Parsnip Saison

As the leaves change and cooler weather moves in, root vegetables are harvested. The cold nights boost the sugar and flavor of parsnips and carrots. Parsnips, are usually harvested after the first frost. I've wanted to brew a Parsnip beer for about a year now. The earthy, slight licorice flavor of roasted parsnips is always delicious with dinner. Simply cut into matchsticks and roast with salt, pepper, and thyme until done.

With frost on the ground Parsnips arrived at farmer's market's. I quickly gathered over twenty pounds to roast into a Saison. The earthy, peppery, and lemon peel flavors of Saison style beers should blend well with the parsnips. I roasted twenty three pounds raw to thirteen pounds cooked. It took an hour just to cut the parsnips, and I have decent knife skills. I didn't even peel em', just rinsed with water. If I'm after an earthy flavor from the parsnips why would I peel away the layer that was in contact with the soil. After roasting the parsnips I added hot water to the cooked parsnips and pureed with an immersion blender before being added to the mash. I'm treating the parsnips much like pumpkin, squash, and any vegetable that could benefit from the enzymatic activity of the mash. I was stunned by the parsnip aroma and flavor in the wort. The parsnips were noticeable to the point of a smile. Hopefully some aroma and flavor will remain in the end, post fermentation. Lightly hopped with German Tettnanger for bittering. I decided during the boil to remove any late kettle hop additions to let any parsnip flavor emerge and not be covered up by hops.

Pale Malt, Belgian Pilsner, Wheat Malt, Torrified Wheat, (9%) Vermont grown Raw Barley and Flaked Barley. Vermont grown Parsnip. German Tettnanger hops. French Saison yeast.

Article in the Burlington Free Press

article below is from the Burlington Free Press Issue October 5, 2012

Hip to local hops

October 5, 2012
JERICHO — If you grow it, Joe Lemnah will try to turn it into beer. "Next week I'll probably brew a squash ale," Lemnah said from the makeshift brewery he's set up inside his parents' defunct horse barn in Jericho. "I just found this wicked cool local blue Hubbard squash, which are these absurd, gargantuan squash that have that whole orange flesh. You know, because pumpkin ales are so passĂ©. It's been done to death. Like, there's other orange fruit out there. Let's use them. "
An Essex High School grad, Lemnah, 30, has brewed beer professionally for six years and recently founded the Burlington Beer Company. He has a company website, business cards, stickers and bottled beer, just not a brewery in Burlington. It's coming, he said, within the year.
The brewery will produce some flagship beers, including an India Pale Ale that Lemnah has dubbed "Another IPA."
"So it's easy to order another, badum, tish!" he explained.
Lemnah said his larger objective, however, is to brew an evolving lineup of beers, changing with the seasons and the availability of ingredients.
"I want localization to be at the center of everything, and really be kind of, like, farmers market-inspired, seasonally-focused beers," he said.
Localization beginning with local hops, although "definitely not exclusively local hops," Lemnah said, because "there's too many fun hops from far away." He plans to use Vermont hops for a particular line of beer that would have a "sense of time and place."
Localizing the process lowers his carbon footprint by reducing the shipping distance of ingredients, Lemnah said.
"You're supporting the local economy, the whole 'buy Vermont first'... But like I said before, it really gives that sense of time and place. The hops are going to have a unique character."
East Coast hops
Lemnah gets his local hops from backyard growers like his buddy Zach Summerfield.
Summerfield, who has known Lemnah since high school, said hops have grown up the side of his mother's house in Jericho for nearly 10 years. The hops grow along a 30-foot span of wall to a height of about 25 feet.
"As far as what we've experienced, they've grown like wildfire," said Summerfield, 29, of Colchester. "They're fairly intrusive. They grow onto the deck and into the doors of the house."
Vermont's humid climate, however, isn't particularly conducive to large-scale hop production, according to Heather Darby, an agronomist at the University of Vermont.
"They (the hops) like it, but so does everything else," Darby said, specifically diseases and insects. "When you're in Oregon with dry summers, they don't get the same disease and insect pressure that we do."
Darby began studying hop production in Vermont three years ago when colleagues at Washington State University asked her to do so. They wanted to compare West Coast hops with East Coast hops.
"And simultaneously, there was this sort of new interest in growers and brewers to produce local hops," Darby said. That interest, she said, grew from the localvore movement and a spike in hop prices.
"A lot of brewers want to buy local," she said. "They want a product that is very high quality. It's understanding what that is, and then figuring out, how do we get there."
In studying the vitality of 19 strains of hops at UVM, Darby has found that some hops can and do thrive in Vermont, despite the climate. But she cautions that much work remains to be done if Vermonters want to grow their local hop market.
"Even if we can grow them, which we can, they're very labor intensive to harvest," Darby said. "It requires special equipment to do that, and special equipment to handle them after harvest."
Darby figures upwards of 50 Vermonters have taken to growing small quantities of hops in their yards or on their farms.
"We have a few one-acre hop yards, and then everyone else is under an acre," Darby said. Put together, they make up an estimated total of 5-10 acres. "Once you get above a quarter of an acre, you gotta think about how to mechanize the process."
During the summer, UVM Extension lent a mobile hop harvester, a "shared piece of infrastructure," to two farms, Darby said, in an attempt to push mechanization.
Without a mechanical harvester, the hops have to be picked by hand, which can take upwards of an hour per vine. Impractical for a large harvest, Darby said, even if a grower invites over friends for hop-picking "parties."
"You're gonna run out of friends," Darby said. "It's only gonna be fun once."
However you get them, Summerfield recommends harvesting local hops when you can to brew beer.
"I always find that stuff you grow yourself tends to taste better," Summerfield said. "The hops tend to be very strong. Very large flavor profiles."

