Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oatmeal, Pumpkins, Funk, and Tamarind

I've never cared for blogs that do not have at least one picture per post. With something like a beer blog I need something...anything. A hydometer reading is even fine. I still do not have a camera right now and it is killing me.

My last post was for my Pumpkin Mole Stout. This was bottled in the past few days and I was shocked to see the hydrometer read 1.010 as a final gravity. It is a bit dryer than I expected, a bit too much heat without enough chocolate, however it is spiced up just right for a pumpkin. It will be interesting to see what comes of this in the next few weeks after some time in the bottle. It is going to be a great holiday brew. Halloween or Thanksgiving? I lean more toward Halloween.

I wanted to rebrew and tweak my Dark Farmhouse Funk recently as well. I love this beer and I am happy that I didn't give too much of it out. I can't wait to see if I get more complexity out of it over time. There were plenty of changes I wanted to make and now  it is less like a rebrew and more like a completely different beer. When I first brewed it I was going for a Bretted Black Saison. This time around it is more like a Belgian Brown/ Bruin. It is only 3 weeks since brew day and the original Farmhouse sat of 4 months. I've got all Fall and winter for this. I used bottle dregs on the first brew. This one has Brett, Lacto, and Pedo in the secondary.

In 4 weeks I have an Art Opening that I wanted to brew for. I did this early in 2011 for an opening and wanted to do the same this year. So I asked Julian Heal to brew up an Oatmeal Stout with me. Art Opening crowds are tricky to brew for. IPAs are great and Pale Ales are not as fun. If I am going to drink it I like it a bit hoppier than your average crowd would like and that is not fun. Dark Beers turn people off. It is weird. When the sky turns black at 7:30pm during the year, stouts and porters are perfect. An Oatmeal Stout sounds light enough for a crowd.

The brew session for out Oatmeal Stout was great. We started at 7pm and finished around 12:30. Jules gave me carte blache on the recipe. It is probably a bit too involved. My goal is to simplify my recipes a bit more. There are 7 grains in this brew and I am sure that at least 1 is unneeded, but when you have six grains, 7 or 8 is fine too.  I was most excited to finally have a stir plate. Up until now, my Mr. Malty yeast starters were pretty good (at least 10-20% close). This one was spot on and blew the airlock off the conical. I can't say that I am pleased with that result, but after a dump and tasting we'll see what we get.

In two more weeks the entries for Farmer's Cabinet Iron Homebrewer challenge are due. Last year I attended with Julian but did not brew. It is a special ingredient challenge with some nice guest beer aficionados (mostly BJCP certified). Last years ingredient was a Smoked Cherry wood Rye. This year we get Tamarind. I am not sure how to work correctly with tamarind. It is so tart and there are plenty of good options to use it with, but when the goal behind the challenge is how well that you use the ingredient, you want it to stand out and not be overpowering. There seems to be a fine line with tamarind. A tamarind Berliner Weisse sounds great, but then you are working with tart and tart. I think Belgians would melt great. The spiciness from the yeast and tartness from the fruit marry nicely in my head. With the brew using a secret ingredient I have a tendency to be secret with my brew for the time being. I look forward to talking about it next week in a post.

Oatmeal Stout
Pale Malt, Flaked Oats, Flaked Barley, Chocolate Malt, Crystal 80, Roasted  Barley, 
Carafa III, Special B.
Galena and Willamette Hops
WLP 004 Irish Ale


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