Nov 5, 2009

Holiday Brew!

So I like to brew beer.  I'm not quite to the total grain "I make my own Extract" type of brewing but I hope to get to that point when I have the space.  My latest Brew was a holiday themed brew that had potential for disater.  Did it?  Read on to find out if it is all Silver Bells and Dumplings or if I ended up with Coal BeerI tried to do a holiday porter last year, and It didn't end up as well as I had hoped:  Cloves overtook the taste and pretty much killed any other tastes from coming through.

This time instead of using whole Cloves (which I think I used like 10 or some crazy number like that) I used 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground.  I still felt a little leery, but figured it really wasn't that much.  The recipe also called for ginger, Cinnamon and Orange peel/ basically sounded like Pumpkin/Holiday Pie could it be bad?!

After the first fermentation stage (around 10-12 days), I sampled it...and all I could taste was Cloves.

As a side note, I have been reading about how to home brew, and how the different characteristics of water can effect the different beer styles and how to take your water and make it work.  Come to find out, porters and Stouts seem to really like hardish water...which we have.  This might be why I make them a lot (could also be that I love them) and they generally come out pretty decent.

The color isn't as light as I was expecting (it is supposed to be an ale/amber color) and it was really kind of cloudy.  I was getting kind of down and was half tempted to just throw out the entire batch.

Then I remembered that I still bottled the Clove Porter even though I thought it was going to be I went ahead and added the bottling sugar and bottled anyway!

Well a week an half later I tried it...and it is actually not that bad!  It carbonated, and the flavor is pretty decent.  There is a hint of cloves, but the citrus from the Orange and the Zeus hops is really coming through.  I think in another week or two and it might be passable for Christmas Cheering!


Dan said...

Apparently the founder of the Vermont Pub and Brewery and an author of a few micro-brew books, Greg Noonan was a VTer. Sadly, I know this because he recently passed away.

Nothing like a depressing comment to get things going - sorry :)

Tempted to try brewing at some point. I also really wouldn't mind making my own wine. I've finally (slowly) graduated to dry'ish Reds :)

Glad the brew turned out well! :D

markus said...

Thanks for the depressing comment!