Tuesday, October 26, 2010

21st Amendment Brewery Back in Black IPA

I sat down tonight with a brew from 21st Amendment Brewery.  That's right, this brewery is named after the amendment that overturned prohibition.  This brewery is localized in San Fransisco, but this particular beer was brewed and canned (that right, in a can) in Cold Springs, Minnesota.  Can beer has became a new thing and is growing in popularity, especially with the hipsters.  It is inspired by Paul Revere's midnight ride.  It is a classic American IPA, but only black in total rebellion against the English style IPA.  It is a "Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of the expected."

The malts that were used for brewing are: Rahr Pale Malt, Crystal 45L, Munich, and De-Bittered Black.  Bittering hop is Columbus and aroma hops are Columbus and Centennial.  They dried hopped it with Centennial and Simcoe.  It is 65 IBU at 6.5% ABV.

Aroma:  Smell of sweet roasted caramels, a coffee bitter from the malts, and a face full of hops.  I also smell a dark bitter, sort of like a porter, but with a lot more hops.

Appearance:  The pour is black as midnight with a creamy head that dies down to a creamy layer that sits on top of the beer.  It almost looks like a nitro-pour off of tap and the head stays in-tack to the glass with each sip.

Flavor:  On the tip of the tongue, have this roasted malts, that washes back across the palate.  The bitter from the malts becomes a little sour on the back of the palate.  Very complex malts characteristics, rich and bready.  With each sip, the hops comes out.  I can taste a little grapefruit from the Columbus, but very earthy and piney and not floral at all with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel:  Very full and creamy.  The sour taste sits in the mouth for a while, sort of like a porter, but even better because of all of the hops.

Overall Impression:  The taste that washes back of the palate lingers and lingers.  Very intense hops characteristics and the complex malts will lead me to be intrigued of what else that they have brewed.  I can't wait to try what other treats that they have!

A very smooth beer with a little bit of sourness (to a point that you can hardly tell what it is) that I enjoy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Recipe for Sumer Saison

Here is the recipe that I used to brew the Summer Saison that had a very good performance at the Cincinnati Oktoberbest Homebrew Competition.  It was an all-grain brew that I did on 15 August 2010.  The efficiency of the brew was pretty good at 82% for the 5-gallon batch.  I want to thank Nicholas Kemper for the help with this batch.

Grain Bill:

4.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 48.48 %
3.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 36.36 %
1.00 lb Wheat Malt, White (3.3 SRM) Grain 12.12 %
0.25 lb Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 3.03 % 


1.00 oz Fuggle [4.50 %] (60 min) Hops 16.5 IBU
1.00 oz Saaz [4.50 %] (30 min) Hops 12.7 IBU
0.50 oz Fuggle [4.50 %] (10 min) Hops 3.0 IBU
1.00 oz Saaz [4.50 %] (10 min) Hops 6.0 IBU
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (5 min) Hops 1.5 IBU


1 Vial Belgian Saison I Ale (White Labs #WLP565) Yeast-Ale 

I mashed in 10.33 qt. of water at 160 °F water and held the mash between 145-148 °F for 75 minutes.  After draining, I sparged the grain with 165 °F water to a total of 8-gallons for the boil.  The boil was for 60 minutes, adding the appropriate at the times given.  The original gravity was measured at 1.050.  After super-cooling Belgain Saison yeast was added and the wort was closed off for approximately 4-weeks.  The final gravity came out to be 1.010, four points below the estimated to give a ABV of 5.21%.  It was bottled on 12 September 2010.

You can read the notes of the taste by the BJCP brew judges on the previous blog.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cincinnati Oktoberbest Homebrew Compettion

For my first blog of this page I wanted to begin with some notes from the competition that I entered.  This year I entered the Cincinnati Malt Infuser's Oktoberbest Homebrew Competition.  It was a American Homebrew Association sponsored competition and was judged by certified judges.  I entered a Saison under category 16c.  Out of a total of 50 points, both judges scored a 35 on it, which I didn't fee was too bad.  I did not place, but at least I have some notes of what others thought.

Here are some comments:

Judge #1 (BJCP Apprentice): Aroma (10/12) - "sweetness from malt with distinct esters of orange, a light indistinct phenol bite, a light spiciness from hops, no diacetyl."  Appearance (3/3) - "deep gold, with a foam white head that dissipates to ring the glass.  Hazy in clarity."  Flavor (13/20) - Malty sweetness, with ester of sweet orange citrus, a tiny glimmer of phenolic bite from yeast and spice that I could not determine with clarity and spiciness and spiciness from hops, finish is smooth and sweet."  Mouthfeel (4/5) - "A medium light body, little creaminess, with a noted alcoholic warmth, no astrigent is noted, medium carbonation."  Overall impression (5/10) - "Some mustiness associated with glassware, no points deducted, a bit too sweet, expecting more phenols"

Judge #2 (BJCP National):  Aroma (8/12) - "subdued spice - earthy.  Little to no malt character.  Hop/spiciness is there as it warms.  Anise.  Becomes much more complex (spice and hops) as it warms."  Appearance (2/3) - "Slightly hazy, pale straw, low carbon dioxide did not create much foam, however lace lingers."  Flavor (14/20)  Rich bready - malt flavor up front and into mid-palate.  Dry/spiciness finish lasts and lasts bordering on puckering astringency .  2nd sip brings back malt and pronounced alcohol warmth.  Hop flavors moderate - spiciness and balanced.  Bitterness is strong and appropriate - contributing a long, dry finish."  Mouthfeel (4/5) - "Very full - okay, still surprising dry profile overall - not creamy or cloying - very nice.  Low carbon dioxide - but it style.  Not stringent as noted above - that was due to spice and bitterness."  Overall Impression (7/10) - Spicy quality of the beers lingers and lingers - well strong - alcohol pronounced.  Malt and wheat flavors are subdued to the intense spice and hop profile - in the style.  Would like to have had the malt flavors/sweetness last into mid-tongue (subjective).  Higher mash temperature.

So I was happy with my overall performance.  They said that it was a good show and the scoring guide showed a very good performance (generally withing style parameters, some minor flaws).  The stylistic accuracy was marked 3/5 or 4/5, Flawless 3/5 or 4/5, and Intangibles 3/5 or 5/5 by he two judges respectively.