Archive for April, 2007

Raspberry Addition (No Comments)

We transferred the grrrl beer. The ‘forbidden fruit’ yeast is amazing! Even before the fruit addition the beer had a wonderful fruity flavor and smell. We added the raspberry puree to the secondary and then put the beer on top of it. After the fruit addition the beer had a definate raspberry flavor, but I think I want it to be stronger. I am going to give it a few days and then taste the beer again, if I still think it needs it we may add another can of puree  (we had only added one to begin with).  During this process, we noticed that we forgot to take into account the additional liquid volume. Luckily we happen to have a few tankards and filled one with the (extra) beer (sans raspberry) and made the addition of a little agave nectar. So in a week or two we will have two liters of agave wheat in addition to everything else.

The Harley House (No Comments)

Just when you think you are being original something like this happens. It turns out there is another Harley house. They are larger, better decorated, and I would be suprised if staying at this inn meant you might be sleeping on a couch…. but our beer is better and you cant beat the rate we charge! Besides drinking enough beer (especially if it is a high alcohol like the strong IPA) may mean that you dont care where you sleep be it in a cushy bed with lace sheets or in the shrubs in the front yard.


The Grrrl beer and the wort (No Comments)

The first few batches of beer are difficult. You are completely afraid it is going to taste like crap because of something YOU did. Be it contamination or bad ingredient choice it just seems to be the general feeling with the first beer and sometimes when trying new styles. I thought I was past this because ‘we’ have brewed so many batches. Well…. turns out this one was different because it was mine. So rather than being able to relax I panicked; asking Chris questions about every single ingredient. We made a few changes, but I’m pretty sure they are all for the best.

 I wanted to put rose hips in the grrrl beer because I thought they would make it floral and citrusy (like rose tea). I decided to make sure my assumption was right and made a tea out of some of the hips. The tea smelled like bacon and tasted like bacon, citrusy bacon, but bacon. Either way it is not a flavor I wanted in this beer. So we took them out of the recipe. In the end, we went with what will be much more of a traditional belgian wit until we add raspberry to it when it is in the secondary fermenter.

As we had never made a fruit beer we were having problems figuring out the hops additions– to few and it isn’t really beer at all;too many and it is disgusting. We ended up supplimenting the hops I had ordered (because of their extremely low alpha acid content) with some hops which were leftover from the previous batch. The beer should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 IBU which should be acceptable for a fruit beer.

I am excited that we have chosen what I think may be the perfect yeast for grrrl beer. I have to admit I bought it mainly for its name, “forbidden fruit”, it just seemed to fit. 

— Cindy

Strong IPA (No Comments)

The strong IPA has been busy bubbling away (which is a good sign indeed as we found out our aerator is just not beefy enough for a 6 gallon carboy). I tasted the wort which to me is angrily bitter, but Chris likes beer that holds a grudge. This one is likely bitter enough to become one of those fancy sippin’ beers, but that isnt always a bad thing.

— Cindy

Change of Plans (No Comments)

One of the first rules of cooking is make sure you have all of your ingredients before you start. I have never been able to remember this rule and used frequently end up running to the store in the middle of cooking to get some ingredient I cant live without. Over the years I have gotten great at improvising which reduces store runs. Sadly, I am not as comfortable at improvising beer recipes as I am with dinner. So, because I decided that the girlbeer has an ingredient which it cant live without, it is being put off until monday (or some time next week…).

We were going to just brew next weekend, but I had gotten myself in the middle of a batch of spent grain bread and had no spent grain. I could go on without, (of course the bread wouldnt be as good….), however we decided to go ahead with at least one of the batches of beer. So we are currently making the strong IPA. At the moment the grains are steeping and the house smells fantastic!

 Gotta go– hot beer on the stove!