Making one gallon batches of beer is a lot of work – for just a little bit of beer. In an effort to cut down on the amount of work per brew, I’m trying a few things:
I’m sure you’ve seen these before: Rye IPA. Rye IPA are distinctive for their red color, and what’s noted as a spicy character. I’ve tried a couple Red or Rye IPAs in my day, and haven’t really been impressed. I’ve never really noticed the distinctive “pepper” finish that beer geeks wax poetic about. (This includes a previous batch of rye session IPA homebrew.) So, enter my attempt to brew a Rye IPA so I can finally figure out what all this peppery finish stuff is all about. Why will my own particular homebrew version of a Rye IPA make the difference in me distinguishing all those features that a rye beer? I’m using 50% rye in my grain bill. (The last iteration was just 16% rye.)
Using Milk Sugar
This is my first experiment using milk sugar in a brew – to ultimately create a milk stout. Milk sugar can be either added at bottling or during the boil process. I elected for the latter, but may consider doing the latter in the future. (Edit: I’ll definitely be adding milk sugar at bottling going forward. This will leave more room in the primary fermenter for the wort.)
A high ABV with which to suck out the flavor of some apple wood chips.
Ah! Aging in stuff in wood. It just sounds cool, right? Well, that’s why I gave it a go. Since aging beer in a barrel requires the capital expenditure of a barrel, I decided to find a less expensive option: enter wood chips.
A Note on Extracts
This recipe called for vanilla extract. And it worked beautifully. When enjoyed shortly after the bottling, the beer’s thickness in combination with the vanilla extract reminded me of Belching Beaver’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout. But, then something strange happened over time: the vanilla extract notes faded. This has been my experience using add-ins across the board; what is one day an amazing addition of flavor, shortly turns into nothingness. So, the takeaway from this recipe is: enjoy shortly after bottling. This beer does not lend itself well to aging – because what makes it so special (the vanilla extract) fades so quickly. I’ve updated my best practices post accordingly.
The inspiration for this beer came from Saint Archer’s Coffee Brown ale. If you haven’t had it yet, I highly suggest it. The beer tastes just like drinking ice coffee. It’s absolutely fantastic. So, why not give a go at our making our delicious version of a brown that tastes just like cold coffee?
The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Sierra Nevada brewery, who during my colleges days, made some of the best beer around. Sierra Nevada hops of choice is cascade hops, imparting a grapefruit flavor to many of its beer. While Sierra Neveda’s beer are indeed hoppy (and perhaps some of the hoppiest beers around in my college days), they are also malty. Sometimes though, you just want the bite of hops, without the malt. Enter the brainchild of this recipe: the Cascade Session. The goal is get everything we can that is Cascade – to create a beer that embodies the grapefruitness of cascade without too much accompany malt.
This is our second attempt at a India Pale Ale complimented by the notes of basil. Our first go on this recipe – although slightly different – left us with some basil notes that quickly faded over time. So, to create a basil IPA with some basil flavor to stick around just a little bit longer, we’re trying something new: adding basil extract to the beer at bottling. Continue reading “Thai Basil Rye IPA w/o Basil Extract”