Another week another paycheck. Brews are created and consumed and for some reason our Spring, which appeared to be approaching with a vengeance last week, has retreated to the shadows. We have had snow, rain and freezing temperatures all week. I did have some fun with the brewing though.
Every so often I get a mix of left over ingredients from my various recipes and throw them together to just see what happens. In this case I had a bunch of Crystal 80L left that has been sitting around for months from my Greene King clone, some flaked Maize from my Fullers Pride and ESB clones, and a little Black Malt. I also had various amounts of US Goldings, Northdown, Fuggles and Challenger hops in open bags, all drying out and crying out to be used. In the fridge I had some old Fullers ESB yeast I had captured from the London Pride clone and definitely getting near the end of its usable life. So I made up a small yeast starter and poured in the captured yeast to see if it had any life left. Sure enough next morning the yeast was a raging. Luck would have it I also had some liquid malt extract and a couple 1 lb bags of Light DME left over from a couple of recent brews.
Off to Hopville I went, put in the ingredients and viola I have a recipe I chose to call my Left Overs Old Ale. I chose the BJCP Old Ale style as we are doing Olds right now and it seemed the nearest fit in both strength and bitterness. Check it out on Hopville. It was fun to brew and most importantly it was free! I did not have to purchase a single ingredient.
I also found time to bottle the Speckled Hen and kick off the NB Petite Saison d’Ete. So despite being a crazy cold wet week and a really busy work week I have managed to wind down this weekend with my favorite of all hobbies, my brews. So whats On Tap?
- Petite Saison d’Ete (1 day (p) ) – This is a first for me. Thought I would try a Belgium classic with this Saison from Northern Brewer. With all the Old Ales in progress with long conditioning times thought it was time for some variety plus something that would be ready to drink quickly or I risk running dry in a month or so.
- Left Overs Old Ale (2 days(p) ) – See write-up above, it was fun to brew and even caused a blow-out in the fermenter. The OG came in at 1088, just under the required 1090 limit for an Old Ale.
- 115th Dream Imperial IPA ( 2 wks (p) 2 week (s) ) – A rather extreme IPA, high in ABV and a whopping 120 IBUs with over a 1 lb of hops using a technique called Hop Bursting I covered a few weeks back. It came out of the primary a whopping 1015 FG, almost 83% attenuation from the mighty American Ale yeast and checking in at over 10% ABV, now on week 3 of its 6 week rest.
- Lord Fatbottom Ale (1 mth (p), 3 mths 3 wks (s)) – well into the second half of its 6 months rest.
- Old Speckled Hen clone ( 1 wk (p) 1 wk (s), 2 days (b) ) - I have had a lot of interest in the outcome of this clone. I can tell you the sample from the secondary was very good indeed. It was bright, crystal clear and the taste seemed close. We won’t know for sure until the ale is conditioned. I am giving this one 4 weeks in the bottle for sampling.
- Olde Luddite English Strong Ale (1 wk(p) 3 wks (s), 1 wk (b) ) – A new Old Ale kit from Northern Brewer, thought I would add some Old Ale kits to my current Old’s and Browns series. Came out of the secondary a beautiful deep copper, crystal clear and tasting great. Now in week 2 of a 4 week rest.
- Theakston Old Peculier Clone (1 wk(p) 3 wks(s) 2 wk (b)) – My first pass at this classic old ale, FG came out in range along with the colour, that is all we can ask. Week 3 of a 6 week rest before a sample to check on performance. Might be tempted to lay this case down for a while
- Twelfth Night Stout (2 wk (p), 2 wks (s), 4 wks (k) ) – A new extract clone recipe of Rogues Shakespeare Stout from Northern Brewer featuring the PacMan Ale yeast strain from Rogue. This one is an ass-kicking 70 IBU stout and is sitting in the keg for its 5th week. Will be firing up with BeerGas this week and trying some out.
- Grateful Dead Guy Ale (1 wk (p), 2wks (s), 7 wks 3 days (b)) – Another special edition kit from Northern Brewer featuring the newly released PacMan Ale yeast strain from Wyeast/Rogue Breweries, this one is a Rogue Dead Guy Ale clone. I did a side by side taste test with an actual Rogue Dead Guy Ale, colour and flavour are so close its hard to tell which one was which. Good job NB.
- Dogfish Head 90 min IPA clone (1 wk (p), 3 wks (s), 4 mths 2 wks (b) ) - Letting them rest again to see what another month in the bottle will bring