Batch #21

Batch #21

Wow it’s been a while since we’ve done any brewing.  Being retired really takes a lot of time getting everything done.  But, we’ve found a hole in our schedule that gives us a couple of weeks at home to brew, wait and bottle.

Today’s batch is another Smash Ale but with a little bit of a citrus twist- literally a twist of fresh limes and then some dried tangerines.  Our brewmaster is being creative with this one by adding some wonderful Cuban honey to add just a little extra sweetness.  Hmmmm I’m thinking this may be a little bit sweet and sour on the palate.  It’s a 2 fermentation brew but with each fermentation taking only a week it’ll still only be about 2 weeks and we’ll be ready to bottle.  I’m excited about this one since I do love a wonderful fruity tasting beer, like a shandy.  Oh and the name- Caribe Rompió Cítricos- Caribbean Smashed Citrus! Interpret it as you desire!

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Batch # 20!

Batch # 20!

It’s brew day today for milestone Batch #20.  It’s hard to believe that we actually have brewed 20 batches of beer, with very few repeats of the same type.  

Today’s brew is a Scottish Ale (yay).  It’s derived from Karl Engebretson (known from Northern Brewers catalog covers, BYO and Zymergy) 90/-shilling.  In between a 90/- and a Wee Heavy.  The 90 meaning it has a 90 minute brew time, during which we could smell the essence of the boozy praline, pecan, sugar and malt.  The hops have a wonderful sweet essence to them and the citrus in the malt lingers deliciously on the tongue.  And the color- a beautiful amber/mahogany darkness that if you are an ale drinker will make your mouth water.   

Since it’s a two fermentation beer it’ll take some patience on this one to wait for bottling day a month after brewing and then another two weeks in the bottle before popping the cap.  Thank goodness for the busyness of the holidays!!!

Oh and the name for our milestone Batch #20- well it has the essence of pralines and pecans, it’s a 90 minute brew and it’s Christmas time-

Noventa Nueces de Navidad del Caribe

Or

Ninety Caribbean Christmas Nuts. 

Update: January 10, 2019

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Bottling day today!  We’ve waited through 2 fermentation cycles- kind of like waiting for Christmas when you have no idea what goodies await!  First blush- a beautiful, dark caramel color similar to mahogany.  First taste- a nice little sweetness that lingers on your tongue with just that little bit of a hit of praline and pecan!  I knew we should’ve brought home some Pralines from New Orleans- what a pairing that would have been!  We even had a little extra bonus and got 50 bottles out of this batch!  2 more weeks in the bottles, a good chill and we’ll be ready for the final taste just in time for some northern company joining us! What a fun holiday brew!

Batch #19

Batch #19

Cool breezes, temperature in the mid 60’s, slightly cloudy.  It’s a perfect spring day for brewing in SWFL!  In anticipation for the hot summer coming up, today’s brew is a single malt and single hop style wonder- or as it is known- SMASH.  It’s a combination of a pale ale and an IPA.  An American Session Ale.  Think about when American Pale Ale was edgy and new and combine it with a new-school single hop, Simcoe.  Thoughts and essence of pine and jungle permeate your senses!  At first taste you can taste the pine and the hoppiness of it.  Which will become even more pronounce as it is a two-hop toss fermentation.  We are hoping it will be a nice light, summery refreshing, kick back and enjoy type of brew with a light ABV of 4.5%.   Just a little side note- I headed out for a run while our brewmaster was brewing and when I entered back into the house I encountered the most wonderful aroma!  I wonder if they make candles with this scent?  Just sayin…..

2 weeks till bottling.  Oh and the name!  Caribbean Jungle Smash American Session Ale!  Be back in two weeks on bottling day!

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UPDATE: Last week the second batch of hops were tossed into the brew.  It’s been an anxious 2 weeks waiting to see what the brew will be like.  Will it be too hoppy strong?  What will the ABV be?  Just all kinds of questions have been tossing about in our brewmaster’s brain!  Today it’s been two weeks of fermentation-which makes this…. bottling day!  First look at the brew it has a beautiful golden color, almost like a Florida sunset!  First taste-bold, but not too bold.  Citrusy with a tang of bite and sweet and sour all at the same time!  Absolutely delightful.  The best part is the ABV is a nice 4.73%.  Just right for sipping on our hot summer days in FL, which are already here!  We’ve been trying to pair some of our brews with “what would this taste good with”?  Just as our last one would go good with ice cream (I’m still thinking a nice ice cream float or shake) we decided this would be perfect with a good old fashioned burger on the grill or even pouring a little on one of our smoked pork shoulders!  That’ll be next on our food bucket list!  All in all, the telling will be in the next two weeks of bottle fermentation.  We are thinking it will mellow out even more!

