Monday, October 14, 2013

October Update!

OK, I know, it has been awhile.  Finished my grad degree, bought a house, and working lots.

I have 2 gallons of mead that has been aging for quite a long time.  It has finally cleared and mellowed out.  I have lightly back-sweetened about half a gallon and Im pretty pleased with the results.... So I may sweeten the rest as well.  It really doesnt take much sugar to sweeten this mead, it is pretty orange and flowery tasting in the first place...not as 'earthy' as honey from clover.  I used 3 tablespoons of sugar for half a gallon and it was almost too sweet.

I have 4 brews planned for the upcoming weeks:
  - Amaretto- I'm pretty excited about this.  Its a kit from Canada that requires no distilling with a decent alcohol content.  It comes with charcoal for filtering, lots of yeast, yeast nutrient, fining and clearing agents, and flavoring/essential oils.  You need some 1 gallon glass containers and a bung and airlock to make this.  Oh, and a crap load of sugar too.

- Irish Red Ale - This is one of Midwest Supplies extract kits.  This is the first beer kit from Midwest I have bought.  I've used Brewers Best before and I want to try Midwest out since I buy equipment from them often.

- 'Coastal White' Wine -  I meant to start this one this summer but was too busy getting my thesis finished up.  This is a kit from WineExpert in their Vinter's Reserve series. 

- Pumpkin Ale -  Its that time of the year again.  I will do this from scratch again this year, but I think Im not going to use such a light dme this time and go for something more golden or amber.  I will have to do some more research to tweak the recipe.  I was pleased with the "mouth feel" of the one I made last year, but I didnt get the spice flavors to come through. 

Im not entirely sure what to start first.  I did end up getting another primary fermenter, but I have only one glass carboy for secondary.  So....I can do the Amaretto without any of that equipment, that will come first.  I will most likely start the wine and a week in I will start the beer in the other fermenter. that way I can stagger the brews a week a part so when the carboy is being emptied, i can fill it right back up with the next batch. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

first post of 2013. Just a quick one

 The Chianti is bottled and has been aging for about 2 months...

It will pretty good by mid spring but it should be better during the summer or later even.

I used my new auto siphon and I am pretty happy with the results.  The only thing I dont like is that the tube is a bit small and it takes a while to transfer 5 gallons.

I followed through with my Pumpkin Ale plan, the recipe is a few posts back.

The brew is carbonating in the bottles right now and it should be good to go in about 10 more days.

I ended up adding a bit more spice though.  I tried a cup out of the bottling bucket and it lost most of its flavor but had that noticeable difference in "mouth feel" because of the pumpkin.  It is pretty creamy.

So I threw in more cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Im hoping it doesnt over power the brew, but I am pretty confident.
Next time I probably wont use light DME but something a bit heavier.

Oh, and the Mead is STILL fermenting.  holy crap it is taking forever but the last SG test put it a bit above 10% abv.  It looks very good, I will put a pic up once it settles from its racking.