Holiday Mix Pack, Homebrew Club Holiday Meeting, and some IPA’s

December 23, 2011

The time for brewing this years holiday beers has come and gone, it’s all been packaged and sent out, and the kegs have all been emptied. I had quite the spread this year with everything listed on the fact sheet below:

I brought a bunch of these to the holiday party at my office and the favorites were Total Internal Reflection along with the imperial golden ale that I’ve named Modulation. This is the imperial cream ale I wrote about in my last post. I’ve changed the name of my own hypothetical style to reflect this beer’s awesome golden color and delicious flavor. I’m really surprised how good it was and how much everyone enjoyed it. I will definitely add this one to the rotation. It took a few weeks for the flavors to really meld together but once they did it was incredible. The aroma is quite pleasantly fruity from the British ale yeast (Wyeast 1098) and you get a low to moderate corn aroma as well that just says, “Drink me.” The flavor is a gentle, sweet maltiness with moderate hop flavor provided by simcoe. There is a clean, soft bitterness that rides under the malt. This is very easy to drink, and at ~8% ABV it’s dangerous!

I also attended the North Seattle Homebrew club’s holiday meeting, held at Fremont Brewing. I brought a bottle of 2011 Abyss for the Wit Elephant (sic) and ended up with “Extreme Brewing” by Sam Calagione. I had a bomber of Heretic Brewing Company’s Evil Cousin IIPA, but that was stolen. Lots of incredible homebrew was poured and a good time was had by all. I had a pumpkin beer that actually tasted like roasted pumpkin, not spices. I had a barrel aged quad, a brett saison, some Evil Cousin, English IPA, Wit, all-Citra IIPA, several imperial stouts, and some amber. Got to geek out with some great folks as well. Looking forward to the next meeting.

I am brewing this week and next in anticipation for the GEBL IPA bracket contest. So far I have two new brews in primaries, the Gradient American IPA, and Black Hole Cascadian Dark Ale. I’ll post the recipes later. Black Hole was interesting. I used a pound of Carafa II mixed into the mash just before lautering. The first bit of wort I pulled off was just like a dark red pale ale from the 1/4 lb. of chocolate malt, but as the sparge continued the wort got progressively darker and I finally ended up with a black wort. Hopefully I’ll get a nice hop flavor and aroma without much roastiness. The chocolate was added so that if you really want to look for some roast it’s there, but you won’t get it unless you’re looking for it.

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