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One man’s journey to create the perfect beer…

Posts Tagged ‘‘New Fezziwig’ Ale’

Busy day at the Brewery

Posted by ebrius on November 10, 2008

Saturday I spent about 5 hours in my kitchen taking care of some beer. I finally got my brown ale brewed, which turned out exactly how I wanted. It has the exact color I wanted and I hit my target gravity. I actually got a little higher then was expected, but that might have been caused by a minor grain bill change at the last minute. I don’t generally sample my wort before it starts fermenting, but the aroma was very pleasant and just what I was looking for, nutty with a very faint hint of coffee.

I also got my IPA bottled, which, to be perfectly honest, tasted kinda watery. I’m going to assume that is because it is still rather green and had priming sugar mixed with it and will taste better in a week or so.

The only bad news is I tried my Christmas ale again, and it isn’t much better then it was before. Its dark, but kinda watery, there is no head, and the ginger and cloves flavor is simply too overpowering. This is definitely one that will be sitting for a while, and will probably end up in loafs of bread more then anywhere else.

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New Fezziwig Ale, Take 3

Posted by ebrius on November 6, 2008

I tried my Christmas Ale again, and I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was simply too bitter, so I’ve decided to go in another direction, I guess this would be a mix between a sweet stout and a spiced ale.

Malt:
8lb   Light Dry Malt Extract
6oz   Lactose

1lb   Munich Light
.5lb  Canadian Honey Malt
.5lb  Crystal 40
.5lb  Crystal 80
.25lb Chocolate Malt

Hops:
1oz Fuggles         @ 60
1oz Northern Brewer @ 30
1oz Northern Brewer @ 10
1oz Saaz            @ DH

Steeped for 30 minutes after flame out:
5 Cinnamon Sticks
Orange Peels
1 Whole Nutmegs
1 tsb Allspice

Other:
2tbs Vanilla Extract @ Secondary
Handful of Oak Cubes soaked in bourbon, one week in secondary

Yeast:
Wyeast Scottish Ale 1728

I have plenty of time to continue to work on this recipe. I think I will let this one bottle condition for at least two months, so I probably should start it sometime in August. Plenty of time.

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Discovered two things this weekend

Posted by ebrius on October 27, 2008

One, my stout tastes absolutely amazing when paired with an extra sharp cheddar.
Two, my Christmas Ale needs a lot more time to mellow. It basically tastes like ginger and cloves. Its not that bad per se, but it still needs a lot of time to develop. I hope it’s drinkable by Thanksgiving, because I believe it would go very good with some dark turkey meat. If the cloves and ginger don’t end up mellowing, I’ll probably limit the ginger in the next brew and drop the cloves.

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Into the bottle it goes

Posted by ebrius on October 20, 2008

Yesterday I bottled my Christmas Ale, it was in the primary for about 2 weeks, and in the secondary for 2 weeks. I was impressed with how much sediment fell out of it in the secondary. My stout had little to no sediment in the secondary, so I was surprised how much was in this one. It wasn’t a lot, but I’m sure it will help the clarity of the beer.

On to the beer. It was a dark amber color, smelt of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, with also a little piny smell from the hops. It had a medium body that was spicy and bitter, maybe a little more bitter then I would want. For being a beer with 8 ABV, there was little warmth to the beer, which I was actually hoping would be there. If it ages well, I think this will be a very very good beer.

I have to once again say how impressed I am with liquid yeast over dry yeast. This beer tastes so much cleaner then my other beers. There is still a slight yeast taste in my other beers, but this one has none. It also cleared better, and actually got down to the expected FG. I don’t think I will ever go back to dry yeast

Also, I originally said that I was going to prime with molasses, I decided to not risk it and I used brown sugar instead. I’d heard that the flavor that molasses imparts is not very pleasant

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New Fezziwig Ale, Take 2

Posted by ebrius on October 9, 2008

While I still have the taste fresh in my mind, I figured that I would draw up a second draft of my Christmas Ale, even though this won’t be brewed for probably a year or so:

8lb   Dry Light Malt Extract

.75lb CaraPils
.5lb  Canadian Honey Malt
.5lb  Crystal Malt (80-L)
.25lb Crystal Malt (120-L)

.5oz  Cascade    @ 60
.5oz  Chinook    @ 60
.5oz  Chinook    @ 30
.5oz  Willamette @ 30
.5oz  Willamette @ 10
1oz   Willamette @ DH

All Steeped for 30 minutes after flame out
1 oz Ginger, Grated
3 Oranges, Peeled and Quartered
5 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Whole Nutmegs
4 Whole Cloves

Other:
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 15

Yeast:
Wyeast American Ale II 1272

Priming Sugar:
TBD

OG:  1.076, FG: 1.019, ABV: 7.7%
IBU: ~55
SRM: 12

Edit: I decided to take out the two pounds of honey and replace it completely with DME, this raises the ABV a little bit, which then lowers the IBUs, color stays about the same

Edit 2: I’m thinking of adding a little vanilla to this, or maybe oak age it to try something a little different.

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Update: New Fezziwig Ale

Posted by ebrius on October 9, 2008

I moved my Christmas Ale into the secondary last night, and I have to say, the results from the beer are interesting.
1) Its darker then i would have wanted, its more of a dark brown and I would have liked more of an amber color. Next time I will probably not use any Black Pentant (or less then .5lb) and use a light DME as a base instead of a dark DME.
2) The aroma is amazing, it smells like Christmas. The combination of the Chinook and Willamette hops with the spices is heavenly.
3) The taste, and I know it hasn’t aged yet, is OK. Next time I will definitely add some more hops for bittering, maybe .5oz of Cascade or so. I’ll probably use more cinnamon, and maybe cut the ginger.

All that being said, I am very pleased with this beer so far, it got down to the exact gravity I wanted (1.020), and the beer was surprising clean, its amazing how much of a difference liquid yeast makes over dry yeast.

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Getting into the Holiday Spirit

Posted by ebrius on October 7, 2008

It might be a little early to be thinking about Christmas, but not too early to brew a Christmas Ale. For my third brew I decided to go with a dark, balanced ale with Christmas Spices added. In tribute to Sam Adams, I’ve nicknamed it New Fezziwig Ale

7lb  Dry Dark Malt Extract
3lb  Honey

.5lb Chocolate Malt
.5lb Crystal Malt (80-L)
.5lb Black Patent Malt

1oz  Chinook    @ 60
1oz  Willamette @ 30
1oz  Willamette @ 10

All Steeped for 30 minutes after flame out
1 oz Ginger, Grated
3 Oranges, Peeled and Quartered
3 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Whole Nutmegs
6 Whole Cloves

Other:
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 30

Yeast:
Wyeast British Ale 1098

Priming Sugar:
Molasses

OG: 1.08, Expected FG: 1.02, FG: ?, ABV: ?
Brewed:  9/21/08
Moved:   ?
Bottled: ?
Tasted:  ?

Brewing went as expected, the only issue was that I added the honey too early and probably killed any flavor it would add. The next time I brew with honey I’ll probably add it right after flame out
I’ve only faced one problem with this brew so far. About 24 hours in I went to check on the progress, I immediately knew something was wrong when I could smell the beer as I approached the container. Apparently I had some very healthy yeast on my hand, it managed to fill the extra 2 or so gallons in the container and leach out of the airlock! So, I removed the cover, cleaned and sanitized it, and refiled the airlock. This has not effected anything so far, in fact, I took a gravity measurement about a week in and it was down to 1.020, which is exactly what I wanted. The beer also smelt very good, the aroma from the orange and cinnamon was very refreshing.

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