Demon Alcohol (3): I have bottled.

Hm. I may’ve put too much information in the headline here. 

But over a month after putting that beer into secondary, and then into a 3rd carboy so I could get at the hops to make the pale ale, I have finally bottled the Demon Alcohol. The floral nose from the Zeus hops was diminished, but it was still there. I tasted just a little bit of the beer and it’s fairly malty-sweet, which is how I brewed it but I won’t know if the dry hopping helps tame those flavors for at least another week. I’m concerned that the beer will taste cloying if the dry hopping doesn’t bring anything to the table.  

One good thing is that I finally remembered to get a container so I could easily take gravity readings of my beer. You might not think it’s too hard to get a long plastic tube, but apparently I’m very bad at acquiring one. So; the Original Gravity of Demon was about 1.012 and the Terminal Gravity is 1.052. Using the Brewers Calculator (and it’s times like this that I LOVE the internet), that gives me a Final Gravity of about 1.045, and a alcohol by volume percentage of about 4.94. I say ‘about’ even though I’m running it through a calculator, because my initial readings may not have been precise. 

Still, I think I’m on the right track here and knowing more about the beer is always a good thing. I’m going to move a bottle of this upstairs so it can bottle ferment in a warmer area. At about 60 degrees F my basement is a little too cold for an ale to finish off properly.

52 Weeks 12: Caldera Old Growth Stout, 2008

Today’s beer inspires me to talk of expectations. 

 

Its stouty!
It's stouty!

About a month ago, there was word that Bailey’s had a keg of the 2004 Old Growth stout. 2004! This was like finding an old wallet stuffed with twenties. 

Except, my hopes about the 2004 beer were keyed into the taste of the 2007 Old Growth stout. And the older beer was a very different animal. Fuz and I had hustled down to drink some, and we were not pleased with what we encountered. This beer was a bit sour, and with a nose that didn’t have any of the floral touches. There was no spiciness; this was just a…stout. 

We begrudgingly drank our stout. The twenties were counterfeit. 

However, slowly, our opinions changed a bit. The bartender told us that the recipe that was used in ’04 was a very different animal, and by ’07 they were adding lavender to the beer. Lavender! Now armed with this new information, the ’04 had to be viewed in a different light. 

It wasn’t the Wonder Drink of Valhalla, but it was a good beer that maybe had gotten a little old. Looking back on it now, I feel pretty lucky that I got to try it. I could get a history of what that beer was, and what it became, and look forward to the ’08 stout.

If I let my expectations go.

So here I am, the ’08 in hand, and it’s a pretty damn good beer. The nose on this is magnificent; think coco powder, but not as acrid. Or maybe chocolate cake mix before you’ve added any other ingredients. The lavender notes show up a here, but an undercurrent, like a wink across a room. The beer itself doesn’t have the spicier notes of the ’07, but this is a mellower beer. Almost like the ’07’s older brother, who has had a chance to chill out a little bit. You’ve seen him before, and he’s just fine if you see him for what he is, instead of what you wished for. 

Now, last year when I had this beer, the Six River Raspberry Lambic was on tap, and my girlfriend had gotten a glass of that. If you drank a sip of that, and then the stout, it was like a dense chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. In a glass.  Let’s repeat that.

It was a chocolate cake with raspberry sauce in a glass.

And you know what? The Six River Lambic is back, so this time I just went full out and mixed them into the same glass–per the owner’s suggestion.

Oh. Yeah. I swear they ought to sell that. Like a Black and Tan, only made of pure awesome.