Sunday, January 6, 2008

Further beering

I brewed today, for the first time since I relocated to Seattle. It felt good.

This brew (and another that will take place in a week, once the primary fermenter is free) is possible in large part due to the generosity of various folks over the holidays last year. Without generous gifts of most of the ingredients I used, as well as the big ol' propane fryer/boiler I cooked them on, it might have been some time yet until I scraped up both the money and the will to get started again. Not wanting to call anyone out here, I'll just say: thank you.

Today's beer is going to be a Belgian pale ale with just a hint of sweet orange and a fairly light hopping with American Centennial hops. It should have the mellow fruitiness typical of Belgian ales, with a bit more sweet citrus than usual thanks to the fairly citrusy hops and the orange zest. I'm starting with a slightly high original specific gravity of 1.050, and Belgian Abbey yeasts tend to be high-gravity tolerant, so I expect the final alcohol content to be anywhere from 6-8%. That depends, of course, on what the final gravity turns out to be after fermentation. In a bit of an oversight, I didn't add much dextrin or other complex sugar-rich malt, so most of the sugar profile in this batch should be fermentable. The final product may not have quite the body I'd like, but it will probably be a little more alcoholic than average. We'll see.

I've brewed one Belgian pale before, with a significantly different recipe, and it was not only a success, it was a smashing one. Indeed, it was the first beer I ever brewed, and to this day, I think still the best. It matured exquisitely, from being something of a disappointment when I first sampled it to being a sought-after commodity by my family once it was a few months old. I'm hoping for similarly good results this time around.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the brewing rundown last night. I am looking forward to "helping" next time (although I will probably just get in your way!)