Tonight was brew night at my house, and I made an extract Ommegang Hennepin clone recipe from Beer Captured. The 'Brew Crew' came over (Jon, Lacey, Eli), as well as two newcomers - Tom L. and Tom W. In addition to brewing, we also tasted some beers (of course). Eli brought a Schlafly Pumpkin Ale (Schlafly) and a Great Lakes Nosferatu (Great Lakes); Tom W. brought two 750-mL Corsendonk Pater Abbey Browns (Brouwerij Van Steenberge); and Tom L. brought a growler of his Christmas ale (Tom L. started homebrewing last fall and jumped in full throttle with all grain). Tom W. brewed once many moons ago and is interested in starting back up - he found us through the Gazette article that ran back on 2/11.
We also opened up a bottle of the Franziskaner clone brewed in January, and much to my dismay it has quite a diacetyl presence. Bummer! Hopefully with a bit more time, it will improve? Either I didn't aerate well enough (though I stirred and agitated the heck out of it) or, when the air lock blew off (twice!), I got some infection. Also, despite hitting target gravities (both original and final), the body seemed overly thin. Maybe it's not carbonating as quickly as I'd hoped. I don't think the priming with corn sugar would affect it that much.
Anyway, the brewing tonight went well. Started with a light grain soak (aromatic malt, flaked maize, rice hulls, and biscuit malt) for 30 minutes. Sparged and added 8 lbs. of Muntons Extra Light DME along with 3/4 lb. of clear candi sugar. Added 1.7 oz. of Styrian Goldings and boiled 45 minutes.
Added 0.25 oz. of Styrian Goldings, 0.25 oz. Czech Saaz, and Irish moss and boiled another 13 minutes, then added final 0.25 oz. Czech Saaz for two minutes.
Chilled and brought up volume to 5 gallons. Pitched Forbidden Fruit from Wyeast and aerated.
O.G. = 1.078