An amber russet colored wit. Brew with 60/40 pale/wheat malt. Speacialty malts are amber, munich, crystal 60 and toasted flaked oats. I toasted flaked oats in the oven to create a full on oatmeal cookie aroma. For spicing I'm using some toasted coriander as well as coriander that has not been toasted, along with a little chamomile. Adding all the spices and five scored tangerines with five minutes left in boil. I've brewed a few diffferent wit style beers that have been pale in color, this one with darker specialty malts has some similarity's to the german weiss being light (a belgian wit in this case) and dunkelweiss darker but with traditional weiss characteristics. Maybe this is a "Dunkel Wit" of sorts. Very bready tasting wort, english muffin, toast, and shortbread flavors. For yeast I'll be blending White Labs Belgian Wit WLP400 and Safbrew T-58 (half packet), I've have had great results with this blend in the past on my clementine wit.
The pumpkin in a pumpkin beer has fermented out and I'm going to try and ferment one more brew inside the pumpkin before I carve it. It seems to be in good condition. Looking forward to racking the pumpkin beer later to see how it tastes. Today I'm brewing a dark amber ale spiced with ginger, heather, elderflowers, and nutmeg. The grist bill is as follows: pale malt, amber malt, flaked oats, munich malt, crystal 60, and torrified red wheat. Going to add a 1/2 ounce of vanguard at start of boil and that will be the only hop addition. Both the heather and elderflowers will contribute bitterness to the brew. The wort tasted very good going into the pumpkin, ginger flavor was mild and balanced.
Today I'm brewing an English style pale ale. Using one of the English "noble" hops, East Kent Goldings to create a single hop pale ale, to bittering, flavor and right thru to dry hopping. Brewers Connection describes the British hop East Kent Golding pedigree: "Golding is a group of English, aroma-type, hop varieties. The East Kent variety being an especially fine aroma hop, originating in England. Developed by clonal selection from 1790 on starting from Canterbury Whitebine. Over the decades, the group has been changed and widened. Mostly they have been named after villages in East Kent. English Goldings grown in East Kent are a premium hop. This classic English Ale hop is used extensively in kettle hopping and for dry hopping. Used alone or in conjunction with Fuggles it produces an especially fine glass of ale. It is the premier contributor to classic English pale ale aroma."
The malt bill consists of pale two row, flaked barley, torrified soft red wheat, amber, and crystal malt. I'm not trying to follow style guidelines of the BJCP on this brew but it might fit in the 8C category. I'll be dry hopping this ale with a heavy hand of whole leaf hops in secondary, American Style quantity's. The malt bill is designed to balance the hops, in the same way late hopped beers in America have been more amber in color, see Stone Levitation Ale. Using dry yeast, Safale S-04, from Muntons Brewery. A malt accentuating strain that ferments rapidly and drops out quickly.
A pumpkin ale fermented inside a pumpkin A collaboration ale with fellow brewer Jon Talkington of Brimming Horn Meadery. This idea of doing this is goofy and mad. Some restraint was used. We sulfited the inside of the pumpkin after cleaning out the seeds. I guess it was as sanitary as the inside of a pumpkin could be. We roasted four small sweeter variety pumpkins with spices that yielded 6.4 pounds of cooked meat. In the mash was pale malt, dark munich, wheat malt, amber malt, crystal, and coffee malt. Along with the cooked pumpkin meat. We decided to do a step mash to convert more of the starches in the pumpkin. Mashing in at 124 F, rest for twenty minutes. Then brought temperature of mash up over direct heat while stirring to prevent hot spots. Rested again at 149 F for one hour before finally mashing out to 168 F. During vorlauf the wort cleared up surprisingly fast. Began collecting wort and sparging and even with the 1/2 pound of rice hulls in the mash the bed collapsed and the runoff stopped. No surprise really with all that pumpkin meat in there. Stirred mash and ran off rest no problem. The wort was lightly hopped at sixty minutes for 15 IBU's. With five minutes left in boil we added meadow sweet, chamomile, real cinnamon bark, and two pounds of brown sugar. Cooled the wort down and knocked out in to a pumpkin. Would have liked to seal the top with wax but didn't have any so just taped it with packing tape. I'm really excited to see how this turns out. Whether the final beer is good or bad it's been a fun brew so far.
