With the shutdown concluding its second week, I’ve had a bit of time on my hands. And with the holidays coming up, I figure it’s time to brew something for the holiday season. The past couple of years I’ve used this time of the year to develop a porter recipe. But this year I decided to do something different. A spiced ale for Christmas. Although I’ve added spices in previous batches. This is the first time that I’ve remembered to add them at the end of the boil in an attempt to get them a bit more front and center. So after some very cursory research and a basic idea of what I needed I biked up to 3 Stars to pick up ingredients for tonight’s brew.
What’s this? Two reviews in the span of a week? Well I had a two beer backlog and I’m catching up now. Christmas come early for you, gentle reader!
Last month I bottled my pumpkin ale using 3.0 ounces of priming sugar. This is my first attempt at the style and it wasn’t without a hiccup or two. Most notably, I forgot to add the pumpkin pie spice at flameout. Instead, I made a spice tea and added it at bottling time. From what I’ve read, it makes no difference in the flavor. Take that for what you will.
Aroma - Nothing overpowering. Slight pumpkin and malt aromas.
Appearance - Cloudy with a deep orange hue and a cream-colored head. The head dissipates quickly and you have to pour somewhat violently to generate one.
Flavor - Pumpkin flavor is prominent with a bit of malt in the background. Spices are a subtler. The pumpkin flavor is more akin to the “vegetable-ness” of pumpkin rather than a “pie-ness”.
MouthfeeI - Carbonation is just about ideal considering its malt level and pumpkin flavor.
Overall - I typically don’t drink pumpkin beers (probably on account that they are so seasonal), so I’m going into this without some sort of ideal to reach for. If I’m brutally honest, I’m not wowed by this beer. I think I’d like a sweeter more pie-like beer if pumpkin is going to be the showcase. Alternatively, maybe better utilization of spices (and perhaps different ones) yielding something along the lines of a “harvest ale” would also be good. It’s solid and grows a bit on me after a while.
That concludes the backlog I had and now I need to brew again. Normally I would do a porter, but I’m considering to a spiced ale. A Christmas Cream Ale perhaps? I should get working on that so it will be ready by the holidays.
Hello friends! It’s been quite some time since I’ve last shared my homebrewing adventures with you all out there in the ‘tubes. The reasons for that laziness and a lack of perceived time on my part. But now that the federal government shut down, I’ve got all the time in the world and I’m going to share some of it with you.
Last weekend I brewed my next batch. Originally, I was going to do another summer beer, but I was lazy and just didn’t get around to doing things. So with the timeline saying this batch would be ready around mid-October, I thought it would be a good time to attempt a pumpkin beer.
After scouring the internet for pumpkin ale extract recipes, tips, and tricks I came up with a general guideline and biked up to 3 Stars to pick up the ingredients. I also bought 30 oz. of Libby’s brand pumpkin pie filling and baked that in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. The Internet says that helps bring out the pumpkin flavor. After the filling was appropriately baked, I put it in the boil and let it ride. Everything else was standard procedure. Original gravity measured out to 1.046.
Briess Carabrown Malt - 1 lb. (steeping)
Briess Golden Light DME - 6 lbs.
1.0 oz. Cluster (60 min)
White Labs California Ale (WLP001)
30 oz. can of Libby’s Pumpkin Pie filling
Originally, I was planning on adding a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice at flameout, but I forgot. I didn’t realize my mistake until I was well into the chilling stage. From what I’ve read, I can add the spice in secondary or at bottling with little effect on the final product. Hooray for beer’s forgiveness!
Terminal Adjustments: a blackout poem
The single hop project seeks to encourage better understanding of hops and the distinct way each varietal can influence beer by creating a visual representation of each hop.
Some wall art for the beer lovers out there.
It’s been a very enjoyable and productive weekend for me. I completed some needed errands, took in a baseball game, and bottled my half of my saison.
In my last post, I decided to split the batch. Bottling half of the batch and racking the other half on raspberries in secondary.