Monday, May 13, 2013

Update: Moving, Winning, Transplanting

Just as a quick update, it might be a little while before I post again, and if I do, it will probably be reviews for awhile.  We just got word back from our lender that our loan is ready and docs are on the way to close on our new house (first time homeowners).  So for the next few weeks we will be finishing our packing, moving, unpacking, resetting the brewhouse in a new location (much nicer), transplanting the 9 hops I have in the backyard to the new house, figuring our a new trellis for the hops, painting, decorating, changing out light fixtures, redecorating, etc.  Probably going to be awhile before I start brewing again.  I do have a Session IPA / NW Bitter (Brewers Gold, Chinook, Cascade, Zeus, and Brett Drei) that I plan to brew as soon as I can to get a non 8.6% hoppy beer on tap, and also a few Brett only Saisons for the heat coming, but that probably wont be til late June.

On another note, my Dopplebock brewed in late December took 1st place in category 2 at the Sasquatch brewfest a week ago.  My IPA took second out of 33 entries, and my Pilsner took 3rd in category 1.  Not too shabby.

Friday, May 3, 2013

I Knew I Smelled Perfume In That APA!

While reading For the Love of Hops today, I found this statement particularly intriguing: "One third of the population is blind to beta-ionone, a compound with a floral note particularly prominent in Saaz hops.  another third is extremely sensitive." (40).  Why, you ask?  A few months ago I was judging a club only comp for American Pale Ales and one smelled like straight floral perfume, heavy rose water, but no one else picked up on this aroma.  I couldn't get past it at all, and others thought I was nuts.  Just goes to show how subjective judging beer can be (Hieronymus does state that the more you train your nose, you can begin to pick up things that you couldn't before).

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: The Judith (Oaked Blackberry Sour Blonde)

The next beer in the Where the Wild Things Are series, this beer began its life as an American Blonde Ale brewed to see if my gear was infection free post deep cleaning after an infection string swept my brew house.  I didn't really want 9 gallons of Blonde, and half the batch was discovered to be infected, so I soured the majority of it.  After a few months on Brett, then a few more souring, I added different fruits to the split batches.  This one got fresh blackberries from the backyard in September, as well as a healthy dose of French and American Oak.


Pours a deep red to violet, thick white head drops fast to a tight ring that stays all the way through.  No real lace is left.  Super clear.

Smells like Brett funk and berries.  Hints of tropical fruits from the Brett, and some deep oak with hints of wine barrel.

Taste mirrors the smell, basement funk, dusty, tart, lemons, berries, fruity, tannic oak, wine, light oxidation (cardboard) in the finish, clean acid - no acetic.

Puckering sour from the fruit, lactic acid, and super dry finish.  Oak tannins, balanced to sour.

Very nice fruit sour.  Complex.  Great color, sour, funky, fruity.  Could use a little more fruit, or drink it sooner as the jammy fruit is starting to fade from what it was in mid February (just post carb).  Definitely a good wild ale.  Deep oak.  The oxidation is lower in this version than in the version that got mangoes and dry hops - need to stay out of my sours or flush with CO2 (now that I have it).