Monday, March 15, 2010

The Kölsch is here …

After a couple more weeks in the bottle conditioning than I had expected, our Kölsch is finally done and ready to be consumed.  I’ve had a couple of bottles already and have to say it tastes about like I had expected.  In fact, it tastes (in my opinion), very similar to a kölsch from a local microbrewery.

Of course, I’m already working on the next batch and hopefully this time I’ll be able to post more information about what I do and how I do it.  This time I’ve picked up a kit to make an American Cream Ale.  I had originally planned on using melted snow to make the beer, but when I went to give it a shot, there was just too much crap in the water for me to feel safe in attempting this.  In the end, I just dumped the water and will go back to using good old DC tap water … of course, I’m not sure would be worse.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

End of the Holiday, start of the Kölsch …

Been silent for a bit, but wanted to update everyone on what’s going on.  At the end of last year, we put the finishing touches on our holiday ale.  This beer turned out to be a rather interesting brew that was a bit stronger than even we anticipated.

Through an equipment malfunction (our hydrometer that we use to measure specific gravity was a bit off), we ended up making the beer with a bit less water than we were supposed to (making a 4 gallon batch out of 5 gallons of ingredients).  The result was what we thought it would be, but a bit thicker and stronger.

The ale itself was supposed to be a bit on the stronger side, from 7-8% alcohol, but I’d wager that the final product may be upwards of 10%, though I wasn’t able to measure because of the aforementioned equipment problem.

That being said, with about 5 bottles left, it’s time to look forward to our next project, a German kölsch.  We’ve already brewed and done primary fermentation and are just watching it as it undergoes secondary fermentation.  At this rate, we’re looking at bottling in a bit less than two weeks and maybe it’ll be ready in three to four.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Holiday Ale Update

About a week after we finished brewing our Holiday Ale, we’ve moved it to the secondary fermenter.  There it should complete fermentation and at the same time, the sediment should settle out, leaving us with clear(er) beer that we can bottle in a bit over a week.  Anyone interested in helping?

Oh, and we also took a quick sample while transferring.  It’s still a bit too sweet, the fermentation isn’t done yet, but so far it seems pretty good.  I’m personally excited about the results.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Holiday Ale

Our first holiday specific brew went into the fermenter today. It should be an interesting brew (assuming it comes out right), a full bodied ale with holiday spices (cinnamon, cardamom and orange peel for zest).

Right now, the plan is to do an initial fermentation for about a week, then move it into the secondary for another week. So 14 days from now, it should be ready to bottle and about 3-4 weeks later, the beer should be ready. We're planning on doing a Christmas week unveiling, and then sharing it with our friends and family over the holiday season.

In the meantime, does anyone have any requests for the next brew? I'm thinking of going with a lighter beer, maybe a pilsner or a kolsch-type beer, but I'm open to suggestions.