It’s been a long time. A very long time.
I realize I never updated you all on the final result of “One fer the Missus.” We’ll begin there. And in case you never read about it, check out the first Homebrew Journal here!
The beer came out incredibly interesting and almost how I envisioned it, minus a couple of aesthetic problems. It turned out enormously fruity and malty but wasn’t in any way too sweet. It was almost slightly bitter thanks to the hop schedule which helped to balance all of the sugars from the fruit and malt. Because this feature is meant to help provide knowledge to others who don’t know much about homebrewing, the hop schedule begins at the start of the final boil. For most, it lasts 60 minutes and works its way toward the end, 0 minute. The first third of the boil helps to impart bitterness on the beer. The second third helps with flavor and the final third focuses on aroma. Keep that in mind when picking hops for your next brew and you should have yourself a strong hop backbone. Or forebone…
Really, the only downside to “One fer the Missus” was and is that it came out more like bitter fruit juice with malt and alcohol than actual beer. Carbonation does exist, its just that a foam head doesn’t. Sure, the flavor is great, but I wanted it to have more beer characteristics and not juice like qualities. It definitely turned out great for all the ladies, but what about everyone else? I’m thinking, for next time, that adding lactose to the beer while it’s fermenting will give it the head it deserves (no pun intended… Okay, maybe a bit) and will provide drinkers with a fuller body.
The color of “One fer the Missus” is incredible though. Check it out for yourselves:
It’s time to put “One fer the Missus” aside for now and focus on my brand new creation. Just yesterday, I put together an Imperial Red Ale with the intention of dry hopping the hell out of it. The brewing process passed me by almost seamlessly and the beer is now happily fermenting away.
The color however, is a bit off. I wanted red, deep red. Sure, I accomplished that on my past brew, but it wasn’t because of the malts but rather all of the dark red fruits I used. Obviously I wasn’t going to be using fruit for the Imperial Red (why would I? Actually, the interesting idea has been noted), so I had to focus primarily on the malts to provide the color I almost desperately wanted. Sure, west coast reds have a very distinct huge malt, huge hop flavor, but it’s called a red because of the color. Without the color, what do I really have? A hoppy brown? I mean, hoppy browns are pretty damn popular right now, but it isn’t what I wanted to make.
The color came out reddish. Not a deep red like I expected it to. I’m a partial mash brewer (I use both whole grains and malt extract) and after steeping the grains, the wort was an incredible blackish red. Once the DME (dry malt extract) was added to it though, the wort changed to a brownish red. And who knows, I could be speculating, but once the dust settles and the beer clears up, it could have a fine red color to it, don’t you think? I think so. I hope so.
And even if it doesn’t, I’ve still got the flavor. I tasted the wort before adding the San Diego Super yeast (a super clean, super fast fermenting strain that I picked up at Valley Brewers, a new shop in Solvang, California) and it’s especially sweet, which is good for the yeast. It’ll eat all those damn sugars up. The wort was also hugely hoppy. I mean, I did add 7 or so ounces of hops to it with 2 more ounces of Citra to come in the dry hopping stage. The yeast should leave behind only slight sweetness and a dry hop bitterness. I’m in no way worried about the flavor. The color can always be experimented with on future batches if it doesn’t turn out how I expected.
A small update will be coming once I can taste the beer after it finishes its primary fermentation!
Check out the photos below, and the beer’s color, and leave behind opinionated, troll-like comments on all of the rambling! Oh, and a name for the beer has not yet been made, any suggestions?