Pumpkins were an early sugar source in colonial America for fermented beverages. From the blog Beer Living it states. "From some of the books (Google books is great for searching these old books!) describing beer in colonial times, it seems like Pumpkin beer was not that unusual. During different times malted barley would be in short supply so the colonial brewers would use a wide assortment of whatever organic ingredient was handy. Pumpkin was in abundance so it was probably one of the most common of the ingredients. One reference to pumpkin beer was from the 1863 book “History of Hadley” by Sylvester Judd: “In Hadley, around 1800, beer was generally brewed once a week; malt, hops, dried pumpkin, dried apple parings and sometime rye bran, birch twigs and other things were put into the brewing kettle and the liquor was strained through a sieve. This beer was used at home and was carried into the fields by the farmers. “It also seems that pumpkin beer was an ingredient to making a very popular drink of the day, the ‘Flip’. From the 1919 book ‘“Colonial Folkways” by Charles McClean Andrews, there is a reference to using Pumpkin Beer to make a very common drink of the time, the ’Flip’:“Flip was made in different ways, but a common variety was a mixture of rum, pumpkin beer, and brown sugar into which a red hot poker had been plunged” American flip was made in a great pewter mug or earthen pitcher filled two-thirds full of beer; sweetened with sugar, molasses, or dried pumpkin, according to individual taste or capabilities; and flavored with “a dash” of rum. Into this mixture was thrust and stirred a red-hot loggerhead, made of iron and shaped like a poker, and the seething iron made the liquor foam and bubble and gave it the burnt, bitter taste so dearly loved."
Randy Mosher in Radical Brewing describes Roggenbier as, "By simply substituting rye malt for half the wheat in the weizen recipe and tossing in a half pound of crystal of your choosing, you can make a delightfully spicy rye beer." BeerAdvocate describes the style as "A traditional German style rye beer that typically contains very large portions of rye. Expect a very pronounced spiciness and sour-like rye character, malty flavor, and a clean hop character. Often unfiltered and bottle-conditioned, Roggenbiers tend to be rather turbid and foamy."
I'm going to just leave the wheat malt out of the recipe all together and do 40/60 with rye malt and pale malt. The specialty's are crystal rye, amber malt, and a little black patent. Going to ferment on 2nd generation Safbrew T-58. This yeast will accentuate the pepper spice of the rye instead of using the more traditional weizen yeast.
Yesterday I brewed a Chocolate Vanilla Porter that is approaching the strength of a Baltic Porter. I added a large amount of South American Cocoa that I have had for some time. I got it from family friends who brought some back from their travels. I grated two cups worth and added it directly to the kettle with one minute left in boil. That is also when I added the pulp of one vanilla bean pod. Very lightly hopped with Vanguard hops and fermented with dry Safale US-05 yeast. There is also a good quantity of flaked oats in the recipe to add a silky mouthfeel to this dessert beer.
Here is what wikipedia has to say about the history of the cacao plant. "The cacao tree is native to the Americas. It may have originated in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South American where today, examples of wild cacao still can be found. However, it may have had a larger range in the past, evidence for which may be obscured because of its cultivation in these areas long before, as well as after, the Spanish arrived. It may have been introduced into Central America by the ancient Maya, and cultivated in Mexico by the Olmecs, then by the Toltecs and later by the Aztecs. It was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica and the Caribbean before the Spanish conquest. Cacao trees will grow in a limited geographical zone, of approximately 20 degrees to the north and south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop is grown in West Africa. Cocoa was an important commodity in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Spanish chroniclers of the conquest of Mexico by Hernan Cortes relate that when Montezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet and eaten with a golden spoon. Flavored with vanilla and spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. It is reported that Montezuma II may have consumed no fewer than 50 portions each day, and 200 more by the nobles of his court. Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards and became a popular beverage by the mid 1600s. They also introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and the Philippines. The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carolus Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, who called it Theobroma ("food of the gods") cacao."