Ale and pie

Some production and consumption notes:

Saturday I made a pumpkin ale. I have long wanted to make a clone of Souther Tier’s Pumking, but I’m not ready for all-grain brewing yet, so instead I picked up a kit of the on-sale Harvest Feast Pumpkin Ale from Beer and Wine Hobby. This kit consisted of 6.6 pounds of malt extract, with a pound of flaked barley, half a pound of chocolate malt, 2 oz of Hallertau hops for bittering, a can of pumpkin puree for those of us without fresh pumpkin available, two packets of magical ‘pumpkin spice’, the usual priming sugar, and Irish moss for clarification. I opted for the dry yeast version of the kit as my fridge is full. As usual, I started things off by rehydrating the yeast using a stir plate. (Someday I may actually make a yeast starter the night before brew day.) Brewing was straightforward, but I did try a few new things for this batch! I sparged my grain bag with hot water instead of squeezing it, making the total boil volume just shy of four gallons. I actually strained out the hop and protein residue before adding to the fermenter; hopefully this results in less useless sediment at the bottom and more clear beer to drink! The kit instructions said that the gravity of the wort should have been 1.042. In reality, it was 10 points higher, 1.052 after temperature correction! I can’t imagine what may have happened. This brew also calls for racking to secondary and adding a second sachet of pumpkin spices. I don’t have a glass carboy, so I will have to rack to my bottling bucket and then back into my primary fermenter just as I did with my chocolate stout.

The brewing store was busy, and I think they may have given me a yeast that was not quite intended for this beer. They handed me a packet of Safbrew T-58 yeast which is what I used for my “Belgian” honey amber ale. This yeast generates spicy and fruity flavors all its own, so this may be a really weird ale!

My next beer project will be a barleywine based on Death by Barleywine. I bought 10 pounds of dried amber malt extract; a pound of crystal malt and half a pound each of chocolate malt and roasted barley; 1 ounce of Nugget hops for bittering and 3 ounces of Cascade: one for aroma, one for flavor, and one for dry-hopping; a packet of Pasteur champagne yeast to take over once the Safale S04 dies off; and French oak chips for aging. The oak chips take about 6 weeks to fully infuse, at which point I will bottle and let that stuff sit until the bleak midwinter. Mmm.

We also roasted a chicken Saturday night. It was a kosher chicken and that made a serious difference. Moist and juicy! I attempted to make a nice chicken gravy with the drippings, but we were too hungry to wait for it to boil down!

Sunday I attempted to make a Steak and Ale pie with the last of my Park Ave Porter Plus . It was tasty, but the crust didn’t puff up as puff pastry is supposed to! It just got warm and stayed mushy. Bummer :(

Oh, and today while on a stop at the liquor store to get a single bottle of wine, I picked up Sam Adams Imperial Series Stout and Double Bock, a bottle of Troegenator, a Stone Vertical Epic 09.09.09, and a Red Hook Tripel. I hate having a semi-decent beer store right on my walk home from the train.

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