Updates and Plans

It’s been over a week since the last post and both of its subjects are percolating along nicely.  Both wine and beer are still bubbling away in primary.  I finally got my first taste of the Avangard pilsner tonight, the American Lager version.  Very nice!  I like the malt, it gave a sweet, malty brew, much heavier than a standard American pilsner but very drinkable.  I thought I might have detected a hint of astringency but am not sure:  I’ve detected it in two other beers that were without astringency as well, making me think it’s something to do with my palate and the cold I’ve been fighting the last week. I need to chill one of the Urquell bottles and see if I like them as well.

The “Naked Porter” came out nicely as well, nearly the match of the original.  I need to bottle it but am in no rush, it’s just getting better in the carboy as the edges slowly fall away, leaving the highly flavored, aromatic roasty-toasty porter I so love when the Dry Dock has it.  Aging cures a lot of faults in a beer, rounds off rough edges, makes a mediocre brew better.  I must remember that….

I got closer than I thought on the Lemongrass Ginger Wheat.  I want to do another batch, extract this time, to dial in the spices and up the carbonation to a more moderate level.  Three priming tabs just weren’t enough.  But even that bit of bubbles brings out the lemongrass aroma, citronella, much nicer than lemon zest so I’ll up the lemongrass a bit and add more ginger later in the boil to get a slight bite from it.  The beer itself needs no tweaking, it’s an excellent American Wheat, worthy of brewing on its own.

The final experiment in progress is the Baltic Porter.  I bottled it last week so I’m not quite ready to crack open one and test it.  Last taste prior to bottling, the gravity sample, had some harshness at the end, some almost phenolic flavors that may be more process-related than recipe but we’ll see once it’s carbonated and ready to drink.

Finally, forgive me my sparse postings.  It’s ski season and I’m an aging ski bum.  ‘Nuff said….

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