Batch #18

Batch #18

This is brewing day #2 here at By the Bay Brewing.  Today’s brew is a Chocolate Milk Stout, request of our master bottler, labeler, blogger, etc!  This is already an incredible brew just by the first look, smell and tiny taste of the beginning cooking stage.  It has a nice smooth, full body but not overpowering, semi-sweet taste. Somewhat reminiscent of a sweet Cuban Coffee! The color is a beautiful, rich ebony.  And this is all before the cacao nibs are put in, which happens in the secondary fermentation.  It’s described as being a “nourishing restorative or as an ice-cream topping”!  Boy, we were stumped on a name trying to incorporate restorative or chocolate or other nourishing in the name.  We decided on Cacao de Caribe- simple and to the point!

By the time it’s ready in 6-8 weeks we will be into the warmer weather here in SWFL so we are thinking it may be time to make some awesome homemade vanilla ice-cream (made with real vanilla from Haiti or Mexico) or head to the store for some Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice-cream.  Anyone game?  Be back in 6-8 weeks when we bottle and then the reveal taste!

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UPDATE!  It’s bottling day, actually evening, for this awesome and long awaited brew.  I love chocolate, I love stout and on first taste I love this chocolate milk stout!  It’s got the sturdiness of a stout with that little bit of a bite on the back of the tongue, but it’s got a lightness to it as well.  The chocolate is very subtle in smoothing it out.  It came in at a 4.20 ABV, woo hoo! But, just a little heavier on the calories than I would have preferred at 167/bottle.  But hey, who’s counting!  I am excited to try this out on some Blue Bell vanilla bean ice-cream!  Another 2 weeks will be the real test.  Just in time to take on our road trip up north for true tasting by the off-site beer aficionados!

Batch #17

Batch #17

It’s brewing day at By the Bay!  Wow, it’s been a while since we’ve done any brewing and it sure smells good out on the lanai.  Over Christmas we were in Minneapolis and had a chance to stop by our supplier, Northern Brewer, for some new ideas.  Our master brewer chose a Kolsch and our master bottler, labeler, blogger, etc chose  a chocolate milk stout (that’s tomorrows brew).  So, today the Kolsch.  It’s a pale, light German golden ale, copyrighted, brewed in and named for the German city of Koln (or as we know it Cologne.  The long, cold age period gives is a smooth and clean beer.  Known to be a very refreshing, summertime “lawnmower” beer it’ll be a great companion to our Cream ale or Saison .  “Spritzy” is a word often describing the brew thus it will from here on out be known as “Kickin Caribbean Kolsch!  This will have 2 fermenting periods so we’ll be back in 6 weeks on bottling day!

UPDATE! Bottling day!  Today we decided we’d do a little bit of a “Theology on Tap”.  So, as we listened to our sons sermon from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church on Facebook Live we bottled our Kickin Caribbean Kolsch!  Everything went well with only one little mishap.  Somehow one of the bottle jumped off the counter and onto the floor.  Smash, crash, glass everywhere.  I’m not really sure what it was thinking because upon first taste of the new brew our thought is that it has to be one of the best brews yet!  That bottle has no clue what it is missing by not allowing us to fill it with this wonderful, semi-sweet, already a little fizzy concoction!  But, the rest of the bottle we excited as we filled, capped, labeled, they attended the photo booth and are now getting themselves ready for us to enjoy!  These definitely will be making the trip to MN and SD to share with family!!

Batch #16

Batch #16

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It’s another brew day here in SWFL!  It’s a perfect day to be brewing, too.  It’s somewhat overcast with the sun occasionally peeking out and about 75 at 1:00 pm.  Just perfect to be out on the lanai with the cooker going.

