Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Snow day - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Snow day
While snowed in, I finally bottled the conditioned-for-a-very-long-time '05 First Snow Old Ale and racked Dot's Veritable Wit. Pete made chocolate truffles.

I think Pete wins, if only for engaging in the more esoteric and decadent project.

As for the beer:

Though a little darker in the glass than I was expecting, the Old Ale holds a lot of promise. There's just a hint of vanilla that sneaks past the bittering hops, and I think if I age it as long as I had planned originally, the bitter will begin to break down into significantly more complex aroma and flavor compounds. It's a keeper.

The Wit is lively but not especially complex. I was hoping for a little more of the banana esthers that you find in the German wheats, but it works pretty well as a session beer. I'm pretty sure Dot will enjoy it, and that's really what we were going for.
14 comments or Leave a comment
inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: February 13th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, we meant to finally bottle that tripple yesterday but I got lazy.
komos From: komos Date: February 13th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've seriously been considering a keg system for my more common offerings. It's not so much that I mind the process of bottling, it's just that it take a very long time and because of it, I have more of a tendency to put it off. It's really the only part of the hobby that I look at as a "have to do."
inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: February 13th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been eyeing up the "party pig" thingies. Looks like it might be a very good plan for our limited space here. Could concievably keep one in our fridge by sacrificing half of our top-shelf.
Course I'd still rather have a basement with a large dedicated beer fridge, but them's the breaks. ;o)
komos From: komos Date: February 13th, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pablo hooked me up with a mini-fridge that I think will work ok assuming that I don't go for a tap-handle assmbly. I've heard some horror stories about attempts at conversions, so I'm looking at it strictly as storage space.

Might try to get a temperature regulator, though.
transcribe From: transcribe Date: February 13th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
um, can you please add an "e" to "Old", stat.?
komos From: komos Date: February 13th, 2006 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Would it flow better with the 'e'? 'Course, if I go that route, I may as well pull all the stops and call it Auld Ayle. ^_^

Here, there's a brief discussion of the style and some commercial examples.
bushidokelt From: bushidokelt Date: February 13th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
You forgot to mention how FABULOUS the old"e" ale was, simply scrumptious!!!!!!!!!!!!
komos From: komos Date: February 13th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, man. I am happy with it, but I've been second-guessing some of my decisions. I'm currently wondering whether Opting for Challenger hops was the best choice in place of the loads and loads of EKG in the '04. That one had a really incredible aroma once it had aged, and one that I'd like to replicate somehow.

There's also the question as to whether I should have eased way back on the priming to give just the barest of carbonation or just leave it out entirely.

They're things to think about, and as the First Snow becomes more of a tradition, I'll likely have more questions to ask. I'd like to get to a point where I have a particular recipe that I can turn to each time, but I'll probably about a half dozen more iterations before I get the levels of complexity I'm looking for.
gatz From: gatz Date: February 14th, 2006 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Ain't nothing wrong with Olde E, if I do say so myself. Oh, wait...
komos From: komos Date: February 14th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's vaguely Belgic?
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: February 13th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you think that I can get way with "conditioned-for-a-very-long-time" for my beer I keep forgetting to bottle? It's two weeks now, I think possibly three.... *hides*
komos From: komos Date: February 13th, 2006 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
The reason why this gets called First Snow is because it's brewed with the first snow of the season that doesn't melt instantaneously. In this case, the storm hit in early December, and it's been in secondary/tertiary/whatever since. For the past month, it's been sitting with a whole vanilla bean (split but not scraped) in the mix.

Is it 2-3 weeks since hitting secondary? You're talking about my regular schedule.
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: February 13th, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
No secondary (though we did the primary in a glass carboy, so I'm less worried that if it'd been in a plastic bucket all this time). Just...life like a freight train. ;)

I love the idea for your First Snow though....what a cool thing. I believe I may have to abscond with that idea sometime, if you don't mind flattering imitators.
komos From: komos Date: February 13th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
One cannot occupy herself with country dive bars all the time...

Dunno. I've been warned about off flavors that can occur if the beer sits on the spent yeast for too long, but I've gone that long with no problem whatsoever. I even racked a stuck beer on top of what I knew was an active strain, and that didn't seem to give too much trouble. Should be fine?

As for the First Snow, do please. I really like the idea of seasonal cooking, and even though this is the only brewing tradition I've found my way to (I have been unsuccessful in making mock marzen in march to prep for oktoberfest in September, for instance), it is a great way to mark the calendar. It can make for some hectic planning, though, especially if the first real storm is a nor'easter in the middle of the week.

I'm not sure why I chose old ale as opposed to a barleywine or an imperial stout or even a biere de garde. The first was put together when I was home with pneumonia, so the decision may well be from the same delusional thinking that had me babbling about the philosophical importance of the Mad Max trilogy. It stuck, though.
14 comments or Leave a comment