Tag Archives: harder stuff

Brew day: Molasses Stout (and brandywort chaser)

It’s all over but the cleaning now. Have a look at this fabulous wort. It’s a swampy dark hell just like it should be. Dig:

I’ve adjusted the original recipe post to reflect a few changes I made while picking up ingredients and actually assembling the brew. Biggest changes are a rather mammoth addition of molasses and the addition of juniper and grains of paradise. It’s a molasses imperial stout, I figured, there’s no point in trifling around with that. Not blackstrap anymore, though; the store didn’t have any.

But I have a present for you, even though it’s past Christmas. Another recipe for a truly fine thing I’m calling a Brandywort.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the fine beverage called a Hot Scotchie, which is toasty mash runoff with a bit of Scotch in. I like this version even better: a brandywort is cooled wort, sweet and malty and ripe with hop flavor and any other adjuncts you’ve added along the ride, topped off with a dollop of brandy. Brandy and hops are a natural match, as it turns out. I’ll have to experiment with that later. Take this stuff in small glasses, it’s strong.

Brandywort Recipe

1 oz wort (squish some out of your strainer)
1 tbsp of brandy, more or less to taste

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Fir love, pumpkin ale update

The pumpkin update isn’t a very substantial one; it’s that the fermentation is done and tomorrow is bottling day as soon as I can get to the shop for some more bottles and sanitizer. I don’t have a photo of the sludge at the bottom of the fermenter, but it’s really pretty fabulous. I’ll see if I can’t get a shot tomorrow before I mess everything up. There are four distinct layers! The bottom one is probably pumpkin sediment from the boil, the second is likely to be yeast, and the top one is probably the post-fermentation dreck of the can of (preservative-free) pumpkin I stuck in last week for grins.

That’s only three layers, I know. I have absolutely no idea what the fourth one is. More yeast? Gremlins? Who knows.

I found a handy tip for making sure the spices in your beer are nice and potent, because fermenting time and bottle time do mellow them: make a mix of the spices you used in the brew in and steep them in an ounce or two of spirits for a bit (I used rum), then add them to taste at the same time you add your priming sugar. I forgot the ginger in the Most Serene Republic of Pumpkin during the boil, so I’m going to see if I can make up for that this way.

Now, the fir love! I was down at the liquor store a few days ago and spotted Douglas Fir Eau de Vie from Clear Creek Distillery! (scroll down) I didn’t get any, because that’s a bit steep for me, but–without discounting the fine work done by the Clear Creek guys–it seems like it ought to be easy enough to attempt a reasonable facsimile at home. Don’t you think? Some fir, some brandy, some time? Hell, it works for vodka-based liqueurs. I’m going to give it a whirl.

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