Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Holzburg Update

Lot's of brews coming together here at the casa. We just bottled an imperial stout (aka Guerrilla Stout) that was brewed back in the beginning of December. Its a monster at over 9% ABV. I tasted one last week and truthfully its still a little hot. I aged it on french oaks cubes that had been soaking in Maker's Mark for a month. M tells me the beer still needs more time to come together and mellow out some of the oak/bourbon flavor. But if you you love bourbon like me then its pretty darn good right now.

The two gentlemen you see pictured in this post are a Baltic porter (aka Blackheart Porter) and a wheat ale (aka Field of Dreams). The Baltic porter was brewed back in the beginning of January and should tip the scales around 8% ABV. This is the first porter that I have ever brewed and I decided to get nuts with the Baltic Porter. Baltic Porter's are somewhat unique in that they are actually brewed with a lager yeast strain although fermented at ale temperatures. This style of porter has an interesting genesis, from beeradvocate.com:

"Porters of the late 1700's were quite strong compared to today’s standards, easily surpassing 7% alcohol by volume. Some brewers made a stronger, more robust version, to be shipped across the North Sea, dubbed a Baltic Porter. In general, the style’s dark brown color covered up cloudiness and the smoky/roasted brown malts and bitter tastes masked brewing imperfections. The addition of stale ale also lent a pleasant acidic flavor to the style, which made it quite popular. These issues were quite important given that most breweries were getting away from pub brewing and opening up breweries that could ship beer across the world."

The wheat ale is somewhat tame in comparison to the Guerrilla Stout and Blackheart Porter and will probably have a modest 5.5% ABV. Sometimes you just want a beer thats not a complete meal. I used what's called an American Wheat Yeast that puts off less clove and banana flavors than its famous German cousin (think Hefeweizen). Additionally, to keep this bad boy 100% American I used only Cascade and Summit hops that should give this guy a citrusy flavor. I hope to bottle both the porter and wheat either this weekend or the next. 2-3 weeks and we will be drinking them.

Tonight I had Troegs Sunshine after work, nothing says here comes summer than Troegs sunshine pils. It just came out last week. If you are into a crisp hoppy pilsner grab a sixer of this (hell, grab a whole case). After dinner I finished off my last Sierra Nevada Stout. This was a random pick that I made when I was home (in MD) for Easter, what a nice surprise. Sierra shows that they just don't do pales and IPA's. This guy has got a great roasted barley flavor with some American hops on the back end. Surprisingly, you can't find Sierra Stout in the NOVA area, but they have plenty in MD.

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