27 November 2004

posted by benjy edwards

A big day of packaging beer.  After having left several batches to condition for weeks, it was past time to keg or cask them.  I kegged up three batches: the Oatmeal Stout, the HopDevil clone, and the Alpha King clone, version 9.  Gravities were pretty good overall, and I dry-hopped the Alpha with 1 ounce each of Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial.  The HopDevil got a couple ounces of Cascade.

I casked two beers, the other five gallons of the Alpha King clone, now named Boathouse HopGoblin IPA, and the Black Sheep Special Bitter clone I made.  The same dry-hop was put in the HopGoblin that went in the co2 version, and the Black Sheep got an ounce of Willamette.  The next task is to dry-“hop” the Christmas Ale with some ginger in the secondary fermenter.

21 November 2004

posted by benjy edwards

The Christmas Ale was racked to secondary today.  Gravities for both Dry English and California yeasts were the same, 1.023 down from the 1.070 original gravity.  The samples didn’t particularly taste of spices, it’s relatively subdued.  In a few days I’ll add the grated ginger to the secondary, that should kick it up a bit.

13 November 2004

posted by benjy edwards

Brewed the annual Christmas Ale today, we tweaked the recipe from last year to include more spices.  It’s got 3.5 pounds of honey, along with ginger, allspice, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, and star anise.  The gravity is highish, at 1.070 and the hops around 50 IBU.  We’ll probably have the Christmas Ale on in mid-December.  It’s the first beer to be brewed using the new stainless fittings and valve on the pump, which should be easier to keep clean.

On Sunday I put up the covering over the winter brewhouse and swept it out, so next time we brew will be inside, away from the wind.  With one or more of the burners on, the temperature in the shed usualy goes from 20 or 30 (whatever it is outside) to between 80 and 90, so it’s toasty while brewing.

7 November 2004

posted by benjy edwards

I racked the Alpha King, version 9, from primary to secondary today.  The gravities were a bit high, the California at 1.016 and the Dry English at 1.023.  I think the Dry English is so sweet because the yeast was fresh from the “pitchable” tube, with only a one-day starter to get it going, plus of course the high starting gravity of 1.069.

The Anchor Liberty, version 12, was tapped on Friday night, and is very nice.  It has the home-grown Cascade hops in it, and the beer has a ton of hop flavour, with a light hop aroma.  Overall, a very nice beer.  I’ll have to wait another year to brew it again, when the harvest of hops comes around again!