For the second amber of the year, I’d say there’s a notable improvement!
The nose has a yeast scent, like bread dough. I like it-it’s not sour or off putting to me. There’s a sweetness there, perhaps due to the malt? Maybe just healthy yeast coming off where there isn’t a lot of hops. Either way, it works.
It has some nice flavor, too. Caramel, but lightly so: this beer doesn’t taste or feel very dense. The effervescence pops on the finish, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it clears the palate, it does do a nice job of setting things up for another sip.
This beer is very, very drinkable and I can’t wait to try and replicate it.
4 lb Metolius
1 bl C80
.75 lb Vanora
.75 lb Munich, 1lb 2 row
Fermentables: 5 lb EXLME
.5 oz Magnum, .25 oz Centennial @60
.5 oz Centennial, .25 oz Magnum @30
.26 oz Centennial, Magnum @ 5
Yeast: Imperial’s Tartan (2nd use)
This is the second marijuana ale of the year. I didn’t realize that I’d be producing two ales repeatedly-the amber being my ‘official’ yearly project but here we go!
The marijuana strain is evident in the nose still-not as intense as the first beer but still there. There are also hop scents too, underlying the marijuana ale. Not bad, but not well balanced, either. So: lots of earthy, dank scents but much less overpowering than last time and I think the malt is showing up a little more.
On the improvement side, the marijuana flavor isn’t as strong in this beer as it was in the previous one. The added malt sweetness has helped this beer, providing a little more dimension to it. It’s not much, and it goes fast but there is enough there to pull the beer from being one dimensional.
The effervescence is consistent, providing for a fairly clean mouthfeel and a reasonably brisk finish-it’s actually a little dry! Which is a surprise but not an unwelcome one. This pale has a bit more complexity than I would’ve expected and I’m not at all upset about that
Brew date: 1/28/18
2 lb Carapils
2 lb 2 row
1 lb C30
1 lb Victory
1 lb NW Pale
1 lb Golden Promise
Fermentables: 5 lb ExLME
1 oz Centennial @ 60
1.5 oz Blue Dream Marijuana @60
.5 oz blue dream @ 30
.5 oz Warrior @ 5
Irish Moss: 1/4 tsp @5
Yeast: Imperial-Joystick (3rd use)
Secondary on 3/7 (no dry hopping)
This year, I decided my project ale would be amber ales. I didn’t really have a specific reason: I like the style well enough and don’t see it terribly often in stores so why not! The first batch has come up for review and here we go.
The nose is sweet, but good sweet with hints of caramel and not cloying.
The flavor profile is a little strange though: I get tangerine in there. The beer is still on the sweeter side, but sweet citrus not sweet malt. The finish is rather sparkly too: it really bounces around my tongue but it isn’t sweeping flavors away, either. The aftermath of this ale still has a bitter note to it-not overpowering by any measure but it lingers.
On the one hand: this beer is good. I like it.
On the other hand: this beer should be malt forward. That’s the style.
And on the third hand: This is my first shot at the style this year so I’m not upset. Plenty of more beer to brew!
Brew date: 1/14/18
4 lb Lamonta
1.5 lb lC 80
1 lb Victory
1 lb Munich
Fermentables: 5 lb LME
.5 oz of Warrior and Centennial hops @ 60
.5 oz of Centennial @ 30
.5 Centennial @ 5
Yeast: Imperial Tartan (for Scottish ales. I picked this because why not?)
Put into secondary: 2/18
Every homebrewer I know has been asked this question at some point: Ever made a beer with marijuana?
The answer is almost always ‘no’. There’s the obvious problem: legality, but there is another. It’s cost prohibitive: two ounces of hops for five gallons, the minimum I’d want for a pale ale, would probably run over $200.
So you really gotta ‘know a guy’ if you will. And before marijuana became legalized in Oregon, you really had to know a guy.
Well, now that it’s legal, turns out I know someone and they wanted to know what would happen with marijuana they’d grown used in an ale.
So, here it is: the Pale Blue Dream.
The nose isn’t subtle at all. It smells like the strain of marijuana we used; it’s extremely earthy, but also gives the sense of something very dry, like dried out pine. Which is really weird, because I’m sniffing a liquid.
The flavors are a bit muted, thankfully. Having to drink what I smelled might be a little challenging, the scent being so harsh in my nostrils.
