Red

Not a traditional style, but I need something brewed up to fit the coming spring/summer need for refreshing ales and I didnt want to brew another pale. So on this fine sunday, while doing homework and studying I’ve fired up the rig again to brew up an english red ale.

First, a recipe:

English Red

Batch size 4 gallons, Color 12* SRM, O.G. 1044, F.G. 1011, 30 IBU’s

Grist:

82 % Floor Malted Maris Otter (6lbs)

9% Flaked Barley (10oz)

6% Crystal 60l (7 oz)

3% Crystal 120l (3 oz)

0.5 oz Roasted barley for color

Hops:

0.5 oz Norther Brewer First Wort

1 0z EKG and 0.5 oz Northern Brewer at 5 minutes

I’ll ferment with wlp 013 after moving the oat stout it’s fermenting now to a clean bottle and dump ~ 2/3rds of the slurry so as not to ferociously over pitch.

I’ve really been happy with the ales the wlp 013 culture I bought for an ESB has been producing. I had hoped initially to brew this with a wyeast neobrittania culture, however it seems to be stricken with poor attenuation, an experience I had even with a sizeable starter, fresh culture and relatively low OG in a robust porter I brewed, and confirmed due to a friend having the same results with two quite reasonable beers. I really liked the flavor profile it produces, but I think something of this nature cant really afford to finish sweet.

Mashed at 151*F, 1.25 qt/lb, 1 hour. Surprising jump in efficiency put O.G. at 1051, I ended up sparging a bit more than needed which might explain this (I had to boil a little longer than 60 minutes). Racked onto ~1 cup slurry from wlp 013.

British Invasion

British Invasion (or british yeasts devouring idolizing, vulnerable american malt groupies)

I’ve been really swamped with school lately, thus no time to fire up the rig, however, this weekend provided some time, so I’m studying and brewing.

Oatmeal Stout

Batch size 4 gal, O.G. 1061, F.G. (anticipated) 1018, 37* SRM, 38.7 IBU’s

Grist:

62% 2-Row (6lbs)

21% Flaked oats (2 lbs)

5% Biscuit (8oz)

5% Chocolate malt (7oz)

4% Crystal 60l (6 oz)

3% Roasted Barley (5 oz)

1oz Brewers Gold @ 60 minutes (mine were 9.9 AA so IBU’s are a bit higher than my originally anticipated 34)

Mashed @ 1.25 qts/lb, 151*F. 2 15 minute recirc sparges, 71% efficiency.

I had initially intended to use an American yeast on it, but I’ve gotten really psyched on wlp013, and made up a starter and decided to use that instead, so I pitched a 3c starter from a washed culture. Fermented at ~68*F I’m curious to see what the american malts/english yeast combo does.

2/5/12

This afternoon after less than 3 days it’s down to ~1019, I think I’ll probably end up with a lower FG but the hydro sample tasted pretty dang spot on to what I was looking for. I’m excited, as the oatmeal stout has sort of become my white whale. I’ve made 3, this is the 4th and the first one I was really happy with, but was an extract recipe which I promptly lost, and the last two have left something to be desired, so I’m hopeful