Autumnal Squash Ale

Before temperatures even begin to cool down, brewery's start shipping out their seasonal beer's for fall in August and even July. Much like how stores keep putting fall and winter holiday decorations out earlier and earlier every year, breweries are racing to market to keep up with seasonal beer demand. There is nothing I can do to change the push to sell seasonal decorations or beer each year, but I've noticed that the larger by volume the brewery, the earlier their seasonal beer are brewed and on the market. What this means is that at the largest craft breweries in this country fall seasonal's (ie: pumpkins and brown ales) are brewed in May and June. Meaning that by September many of the pumpkin beers on the shelf are already three to four months old. Some smaller brewer's decry that these large brewing company's are moving seasonal release dates up more and more. My seasonal beers will be brewed when the seasonal ingredients are ready. Many times with pumpkin ales, large brewery's use canned pumpkin meat or even no pumpkin at all and just spices (nothing seasonal in the beer, but the marketing). Anyway, enough about beer industry politics. Back to the Burlington Beer Co. Autumnal Squash ale.

My twist on a pumpkin ale is to use winter squash to provide flavor and body to one of Burlington Beer Co.'s fall seasonal's. The winter squash variety's highlighted in this years batch are acorn, butternut and blue hubbard. Winter squash actually contain more sugar, and I think more flavor than pumpkins. Some smaller heirloom pumpkin varieties do have more flavor and sugar than traditional carving pumpkins (which I suggest you use when brewing a pumpkin ale), but still not the rich flavors of acorn and butternut squash. This beer is based off the squash ale I brewed last year, but with more spices this year.

Brewed with Pale Malt, Munich Malt, and Weyermann Cara ten. Hopped with Super Galena. Just under a pound of cooked squash (24 pounds raw) per gallon. Fermented with American Ale yeast (US-05). Spiced with changing leaves and cooling temperatures.

This beer will be available at Burlington Beer Co.'s Autumn Harvest Tasting Event October 16th. Also available to sample will be a Fresh Hop Ale brewed with Vermont grown hops, Another IPA, and some sour beers and vintage beers.

