Saturday, August 11, 2012

Brewing Update

It's been a while since I commented on my home brewing activities -- a pass time that has been particularly fun for me.

I brewed my 15th batch of beer of the year yesterday -- an India Pale Ale.  I've begun to modifying the formulas somewhat on the prepackaged kits, to try to tailor the taste of the beers to my own particular preferences.  The IPA, for example, had about double the quantity of hops in it compared to the kit -- one I'd brewed before, and one where the hops seemed a bit light.

Yesterday, I also sampled my second batch of Delirium Tremens clone beer.  The first one was excellent, but didn't quite have the flavor punch of the original.  This batch is definitely more heavily spiced, but I detected a lingering sweetness that wasn't present in the first batch.  I might have gotten the sugar content pre-fermentation a little too high.  Or it might not be carbonated fully, and that could be impacting the taste a bit.  Either way, it is still good, just not a perfect knock-off of the commercial brew.

On tap right now I have this Delirium Tremens clone, and a Belgian Witbier.  And I've got five gallons of Russian Imperial Stout aging (to replace the Witbier once it is gone).  In bottles, I have a little Sam Adams clone beer, and my first all-original beer -- Berbere-flavored Ale (based on the Ethiopian spice, Berbere, added to a strong scotch ale base).

Of the 15 brews, I would only consider 2 to be strikouts -- a Honey-Sage that smelled terrible, and a wheat beer that was cardboard-like.  Both were from kits, and I don't think I did anything wrong with the production.  They just aren't good beers.

My only current brewing problem is I've started a diet.  Figuring out how to reserve enough calories to sample my own wares is a challenge!