Well we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing, staying safer at home and trying to stay as busy and creative as possible! We aren’t going anywhere soon so what a great time to brew our next batch of beer! This is one our master brewers not tried before- an Irish Blonde Ale. Oh how appropriate! Our master bottler is somewhat blonde (highlights my friend), is Irish and loves a good ale.
This beautiful straw-colored ale is said to give your palate a taste of buttered toast and warm cereal with a splash of fruit. This so conjures up thoughts of possibly a breakfast ale? After all it’s 5:00 somewhere!
This one will take some patience because it’ll be about 6 weeks before we can actually taste it! And because it’s a 6 week process and we are in the midst of a very difficult time we thought the name “Esperanza Caribeña” would be appropriate~ Caribbean Hope~ there is hope in all of this and we will get through this together. In the end, hopefully in 6 weeks, we will be able to share our Esperanza Caribeña!
Until then- stay healthy, stay safe and stay home!
Update: 4/23- into the secondary fermentation today. Two more weeks, then bottling day!
Update 5-8: Bottling day today! This was an experience waiting to happen since we’ve not bottled in our new home. But, the process went absolutely perfect. But, first things first. On first blush the new brew has a beautiful blonde color to it, still a little murky. On our tasting it certainly does have a very mild taste of warm buttered toast with a hint of fruity cereal. Hmmm- I’m thinking this could be a great breakfast item instead of a Bloody Mary? It was not a bit bitter or bitey, very smooth and aromatic on the palate. We both agreed that after the 2 weeks of bottle fermentation it should be absolutely perfectly matched with our beer, butter and brats on Memorial Day. And it came in at a perfect 5.78ABV. A nice slow sipping beer for a hot Florida afternoon!
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!
Update: September 1, 2019
It’s been a quick two weeks since brew day. Last week after 1 week of fermentation the beer was dry hopped and our master brewer added some tangerine peel and a bit of rum-Caribbean rum of course! After another week of fermentation it’s time to bottle. First blush the brew has a nice medium amber color, not too dark, not too light. First taste by both our master brewer and chief bottler and labeler agreed that the hops through it in another direction, giving it just a little bit of a bitter taste. Taste buds are thrown in a different direction knowing that there is honey in it you’d expect it to be sweeter. The hops definitely balance off the sweetness of the honey taking it to a nice medium balance. We’ve still got another 2 weeks now of bottle fermentation before our final taste! Just in time to share with our family up north! Oh, and the ABV- a perfect 4.37%. Just right for those that enjoy a lighter beer.
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
Ninety Caribbean Christmas Nuts.
Update: January 10, 2019
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!