Today our master brewer cooked up another batch of the Saison, one of our most popular beers.  For the most part everything is pretty much the same, brewing wise but there are just a few little twists to this one.  One of our favorite FL beers is the Island Citrus Ale from Islamorada Brewery.  Our brewmaster has thought about adding some citrus one of our lighter beers and since it’s Honey Bell season in SWFL we thought this was most appropriate to try it now.  For anyone that has every had a honey bell I know your mouth will just water thinking of the sweetness of the fruit.  So in honor of FL Honey Bells we are experimenting with adding the juice of a Honey Bell and a Florida Clementine along with a generous dash of Leighton’s Orange Blossom Honey from Haines City, FL.  We are excited to see how this one will turn out!  We even have a name for it already- Temporada de citricos del Caribe (Caribbean Citrus Saison).

Thank goodness we will only have to wait 4 weeks to taste this new creation! Two weeks of fermenting in the bucket and two weeks bottle fermentation.  We will update y’all in 2 weeks on the first taste bottling day.  Until then I think it’s time for y’all to grab your favorite brew!  Cheers, clink clink, slainte, bottoms up!

Update: April 8, 2017: Today was bottling day! We anxiously opened the top of the fermenting bucket excited to see how our experiment worked.  The sweet, gentle scent of oranges wafted out of the bucket and the beer was a wonderful, light golden color.  Upon first taste you could taste a very subtle orangey, citrus flavor on your palate with a bit of the orange blossom honey.  The longer it sat in our mouths the better the taste lingered, without ever becoming bitter!  With an ABV of 5.68% and the light, gentle citrusy/honey flavor this will definitely be a wonderful season summer brew here in SWFL.  We’d also like to thank one of our new supplies from Cozy Lake for the awesome new caps!  Two more weeks in the bottles and it will be time for the true test.

Batch #15

Batch #15

Brew and Bake day here in SWFL!  This batch is a new type that we’ve not ever done before-A Belgian Tripel, a step up from Dubbel in the monastic beer world.  What a great beer to brew during Lent.  Not only because it is one in the monastic beer classification, but it is one that will not be ready during the Lenten season, thus one that we will not be able to taste even until after Easter!  What a test of patience on our part.  According to the info it will be have a higher ABV content, maybe closer to 11%.  Looks like our chief bottler and blogger probably will not be drinking this one, but great for the master brewer.  There is clear candi sugar added which will dilute the malt, preserving it’s beautiful golden color and lightness, despite the higher ABV.  We’ll see!!  On first taste it does hold up to the fruity and spicy taste.  It was very sweet at this time, but that should settle down to a gentle sweetness after fermentation.   How long do we need to wait on this?  First fermentation- 2 weeks, secondary fermentation-2 months!  Then another 2 weeks after bottling.  We’ll be back for our finale sometime in June!  In the meantime- bottoms up- we have plenty of other By The Bay brews in the chiller!

Oh- we also baked today, which will be ready to eat later this afternoon!  We are excited to see how this bread turns out.  Will it be fruity and spicy?  Sweet?  Light?  Heavy?  Time will tell!

Update-3/24- Today was transfer day from the 1st fermentation to secondary fermentation.  The brew so far has a wonderful aroma to it!  Now it need to set in the secondary fermentation for 2 months!  Then bottle fermentation for 2 weeks before it can be consumed!  Oh and it’s name- Well we always include Caribbean, it’s a Tripel  and it’s going to take some patience to wait to taste it!  Viola- Caribe Paciencia Tripel or Caribbean Tripel Patience. Be back in two months!

Update- 5/26-It’s here!  First taste and bottling day.  We’ve waited patiently (well kind of) for this day.  First taste- smooth, & semi-sweet. Our first initial reaction can only be described as “hoochie”.  There definitely is an underlying strong taste of the 2 months fermentation that comes through!  Typically our bottling day goes along pretty unremarkable without any hitches.  We had one little oops with one bottling breaking during the capping.  But, we consider ourselves lucky on that! So, we ended up with 47 filled bottles instead of 48.

We do believe that we have appropriately named this brew. As I was trying to think of my creative picture of our #1 and #48 bottles it hit me- we’ve named it Caribbean Tripel Patience. Not only because it is a Tripel, but there is a triple patience to it.

  1.  It’s taken patience waiting for it during the fermentation.
  2. At an ABV of 8.93 and about 247 calories/bottle it is more of a sipping, take your time and patience while drinking
  3. It’s a Belgian Ale, my Aunt Peg went to Belgium one time and brought a Delft bell home for me, and she was the most patient person in the entire world!

Two more weeks until final tasting!