a beer blog post for 2012

OK so its 2012 now and as has been the case for the past few months I still feel slack for not having posted enough. Its kinda silly as there isn’t a required number of posts that I need to do, no contract or monthly quota. However I do enjoy writing my posts, as pointless, wandering and generally ill-informed as they are and I’d like to do more of them (or at least make them more regular). So here’s no.1 for 2012.

I’ve done a bit of brewing in the past few weeks, I’ll add some recipes in a separate post. My recent brewing has involved a some playing with my hop back, whole leaf hops, a new farmhouse yeast (they didnt have the Belgium Saison yeast when I needed some) and I have finally deliberately made a beer with bret in it (even though the yeast was way past its best).

The hop back,  the Blichman Hop Rocket is a great bit of gear, does what it says it with no real hassle or stress. I still havent quite gotten the measure of how it comes out in the beer. I’ve done a couple of beers now with only bittering/60 minute hop additions, with the hop back giving all the late hop character. One with Galaxy is in my glass right now in a pale ale that was thrown together on spot, the other with Stella is in the fermenter with a farmhouse yeast right now.  I’m just putting a full pack of whole hops in (Grain and Grape in Yarraville sells them in 100g packs), havent tried more or less and the flow rate is a bit up and down thanks to the temp of my chilling water. Still I like it and I’ll keep on using it. Perhaps the best part of the hop back is the whole leaf hops, all resiny sticky and stinking of hop goodness.

Now to the farmhouse yeast (it’s a Wyeast limited edition one), its my substitute for a saison yeast, Grain and Grape were out so it seemed like the next best thing. From the one beer I’ve made with it so far its throwing some banana type notes. Not sure if this is a fermentation temperature driven thing (I treated the yeast just like the belgium saison, lots of temp), but I’m not sure that I love it in my saisons. Its not giving as much of the funkyness either. Will have to see how it goes with the Stella beer, and I do need to add that the beer that I have bottled right now is a good drop, just not as saisony as I like (or want).

Now to the funk, the bret beer. I’ve had Wyeast packs with bret in it in my fridge for some time now. I finally manned up and used one in my post christmas brew. Its fermenting right now in an old farmhouse at my folks. Not sure how it’ll do as the yeast, the Wyeast Trappist blend (blend = plus bret) was about 11 months old. I threw in a touch of fresh farmhouse yeast just to make sure that the damn thing ferments. The beer is a CYBI inspired brew, crystal hops, some oak cubes in the ferment along with some raw barley and wheat freshly harvested from the farm.

Well that’s it for now, for 2012 I’ll endeavor to post and brew more, not off to a bad start though.

Cheers D


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