Friday, November 29, 2013

REVIEW: Feed the Machine (Autumn IPA)

Autumn hit and almost instantaneously my taste buds shifted quickly away from light, fruity, crisp, refreshing, to big, bold, dark, dank, full bodied, malty, bitter, hoppy, warming.  Couple that with all the freshly dried and packaged hops from this year's harvest, and my mind began to churn up an idea.  I wanted a beer that screamed AUTUMN.  Biscuits, warm malt, body, lightly chewy, sweetish, sweet breads, spicy, all to hold up a big resinous, piney, pithy hop profile - no tropical fruits or melons, something much bigger and heavier.  I concocted the recipe, and brewed it up, double dry hopping, and serving quick from the keg.  I must say, I think I hit it spot on.  Many of the guys in the club tried it at our meeting and really liked it, positive feedback all around, and the president said keep the recipe and re-do that beer.  I plan on it, especially in the Spring for the annual (and local) Sasquatch Brew Fest (which I placed in 3 categories last year).  This beer would make a great Glen Beer (special tribute beer to Glen Hay Falconer [where Falconer's Flight get their name] big, malty, dark, and absurdly hoppy).

Pours a fairly clear (for a double Dry Hopped beer) deep red with a super sticky thick khaki head.  Leaves really nice lace and a thick foam ring with each sip.  Some legs evident as well from the alcohol.  Head fades down to a thick whispy cap

It's like shoving your nose in a bag of hops, are walking into the hop room at a brewery.  Big dank hop resin, pine needles, grapefruit pith, spicy, touch of berries.  Background cocoa, bread dough, sweet malts, and alcohol.

First rush is hop oils coating the tongue, giving way to biscuits, resin, more pine.  Fruity, berries, spicy hop notes, sweet malt palate.  Bready.  Not as crisp as I'd like, kind of a "heavy" taste to it.  Alcohol is there, but very hidden.

Medium to Med-Full body, combo of semi-dry, and alcohol, sweet, with a big bitterness cleansing the palate.  Balanced bitterness and malt with alcohol.  Warming alcohol in the back.

Very nice Imperial Red IPA.  Balanced, bitter, alcohol, malty, lots of hops everywhere.  Too drinkable.  Hit spot on for the flavors I was shooting for.  The heaviness in the finish is kind of flabby, need to retool for this aspect.  Not sure if this is brewing salt related, or malt related.  Possibly cut back on the flaked barley, or cut it out next time?  Possible pH of finished beer issue, might try adding a touch of acid to a glass to see if that helps before tweeking the malts.

Friday, November 22, 2013

RECIPE: 1st Place KLCC #52 The Caleb (Imperial Stout on Elijah Craig Bourbon)

I really enjoy an Imperial Stout.  I really enjoy a Bourbon aged Imperial Stout.  What I don't enjoy is the outrageous prices that most breweries charge for such beers.  I realize that there are some world class BA Imperial Stouts, I have had a few, Firestone Walker Porabola and Velvit Merkin, Deschutes' Abyss (I have a 4 year vertical in my cellar), Block 15 Super Nebulat, even a Goose Island BCS a long time ago.  But when I look at my checking account logically, it becomes very difficult to spend the money.  For the cost of 2-3 22oz bottles of a world class beer I can create my own BA Imperial Stout and have 52 12oz bottles (a better format for a big beer anyways!). 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

RECIPE: 1st Place KLCC #53 CUDL Buddy (Winter Warmer)

Fall has set in, Thanksgiving (and my Birthday) are only a couple weeks away, Christmas is shortly after.  It is that time of year when you really want to have a beer with a little bit of warmth to it, a nice toasty malt character with some sweetness, a good body, and some spiciness to it.  I have always enjoyed beers like Full Sail's Wassail, Bridgeport's Ebenezer, Deschutes' Jubelale, all of which are rich, malty, caramelly, with a nice hop character of spice, earth, and pine.  Because of my love for these particular Winter Warmer beers, I decided to make my own this year.

Friday, November 8, 2013

REVIEW: Your Not 21 (English Dark Mild)

It all started with a thought, what if we brewed a beer from a mash someone else made, that would be a real Iron Brewer!  I rallied the club behind it and we assembled 7 groups to brew on a Saturday morning.  We showed up at Claim 52, received wort, and made beer with only the ingredients we had on hand.  I received the last of the wort and had to water it down to get to the right volume.  Turned out to be a great beer.  I haven't done well in the past with making British styles, so I was hoping that this beer would turn out well, and it did.  Despite the 1.021 FG (hence the name), the beer has a decent finish, not too sweet, not dry.

Look:  Pours a super clear (thanks 1968) brown with garnet highlights, beige head is persistent, and fades to
a thick cap.  Leaves good lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Light English hops jump out first, earthy and woody, nutty yeast, biscuits, light fruity esters, pear and cherry, malty.

Flavor: Tastes like fresh baked biscuits, nutty, light coffee, English hops, a chalky yeast bite, mild toffee bar, plum skins.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, semi-sweet finish, bitter pull on the finish clears the palate, mild carbonic bite, slightly astringent.

Overall: Very nice beer, malty, balanced, super flavorful for such a small beer, nice complexity.  Great beer for Autumn.  Doesn't finish sweet for the 1.021 FG.  Really enjoyed this beer.  This review is from the 2L of force carbed beer from bottling day.  The bottled version still tastes quite green although it is fully carbed up.