American style India Pale Ale

Transferred last weeks fresh hop ale to secondary while brewing an IPA yesterday. The fresh hop ale has a nice malt back bone with a hoppy nose and flavor. The Vermont grown hop flavor is pine-y and herbal. Really, the flavors of the hops in this ale are truly unique to the small cluster climbing up the side of a house in Essex, Vermont. Terroir is what is being tasted. The beer provides a sense of time and place and that's what Burlington Beer Co. is striving to brew. I had no idea what the hops were going to taste like and it's fun exploring new flavors. Just like Almanac Beer Co. states, "Beer is Agriculture".

Onto yesterday's batch of India Pale Ale. Basically brewing the same recipe I served in April at Burlington Beer Co.'s first tasting event. I also entered the beer served at the tasting event into the 2012 National Home Brew Competition and here is the score and review

Grist bill of Pale malt, Vienna malt, Victory malt, flaked barley, and Honey malt. I substituted the Munich malt from the recipe to Vienna malt because I have a crush on Vienna malt right now and dropped the caramunich all together. Bitter (:60) and flavor (:20) hop additions was an experimental hop variety HBC-342. The end of boil, aroma, and flavor hop addition (:1) was equal parts whole leaf Centennial and Cascade hops. The wort was knocked out onto the fresh hop ale yeast cake at sixty eight degrees Fahrenheit and visually started fermenting within half an hour. Set point on the fermentation chamber is sixty five degrees Fahrenheit to keep esters (fruity yeast flavors) at bay. 

Next week I'll be brewing an Autumnal Squash Ale with Blue Hubbard, Acorn, and Butternut Squash. Lightly spiced with the flavors of cold nights, changing leaves, and pumpkin pie, but brewed with winter squash.

Here's a picture of a barn foundation restoration taking place down the street from the pilot brewery that I think looks pretty cool. Have a good day!

Inaugural Fresh Hop Pale Ale

It felt so good to brew again! Seriously, I haven't brewed since June, professionally or at home. So much of what I missed was the timing of a brew day. What needs to be done, the order of operations, the windows of time that you have throughout the day to accomplish all the tasks for a blissful brew day. Building a recipe, milling the grain (by hand still), heating the water and mashing in. Mash rest. Fill out brew sheet. Mash off to one hundred and sixty eight degrees. Vorlauf. Runoff. Fill out brew sheet. Sparge with sparge arm. Collect kettle full sample and measure gravity and volume to later calculate efficiency. Boil. Weigh and add hops. Fill out brew sheet. Clean (pbw) knockout loop. Clean fermentation vessels. Add more hops. Sanitize (star san) knockout loop. Sanitize fermentation vessels. Whirlpool. Knockout. Pitch yeast. Fill out brew sheet. Clean kettle. Clean knockout loop. Rinse knockout loop. Clean up. I seriously love the process and art of brewing beer.

This was my first time home brewing at a new location in years. I had really developed a rhythm at my previous residence. I brewed almost one hundred and sixty batches over the three years I lived at "the federal". Currently, I'm setup in my families old horse barn (but my wife and I have a house under contract and I'll move brewing operations to the garage if all goes well with closing). The barn has a floor drain, which is very helpful in any brewery space. My old setup was very basic. I had one nice stainless vessel with a false bottom (later added a keggle for multiple batch brew days) that acted as mash tun and kettle. A cooler hot liquor tank that held the water that was heated up in the one stainless vessel on the one burner (added a second burner for multiple batch brew days). I'd mash in then runoff into buckets. Clean out the mash tun and it would become the kettle. I loved this setup. It worked and produced some great (and not so great) beers. During this time I would double, triple, and even quadruple brew (in fourteen hours) in a day. It was insane, an obsession, a time of focus and creativity. Nearly everyday, either before or after work (which was brewing professionally) I would either brew, rack, bottle, keg, or check gravity and carbonation on what was at least a dozen batches in process at one time or another. Part of me misses those days while I am starting a brewery. I'd much rather be brewing than writing business plans, projections, and proforma's. Alas, it all has to be done so that one day the creative chaos at the federal will become the beers of Burlington Beer Co.

