Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jimmy & Mike's Special Ale

Holy crap, alert the media! We are blogging again after going through a period of just Twittering when we drank at bars, took shots off of girls, and took dumps in our favorite shitters. I think it's only appropriate that the first post should be of the newly finished collaboration ale between myself and Jimmy. I have other posts lined up, but I wanted to do this one first.

A very dark amber/brown color that is crisp and clear, however, the lacey head created by the pour looked at first like it would be creamy, TONS of head, so much so that after I took the picture it almost started to overflow, I have to keep drinking the head a few times to avoid spillage, this brew looks sooo much better than the crappy pale ale I made in the first batch.

Smell: A deep sweet caramel and nut malt fragrance greets the nose on the first sniff, as I go in for a second whiff searching for some hops, I am left empty handed and slightly disappointed.

Taste: Wow, that was better than I expected, with almost no hop scent and flavor I was wondering if the malts would be too dominant, but the sweetness is just perfect, the aftertaste is nothing noticeable and/or detracting from the beer, which is all we could have hoped for, and even on a positive note, there's that slight bitterness we were hoping for as it warms up!

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, light and smooth, but surprisingly not watery, a pretty unique combination that is making it difficult in how to classify this brew.

Drinkability: The more I drink this beer, the more I enjoy it, which is a good sign in the drinkability department. Based on our calculations, this brew should have just about 7% alcohol, but you would never know from having one. Prior to bottling, it did have a little alcohol sting, but that has mellowed out nicely after two weeks in the bottle. With the combination of sweetness, light mouthfeel, and low alcohol taste, I think this could be a great session beer for craft brew drinkers. In fact, I kind of wished we had brewed more than 2 gallons, maybe we might have to make a second batch of this recipe with some slight modifications. I'm going to give it a 7/10, which we should be very proud of. The real test will be to see what the other Hopheads think, and possibly others.

Side Brewing Notes: There are many things to learn from this batch that we/I couldn't have learned from the first batch that was a sad excuse for a pale ale. First, we need to plan our brews out better, including ingredients, calculations, etc., which is something I took with me when brewing the red ale (which I will discuss in a later post). Second, don't overthink what you are doing, and by that I mean why did we expect this beer to have any sort of hop presence when we added three different types of powerful malts and only added a 1/2 oz. of Cascade hops that we barely got to boil thanks to overflowing pots (essentially finishing hops). Lastly, we need to hone in on the carbonation, either by using less yeast during fermentation meaning less viable yeast left during bottling, or by adding less sugar. I had a bunch more things to say, but if/when I remember, I'll add a little update. Otherwise, job well done from our first batch together.

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Sam Adams glass

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

Couple shockers for me:

1) Surprised how much damn head there is from the pour compared to your first homebrew: Mikey's Pale Ale. It is almost more than 5 fingers, Poppiti hover fist style.

2)As your brewing notes brilliantly pointed out, "don't overthink what you are doing...". I a expected a hopgasm of a beer after opening that bag of cascade hop pellets before boiling but it looks like they hid like cowards when all said and done.

3) Where did the strong alcoholic taste go. I need to learn the science of how the yeast and sugars mellow out and hide that alcoholic bite