Tag Archives: recipe notes

Firhti Bottling Day and Tasting Notes

The moment of truth for this fir beer experiment! Will it be godawful or great?

 

…whatever, I’m just going to kill the suspense right off and say that I love this beer. Flat out love it. As of bottling day it’s an unqualified success; we’ll see how bottle conditioning goes but Pseudomalainen is not giving me much motivation to let it sit around. I would like you to take a moment to look at my firhti.  LOOK AT IT. IT’S BEAUTIFUL.

 

As a little bit of a digression, I just popped champagne yeast into the wort without having much idea about the difference that would make. Do, then research: it’s the Way of the Ape. There seems to have been a shift in the conventional wisdom on how champagne yeast and beer work out. As of a couple of years ago, there was a very rough consensus that using champagne yeast would make for an unpalatably dry beer, and that its primary use in beermaking was as a secondary fermentation to keep really big beers chugging along on their way to 12-15% ABV. More recently, I’ve seen more people saying that champagne yeast ferments the hell out of sucrose, glucose, and fructose, but isn’t as good at digesting maltose (one of the primary sugars in malt, thus in wort), and therefore giving a kinda paradoxical result–sweeter beer.

I can now weigh in on this. Champagne yeast DOES make a sweeter beer. This firhti has a very gentle sweetness and a similarly gentle tartness, which is likely a combination of the rye, the champagne yeast’s influence, and the resiny tang of the fir. The fir itself is not overpowering–funny thing is, it’s not even especially prominent! Mostly it shows up as a resinous note in the finish and a freshly herbal, long-lasting aftertaste. There’s also a really nice edge of funk. Ingestion testing* suggests something in the neighborhood of 6% ABV (the ape has no actual idea, as her hydrometer is still in its original packaging and will stay there like a naughty puppy).

I seem to have stumbled upon a very well-balanced recipe with this first attempt and gotten lucky with environmental conditions for fermenting (i.e. the weather has hovered around 60-65F of its own free will this whole time). I’m in love with the funk and the resin in the same place. THIS IS A GOOD BEER.

Anybody with access to a fir tree should consider rigging up a batch of this. I think you’ll like it too.

 

 

 

 

* Ingestion testing is about as scientific as it sounds. In short: I had one.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Bottling day and tasting notes: Molasses Stout

Standard bottling process, you know how it goes. Sanitize everything, shoo the Morale Octopus off the fermenter, and get busy.

I’m really happy with the Molasses Stout, but you know what I need about a ton more of? MOLASSES. I thought I was overdoing it, but I didn’t even scratch the surface of overdoing it. I may have barely begun to simply do it, and overdoing it will require a tanker truck.

Tasting notes:

Really, really good. I love this beer. Hoppier than expected, but less spicy and less molasses-y. Good balance, will probably be especially super after a few months in the bottle mellow the hops out. There’s a little bit of barleywine-type raisin fruitiness. It’s also pretty strong. As usual I have no idea what the gravity or ABV are, but a test glass suggests that this batch is comfortably in the imperial range.

Recipe notes:

I would happily make this beer again, unaltered. But for a gingerbread molasses stout of the sort I originally intended, the recipe needs about half the hops–and twice the molasses, lactose, and spice mix (leaving juniper at original amount). 8 oz of lactose and nearly a gallon of molasses for a 5-gal batch. That sounds absolutely ridiculous. I’m going to do it anyway–but probably as a 1-gal test run first.

Here’s a look at the actual beer, just after bottling. Looking forward to seeing what kind of head it ends up with once it’s done.

Tagged , ,