Tag Archives: experimental

Demon Alcohol 4: the drinkening

As you can see, the beer that I made is now beer!

The beer that I made is now beer!
The beer that I made is now beer!

Now, what kind of beer it is…I’m not sure I can tell you.  An amber, maybe? It’s so malty and reddish that I guess I have to give it that title. It’s very, very sweet. Some have even suggested that it’s like peach nectar, and I’m certain that this is not what people would think of as being in style for an amber ale. The nose on it is more floral but it’s faint and there’s just a bit of a bite at the end, which I’m almost certain it’s due to the Zeus hops I added in secondary. Nothing against the Mt Rainer hops; they probably kept the sweetness in check, but the nose adds a lot to any beer, so I’m glad for both.

It’s a very drinkable beer though, and the estery quality means that it goes fantastically with salty foods. Very complimentary to pub grub. It’s possible it may not fit a style, but when I go to get more brewing supplies this week, I’m going to take one down with me and see what the boys at Steinbart’s have to say.

Edit: I took it down to the store and the guy who tasted the beer said that I’d probably added the yeast while the wort was still too hot. The initial alcohols made at that temperature are the sweeter, fruiter tasting ones. I’ll have to be more careful about when I add my yeast in the future.

Demon Alcohol (2)

So after two weeks of fermenting, Demon Alcohol seems to have slowed down enough for me to put it into secondary. However, the malt still seems to be…well, popcorny? I’m not sure how to explain this scent that I’ve got. It’s a little like corn nuts, and that makes me think that I’ve created a monster instead of a beverage.

Be afraid.
Be afraid.

Since I don’t know when to quit, I’ve put in two ounces of Zeus hops. Now, to give people an idea of what this means, I only added an ounce and a half to the boil, and the alpha acids on that were in the 6% range. Zeus is 13%, and I put in an extra half ounce.

I added the hops into the carboy before putting Demon Alcohol into secondary. The carboy was on the floor and I stood over the whole exchange, to make sure the transfer went cleanly. As the beer poured in, I started to smell the citrius hoppiness which means that within minutes Zeus had filled the air in the carboy and then been able to push up the extra three-and-a-half feet to get to my nose. That’s potent. I suppose this beer is going to live up to its name.

These hops aren’t boiled, so their addition to this beer is going to be strictly as a scent, but I’m going to soak them for at least two weeks before I do anything else with this beer. It’s still active, though slow, so while I am losing some of the flavors the Zeus is bringing, the yeast is still eating the sugars, so it’s not done yet.

Demon Alcohol (1)

As I rolled up to Steinbarts to gather materials for this beer, that was the song on the tape. I leave it to the reader to enjoy.

This beer has more malt than any other beer I’ve made; twelve pounds in the wort (9 pounds of Pilsner 3 pounds of Golden, all light malt extract), and two pounds Caramel 20 steeping grains. I had to add the malt over the course of the boil, because the water couldn’t dissolve it fast enough!

The boiling hops were Mt. Rainier, and I used one ounce at 60 minutes, and then another half ounce at 30. At 15 minutes left in the boil, I added one ounce of jasmine tea. We’ll see how that shakes things up. Finally, there was a half-teaspoon of Irish Moss, for clarity, added with five minutes left. The directions said to add to the boil at 10 minutes, but it was almost 11:30 and I needed to get to bed.

The trick came when I cooled the wort down and put it into the carboy. I hadn’t cooled it down enough to add the yeast, which had been out and active for nearly five hours by then. I decided to go to bed and hope the wort would cool to the mid 70s and that the yeast would still be viable by morning. Fortunately it was, and after adding two packets of Wyeast 1007 German Ale yeast and waiting for about twelve hours,  the beer has taken off.

I’m thinking I might dry-hop this beer with some Zeus hops. At 13% alpha acid units, that should give it some bite.  I’m thinking about doing this in part to offset the extreme maltiness of this beer. It’s also possible I should leave well enough alone, since I don’t really know what I’m doing, but that’s not why I brew. I brew to mess with things! We’ll see how it all turns out.