Yep, sorry. :-)
Big Dawg Brown
As of Saturday, Rich's Big Dawg Brown Ale has been in bottles for one week out of the four to six I'm supposed to let it condition, so I had a taste. Very nice - I'm so relieved. That rich, almost coffee-like texture and feel is beginning to show, and it's nicely counterbalancing that bitterness I was so worried about. The recipe called for dry malt extract for priming instead of corn sugar, and as a result the beer's head of foam is much creamier and has better longevity - it's gonna be a real winner.
It's got that slight cidery sweetness that I'm beginning to realize is the result of incomplete fermentation (which has so far happened with every batch, despite waiting patiently for the two-minutes-between-bubbles stage). I'm not sure what to do about this problem, because even though it's not unpleasant (in fact it's garnered rave reviews from all tasters), it's still incorrect, and when I start making beers with the intent to adhere to a style (as was my plan for the IPA), this sort of thing will be a real detriment. Suggestions, Acidman?
I do seem to have blown it cleaning my used bottles from the 2Red batch, though - the Big Dawg in new bottles tastes better than that in the bottles I cut corners with by running through the dishwasher. Bummer. Still, half the batch is in the good bottles, so all isn't lost. I'll just have to get busier with the bottle-brush for future brews.
Resolve New Year's IPA
The IPA was racked or siphoned into the secondary glass "carboy" fermenter as of Friday evening (as the fermentation had slowed markedly), which got it off the layer of trub (yeast and other debris) that settled out during the first few days of fermentation. The beer will now have about a week (maybe two, depending) to clarify and lighten before I bottle it for three weeks or so of conditioning.
Oy, da patience this hobby needs. :-) I already want to brew another batch of something, just so there'll be something going on. :-)
I'm thinking about Finnish Sahti, which is a rustic barley-and-rye beer with juniper (and sometimes other yummy things) in it, and which is fermented using bread yeast. There's a heritage crossover for you... :-D
[Addendum: Found a cool (if somewhat technical) article on Sahti here.]
Does he ever think about anything other than beer?
Um, nope, sorry, not recently. :-D
Or, well, not that I can talk about in a public forum yet...