Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dog Days of Summer Brew Update

When the temperature and humidity in the 90s, brewing just can't be any fun. Thus, since stocking up on saison in early July, nothing more intense than bottling has happened. I do have some aging beers that I can squeeze an update post out of.

Belgian Barleywine
When bottling the base beer I drew off one gallon to age some more with an "infected" oak spiral. Only bubbled a bit occasionally but never put up a pellicle. I figure at nearly 13% ABV that the bacteria and Brett. were killed off. Not much funk when I tasted it last week but it was still boozy and hot despite the extra aging time. I put it in the back of the refrigerator in hopes a few cold weeks will calm it down a bit. That main portion of the batch never carbonated so I will use wine or champagne yeast at bottling time.

La Fontaine du Sang
After two months in secondary, this one has just put up a bubbly and ropy white pellicle. A sample last week still tasted fairly clean and mostly like sweet caramel malt. Quite a ways to go for this one.

Les Framboises du Mal
I've added all the fruit I can afford to dump into beer, which now totals 5.5 lbs of raspberries and 12 oz plums from the fantastic Kimball Fruit Farm. The samples have tasted very sour and funky but I was dissappointed with the lack of fruit flavor and hue of the raspberry color, so I added plums to help rectify those problems. Although I have never heard of plums added to sour beer. The raspberries floating on top have beautifully disgusting crust.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Difference Between Porter and Stout

With Ron wasting the summer writing about trivial subjects like lager and travel, little progress has been made recently in droning on about important matters. Those matters of course are porter and stout, and the difference between the two. So here is a quote from and industrial chemistry manual published in 1921.

"Stout, with a very dark color, malt flavor and sweet taste, brewed stronger than ale, and possessing a tart taste in the aged product, but less alcohol than ale; usually lively. From worts of about 16 to 18 per cent extract.

Porter, with a dark color, brewed like stout, but not so strong."

-"Industrial Chemistry: A Manual for the Student and Manufacturer.", page 921.