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July 2009 Archives

July 19, 2009

Ginger Ale, Batch 1 - Write up. Root Beer, Batch 16

February 28th? Really? Has it been _THAT_ long? Wow. I'll try to keep this short.

Ginger Ale, Batch 1: Only one word for it: Effing Fantastic. The Ginger mellowed very nicely and became a wonderful crisp drink for a hot dog picnic in the back yard with the family. I'll ask Cindy to post her thoughts on the batch.

One of the two reasons it took me so long to brew another batch of root beer is that the Ginger Ale seemed to last for friggin' ever. We'd just keep pouring and pouring and it wouldn't stop... ...until one day, it did. Ahh, well. Such is life.

The other reason it took me so long is because... ...well, I'm just lazy... It's a lot of work to brew a batch of root beer and I haven't taken the time to make it happen...

...until yesterday! Batch 16 is in the keggerator now! Quick summary of recipe:

- 5c buckwheat honey (just went with normal buckwheat)
- 6oz Sassafras (up from 4oz)
- 2tsp Anise (up from 1tsp)
- 4 vanilla beans (up from 2 or 3; they were kinda old and dry so might have been light on flavor)
- 2tsp wintergreen I, uhh, forgot to add the wintergreen. Zoe woke up from her nap as I was filtering the brew into the keg and it just slipped my mind. See below.
- Water to make 3 gal about 2 gal.

Normal process: Boil water (about 1.5gal worth), dissolve honey stirring constantly so it doesn't burn on the bottom. Add sassafras, anise, and vanilla beans in a colander submerged in the water. Stir for about 10 minutes. Remove colander, and therefore the bulk of the solids. Use a small hand-held colander-on-a-steeeeek to remove any visible floating bits. Siphon brew through the Super Spiffy Filter-O-Matic(tm) into keg. Have daughter wake up and totally throw off your whole game and forget to top off with water to fill keg and add wintergreen. Add ice to cool off, then close up keg and stow in keggerator.

So, yeah. It's only about 2 gallons, but with full increased ingredient load right now, minus the wintergreen. I really wonder want opening up the keg, adding the rest of the water and wintergreen now, 36 hours later, will do. *sigh*

UPDATE: Just a few minutes later.
I went ahead and opened the keg, topped off with water (only took about a quart or two, actually) and added the wintergreen. I don't think it'll be too bad. So, aside from the strange process, this batch is "back to normal."

July 25, 2009

Batch 16 - Initial write-up

So, it's been a week. I poured a glass of Batch 16 and...

Meh... It's alright, I've brewed worse, but its got that astringency I really don't like. It's very clear, so I don't think it's a problem with filtering like it has been in the past. I suspect I either brewed it too long, _OR_ it's possible that it was just the first glass. I used this glass to empty the beer line of its cleaning solution and get the first spurt of sludge out of the keg. I poured that out into the sink, but I didn't really rinse it out. It's possible that some of that sludge stayed in the glass and tainted my first glass. Another possibility is the increase anise seed content; those can be kinda bitter.

So, initial thoughts for next time: shorter brew time, possibly less anise.

On the plus side, it definitely tastes more like root beer and less like honey or the other flavors. I had kinda lost the sassafras in recent batches; this gets that back. As Cindy likes to put it, the Lick-A-Tree flavor.

The sweetness is good. Not too sweet, but not undersweet. It could stand to be a little bit sweeter, but I kinda like it where it is now.

I think I might take this keg to work so people will stop bugging me to brew for the work keggerator. And, besides, it'll empty sooner so I can brew another batch again. :-D

About July 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Mark's Blog in July 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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