The new pilot brewery equipment for Burlington Beer Co. is an upgrade. Larger mash tun and kettle. A new third burner. March pump. Heat Exchanger, In-line aeration and temperature gauge, and fermentation temperature controller. It's crazy having all this equipment at home. It's standard operating equipment at commercial breweries and I used them everyday to brew commercial beer, but it was kind of weird to use it all at home. I definitely carried less water with the new equipment compared to my old setup. Overall I'm very happy with the new pilot brewery. No real issues with the equipment. It all worked well and how it was supposed to. I'm really excited about dialing in this setup.

Upcoming beers will be: Autumnal Squash Ale, Another IPA, Peasant Bread, Mason Jar Mild, Belgian style Pale Ale with Peaches, a DIPA, a smoked Porter, a coffee Stout, Dark and Dank, Foggy Notion, Amber Alternative, Session IPA, Summerfield Pilsner, Munich Dunkel, Imperial Stout, Single Hop Pale Ale.

Today's Wet Hop Pale Ale: Pale Malt, Rye Malt, Vienna Malt, Honey Malt, Flaked Barley. Apollo for bittering. Vermont grown fresh hops added at thirty minutes, fifteen minutes, and one minute. Fermented with US-05.

NHC Results: Vienna Lager and California Common

For my brewery in planning Burlington Beer Co. I wanted to create a beer for when people ask, "what's your lightest beer?". I wanted this beer to still be full flavored and something I would still like to drink. I came up with an idea to hybridize the bread-y malt complexity, German hop varieties, and clean lager fermentation of a Vienna style lager with the hop levels for bitterness and flavor of California Common style "Steam" beer. I called this beer 'Peasant Bread' and for Burlington Beer Company's first tasting event I described it as: "A hybrid between a California Common and a Vienna Lager. With the hop bitterness of a Common and the bready malt character of a Vienna Lager. Peasant Bread is cold fermented with a lager yeast strain creating a crisp, hoppy, lager."

Hybridized beer styles don't usually do well in BJCP events, but since this was my first attempt at the idea for a new beer I wanted to get some feed back. This beer was entered into each of the respective categories of inspiration, category 3a: Vienna Lager and 7b: California Common.

Peasant Bread

Pale Malt
Vienna Malt
Munich Malt
Carastan 30-37

mash at 151*f

Super Galena     :60
Tettnanger         :10
Delta                  :0

12.5*P (1.050sg)
Saflager 34/70

Category 3a: Vienna Lager

#1- crisp, toasty malt with some spicy hop notes
#2- light toasted malt character with light sulphur

#1- deep gold and clear, low head retention
#2- deep yellow color, minimal head, modest clarity with a slight haze

#1- spicy hops hit first, should have more balance toward malt, firm bitterness may be a bit too firm, the malt is not enough to properly balance this beer
#2- crisp toasty malt sweetness with clean fermentation character and a dry finish, hop bitterness is in balance with the malt profile

#1- good body and pleasant carbonation, clean finish
#2- light to medium body, medium carbonation, finishes crisp and dry

Overall Impression
#1- I like it, but it's too aggressively hopped for the style, I'd also say that the bitterness isn't soft, consider using only noble varieties for this beer
#2- very nice clean drinking lager balanced toward malt as per style, exceptionally smooth and dry finish, slightly too light in color for the style and could use a touch more malt complexity

#1- BJCP Certified        35/50
#2- BJCP Recognized   33/50

Overall 34/50---Very Good (30-37)

Category 7b: California Common

#1- light hoppiness, medium toasty malt, some fruitiness in background
#2- light hop aroma with minty/woody notes of classic northern brewer hop, slightly toasty malt character

#1- lighter copper color, good clarity, generally clear
#2- light in color for style, medium straw color, a light white head displays good retention

