Oatmeal Stout

The glory of a delicious oatmeal stout. This is a style that needs some poetic waxing. You can have it for breakfast or dessert. The flavors of roast, chocolate, and coffee weaved into the silky texture from the large proportion of flaked oats to the mash. If you put an oatmeal stout on a nitro pour it can turn the beer into a stout of all together different character. This style is a joy to riff on. Adding all sorts of herbs and spices can add complexity and mystery.

Bhutanese Red Rice Ale

One of my favorite styles is the under appreciated brown ale. Enough toasted character, just approaching roasted. Lightly hopped, a malt centric ale. Flavorful enough to drink all night.

To add an extra nutty flavor to this ale I'm adding a Bhutanese red rice. Wikipedia has this to say about the rice. "Bhutanese red rice is a medium-grain rice grown in the Kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern Himalayas. It is the staple rice of the Bhutanese people. Bhutanese red rice is a red japonica rice. It is semi-milled — some of the reddish bran is left on the rice. Because of this, it cooks somewhat faster than an unmilled brown rice. When cooked, the rice is pale pink, soft and slightly sticky. This rice became available in the United States in the mid 1990s." I ran the rice through my grain mill to just break the grain into a couple pieces. Cooked as per the directions on the bag and adding directly to mash during mash in and let rest with rest of grains.

Saison d'Hiver

Today's brew is one I'm planning on bottling and laying down to age. At least till this winter. The plan is to brew a strong black saison, spiced with meadow sweet, chamomile, and nutmeg. A winter warmer of sorts. Should be around 10.5% abv. I recently just brewed a summer (peppercorns) and fall (maple, which really should be spring) saison and I'll be using the same yeast for today's brew. Just knocking out onto 3rd generation yeast cake. Alright, got to get the strike water heated up and grains milled.

Twenty five pounds of grain, 5 gallon batch size. Malts being used today are pale, wheat, amber, de-bittered black, chocolate, crystal 120, coffee malt and flaked oats. Just mashed in and the 10 gal. polarware mash tun I have is pretty much maxed out. Mashed in at 151 f and let rest for forty five minutes.
Good brew day. The herbs really added a lot of aroma and flavor to the wort. Meadow sweet is an interesting herb, it tastes of cinnamon and apples. Looking forward to how this one turns out.

Bottled in the beginning of December. After aging on heavy toast French oak for seven weeks. Finishing at 10.2% abv.

Red Maple Saison

The sun is setting earlier. The nights are getting cooler. The leaves begin to change in the green mountains into a mountain on fire. Red, Orange, Yellow leaves ignite the mountains into flames. Where tree's become flowers before winter. Enough jabber. Brewing a Red Maple Saison with maple syrup. The red color will come from amber and crystal malt. Also using torrified wheat and flaked oats for body and head retention. The syrup will add some color as well. Especially since I'm using grade B syrup. Which, as any syrup connoisseur knows is the better syrup. It's been boiled longer, creating a more intense maple flavor than grade A syrup. I'll be adding this during cool down. Stirring in two pounds at 160 degrees F. I don't want to drive off the delicate maple flavors, even though the yeast will do it's best to scrub it away during fermentation. I may back sweeten with more maple syrup depending on it's attenuation and flavor when tasted. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_syrup for more information on the sugar of the tree gods.I'll be using the saison yeast from the one I brewed last week. Looking forward to tasting and dry hopping it. I'll probably be using this yeast for a 3rd generation to make an imperial black winter saison, strong 11% and spiced with meadow sweet, nutmeg and chamomile.

The Aussie's Attack Smoked Porter

The International home brewing community is strong. Around the world home brewers get together to share brew, ideas, and stories. Last Wednesday night was one of those nights. A group of Australian home brewers came to my house to home brew and drink. How all this came together is somewhat explained in this newspaper article. Out of the Times Union in Albany, NY. http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=835847&category=&BCCode=&newsdate=8/28/2009&BCCode=&newsdate=8/28/2009. So, Ross and Dave express some interest to Jim Azotea, the former president of the Saratoga home brew club(my first home brew club http://www.thoroughbrews.com/), that they want to go to DFH. Since, I am reluctant to say this, a brewer there Jim emailed me Tuesday if they could come to the mid Atlantic to home brew and get a tour. Of course my response was yes. The opportunity to hang out with home brewers that have the wealth of knowledge that Ross, Dave, and Matt have was priceless. We started brewing around 11:00 at night. I think I finished brewing around 3:30 in the morning. Not sure, but there is a carboy full of smoked porter from that night that doesn't taste too bad considering the circumstances. The circumstances were the tasting of quite a few brews. I don't think many were under 8%. Needless to say the night lasted till the morning. I learned a new term. To take a pint to the head, to skull it. For example "hey, I bought you a pint, skull it". Ross, Dave and Matt, you can crash here anytime and I'll be looking you guys up when I'm in Brisbane. Hey Dave send me some of the pics you took. Cheers!