November 17, 2013

Pre-Holiday Madness

After an amazing night sharing some laughs at SecondCity and enjoying exceptional craft beer @Barhop in Toronto, I’m planning on spending my Sunday bottling what I have named: “Cascadian Imperial IPA”. Much has happened since my last post and I haven’t really had time to devote to the blog so apologies but here it goes.

The Germerican Hop Series APA mentioned in the last post looked and tasted remarkably similar to Keith’s Hop Series Hallertauer beer (see picture below). The next time I craft this beer, I might go a little lighter on the Carapils (say 0.5lbs vs 0.8lbs) to remove some of the residual sweetness. Also, I will dry hop the brew with another 2 ounces of Hallertauer to bring in some more aroma characteristics, something that I suspected the brew might lack. That said, the beer is probably the best I have brewed to date, and consequently it disappeared far too quickly! 

I hosted two brew-days since October and I will post both of these great recipes shortly. The first was a 3.0-gallon Christmas brew that I attempted last year which was impressive although quite young when consumed. I intend to age this one until the 20th of December before getting into it (last year it didn’t make it that far so I could hardly call it a Christmas beer!). The second is the 5.5-gallon Cascadian Imperial IPA that will be going into bottles this afternoon. I want to have two more brew-days under my belt before 2013 comes to an end, but I haven’t decided on recipes yet. Regardless, I want to be brewing on the weekend of November 30th and sometime in late December to properly celebrate a year of exciting home brewing.

My brew equipment received a boost with a new propane burner called the Bayou Classic that I secured a few weekends ago. The burner offers 210,000 BTUs of power and I am extremely impressed with its performance, as it has shaved almost a full hour off my water heating times! I also bought a 10lbs CO2 tank and hope to receive the rest of the kit I need to start kegging soon, something that I have been eager to do for some time.

The hops were put to bed at the hop-yard last weekend as the 4’ bines were cut to ground level and the hills were completely covered with hay for the winter hibernation. I’m looking forward to next April/May to see how they do!

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