I haven’t posted in a while, so it’s time to play catch up. There’s quite a bit of news in the home brew front.
First, I brewed a Wheat Ale last Saturday. This was from a recipe in the July-August edition of BYO (Brew Your Own) magazine. It’s the Michigan Summer Wheat Ale recipe, although I used less coriander than the recipe specified, which was unintentional (I just read it wrong).
Anyways, I transferred to the secondary last night, and it really looked nice. Normally when transferring, I’m paying attention to the odors of the beer to try to judge how it’s coming along, but this time it was the appearance that I noticed. It was just, really, a nice looking beer. It’s certainly the lightest beer that I’ve produced so far. (For those of you unfamiliar, brewing using extracts tends to create beers that are darker than you would normally expect for the given style. It has to do with the way they produce the extract.)
Also, on Friday I bottled the Scotch Ale. I was a little worried about this one when I transferred it to the secondary a couple of weeks ago. First, it spent two weeks in the primary because it took so long to ferment. It was apparently a “stuck” ferment, which kicked back up after the first week, and took a few more days after that to finish. Aside from that, it was another warm ferment (around 75~74º F), and when I transferred it, it smelled a little fruity. Not a good thing for a scotch ale. I contemplated pitching it then, but I decided to wait.
I’m glad I did. On Friday, when I transferred it to the bottling bucket, that fruity smell was gone, and you could really smell the smoky peat malt. I took a sample of it while we were bottling. Wow. This one tastes good already, and I can tell by the time it carbonates and ages a little, it’s going to be fantastic.
I’m really glad of this, since the previous two batches have had issues.
The Spiced Ale it a little too strong with the cloves, and it fermented a little too warm so it has too fruity of a quality to it. A little bit of that fruitiness would be good in this style, but it’s currently too much (especially when combined with the cloves). I’m hoping that if I let it age the flavors will balance out (and it’s starting to, I had one last night and it tastes better than the one I had a week ago).
With the Stout it seems I over sparged the specialty grains. Not too much, but there’s definitely a slight astringent bitterness to it (not the “good” kind of bitterness from the hops that you expect in a beer). Again, I’m hoping more time in the bottles will help alleviate this malady.