Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Pumpkin Dance"

Just finished brewing my fourth batch, "Pumpkin Dance" pumpkin ale. I'm not attached to the name. I'm having a little difficulty coming up with a pumpkin related name that hasn't been used already. "Big Pumpkin"? I dunno. I've got two weeks to solidify that.

So, let's talk about the beer, shall we. This is a small, kind of a science project of a batch. I'm a little short on funds, so I used one of the Mr. Beer HMEs that I had left over from my Christmas gift set. It was a "Canadian Draft" can, I added the booster, a cup of brown sugar, 1/2 a cup of honey, one can of pumpkin, and some spices. This should yield around 24 bottles. It'll have around 6% abv.

I think one of the first beers I had that kind of opened me to the possibilities of beer being more than either Miller Lite or Guinness was Cottonwood's Pumpkin Spice beer. I was visiting my friend, Brian when he was living in Boone, and we drank a 6 pack, and I loved it. Ever since, I've been searching for the perfect pumpkin beer. Dogfish Head's 'punkin Ale is by far the best. I want to reach that level of taste and alcohol content (eventually).

I'm not sure how this one will turn out. So far the HMEs have been pretty good to me. Though this is the first time that I'm using one that doesn't exactly thematically fit with what I'm trying to do. I'm also worried that the canned pumpkin...

oh, and a quick aside about the canned pumpkin.
from what I read, almost everyone said, don't use it.
I found one person who said to spread it on a cookie sheet, and bake it for an hour.
that seemed to cook out a lot of the excess water.

... in that it might taste a little too squash-like. Adding the spices should take care of that (hopefully). Also worried about the extra sugars, if the yeast can handle it, or if it'll come out too sweet.

All of that worrying aside, I'm really excited about this one. Hope it comes out good.

Prior Restraint Coffeehouse Porter: The Results Are In

Prior Restraint came out as a very smooth, very drinkable Porter with mild coffee undertones. That wasn't exactly what I was looking for. Not that the beer is bad, I have been drinking it and enjoying the hell out of it. It's just not exactly the flavor profile I was hoping for.

However, I believe I mentioned the 5 experimental bottles with chilled coffee added to them in secondary fermentation. Those came out more along the lines of what I was looking for. It tastes just like a cup of coffee. When I return to this beer later, I will probably replace the smoked malt with something more... creamy? Maybe keep the smoked malt and add the coffee and some lactose sugars? Needs work, but I'm very encouraged by my first big batch of beer.

I've given some bottles away to friends and family, and I'm just waiting to hear some feedback.

That Went Well

Okay, very sorry about the lack of updating on the blog. A series of unfortunate events put me in a new job, and working through the transition, I haven't wanted to work on the blog, until now.

The Pecan Ale made it's big premiere at our baby shower a few weeks ago. I had a case and it was gone halfway through the party. Everyone really enjoyed it. It came out with a very smooth taste, a nice alcohol content, and just the right amount of pecan flavor. I would really like to thank everyone at the party for their kind words, also their baby shower gifts. We've pretty much got the baby's room together now, and we couldn't have done it without the generosity of our friends.

Pecan Ale is all gone now. I will return to it soon enough, making a larger batch.