The flavors are mellower though. The sweetness from the malt shows up in front of the beer, providing a small amount of counterbalance. The dry, earthy scent from earlier appears on the finish but it’s quickly swept away by the lively effervescence. That earthy flavor comes back but without all the harsh qualities, and gives the beer a more mellow, drinkable quality.
It’s worth trying again, but I think I’d like to up the malt character a bit.
Brew date 12/9/17
2 lb Carapils
2 lb C30
1 lb NW pale ale
Fermentables: 7 lb LME
1 oz Mosaic @ 60
2 oz Blue Dream @ 60
1 oz Blue Dream @ 5
Decarboxylate Blue Dream for 30 min @ 300
Yeast: Imperial Joystick 2nd use
Secondary: 1/10/18, added 1 oz Blue Dream, 1 oz Mosaic to secondary
This is the winter ale that I’d made with my friend Miranda, something I’d mentioned back in December. It’s ready now and..
Well, it’s good!
And I screwed it up. (I also didn’t get a picture of it before I drank it all!)
It tastes good, don’t get me wrong: hearty, warming, molasses, a nice chewy beer with a little spiciness.
But you have to pour it into two glasses in order to drink it. The carbonation is so strong, it just takes up that much volume! Eventually that settles out and the beer can be drank without getting foam up my nose, so it’s not a disaster.
Fellow homebrewers advised me that my beer “Wasn’t infected, it just was overcarbonated.” That part-the carbonation in the bottle-is my fault, as I added too much sugar. I maybe shouldn’t have added any, given the result and might consider this with a future beer, or at least if I remake this style.
I’m glad it’s drinkable though! An uninfected beer is still better than an infected one, and I hope she’s enjoying glasses of it, too.
Brew date: 12/2/17
12 oz C120
8 oz C40
5 oz Black Patent
4 oz Choclate
4 lb Lamonta
Fermentable: 14 lb LME
Hops and additions
1 oz Magnum @ 60
1/2 cup molasses @5
1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp cardamom, 1/8 tsp nutmeg @1
Yeast: Imperial Dry Hop (3rd and final use)
Something isn’t quite right about this beer. A bit sweet in the nose, similar to still fermenting yeast, which is not what I wanted. I made this during a crunch week, where I wasn’t going to have much time but I hoped by making a simple recipe that would offset my lack of time.
The beer is…mostly drinkable but there is absolutely an off note-it’s too sweet and then sparkly from the over carbonation and then there’s a hop bitterness on the finish but none of it comes together very well.
I suppose I just rushed my process too much on this one. It doesn’t seem infected but it doesn’t taste finished, either. I’m not sure if I needed to give this more time fermenting, or if it would’ve been OK if I had just restrained myself on the bottling sugars.
Brew date: 11/19/17
2 lb C 30
1 lb Eureka
Fermentables: 7 lb LME
.75 oz US Magnum, .5 oz Simcoe @60
.5 oz Simcoe, .25 oz Magnum @ 5
Yeast: Imperial Joystick
Secondary on 12/6
I finally got to my annual chamomile wheat ale, although late in the year, and have been delightfully pleased by the results.
The chamomile is in the nose and it’s not shy at all. It arrives with a pleasantly dense head on the beer that lasts a bit longer than I would’ve suspected. This helps keep the scents coming, which is great.
The flavor is where it’s at, though. The tea is once again pretty prominent, but the belgian yeast note gives it a strong spicy flavor on the finish, so there isn’t just an herbal dose of flavor, but some pleasant complexities.
Buffering that finish is a sweetness: the wheat malt provides both the haze and enough density that this beer doesn’t fall too lightly on the tongue nor get one dimensional with it’s herbal qualities. I definitely have to give this a go again-but in the summertime. It’s going to be about perfect for that.
Once again, I forgot to write down my finishing gravity. Ugh. I need to install some kind of reminder mechanism so I’m less likely to do that. Still, here’s what I did recall:
Brew date: 11/5/17
5 lb Wickiup wheat
2 lb Shaniko winter wheat
1 lb carapils
Fermentables: 4 lb ExLME
1.5 oz N Brewer @ 60
.5 oz N Brewer @5
1.80 oz chamomile tea @flameout
Yeast: Imperial Monastic, third use.