#1- toasty, moderate caramel malt, significant hop bitterness but balanced with malt, dry clean finish
#2- woody minty norther brewer hop flavor is in the fore front, backed by a toasty malt backbone, hop bitterness over powers malt sweetness, leading to a dry finish, with lingering norther brewer hop flavor

#1- medium body, medium carbonation, with a well retained off white head
#2- medium body with moderate carbonation, slight astringent hop flavor

Overall Impression
#1- pleasant example of the style, balance of bitterness and malt is good, more late kettle additions would increase hop aroma
#2- maltiness is a bit low, but it allows showcasing of the hop character

#1- non-BJCP          34/50
#2- BJCP Certified   31/50

Overall 33/50---Very Good (30-37)

The next time I brew this beer I'll be increasing the Vienna and Munich malt in the grist bill to increase the toasted malt flavors. I may also add some melanoidin malt, victory malt, or biscuit/aromatic malt as well to further increase the malt complexity. I'll also probably lower the bitterness, but increase hop flavor and aroma. I found it kind of hilarious that one judge was sure he was tasting and smelling Norther Brewer hops, which are traditional in California Common style beer when no such variety was used. Delta hops do provide a nice earthy and herbal flavor similar to Norther Brewer hops, which is why I used them. The hybridized beer idea worked, but as usually, can always be better.

NHC Results: Saison

A favorite beer style of mine to brew and drink is Saison. The style guidelines according the BJCP are quite broad in color, starting gravity, and final gravity allowing brewer's to put their own stamp on a style with rustic French farmhouse roots. You can take the style and make it hoppy, add spices/herbs to the mix, ferment with fruit, and age it with alternative yeast strains (ie: brettanomyces). At this point it seems like anything goes, as long as you use a Saison yeast strain at some point, I think it's fair to call it a Saison.

At the Burlington Beer Co. tasting event this beer was described as: "A French country farmhouse style ale brewed with barley, wheat, rye, and oats. Pink Peppercorns and Sumac Berries are added at end of boil, boosting the inherent lemon pepper flavors in classic Saison style ales. This is an easy drinking, yet complex, aromatic ale" 

Category 16c: Saison

Pilsner Malt
Torrified Wheat
Rye Malt
Flaked Oats
Munich Malt

mash at 149*

Delta                :60
Nelson Sauvin   :0

Pink Peppercorns  
Sumac Berries

14.3*P (1.057sg)
Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse

#1- cloudy yeast character, pleasant, tropical notes
#2- herbal, fruity (citrusy) with a pine-like hop. Moderate pepper elements. As beer opens, more white-wine like character

#1- pale straw with a continuous bubble
#2- very pale yellow with thick, finely beaded white head, good clarity

#1- light tropical fruit and hints of lemon, very mild overall flavor, pleasant and easy to drink, malt character is almost non-existent
#2-tropical fruit notes initially faded into a more hop driven beer, malt backbone is light and supports wine like character, bitterness is restrained

#1- good level of carbonation, full on the tongue but light in body
#2- medium body lightened by CO2 level, carbonation is prickly

Overall Impression
#1- very pleasant and easy to drink, tropical notes are uncharacteristic to style, makes me think of Nelson Sauvin hops, needs some additional malt complexity, maybe additional wheat and munich malt
#2- well made, very interesting Saison, hop flavor higher than expected but all together makes a very interesting beer, consider a more complex malt bill, maybe 10-20% munich

#1- BJCP Recognized        33/50
#2- BJCP National Judge   36/50

Overall 35/50---Very Good (30-37)

NHC Results: American IPA

Last summer I entered a bunch of beer's into the Delaware State Fair as part of a "To Style Series" where I shared the score sheet feedback and judges comments for each beer. My low gravity brown ale even won best in show over higher abv (sweeter) beers. The most fascinating part about the feedback was when I entered the same exact beer into similar categories and received completely opposite comments/reviews for a few (ie: too thin-full body or not enough malt complexity-great malt complexity) of the beers. Which I found kind of hilarious and sad. I think the number scale for BJCP is completely arbitrary. Neither the World Beer Cup or GABF use any type of number scale. A beer is either good, stands out on that day and moves on, or it doesn't. I still think it's a good idea for home brewer's to enter their beers into competitions, but take the results with a grain a salt. Some of the best selling craft beer's in the country have never won any GABF or WBC medals.

