Saturday, July 31, 2010

What a relief!

So batch 6 of homebrew has been fermenting for exactly one week. Last Saturday I spent 4 hours in preparation for this day. This is the first batch that I have created from my own recipe, my own idea and in an entirely different brewing process. It took a lot more time than I was expecting but ultimately I think it is going to be a success.

This batch is a Vanilla Cream Ale, or what I am calling a cream ale, it doesn't fit the cream ale style guide but the style guide didn't really fit what I had in mind. When I think of Cream Ale I think of Wexford, or Anderson Valley Brewings Cerveza Crema summer ale. The style guides make it sound more like a light effervescent lager. Not what I had in mind at all. So I spent some time researching ways to make a beer "creamy" and wrote the Recipe. I also called upon my friends who have a home in Oxacca Mexico for natural vanilla beans. I wasn't entirely sure how this was going to turn out.

Well, fermentation is complete, approximate ABV is 5.3% and I changed my process again. In the last 5 batches of beer I have let the beer "ferment" for about 2 weeks, which is about 1 week longer than a normal ale needs. So this time seeing as I was planning on adding some additional flavor (the vanilla) I figured the correct time to do this was after the first week in the fermentor. So I added a step, I moved the beer from the primary (racked) to the secondary, which is really simply a secondary vessel, not really a secondary fermentation. I added the vanilla beans that had been soaking in Rum for a week and swirled them around to get them properly mixed. So.... now the waiting continues, but I still am breathing a sigh of relief is because as it was moving into the secondary bucket I gave it a quick taste. It is delicious so far, it has a nice creamy mouthfeel, isn't very dry, nice carmel undertones and it hasn't even properly aged yet. I am very excited, I hope I didn't ruin it with vanilla beans.

Stay tuned, It should be drinkable in another two to three weeks.