Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Post Summer Festival and Homebrew Update

After reading all of Ryan's Germany adventures, I felt very quaint. I mean, here I am, all tucked away in my little Michigan enclave! What a small world I live in! It also made me notice how long it has really been since I had tasted an imported brew. I can't even think of the last Belgian Ale I've had that was actually from Belgium. Time to visit my local store and grab a few samples.

Side Note: If you are in the Southeast Michigan area, Ashley's of Westland does a Belgian Beer Festival in the fall that is really grand. The diversity and selection is unrivaled. They even import the brewery glassware to complete your Belgian experience.

Side Note #2: Anyone remember this Belgian guy from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles?
He looks like he could use a Trippel about now.
Back in America, The Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Festival was intoxicating. This year's trend reared its head in a variety of imperial stouts typically infused with some other addition. Fruits were typical, but the recent popularity of breakfast stouts gave rise to the various barrel-aged/coffee/chocolate/bacon/Canadian bacon additions. While I can appreciate the thought - I love Founder's take on the Breakfast Stout - it can get to be a little much over the course of a festival. I equate it to eating too many pancakes.

I also got to try my newer homebrews. The wheat was similar to the recipe for my previous wheat attempt, but I added an extra pound of wheat and used a Belgian yeast strain (Wyeast 3942). I honestly prefer my previous recipe for the simple fact that I find the new version lingers around in your mouth too long. Summertime demands a quick exit.

I had some of a stout I made with orange zest. I must have overestimated the power of the zest (about 1 1/2 oranges worth) because I did not get any of that in the flavor profile. Still, it was thick, black as midnight, and smooth, which is exactly what I wanted to make. Now if only it had a bit more body...

Not to find another reason to say Belgian in this article, but I'm about three days away from tasting my repeated bath of Saison, as mentioned here. I extracted less sugars this time, which was probably due to my rather impatient sparging. This was offset, at least in technical measurement, by the better fermentation (lower final gravity). In the end, the efficiency of the whole process ended up being exactly the same. And, yes, it did clear a bit from when I last posted. I shall compare the two batches when ready and share the results soon.

1 comment:

  1. Traveling is certainly fun, but a map of the beer world would be wildly different from an actual map... of the regular world. Um. What I mean is that the beerscape of Michigan is anything but quaint. There are so many brewers and styles. While Germany certainly has a rich beer culture, our stateside access to microbrews and even imports is superior. Cheers!