Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beer Reviews

Duvel, Belgian Golden Ale
Best Before: 03/09

This was everything I came to expect and more. However, note that this must be poured extremely slow! I cannot emphasize this enough. It was a pale, straw-yellow color with a big, fluffy & crisp head. The foamy head had excellent retention and lacing. It sat in the glass with tiny champagne-like bubbles and a very clean, refreshing finish.

Grade: A-

Stoudt's Mai Bock
Best Before: ?

The first few sniffs delivers some raisins and plums, maybe even prunes... The tasted brings a sweet malt on the back of the tongue with hops showing their face on the front and sides of the tongue. The overall taste verifies it all. One kind of nagging issue is the easy detection of alcohol on this brew - at 7% it's not DFH 120 Minute, but it's very noticeable. This beer has a wonderful red/orange color with a dash of caramel.

Grade: B

P.S. I got some coffee on the finish and lacing on my glass like a champ. As the beer warms up a little bit, it sweetened up. If I didn't all ready give this a grade, I'd bump it up to B+.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Beer Reviews

Rolling Rock Extra Pale Lager
Bottled on: 22-Jan-07

Oh, Anheuser-Busch, what kind of lame, pathetic excuse for R&R is this? There is no bouquet, no bite, and no damn finish! This is crapola. My wife and I used to drink this by the case, as we were young, poor college graduates just making it in this world. We enjoyed the fine and smooth taste that came from the glass-lined tanks of Old Latrobe. Now, this is made in Jersey. Wonderful.

Keep snatching up classic American breweries and micros, maybe you can ruin their recipes too, and start us on a plunge back into the beer dark ages.

Grade: D

Monday, April 2, 2007

Carboy and bottling update

Sorry it's taken me 8012 years to get this uploaded, but here goes our carboy (secondary fermentation vessel) and bottling days extravaganza!

March 24, 2007 - Enter the carboy
So, this is actually quite simple. Get a good siphon going from the primary and let her rip! Just make sure that the carboy is nice and clean and sanitized!

Mmmm, yeasty goodness

I wrapped the carboy in some beach towels to keep it at as constant a temperature as I could, and to block out any light, slapped my bung and airlock on it and let it sit for a week. (UV radiation, is what actually produces the "skunk" in beer. So, a nice crystal clear carboy would allow all of that through.)

April 1, 2007 - I'm no fool when it comes to bottlin' my life away
This too is pretty easy. Overnight I had cleaned and sanitized two cases of 12 oz bottles to make my life pain-free. Until I dropped an empty bottle, neck first, on my foot. Joy.

Moving on, one must carefully transfer the beer from the carboy to the bottling bucket - might I suggest a siphon, again? This time, I broke part of my racking cane connecting the tubing to it. Still usable though. Joy.

Moving on, I boiled 2 cups of water and 5 oz of corn sugar to act as a primer for the left over yeast in the beer. This will allow the yeast to feed and to carbonate the beer once bottled. Pour that in the mix in the bottling bucket full of beer, attach the bottling wand to some more tubing, connect that to the bottling bucket and let her go! Weee!

Capping is actually a pretty fun thing to do, with two people you can roll through two cases in about 10 minutes.

I figure a week or two for conditioning and we'll see what we have. Maybe a rite of Spring fest will be in order...