For this year's To Style Series I will be posting about a bunch of beer's I entered in the National Homebrew Competition. All of these beer's were also featured at my brewery in planning's inaugural tasting event where I presented sixteen different beer's to introduce Burlington Beer Co. The event went very well with over a hundred people stopping by to sample the beer's, an article in the local paper (Burlington Free Press) and featured on Beer Pulse

Category 14: American IPA 

American Pale Malt
Munich Malt
Flaked Barley
Victory Malt
Honey Malt
Caramunich 60

Mash 154*

Columbus      :60 (whole leaf)
Columbus      :20 (whole leaf)
Centennial      :1   (whole leaf)
Citra              :1   (whole leaf)
Galaxy           dry   (pellet)
Columbus      dry   (pellet)
Centennial     dry    (pellet)
Pacific Jade   dry    (pellet)
Citra              dry   (pellet)

14*P (1.056)
Safale US-05

#1- highly American hopped with citrus floral aroma, some light fruity notes, no diacetyl, no DMS
#2- big hop, citrus aroma, a little floral, some malt in background, clean, light esters

#1- medium, gold, good clarity, white medium retention head
#2- medium amber color, tan head, medium head retention, good texture, clear

#1- hop flavor is high, well bittered, hop character is resinious, light malt sweetness supports and balances hop bitterness, some low fruit flavors, no diacetyl
#2- hoppy flavor with bitterness evident, malt balances bitterness mid-palate, bitter finish and after taste without any harshness

#1- medium body, medium carbonation, well attenuated finish with some warming, no hop astringency
#2- medium-light body, could be a bit more, medium carbonation, fine creamy texture, no astringency

Overall Impression
#1- an excellent representation of the style, style appropriate balance towards hoppy bitterness, but with malt backbone, slightly higher carbonation would have thrown it over the top
#2- really enjoyable beer! body is a bit light for style, but malt/hop balance in flavor is good, bump up both a small amount, but overall, good job

#1- Non-BJCP        37/50
#2- BJCP certified   34/50

Overall 35.5/50---Very Good (30-37)

For the tasting event I described the beer as: A medium to light bodied India Pale Ale that delivers a spectrum of hop aroma's and flavor's. Ranging from pine, citrus, floral, and earthy. We called it Another IPA so it's easy to order Another..

I may bump the gravity up a bit and/or raise the mash temperature in the future giving the beer more body, but overall I'm pleased with the results. The patrons at the beer tasting were very pleased with Another IPA as the whole case was gone, as well as it's darker cousin Dark & Dank (which I did not enter in the NHC because there isn't a category for dark IPA's).

I'm building a brewery..

I'm still brewing lots and lots of beer at home. I just haven't been making time to blog about it. I'm currently in the process of getting sixteen different beers together to share at a tasting event for my brewery in planning, Burlington Beer Co. I'm from Vermont and couldn't imagine opening my brewery anywhere but in the beautiful green mountain state. Burlington Beer Co. is a farmers market inspired brewery focusing on seasonal beers celebrating the agriculture of Vermont.

Over the last six years I have dedicated my life to becoming a better brewer. Attending the American Brewers Guild in 2007 and working for two large breweries, Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. a large contract brewery in Saratoga Springs, NY and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, DE and one small brewery that is growing fast, Evolution Craft Brewing Co. Delmar, DE (soon to be in Salisbury, MD). The professional brewing experience is priceless (home brewing is not like pro brewing). I couldn't imagine trying to start a brewery and be the "brew master" and not have any professional brewing experience. 

