Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Around this time of year I'm always torn about what to brew, the weather is still a bit cool but warm days are creeping in now and then.  The cool weather makes me want a rich hearty beer, but on the warm days I'm really craving something light and drinkable like a table beer.  To top it off lately SWMBO has been making a huge dent into some of my favorite styles, especially my PA's.  I originally brewed this beer up for SWMBO  to keep her greedy hands off my other beers but I think its gonna be one of my favorites as well after tasting the sweet wort.

Hefeweizens are one of my wife's favorite styles, but I felt it was a bit early in the year for one, not to mention I'm not the biggest fan of the style.  What really sounded good to me though was something with a big caramelly malt backbone to balance the esters of the hefe yeast, while still fairly light bodied for the time of year.  A dunkelweizen seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and strangely this was one of the few styles I had yet to brew.  

For the base of the beer I wanted to make sure I had a nice malty, bready base malt, so I went and picked up some Vienna, and rounded out the flavor with a bit of caramunich, a pinch of carafa, and of course wheat malt (pictured).  The yeast though was one thing that I had to switch up last second as the LBHS didn't have what I was looking for.  Instead of WLP380 I went with WY 3333.  When I got home I got on the computer and searched for reviews of the yeast, and for whatever reason didn't find that many.  According to Mr Malty WLP380 = WY3333, but in my experience with Belgian strains from both companies there tends to be quite a bit of difference so I'm very interested to see how things compare.  

Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
5.0Wheat Malt
1.0Caramunich II
2.0 ozCarafa II
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Crystal (5.6%)60
Mash Schedule
170F1.9qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastGerman Wheat WY3333 (500mL Starter)
76% effIBU16
7gal BoilFG

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mazarin - A Review

Appearance - Almost no head formation whatsoever, and no lacing in the glass (the mahlab??), fairly clear but ever so slightly hazy, a deep beautiful dark red with orange highlights when held up to a light

Aroma - Sour cherry, almond and a spicy cinnamon-like aroma, this is one of my favorite things about this beer

Taste - Tart, slight hint of a bread, nutty and very almond-like, subtle cinnamon-like flavor and sour cherry in the finish, though I believe the cherry flavor is mostly from the mahlab at this point and not the cherry juice (fruit flavor faded with time) - I added too much mahlab and had to wait till the flavor faded a bit

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation, with the amount of body in this beer I feel that the carbonation could be dialed up a bit (beer finished a bit thin)

Drinkability - A very interesting "beer" SWMBO loved it, and I quite enjoy it, I do plan to re-brew but with some changes outlined below. This is one of my more flavorful interesting beers I've put together and in particular I really like the great cinnamon-like flavor, which Im guessing is the sherry flor. Though none of my other beers using it seem to have this flavor, which would make me think its the mahlab, but I dont get that flavor at all from using the spice in anything else.

Notes - Beer finished a bit dry (lots of cherry juice) and I didn't really account for this, sometimes I make bonehead mistakes, this one one of the many, next time I will either mash higher, or add a more substantial amount of crystal; I used TOO MUCH mahlab in this beer, I was going off others usage of it in mead, let me say this 2oz is WAAAY too much, doing it again I would probably add 1/4oz at most, and probably less to start;  Less mahlab will also let me drink this beer a lot sooner that I did (had to do extended aging to make it palatable) this will also let the cherry juice come through a lot more; in the recipe I added ~32oz of 68Brix juice, and I would likely do this amount again.

Brewday - 2/16/2012 - Recipe & Notes

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quick Turnaround PA - Review

Somehow this review was lost, I originally did it in Octpber of last year, but never posted it.........

Appearance -  Slightly hazy golden orange with a 1 finger off-white head that dissipates leaving significant sticky lacing all the way down the glass

Aroma - Sweetish bready aroma, hints of caramel and some subtle but earthy hops in the finish

Taste - Strong MO flavor, very bready and malty to start off, nice caramel flavor rounded out by a strong bitter hoppy bite that lingers long after you finish a sip.  Very balanced beer starts off malty and leaves with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and very silky, even with a pound of sugar in it, you gotta love marris otter! Softer carbonation that really fits PA/IPA's well

Notes/Thoughts - Good all around beer, I'm definitely enjoying the British base malts with added simple sugars to both thin the body and up the OG a tad.  I'm happy with the IBU levels in this beer but not with the hop aroma/flavor, but it was the last of the EKG's I got from Hopsdirect this past year (Low quality that Ive complained about before) so I should have expected that the aromatic qualities would be on the low side.  Cant say I taste the piloncillo much, but that could just be what you get from it.  Other sugars Ive used in the past, especially jaggery, really come through and mesh well with the flavor of MO.

Brewday - 9/8/2012 - Recipe & Notes

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sauerkraut Gose - Review

Appearance - A very slightly hazy golden color, very reminiscent of apple juice, 2-3 finger white head that dissipates relatively rapidly (~2min) leaving little to no lacing in the glass.

Aroma - Bretty, but with quite a bit of an apple note, and a spicy aroma that I cannot describe

Taste - Again fairly bretty, every so slight hint of salt at the back of the tongue when you swallow, tangy with a hint of apples and peaches

Mouthfeel - Slick and full feeling, feels like a witbier normally does, medium carbonation which if it were higher I think could help to show off the aroma

Drinkability - Ok, not my favorite attempt at the style, not quite as good as the first pitch with this culture

Notes - There was a long lag before fermentation started on this beer and it doesn't have the bright tangy character that the first try had.  I think I should have used a bit fresher culture when I pitched it

Sauerkraut Gose - Full Batch Brewday - 4/22/2011

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