Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Projects

A quiet winter of travel and work left little time for brewing. The Molasses (wh)E(at)SB is in the bottle and carbed and I've been sampling a bottle here and there, but the flavor is still very raw and young. I think the molasses flavor may require up to a month just to settle down in the bottle. I set aside a couple to sample far into the future after I've forgotten about the beer, and then discover it, later, and realize I should drink it. Two things I've done recently: Medicinal Red Ale, and Brewpocalypse Closet Clear-Out Barleywine Brew. I made a medicinal mead for my wife that we cracked and sampled and despite the medicinal herbs, it tastes fantastic - light and sweet and herbal. Inspired by this, I tried to do a strongly herbal gruit with hops only for the preserving qualities. I gathered a simple red ale recipe, and an assortment of herbs that are good for men's circulation and cardio-vascular health including sage, ginger, green cardamom, rosemary, turmeric, chamomile, etc., etc. It was quite a frightening combination of spices. It's sitting in the primary awaiting the secondary, now. I'm going to rack it off some time next week, and let it really settle. Here's the recipe via Hopville! The brewpocalypse was a lot of fun. I took all the leftover parts, and hops, and combined them into a massive barleywine that barely fit into my equipment. (I lost a large plastic bowl from resting the grain bag in it and cracking the plastic!) It smells absolutely fantastic in the primary, and I expect to rack it off into a secondary in a couple weeks. I'm going to make this an annual thing that I do every Christmas. I'll make something big that will keep a long time, use up all the leftover hops getting old in the freezer, and all the little ounce or two of various specialty grains, with whatever else I have around, and combine it with some leftover adjuncts (honey, agave syrup, and maple syrup in this one!) to ramp up the alcohol over to the top of what my yeast is capable of chewing through. I took pictures of all this insanity.