As I’ve spoken about before, I’m doing homebrewing with a few friends of mine, and yesterday was quite a fun day with our homebrew stuff.
Our first pale ale is complete and ready to drink. I have two six-packs here at home and drank one last night. The aroma is great, but we need to work on the finishing and bittering hops. This is our second batch of beer (the first being a porter) and I am very pleased with our progress. It is the last kit beer that we are going to make. We no longer need to pick up a kit, and instead we will just be picking up ingredients and making our own recipes. The ABV of this beer is estimated to be around 4.5%, but our future beers are generally going to be stronger than that.
We transferred Dan’s irish red from primary fermenter to secondary fermenter, as well. This Irish red was our first non kit recipe, and was based off of a recipe we found at Vegas Homebrew, our local homebrew store. We spiked this recipe to increase the alcohol to an estimated 5.5%. We also tasted a bit as we did the transfer and it tastes great. It has the smoothest finish of any of our beers thus far. It is also the only beer that we didn’t dry hop, so the aroma is very mild, which is befitting of an Irish red. It is also the first beer that we used Irish moss to clear up the haze. The Irish moss definitely reduced the sediment floating in the primary fermenter (but that could be due to it sitting for three weeks in the primary), and hopefully it will continue to do it’s job and give us a clear beer.
The most interesting part of the day was brewing Will’s insane imperial India pale ale. This IPA is our first attempt at a true high gravity beer, and it is using fresh hops harvest just last week from Northern California. Will got the recipe set up and we got the ingredients together and this thing will be a beast. 9 lbs of malt and 10 oz of hops went into this batch, and the estimated ABV is over 8%. The idea behind this beer was to make something similar to Stone’s Ruination IPA – crazy bitter and crazy strong. I have high hopes that we did this batch properly and it will come out great.
The next batch is going to be my cherry stout. I want to create something like Sierra Nevada’s stout, only with a ton of cherry flavor. We will be brewing that in three weeks, and I will try to remember to take some pictures of this process to post for everyone.