Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Doing It Jazz Style

I think I mentioned on Twitter or Facebook, or quite possibly both, that I was planning on brewing a porter at the weekend. The weekend became Monday and the porter became brewing beer jazz style, as in making it up as I went along rather than brewing whilst playing the trumpet.

As I only had Admiral hops in the fridge, I popped round to Fifth Season to get some EKG and 1056 American Ale yeast, at this point the plan was to make a bigger batch of the Red Coat Export India Porter to satisfy the various bods who have asked for a bottle. I also picked up an extra pound of DME to bump up the fermentables a tad.

Eventually I had everything to hand in order to make the Red Coat, and for reasons best known only to the workings of my brain I decided to change tack. Thus it was that recipe became as follows:
  • 3lbs Light DME
  • 1lb Extra Light DME
  • 0.25lb Caramel 120
  • 0.25lb Special Roast
  • 0.125lb Carafa II de-bittered
  • 0.125lb Peated malt
  • 0.5oz 10.5% Admiral @ 60 minutes
  • 0.5oz 4.5% EKG @ 45
  • 0.25oz 4.5% EKG @ 15
  • 0.25oz 4.5% EKG @ 1
  • 1056 American Ale yeast
According to the various online tools I use to work out colour and bitterness, this beer has an SRM of 24 and an IBU rating of 21, the original gravity was 1.060 or 15º Plato. As to what the beer actually is, well your guess is as good as mine. Given the similarities to the original Red Coat it could quite well be a peat smoked porter, though it is stronger than a brown porter and less hoppy than a robust. It could also be an smoked American Brown Ale, but for the use of British hops. A quick aside here, I am starting to love the BJCP styles, simply because they give me rules to break! Whatever it is, it is dark, reasonably hopped, and hopefully about 6% abv with a decent peaty whack - one of the comments that came back about the peat smoked mild I made was that the smokiness could be increased, so an extra half ounce went in this one.

All said and done, I have a beer fermenting away happily, as you can see from this picture:

On a related note, and this isn't something I would normally do, but the picture below is the medals I won at the Virginia Beer Blitz. I had never won a medal for anything before, so I am probably inordinately chuffed at having done so, and it has made me more enthused to make more beer, improve my skills and hopefully add some more gongs to the collection.

Whilst talking about improving your brewing skills, this month's Brew Your Own magazine has a lot of interesting stuff about extract brewing, including a piece talking with professional brewers who do the whole extract with grains thing and have won multiple awards at things like the Great American Beer Festival.

Anyway, more ingredients arrived yesterday, so more brewing on the horizon.....


Taking Up the Alworth #MyDreamBrewery Baton

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