I must thank my friend’s Tom and Simon for these new friends. Tom picked me up a virgin 2.5 cask with a really gnarly design on it
Dr. Deacon Brody
A mad scientist cask…. that’s gonna be something someday. I’m planning on making some homemade wine to age this with. should be great!
I also picked up a 5 gallon bourbon cask from Kings Distillery with the help of my friend Simon. Its really surprising how much heavier a 5 gallon cask is when compared to a 2.5 gallon cask.
volume step up #1
This makes my total casks now 6, with two souring beers and four for straight (ish) beer. The sour beers are in a rye cask and a bourbon cask. The straight beers will go into a 5 gallon bourbon cask, 2.5 gallon scotch cask, and the hopeful red wine cask.
The one on the right is done with work!
My father recently retired from his job of 39 years and a congratulations are in order! As a gift, I brewed up a batch of Kolsch, which was my second, and much improved, stab at this style. Here are the tasting that my father and I wrote with my muse of a girlfriend.
Kolsch 1.0 on the left, Congratulation Kolsch on the right
kolsch 1.0 (old write up)
Apperance: cloudy and straw yellow
Nose: corn with lemon citrus
Taste: an easy drinker with a lemon taste
Mouthfeel: smooth and low carbed. very light bodied
Overall: much nicer now, the lemon flavor is well muted and very easy to drink
Congratulation Kolsch 2.0
Appearance: Completely clear (I love using Whirfloc) light yellow color
Nose: Very light, with a slight sweetness in the background
Taste: nearly perfectly balanced, an easy round flavor
Mouthfeel: easy drinking summer time light beer
Overall: Really well done, but kinda boring beer. This beer got it right! 8.9/10
Cheers to my Dad and anyone else who parents worked for too long!
This was my first attempt at making a smokey scotch influence lager. It was bottled October 16, 2011 and has aged wonderfully.
Scotch Cask Aged Peat Smoked Vienna Lager
Appearance: A honey brown color with a light tan head. It is cloudy, but It seems that the cask aging does this to every beer.
Nose: A slight smoke and malt nose. Very light and pleasant
Taste: A bread/malty beginning fading into smoke and malt. A very crisp finish with a smooth and distinct flavor. At about 6% ABV, this is a beer that can be easily drunk and well as sipped
Mouthfeel: High carbonation but very smooth
Overall: A great balanced beer with a very nice light body and just the right amount of smoke
I knew this day would come…..
Blanton’s Brown Ale
After the better part of a year dealing/working with casks, I think I finally made a great beer. Everything seemed to work just right with this batch. The brew was a collaboration with my friend Simon, the cask was finally calming down with flavor profile, and it was January and Feb, perfect months for barrel aging in a Brooklyn apartment.
Here it goes, one of my favorite beers to date, even had a hard time bottling it up to save for aging.
Appearance: a huge thick tan head. The color is completely black with a dark brown hue
Nose: A pleasant blend of oak, vanilla, and roastiness. A full dark chocolate flavor undertone
Flavor: a smooth rise of chocolate with a complex creaminess, it all tasted kinda like a chocolate bourbon oak milkshake, but still had a brown ale taste. Just a tad sharp from carbonation. totally nice beer to drink
mouthfeel: a big but balanced beer with a complicated mouth, finishes nicely with an oak and chocolate memory
overall: yeessss. make. this. again. but….. WHAT IS THE RECIPE?! time to dig up my brew log
9.4/ 10 : best beer so far on the blog
Peat Smoked Vienna Lager
This is my second time brewing up this beer. I only use about 3 ounces of peat smoked malt and the rest of the grains is 100% Vienna malt. The sweetness from the malt and the richness of the smoke go hand in hand very nicely. I would try to dry this out just a bit more to really feel like this beer is perfect, but a damn good beer already!
Appearance: A yellowish head that hangs around for awhile. Perfectly clear with an amber copper color.
Nose: A sweet malty nose with only a trace smoke.
Flavor: A malty sweetness comes in the beginning of the taste and stays up front, with the smoke being present but restrained. A brown sugar taste underneath all the other flavors. Kind of hot from the high alcohol, which was above 8 %
Mouthfeel: A smooth, round flavor that leaves a smoke flavor sitting on the tongue
Overall: This was very nice, I am making this my official Rauch! 8.7/10
Recently I have begun souring beer, which is a simple process of inoculating (infecting) beer with specific micro organisms that like living in beer. So far, I have soured left over beer that was less than perfect, like my earl wit that had a bit too much gypsum and a poor fermentation. I decided to repurpose this beer into a Lambic. I have also started souring my casks, starting with quad/ homemade wine into a rye cask with Roeselare Blend from Wyeast.
Now, repurposing beer is cool, and a great way to start souring beers, but I have way too many questions about the variables in souring to just use my leftovers for this. It was time to brew a 10 gallon batch of Flanders Brown Ale. The brew day was easy for this beer, all until I transferred the cooled wort into all the different fermentors.
So, what am I going to do with all this beer to sour!? that’s right, use up every one gallon jug i can find. To start off I took 5 gallons and put it into a normal 6 gallon better bottle carboy, which I pitched American Ale yeast . This 5 gallon fermentor will be inoculated with Roeselare Blend after fermentation is complete.
The rest of the batch left plenty of room to play with, so I split up the beer into 1 gallon jugs and labeled them 1,2,3 and X, Y. Y is the clean fermented beer that will act as the baseline for comparison (control). 1 was only Brett L, 2 was only Brett B, 3 was yeast and Brett B pitched simultaneously, and X will be Brett L added after regular yeast fermentation. I also used a growler for my wild yeast, which will have US05 added after 3 weeks fermenting.
The beers with only Brett fermentation was very interesting to watch. Brett L seems to be the same micro that infected my Earl Wit. The Brett B fermentation looked crazy for about a week, then everything flocculated.
Brett L infection
Brett B infection
1L : brett L 2B: brett B
Now it’s a long wait to start bottling/ blending. which will take about a year!
With a warm winter, I am already having my hop plants come to life! My second year Nugget is growing very quickly and the Goldings (2nd year) is growing nicely. I also picked up some Willamette and Sterling. I’m planning on having a great shady spot underneath the hops to relax in this summer. Here are some pics
two weeks later:
and now the Nugget
This is a tremendous difference from last year, which didn’t see sprouts until may/june. I’m thanking a warm winter and a pleasant conversation about being happy hops every morning.