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.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fall Hits the Brewery

It's beginning to feel like Fall and this makes me want to crank up production. Last weekend saw the brewing of a brown ale (based on a Smuttynose recipe) and the bottling of three promising new beers: Van de Velde's Belgian Pale Ale, Star Chamber II Double IPA, and The Curse of the Silver Thermometer Saison (long story). They should really all be good, which is a much-needed shot in the arm given my relatively low stocks and a couple of very mediocre batches that make it look like I have more beer in the basement than I really do...

Yesterday I harvested almost 2 lbs of luscious Cascade hops and today most of them went into a wet hop ale. It's about 1065 with a little more crystal/Munich than usual for a deeper color and fuller malt character. I chucked in .7 oz of regular, dry Chinook to make sure it had adequate heft. The amount of Cascade required to get anywhere near normal bitterness was just sort of ridiculous. The idea is apparently to use wet hops as you would dry, only use five times as many. So I first wort hopped with 5 oz, bittered with 5 oz plus the Chinook corrective, and slammed it with 8 oz at shut-off. There will of course be a keg dry hop as well. I have high hopes for it.

The beer of the moment is the newest keg to come on line, a super subtle English bitter with oak chips in it to crudely simulate the serving conditions at my favorite Sam Smith's pub in London. It tastes highly English, I love the delicacy of it, and you can pretty much drink up with a starting gravity of only 1039 or so.

Coming soon: A few commercial beer reviews.

Upcoming brews: Pumpkin Ale, bottled Porter, Ardennes IPA Tripel, Overdue Barley Wine???


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