Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Return of the Homebrews

On this edition of Me and the Homebrews, WBN chronicles the Return of the Homebrews.

There has been a renewed interest in ramping up the homebrew again from my posse, the Homebrews. We've cleaned the keg, ordered the goods, and the supplies showed up on my doorstep on Monday.

That makes this Saturday Brew Day. To prepare, I've got to activate the yeast from its dormant slumber by creating a yeast starter on Thursday. That will give it a few days to double in size and get raring to tackle the delicious malt sugar in the beer wort; 200 billion yeast cells is a beautiful thing!
We get all our supplies from the helpful guys at Northern Brewer. Stuff is always fresh, affordable, great quality, and delivered to our door quickly. Never had a bad experience with them.

They get my official Nod of Approval.

Fixed Gear is a big, bold American red ale. It pours a glaring crimson tone with a rocky white head and a brilliant floral-citrus aroma, thanks to an aggressive dry hopping. Its immodest, malty spine and intrepid caramel flavors blow in via gratuitous amounts of 2-row pale and dark caramel malts. A balanced citrus bite comes from Chinook and Cascade hops followed shortly by mild, fruity esters from the ale yeast.
 Just looking at this I'm impressed: six hops packets!

We are seriously considering doing a double brew day to maximize our available time and to get something extra in the tank so it can age properly. Giving your homebrew a few extra weeks to "finish" can make a world of difference from first beer to last. The additional time tends to allow the flavors to blend and to smooth off any "rough edges".  Also, since we always keg our beer instead of bottling, we know that it will age uniformly.

Next on deck:   La Petite Orange Belgian Double.

A Belgian Dubbel without the deep dark chocolate maltiness, the Orange is rich with caramel sweetness and a full body that hides the 6.1% ABV very well. A simple sipper that evokes warm summery memories with every sip, yet fits perfectly into the colder months' standard brewing repertoire.

Wyeast Trappist High Gravity Y3787 is a great alternative yeast for this kit; it ferments a bit drier with a rich ester profile, malty palate, and has a high alcohol tolerance. 

In the past, we had good success with our Belgian Dubbel, so I wanted to try something in the same vein, but just a tad different. The reviews on this beer are all raves, so I definitely wanted to get in on the action.

If you love beer, this is the one to watch!

Note: to see all the entries in this series click on the homebrew label at the bottom of this post! 

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