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A little less than a happy high
Otter Bomb!
I forgot to mention – thanks to the generosity of fidgetmonster and the assistance of the lovely and talented cayetana, my light-struck beer slump has ended. Though I still haven’t dumped the tastes-like-burningpennies Belgian, yesterday Otter Bomb Ale was born. I know some of you will wince a little when I say it’s one of my experimental brews, but I’ve actually got a good feeling about this one. If all goes well, the delicate flavor of lemon balm will gently blend with the nutty sweetness of the Maris Otter malt and I’ll have a brown ale worthy of my house.

The wort at time of pitching had a slight floral nose with a sweet and almost syrupy mouth-feel. I’m hoping that in the fermentation, the sweetness will drift somewhere below cloying and more of the nose makes itself evident. As of this morning, the yeast was happily burbling away in my closet at high kreuesen and with just a bit of residue from the herb being pushed to the top. I estimate time to completion somewhere in the realm of 2-3 weeks.
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mudguts From: mudguts Date: June 18th, 2004 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Great Googley-Moogley!
c_m_i From: c_m_i Date: June 18th, 2004 08:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Ungh, I need to do the first brew at the new place soon. Well, first outside of the Au Naturalle stuff that was fermenting in the spill bucket after the party. Ewwww.

komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 09:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I think this would be an excellent time to initiate Robohop IPA. Modern Brewer is now stocking oak chips for that from-the-cask flavor.
From: pipibluestockin Date: June 18th, 2004 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could you post the taste test feedback?

The description tastes nice at least.
komos From: komos Date: June 19th, 2004 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Sure thing. I'm anticipating that it will be a malty brew just because lemon balm just doesn't have that strong a flavor. I think I got the balance right, though, to have flavors from all the major components come through.

Right now, with fermentation at full boil, my pantry smells of bread dough and bananas. It's very cool.
thedeadfisharmy From: thedeadfisharmy Date: June 21st, 2004 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
This reminds me: my friend has a pirate band. I may have mentioned this. The last time he and I hung out, he said one of the things he wanted to do for band "swag" was to home-brew a "Scurvy Pirate's Grog" which he could sell at shows. And since I'm that sort of meddlesome friend that starts projects other people mention, I cordially invite you to sit down and have a think as to what properties this drink should aim for, and begin tinkering with a recipe.

I think this is more along the lines of "teaching a man how to fish" in that if this plan ever takes off, it will be to use your recipe to teach him to brew beer, but if you have something that makes a good grog and I give him one the next time I see him, I might be able to kick his lazy ass into gear.

And you know, I'm probably authorized to give you a free CD for your troubles or something, if for no other reason than to sample the Scurvy Pirates gestalt and brew a beer with similar qualities.

Or maybe we'll just dump a bottle or two of Captain Morgan's into a keg of Pabst and see what happens. Heh.
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2004 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
The one trouble I can see is one of licensure. You can make 50 gallons of beer and/or wine per adult resident of a household per year for personal use. Once you move beyond that you need to be licensed as a brewery. To make matters worse, selling it would require a distributor license. It might be best just to ask whatever bar they play at to have traditional grog (rum, water and lime juice) available in pitchers.

That said, if I were to do something like it, I'd probably try to make a limeade or lime soda recipe and try to ferment that, else some sort of pale ale flavored with lime and scurvy grass.
thedeadfisharmy From: thedeadfisharmy Date: June 22nd, 2004 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, a sticky wicket indeed. Some of these brainstorms just don't go anywhere, but that still sounds like a pretty tasty beverage.

And you know, I had no idea what was really in grog before now. I sort of figured rum had something to do with it, but beyond that, I was a babe in the woods. Or on the high seas, or something like that.
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2004 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)
1 shot rum
1 teaspoon sugar (preferably superfine)
Squeeze of lime juice
Cinnamon stick
Boiling water
Stir all ingredients, adding enough boiling water to fill mug or glass.
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