Monday, April 23, 2012

Tasting: Ginger/ Lemongrass Session

This beer was my first time working with another homebrewer's recipe. Last year while in Florida, Greenbriar Artisnal Brewer, Doug, opened up a bottle of his Ginger/ Lemongrass Session Pale Ale. I thought his beer was right on target. A beautiful beer, crisp and bright with the ginger not overpowering and overall pleasing to the palate. All brewers throw their own little tweaks in a recipe, but it is amazing when it comes out right the first time.

I subbed in a few ingredients for my version and I see why the original came through so well. Our base malts were different and Doug's addition of flaked maze really did make the crispness that a Florida beer needs. The ginger in my version was a bit too strong, although I used the same amount as called for, however I yielded about a .5 gallons less than the recipe. My efficiency was higher than usual on this one and I am still baffled at that. Overall I am pleased, and for the first time I am hoping some of the flavor subsides. I would have also liked to keg this one as well. I will probably end up making this again, but sticking to the exact recipe and see if it is all I remember it to be.

Ginger Hair
Simon Gowen

I’m a feisty little red head.
I’m a mother and a wife.
I am clever and outrageous
I lead an interesting life.

There’s a stigma that surrounds us
Cos the colour of our hair
If you really got to know me
Then you wouldn’t think it fair

But I look upon the positive
That’s what I like to do.
We’re few and far between
And not as common place as you!

So if you walk along the street
Don’t stop and point your finger
Don’t mock me cos I have red hair
Respect me cos I’m GINGER! ! !

Ginger/ Lemongrass Session
2 Row, Vienna, Crystal 40, Carapils
Ginger Root, 2 units Lemongrass
Centennial Hops
Wyeast 1056

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tasting: Imperial Amber

This is a long overdue post. This beer has been kegged for over a month, but I'm pretty sure that I haven't handed out too many of them yet to get any other opinions on it. In January I was little inspired by Port Brewing's Shark Attack. I wanted something carmely and piney; hop forward while big and malty. While this was in the primary our Imperial Oak IPA was just about ready to be bottled. I wanted this to be the exact opposite of that beer. It is loaded with darker malts and C hops and heavily Amarillo dry hopped. The grain bill looked almost Barleywine(ish) and my big fear was that it would be unbalanced as hell.  Three ounces of Amarillo would hopefully take care of that. OG clocked in at 1.082. I might enjoy this a bit too much while April is finishing out. 

Imperial Amber
Pale Malt, Munich, Victory, Crystal 80, Carared, Carapils, Special B
Columbus, Centenial, Cascade and Amarillo Hops
American Ale 2

The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Katharine Tyran

There's music in my heart all day,
I hear it late and early,
It comes from fields are far away,
The wind that shakes the barley.

Above the uplands drenched with dew
The sky hangs soft and pearly,
An emerald world is listening to
The wind that shakes the barley.

Above the bluest mountain crest
The lark is singing rarely,
It rocks the singer into rest,
The wind that shakes the barley.

Oh, still through summers and through springs
It calls me late and early.
Come home, come home, come home, it sings,
The wind that shakes the barley.

*Imperial Amber to the left in photo. Plum Oak Saison to the right.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Farmer and the Ale

Dogfish Head/ Victory/ Stone: Saison du Buff (2012)
Elysian Brewing: Idiot Sauvion
Mikkelier: Ris a la M'ale
Du Stuise/ 3 Floyd Brewing: Shark Pants
Farmers Cabinet House Beer: Joy Division Series-New Dawn Fades
Clown Shoes: Tramp Stamp
Founders: Breakfast Stout
Daisy Cutter: Half Acre

The weather is to confusing lately. A few weeks ago I was all about Saisons and IPAs. It is amazing what 10 degrees lower will do to your palate. So for the past week I got every little last drop out of my keg of Milk Stout to both prepare for something new and in high hopes that the sun will shine again. I grew tired of waiting. And because I haven't written down a list of what I drank over the weekend in a while, I decided to throw out a few of my favorites.

I always look forward to a Mikkelier and 3 Floyds is always worth having when on the menu. When it is a Du Struise collaboration is extra worth it. Somehow I have been drinking Half Acre a lot recently. It is such a clean and well hopped Pale Ale that it is hard to pass up. I haven't had Founders BF Stout at all this winter, but I wound up having an early-early bird dinner yesterday that it was perfect to pair with the time and conversation. It was an old school Sunday dinner for me in the 3pm range.

The Mad Farmer Revolution
Wendell Barry

The mad farmer, the thirsty one,
went dry. When he had time
he threw a visionary high
lonesome on the holy communion wine.
"It is an awesome event
when an earthen man has drunk
his fill of the blood of a god,"
people said, and got out of his way.
He plowed the churchyard, the
minister's wife, three graveyards
and a golf course. In a parking lot
he planted a forest of little pines.
He sanctified the groves,
dancing at night in the oak shades
with goddesses. He led
a field of corn to creep up
and tassel like an Indian tribe
on the courthouse lawn. Pumpkins
ran out to the ends of their vines
to follow him. Ripe plums
and peaches reached into his pockets.
Flowers sprang up in his tracks
everywhere he stepped. And then
his planter's eye fell on
that parson's fair fine lady
again. "O holy plowman," cried she,
"I am all grown up in weeds.
Pray, bring me back into good tilth."
He tilled her carefully
and laid her by, and she
did bring forth others of her kind,
and others, and some more.
They sowed and reaped till all
the countryside was filled
with farmers and their brides sowing
and reaping. When they died
they became two spirits of the woods.

On their graves were written
these words without sound:
"Here lies Saint Plowman.
Here lies Saint Fertile Ground."