Showing posts with label ring of gold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ring of gold. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A carboy, a carboy, my kingdom for a carboy!

It has been a while since I brewed. My fermenters sit empty, forlorn and pleading to be filled with wort and yeast, apart from the dandelion wine that Mrs Velkyal made in our tiny little 1 gallon carboy which is being bottled this week and left to sit until Thanksgiving.

I am expecting to change this situation in the near future, in fact at some point today I will be buying ingredients from good old Northern Brewer, and maybe also from Rebel Brewer as they have a wider selection of hops. I have a few options when it comes to what beers to make next.

Of course there is the British Style American Style India Black Ale I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. I also want to re-make my Ring of Gold Best Bitter, largely because I am convinced the recipe is sound, it was just that the carbonation didn't happen because the cellar was too cold for the yeast. Then there are my winter beers, Machair Mor and Biere d'épices which maybe I should brew earlier this year to give them plenty of time to condition in the bottle. Also due to be done is making parallel versions of LimeLight using the two yeast strains I have used, to see the difference - on a side note, one of my colleagues mentioned that the 2.1 version reminds him of Hennepin from Ommegang.

Those are the existing brewing plans, and perhaps I think too much but I have a raft of other ideas floating around my head - one of which is to make maple mead, using maple syrup rather than honey, or possibly a combination of the two. Naturally I am planning to take Ron's posts and make some of those historic beers. Also maybe, just maybe, I should make a special beer for my birthday this year, perhaps something with an OG of 1.075 and an IBU rating of 35 or some such mess of numbers.

In the midst of all this homebrew stuff for my cellar, I have also had the delight of helping some friends take their first steps in homebrewing, both of whom work with me at the Starr Hill tasting room. One kicked off his career with a large scale version of the
Black Rose Weizen Porter (originally a dunkelweizen, but perhaps a touch too dunkel, though not too dissimilar in colour from Erdinger's dunkel), while the other started out with a California Steam Beer.

So many ideas, I think I need more carboys...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bottled Gold

Yesterday was bottling day for my latest home brew, a Best Bitter which I named Ring of Gold - I used only East Kent Golding hops in the boil and fermented it with the Ringwood Ale yeast and thought "Ring of Gold" sounded better than "Golden Ring".

Since my disaster with the Copper Head Pale Ale, which I plan to make properly some time in the summer, I have gone back to using the Wyeast smack packs instead of vials from White Labs and have had consistently good fermentation as a result. I also brew quite small batches, only about 2.5 gallons a time, because I don't have much storage space in my cellar and I would rather have a broad selection of beers to choose from instead of filling the cellar with 2 batches, it also means I get to brew more regularly. I find the brewing process quite relaxing, so the more I do, the happier I am.

From a technical standpoint Ring of Gold performed exactly as I expected, going from an original gravity of 1.040 to a terminal gravity of 1.008, giving the beer an ABV of 4.3%. According to Beer Tools, the beer has an IBU rating of 28, which is on the lower end of the scale for a Best Bitter.

Next up in the brewing queue is another batch of LimeLight, a wheat beer I made last summer using lime peel instead of the more common curacao orange. The recipe for LimeLight was made available to Czech home brewers through - unless you speak Czech don't bother - and seems to have gone down well with people who have made it. Of my own version, Ireland's venerable Beer Nut described it thus:

"The carbonation is spot-on and I've got a nice, lasting layer of froth on the top. I'm tasting a sweet biscuity base, and then there's the sharp and tangy citric fruitiness. Topped with the froth, the whole thing is remarkably like drinking lemon meringue pie. A genuinely excellent beer, well done"

Taking on board some comments from The Beer Nut, I have decided to add some ginger into the mix for this version and see where that takes the beer.

As ever with my home brewing, every prospect pleases.

PS - there is only one day left to vote on the base beer style for the International Homebrew Project, and as things stand we have equal votes for three of the four beer styles. If they are still tied when the poll closes, I will pull the winner out of a hat.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...