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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?