Join with us on our adventure as we build East Alstead's first brewery and what is quite possibly the only off-grid commercial brewery in the United States. We feel that what we brew and how we brew it are equally important. If you would like to help out with this project, contact me at: tim@belgianmare.com.




The Belgian Mare Says Hello!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Building and Brewing


All apologies for the tardy nature of this post. I was busy last night watching the Packers snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  The first time in 41 years I want them to win and they blow it at the last second!  So I woke up this morning to talk radio discussing Bill B. being "clearly the greatest coach of the modern era." Ack! Ack!

Enough! On to brewing...

I accomplished a bit of work on the brewery.  I managed to install about half the collar braces on the rafters before cold overtook me.  About the time the level stuck to my hand I figured it was time to pack it in for the day.  It was just as well as being up on a ladder, that was standing on a temporary deck made of ice coated plywood, was starting to work on my nerves.


Hemlock Beer

In the good news department:  I tried some of the hemlock I bottled a week ago.  It is excellent.  With a few more weeks to carbonate, I am sure it will only get better.  I was a bit worried that adding a pound of malto-dextrin might make it too thick, but the body is just about right.  I used a bit less hemlock this time and it seems I may have found the right balance.  Dear Reader, I will keep you posted as the taste evolution proceeds.


Czech This Out

As I write these lines, I have a Czech lager in the fermenter.  This particular brew represents the first time in a few years that I have used a White Labs liquid yeast culture.  I was a big fan of these during my time in Alaska, but could not find a supplier when I moved to New Hampshire.  Now I have found one.

I am a bit concerned as the yeast took over 24 hours to show any sign of life.  I am fearful of an infection.  However, the yeast is going strong now and no odd odors have been detected coming from the fermentation lock.  In fact, the brew smells pretty good.  I will keep you posted.


The Past Crosses The Future

Today I cooked up an English bitter.  This was a very simple recipe, of my own design, utilizing only Pearl malt as a base and some 90L crystal malt for a bit of flavor.  I threw in one ounce of dark wheat malt to give a bit of spice. For hops, I tossed in two ounces of my own.

The big departure, for me, was the use of white sugar.  Nearly twenty years ago when I started brewing, I made recipes that called for the addition of large amounts of white sugar.  All too often the result was a beer with a cidery taste.  I read that eliminating the sugar would eliminate the cidery taste.  That seemed to work and ever since I have not let white sugar anywhere near my brews.

On this day I know not what muse of fermentation took hold of me as I perused my books of beer formulae, but upon seeing the prescriptions for English bitter that included varying amounts of white sugar, I was seized with the desire; no, compulsion, to brew with white sugar. Why, after a two decade hiatus, I should be so afflicted, I cannot answer. Still under the influence of the brewing muse I took three of the best recipes from my text and combined them to arrive at my final creation.

What shall come of this?

1 comment:

  1. White sugar?! What's next, high fructose corn syrup?

    ReplyDelete