Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Home Brewing Update

I have been doing some brewing this spring and summer as well. While it is rough to fit in a 3 1/2 hour extract brew session between all the yard projects, garden and new puppy, I have managed to brew four times so far this spring.

Most recently I brewed my "More Wit than Wisdom" which is a Witbier and The Wedding Ale (a.k.a. the Schmoopie IPA). Both will be on tap at a cookout we our having the Saturday before Mitsy and I get married.

The Witbier has  been pretty popular at outings over the past three years and is a great summer drink with hints of coriander and orange peel. Many people who drink beer may be familiar with Blue Moon, which is sort of an Americanized version of the Witbier. Victory Brewing Co. has one that I tried on tap last summer, but I thought the spice notes were too heavy and didn't really care for it. The best commercial Witbier that I have had recently is Namaste by DogFish Head. However, not to sound like a pompous ass, I think my Witbier is better than any of them.

Witbiers were pretty popular way back in the day, but then kind of disappeared (at least in the US) around the 1950's but had a resurgence back in the late 80's with the growth of home brewing and craft breweries. They only run about 5% alcohol (mine usually runs about 5.3%) and pair great with seafood dishes and other light summer fare.

I use bitter orange peel, coriander and honey as my additional ingredients. For the honey I use Orange Blossom honey to further increase that light orange flavor. The grain profile is easy with the extract version, since I simply use extracts of pilsner and wheat malts and then the only specialty grain I have to steep is the flaked oats. Hallertau and Styrian Goldings complete the hop profile.
Anyway, the brew session went well with everything going as expected. The same went for the IPA that I brewed on Sunday. With kegging the Witbier tonight and the IPA by mid next week, both beers should be good to go for the party. I still have to make another portable kegerator for the 2nd keg though. I will update later with the outdoor tap system I am putting together for the party. I hope it will be bitchin'.

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