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, August 22, 2010

Wilco Tango Foxtrot

Lagunitas has a way with names and labels. The malty jobless recovery ale W.T.F. is certainly a case in point. It's good stuff and I'm thinking it's possible the beer I'm brewing (quite unintentionally) will resemble it slightly: Chunky, with a burnt edge or two reminiscent of amber malt, or a dark crystal. About the color of a strong-ass cup o' tea. Full-throated hops, particularly on the palate, help hold it together. Lingering raspiness, but from darker malts more than hops. It's a good, characterful brew in keeping with the house style over there. There are exceptions (like a really good pilsner, as I recall) but most of the line-up leans toward perilously maintained balances--chewy hops and gobs of malt duke it out on the liquid gridiron.

back to school brewing

That Saison is fermenting nicely as are a basic draft IPA and a fall brown. Right now, in the midst of the single ugliest day of the summer (non-stop dreary ass rain since 6 am) I'm brewing something new. I don't know what it is. I just sorta threw it together. Maris Otter base with a half pound each of five specialty malts: Simpson's Caramalt, Crystal 60 and 120, Amber, and Victory. Why not? It'll be the antidote to the ultra clean, lean other IPA which is a pale-malt-only exercise in minimalism.

Pause: Sipping a Goose Island "Sofie." Good stuff. Middle strength pale Belgian with partial barrel aging that lends a delicate winey quality.

So, yeah, for my beer... Chunky malt. Kinda in the Marzen color range. Toasty. I'll hop it somewhere between pale ale and IPA, maybe a little more toward IPA, but probably taste it before dry hopping lest I obscure something interesting. Assorted C-hops should do the job. Is it an amber? A strongish fall pale ale? A bent IPA? Who cares?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back at it

June was a month of serious work, sprinkled with a good deal of pleasure. July was the month of chaos. August is the month of general scatteredness. So it goes.

But I'm brewing right now in a miserably hot kitchen and, temps notwithstanding, it kinda had to happen.

On draft is a mediocre Denny's RyePA (I don't like Denny's special yeast frankly--back to US 05 on that one) and a delicious fake pilsner cream ale thingy. Nothing ready to tap up next which is NOT good.

Recently rounding out in the bottle are this year's pilsner and edition four of my smoked marzen. Both taste very promising but will need another month or two minimum to come into full form. In the basement awaiting bottling are a roeslare pale and the batch 200 Orval-ish thing, neither of which I'm interested in rushing.

Boiling a ce moment is my classic, stripped-down, elegant, no-nonsense, house Saison with the vital French Saison strain from Wyeast (all hail the aforementioned). Should be good if I don't do anything dumb.

As much as I don't feel entirely like brewing (laziness, heat, other commitments) I'm psyching myself up to go on a spree before school starts.


Another Saison, possibly with experimental faux wine barrel treatment and/or brett dosing.
Steam beer (wait for it to cool down a bit...).
Draft IPA, two batches.
Draft Brown.
Draft Porter.
Other random quickie draft beer that occurs to me on the fly.
Vague clone of the Brewer's Art's Clamper's Ale (light pale ale with lemon peel).
Leuven pale ale yeast using thing of vague Belgian nature.
Ardennes hoppy IPA tripel thing (Prolly wait for new hops).
Benediction: A big-ass 3787 thing with dark sugars out the wazoo.

Do I have that many carboys? Not quite...