Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017

2016 was a pretty great year for me brewing wise.  I tackled a lot of projects and brewed a lot of beer.  I was even able to write a guest article for Craft Commander on yeast foraging.  You can check that out here.  I also built a new keezer so that I could serve more beers on tap and bottle less of my beer.  That was a big help.  I got way more organized and scheduled with my brewing.  I also shared a lot more of my beer with people I feel could give better feedback than I have before.  (I still have a few boxes to get out to some folks.)

All of that aside, I'm really happy with my brewing in 2016.  I plan to keep all that going and brew even more in 2017.  I have 5 taps to keep full now after all!  I'm also going to add in some other styles of beer to my brewing.  Saison will always be my greatest love when it comes to beer styles.  I'll always brew it and I'll always enjoy drinking it.  As much as I love Saison, I am also enamored with some other styles too.  British Bitter has always been a favorite style of mine.  I brewed a few Bitters last year and at the time of this writing have already brewed one in 2017.  Now that I have more taps, I'll more than likely have a Bitter or something similar on tap at all times.  I am also an avid fan of German beers.  Pilsner, Hefeweizen, Bock, Helles, Munich Dunkel, Altbier, Marzen, really all of the sessionable beers from Germany are what I enjoy drinking when I can find them.  I'm going to be brewing a good many of those to keep on tap this year as well.  I think brewing different styles will help me learn more about brewing and improve my skills as a brewer.  I'll be writing a few posts covering these as I go along.  I know they won't be "farmhouse" styles but maybe there are others out there that enjoy them as much as I do. 

Another type of beer I've been brewing but not writing about lately are hoppy beers.  I enjoy hops as much as the next person, I just don't go as nuts as some people do for them.  My girlfriend and a lot of close friends love drinking them so I'll be brewing more of those too.  I don't have a ton of experience brewing IPAs and Double IPAs but this year is going to be the year I change that.

For projects for 2017, I have a new fermentation chamber project in the works now.  This will be aimed to be a lagering and cold storage chamber for brewing and keeping lagers, Bière de Garde and any other style that may need some cold conditioning.  I think this will help a ton with scheduling and time frames of my brewing.  Saison I've never really worried about temperature.  I learned in 2016 by brewing a lot of Bière de Garde that cold conditioning really gums up the works when brewing any other beer that would really need temperature control.  I have a dorm size fridge that I've been using for yeast storage in mind for this project.

One other project I have in mind is a grain mill cart.  I'd like to get my mill mounted to something that will be easy to move around my garage and get it out of the way but also be a place I can store a few other things.  I think this would help a ton even being used during brew day to hold things I'll use throughout the brew.

This isn't near the updated I had in the beginning of 2016 but I really wanted to jot down some thoughts for what I have planned for 2017.  This will be the year I tackle some new styles like Lagers and IPAs.  I plan on doing some more large split batches in there too.  Either way, there will be plenty of beer.  Here's to the new year!


Good things!


Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession

Friday, November 4, 2016

Tasting Notes for Spur, a Bière de Garde

Tasting notes of my beer Spur.  Quick recap to what this beer is and how it came about.  Basically it's a "spur of the moment" clean up the specialty grain bin Bière de Garde.  For this one I had some Golden Naked Oats, Special B and Caramunich III that I need to use before they got too old.  I've been wanting to brew a lot more Bière de Garde and those grains sounded like they would be perfect for that.  I also had a pack of Wyeast Canadian/Belgian Ale I needed to use.  What came of all of that was my beer, Spur.

The tasting notes are below and the brew day post can be found here for those that would like to read more in depth.




Drinking on 11-3-16

Stats:
ABV: 6.15%
SG:  1.057 or 14.04°P
FG:  1.010 or 2.05°P
Apparent Attenuation:  83%
Actual Attenuation:  67%


Appearance:  Deep red, almost mahogany in color.  Slightly cloudy but that should go away with more conditioning time.  As of right now it hasn't been in the bottle for quite a month yet.  Off white almost tan head with great tight bubbles and pretty decent retention.  Also a bit of lacing on the glass.  Carbonation is running up the sides of the glass as it sits and even more when I swirl it.  I really like the look of this one.  Reminds me of a Belgian Dubbel in appearance.


Closer pic shows more red tones.  Mahogany wood was the first
thing that came to mind.



Aroma:  Firs thing I notice is the maltiness.  It doesn't seem sweet but the malt aromas are coming through.  Just a touch of fruity character in the way of dark cherries or something like that.  Some dried wood aroma, hint of pepper like spice and the faintest of clove may be there.  Hints of the Belgian yeast but definitely not dominant.  Clean maltiness is the star and that's what I want.


Lighting sucks on this pic but the head was full of tight tiny bubbles.
Naturally carbonation beers always produces that for me.



Flavor:  Malt is again the star with the grains shinning through.  Even close to chewing raw grain but not overly sweet.  Just a minor touch of sweetness to compliment it.  A bit of pepper spice on the back end but again not overly so as to say Belgian or Saison even.  Pretty clean and dry on the finish.


Mouthfeel:  Medium to almost medium full.  The carbonation cuts through some of it.  This one is right around 2.8-3 vol of CO2 and I'm pretty happy with that level.  I may push the keg up to 3.2 just to see how I like that.




Overall:  This may be my new favorite clean Bière de Garde that I've brewed.  I like it better than the first one I did and the flavor of the Avant Garde style one I did before I added brett to it.  I think the amount of specialty grains did well without leaving the beer seeming to sweet or cloying at all.  The base grain bill is pretty nice for those that want to try something like that.  Of course this being my "spur of the moment" Bière de Garde, my next brew of it may be pretty different.  I've got some rye and buckwheat I need to use soon.  I'm thinking of trying that out with another Belgian strain that is pretty clean.

For changes, I don't really know what I'd change on this one.  If I were to brew it again, I may put it in cold storage just a bit longer.  It wouldn't hurt to pitch some more yeast at packaging either.  Brewing with different strains makes that a bit tougher but I'll figure something out for the next one.

Good things!

Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession