Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Getting ready for the UK

I am stressed out at the prospect of leaving for the U.K. Really, it should be fun, but I'm sweating it. In an attempt to make use of the house in my absence I threw together two beers and am planning a third for Monday. The idea was to have three beers ready to go when I return, slam all three into kegs and then use all the carboy space to make some Belgians, some experimental crazy shit, and so on. This tactic has given me precious little to prep and pack, but I don't know what I'm doing anyway and don't know where to start so maybe it's just as well if I wing it.

Sipping a Sunset Singel to take me down a notch. This has always been a class beer. Very clean and elegant. Anyway, Thursday I knocked out a basic summer pale ale, dubbed Passport Pale in tribute to the arrival of my all-important new document. I took an old recipe I concocted based on Smuttynose's Shoals Pale Ale, lowered the gravity and cut down the crystal malts a little bit. It should be pleasant and relatively light, but with some complexity from a little hit of Crystal 120, the not-so-secret ingredient of Shoals.

Friday saw the kegging of Reoganization Black IPA and the brewing of Sigmund O'Malley's Vienna Stout. My stout brewing career has focused almost exclusively on Russian Imperials and chunky, kitchen-sink, homebrew-type odd-balls. I'd never done the classic Irish Dry, Guinness-esque sort of thing. Well, I guess I still haven't. I took the basic parameters of your average Guinness clone, kept the flaked barley, restrained myself from using crystal malts, kept the roast barley at a relatively normal level, but then cut the pale malt and replaced it with Vienna. My theory is that I'll get something not entirely unlike Guinness, hence drinkable in the summer, relatively light-bodied, and refreshing, but also much more complex and nutty and rounded thanks to the delicious under-used base malt. Plus I just liked the name.


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