Monday, December 12, 2005


Counterpressure Marathon

Well, tonight my wife and I counterpressure filled 30 12oz bottles of my Strong Dark Ale, in effect kicking it and making way for the Queen's Darkness Imperial Stout. I like both, but the Queen's Darkness is definitely more of a "tap" beer than the other. I won't be bringing a growler of it to the next meeting - At 7.9% ABV, we wouldn't get through it. I'd also have to sneak it by my wife, who has decreed that anyone who wishes to sample it must beg her first. Maybe I'll fill up a flip-top and bring it to the meeting.

I am also wondering what else to bring to the meeting. I had a growler of both my English Bitter and the Peated Scottish when I went down to the Fordham outing with our southern DE brethren, however most of our club members seemed put off by the Scottish. I distinctly remember Scott saying about my peated Scottish (and I quote): "What the heck did you do to this?". Perhaps I didn't understand the spirit in which the feedback was given, but I didn't take it as a compliment. I was suprised since many people were very praiseful, but hey - different strokes.

I also got high praise for the Oak Aged Vanilla Porter and the Native Rage India Red Ale. A few others enjoyed the Oatmeal Stout and Pumpkin Ale, however everyone seemed to really dislike the witbier - too much coriander or something, I supposed. Oh well, its my wife's beer and she loves (as do I), so it just won't go on more outings with me.

Maybe I'll bring a couple of my remaining Sled Dog Doppelbocks and a couple other bottles of homebrew to the next meeting. I think I'll save the 3 bottles of Ommegang and the bottles of Weyerbacher Decadence, Victory V12, and Iron Hill Old Ale for later.

My third batch of oak-aged vanilla porter is sitting in a secondary on 2oz of oak chips and 2oz of oak cubes and 3 vanilla beans. I've also got a carboy of abbey dubbel chugging away at 65-66 degrees with a sleeping bag wrapped around it. Hopefully the yeast will have enough energy to finish the job... I'd be annoyed if my third try on a dubbel went awry too - 3 strikes and you're out? I'm sure it'll be fine though.

Next on deck is my Homegrown Pale Ale for 2005... I'm going to use all 5 oz of hops (1oz Nugget and 4oz Cascade) in the batch so it'll be 100% homegrown hops. It might end up tasting like grassy butt hell, but hey, I'll drink it anyways. I have to admit that I am still really sketchy about when the optimum time is to harvest them.

I've never been a fan of any kind of spice that alters the flavor of beer like that. I think my comment was "It tastes like peat moss"! I've been known to spit out homebrew in front of the brewer. I didn't do that to yours, so you can take that as a complement! LOL!
Well, in this case it wasn't a spice at all - It was peated malt from Thomas Fawcett & Sons. They take the malt and smoke it with scottish peat...

Apparently it's a common practice and ingredient for single-malt scotches. I thought a little "scotch" flavor in a lower gravity scottish ale would be nice - and while I guess its not for everyone, my wife and I really like it. The beer is also relatively young, and the flavor is supposed to mellow and meld more over time. Perhaps it is just too young for other folks at this point. I might try you again in a few months.

If you don't like spices, then I will definitely keep my witbier and pumpkin ale away from you.. ;-)
I'm sure you're right. The overall flavor & aroma of the beer will change over time. I did enjoy sampling it; don't get me wrong. I definitely want to try it again in a month or so.

Please don't keep ANY beer away from me! I enjoy trying other styles, even if they are not my favorite.
Some additional info regarding "Peated" malt:

"Simpsons Peated Malt. 2.5° L. Phenol level 12-24. This malt is lightly peated and used to enhance flavor in Scottish ales. While the malt is in the kiln, peat moss outside the kiln is gently smoked over slow burning coals allowing its vapors to drift above the malt. Peat malt is also used in the making of Scotland's finest whiskies."


i suppose none of that changes the fact that it tasted like peat moss to you... let's hope it DOES mellow with time...
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