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!
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.
A rainy day here in SWFL, so it’s a perfect day for bottling! Batch #14 is ready to go. It is another Cream Ale, which is so popular among our loyal By The Bay Brewing followers! There isn’t really anything special about our brewing process or fermentation this time. But, on first taste it seems to have a little extra bubbly to it prior to the bottle fermentation. So we are very excited to see what the final product tastes like. With an ABV of 4.6 this is one of my favorites, nice and light, crisp, not bitter, smooth, with a very mild aftertaste on the palate. And this time we thought we’d share our bottling day with you in just a little bit of a different way…..
13! It’s a lucky number in our family and we know that this will be one of our luckiest brews! Why? Just because! This batch is a Cream Ale-again, our most popular beer and one that has been brewed by both our master brewmaster and associate, soon to be his own brewmaster! All brewing went well, no glitches or surprises. Fermentation time was pretty much the same as well. We did notice there was a little less bubbling and gaseous noises from the bucket after a couple of days. But, other than that it was a pretty standard fermentation time. We also were running low on our supply of spent grains bread, so it was also time to bake some of our awesome By The Bay Bread! I will say that the bread tends to get better each time we bake it. Of course, we sampled it that evening once it was ready to sink our teeth into. A wonderful chewy crust with a nice light center melted into our mouths as we savored our first taste of this batch. It’s always fun then to pair the bread with the actual brew it came from- but that will be another 2 weeks down the road.
So, bottling day came yesterday. Because our new associate brewer was out of town until yesterday we had five extra days in the fermentation process. It was also a great day to introduce our new associate and his associate to the bottling process. Teaching someone this new craft of ours is always so much fun! On first blush the batch had a wonderful, slightly cloudy, amber color to it. It had a slight little bubble bite on first taste and appears to have an ABV of about 4.5 and around 142 calories per bottle. Just perfect for these wonderful FL days. Our new, soon to be brewmaster of his own, caught on quickly to the bottle filling process! Bottles were all labeled and ready to go into the cases in record time. In two weeks we will be ready to drink our lucky #13 Cream Ale! Oh and the name….
In honor of our newest associate brewer and his wife we have named it Caribbean KP Cream Ale. KP being their initials. Thanks Kevin and Patti for being part of our By the Bay Brewing!!
We are back at it! It’s been a while since we’ve brewed and bottled and considering that we are now starting run low on some of our most popular types, Cream Ale and Saison, we decided it was time to get back into our brew mode! Two weeks ago, thinking that we were going to be able to bottle in time for the holidays, we brewed our infamous Cream Ale, one that we just can’t seem to keep in stock. Brewing wasn’t any different from the last batches we have made but we did decide to bottle into some larger bottles. They do make great gifts! The biggest wonder on this beer is how it will taste after the 2 weeks bottle time-we had no bubbling of the fermentation bucket once it was brewed. Our Master brewer is thinking we may have a faulty top to the bucket. Time will tell in 2 weeks. But, today as we bottled there weren’t any disappointing surprises. Same great nose, same great color, same ABV, etc. Guess we will find out in 2 weeks. Oh, and the name…. Well considering it is Christmas and this wonderful beer seems to be one that we brew over some holiday-this the original name of Sweetheart Cream Ale brewed Valentines Day, it bears a holiday name of Triple C – Caribbean Christmas Cream Ale. Pretty creative, right?
Update: It’s time to taste! On first pop of the cap there was a nice little whoosh! Woo Hoo! Wonderful amber color, nice little beer foam to it and the taste— funny how the same kind can taste so different batch to batch. This has got to be the best Cream Ale yet!!! And it’s fun having some of them in the bomber bottles.
Brewing in the yard!
All bottled and ready to box
Had a little extra!
Ready to set for 2 weeks
We so loved our first batch of Paddy Mac’s Irish Red that our 2nd batch was Paddy Mac’s Irish Red 2.0. Everything went very smoothly with the brewing, fermenting and bottling! I think we’re getting this down! Well at least Jon is for sure. I’m just the chief bottle filler and labeler. He does all the hard work and the scientific work.