While brewing professionally I started this blog in January 2009 to document my research and development batches at home. Over the last six years I've brewed one hundred and eighty batches (at home) as of yesterday's batch. With over one hundred and thirty of them being written about on this blog and brewed since 09'. I don't know if anyone is ever ready to open a business, but I've dedicated my life to developing the skills and confidence necessary to (hopefully) open a successful brewery in Burlington, Vermont. 

I'm not sure of the future of this blog, but for now I'm going to keep catching up on posts and start a brewery. Cheers!

If you're in the Burlington Area feel free to attend the tasting event. 

Hard Cider

Before beer it was hard cider that was the preferred beverage by the drinking (working) class in America. In the 17th-18th century cereal grains let a lone malted grains were not in abundance in the 'New World'. Thus apple cider with added sugar (brown sugar, molasses) was the most popular beverage. This is probably when American 'Apple Jack' was discovered by leaving barrels outside when an unexpected New England cold snap rushes through the valley and freezes the cider (freeze distillation).

I've enjoyed hard cider from time to time. My first hard cider I drank was Cider Jack in the 90's, Cider Jack has been said to be the first cider that "surfed the microbrew wave" in the 90's. With craft brewing sales up and brewery's in planning reaching unprecedented levels hard Cider once again is selling well. See AdAge, in Australia, and poetically by the New York Times.  It's easy to see that cider is an easy transition for a white wine drinker. American brewers are even getting in on the cider action as seen by Harpoon and now Sam Adams with Angry Orchard. Here's a list of cider brands currently being sold in the US. 

This is my first attempt at making hard cider. I went to my local orchard and picked up 6 gallons of fresh juice and local honey. Came home poured it all in a sanitized glass carboy and pitched a packet of US-05 and added yeast nutrient. How different can it be from brewing beer... During fermentation lots of sulphurous egg-y smells were being kicked off. Many time if you smell this during beer fermentation it's a sign of unhealthy yeast. My hopes were not high. After fermentation completed and I racked the cider to secondary to sample was a sulphur mess. It did not fade with time. At this point what I suspect happened after talking with other fermentation artists is that the un-heated cider and honey may have contained wild yeast which may or may not be well suited for creating a delicious beverage. This cider could be referred to as hashtag fail #fail. 

Take two... The plan this time was to heat the cider and honey then cool and knockout into a glass carboy like I would when brewing. Light simmer for five minutes with yeast nutrient. Then pitched US-05 yeast. Starting gravity of 10*plato. Expected abv of 4%. Fermentation smelled like apple honey butter. Racked to secondary and it was all right. This has since been kegged and back sweetened with honey. Crystal clear, light strawbale color. The keg will probably last awhile, but I guess hard cider can be a nice change of pace at times.

Cranberry Sour Red Ale

Cranberries are one of only three fruits that originated on North American soil, along with blueberries and concord grapes.  Cranberries are usually only served as a side dish at Thanksgiving, but I enjoy cooking with cranberries year round. A few years ago I used cranberries for a different sort of holiday ale inspired from an orange ginger cranberry sauce recipe. I've been wanting to brew a sour beer with cranberries because the natural tartness of cranberries should complement the sour flavors in a Flemish inspired red ale very well. So, I'm going to add a copious amount of whole cranberries and cranberry juice for a deep ruby color and a lip smacking tart flavor.

Cascade Brewing in Oregon made a sour cranberry ale and New Belgium did as well as part of their Lips of Faith series. This home brew Gose with cranberries sounds good too.

In this batch I'm using whole cranberries from Vermont Cranberry Company and (100%) cranberry juice for a deep cranberry color and flavor. The whole cranberries were added with ten minutes left in the boil, while the juice was added to the fermentor.

Recipe: Pale malt, Aromatic malt, Honey malt, Caramunich 60, Melanoidin malt, and chocolate malt. Mash warm. Lightly hopped. A pound of fresh cranberries, half a gallon of juice. Fermented with Wyeast 3628 Roeselare Yeast Blend.