Winter brewing

If you can call it winter. It’s been pretty darn mild here lately. Now that the worst of my Achilles injury is behind me (I hope!) Chris and I have started brewing in earnest. We’re looking forward to winter 2012 with a lot of these beers, though a few will be ready before then:

  1. Pale Ale: our standard recipe, using Alexander’s extract, fairly hoppy but balanced with some malty goodness. Your garden variety pale ale.
  2. Hopslam style IPA: I goofed and put a little too much water in this, so it won’t be as strong as Bells’s original, and maybe a little more bitter. But it will clock in at almost 8%, so it’s not a session beer by any means. Three pounds of Chris’s honey, a large amount of hops in the boil (70 IBUs), and we’re gonna dry hop it too.
  3. Porter: the third beer made on a Safale US05 culture. Erin and Gloria love porter, so this is made with them in mind. It’ll be an everyday beer with light to moderate bitterness and nice malty goodness (including some chocolate malt).
  4. Saison: Jeff Moore shared a culture of WLP 566, so we’re going to take another shot at a saison. Hopefully this time it’ll actually be light, not dark. Last year’s effort was made with extract given to us; we realized later it was past its prime. Now, we have some new pilsener malt extract, so we’ll see.
  5. Barley wine: we got a cube of Briess golden light DME (33 lb) from Somethings Brewing. That’s going in about 12 gallons of water–as much as my boil pot can handle–for a barley wine at 1.100 OG. Add in six ounces of the bittering hops I just bought (see below), and we’ll be around 80 IBUs. Yeehaw. We’ll probably start with the Safale US05 and finish with a Champagne yeast.
  6. Belgian strong ale: not sure if we’re going to use the 566 for this, or look for a different yeast, and/or which particular style it’ll be. But we’ve got a cube of Briess pilsener malt ready to go.

That’s enough for now. Perhaps mead and a winter warmer in the future… we’ll see how these go first.

To support this and future brewing, I placed a big fat Freshops order:

  • 1/2 lb Amarillo
  • 2 lb Cascade
  • 2 lb Chinook
  • 1 lb Citra
  • 1/2 lb Fuggle
  • 1/2 lb Mt Hood

And, Sean West saw my post about the hops on Facebook, and pointed me to Nikobrew, who had Simcoe pellets in today. Nice! I still remember the Mikkeller Simcoe Single-hop I had last year. Yum!

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