Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Extract Pale Ale for Club Competition

It's been a slow homebrewing year so far. In March, I made my first batch of the year, and extract saison (11B01) for my wife. I brewed this up in the kitchen while hosting my cousin John and two of his friends, all of whom wanted to learn how to brew. They have since brewed up several of their own batches up in Punxsutawney, though I've not had the pleasure yet of tasting any of them!

Anyway, I finally got around to kegging the saison last week while brewing my second batch of the year (11B02), an extract clone of Geary's Pale Ale. I brewed this last Friday and will keg this Friday. After force carbonating and trying out my new Beer Gun, I'll be taking a few bottles to the August meeting of the Indiana, PA Alesmiths (IPAs) for an intraclub competition. Should be interesting to taste everyone's version of the same extract/all-grain recipe, and hopefully mine will hold up despite its young age!

A colleague and friend of mine has been growing his own Cascade hops - last week he surprised me with a generous gift of a mason jar jam-packed with over 9 ounces of freshly picked hop cones (lightly dried). I'll be using some of these to dry hop the pale ale on Friday.

The cider I made last October is still sitting in a carboy in the cellar. I hit it with a lambic yeast mix and there's a nice white pellicle (sp?) sitting on top of it. Just have to figure out how to sweeten it a bit before kegging and bottling!

Three friends and I have also been putting together a nice 10 gallon all-grain system in a garage, including a nice counterflow chiller. We brewed a couple of batches this year, but due to various circumstances (busy schedules, old yeast, new system, etc.), they didn't turn out well. We hope to rectify that soon! And tuck this name away for a later day ... Indiana Brew Works.

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