I’m not entirely sure what it is about fruit beers but I love them. My mom was a huge fan of Apricot Wheat Ales and that was some of the first beer I really started to enjoy so maybe it started there. However it started, my interest for fruit beers has translated into a number of homebrew recipes from our Sassy Blonde strawberry ale, to Dave’s Coconut Brown, the Blonde Wino and a number of others. This summer we have added another fruit beer to our taps.
After a few months of building our new brewery and getting our yard together we finally threw the doors open for our first tap party at our new home. It was great to finally get those taps flowing again and have folks over to enjoy. A big part of the reason we brew is because […]
If you’ve read our post about our new brew system then you’ll know that it was constructed from an old Hi-Lo trailer. As an homage to that trailer Eryn decided that the first beer we made on the brew system would be called Hi-Lo. With the name firmly set we went to work figuring out what it would actually be. Since we had two great words in the name, high and low, we started playing with the idea of doing a high alcohol low hop Belgian ale. It finally came down to a Belgian Strong Golden Ale that was lightly hopped.
Last weekend Eryn, bill, and I all made the trek up to Arcata to pour some of our beer at this great event I discovered called the Humboldt Homebrew Festival. I had come across it the year before but not early enough to get any beers together to pour so this year when I saw it come around on the competition schedule we made a point of getting registered and getting some beer together. And now I am so thankful we did.
When we first started brewing it was single gallon batches and a Mr. Beer kit. We instantly fell in love with it but were quickly outgrowing our capacity. To remedy that we purchased a turkey fryer as a kettle and a cooler to mash in. We jumped up to 5 gallon all grain batches and had a great time, but we still felt like there was a piece missing.
It’s been two years now since the brewing bug bit us and it hasn’t let go. This year we doubled down and got even more serious about our brewing, coming up with new recipes, new hardware, and some great parties. We’ve made lots of new friends, rekindled old friendships, and celebrated with our friends and family. We had six tap parties and lots of folks come to taste through our creations. We love everything about it and can’t wait to see what this new year holds but before we get going here’s the breakdown on the last year.
After watching watching BrewingTV’s interview with Kristen England I became very interested in brewing a 60 Shiling Ale. I love session beers and haven’t made many Scottish style ales so after reading up on them for a couple of days I put together a recipe and set out to make it. The video is a montage of my brew day and my new kick ass brew system.
The revised recipe has 100% Kona Coffee from Lehualani Farm. Kona coffee is renowned for its low acidity but rich flavor which was exactly what we wanted to add to the porter. We also tossed in 1/3 of a madagascar vanilla bean to round out the edge of the coffee and give the beer an easy to drink taste.
Last time we made the Coco Brown we decided take one of our 5 gallon carboys skip the coconut and instead to add raspberries to secondary. We’ve had a few nice raspberry ales and we wanted to see how something else would go with our brown base. The finished beer is that same great brown with it’s debittered malts and smooth character except with a huge raspberry flavor. We only added 8oz of raspberries to 5 gallons of beer and we got a very strong flavor. If you like fruit beers or love raspberries this is the beer for you. For me it’s a little to strong to be a nice sipping ale but it goes absolutely great with chocolate as a dessert beer.
The beer pours a little cloudy with a big rich head that hangs on for quite a while. On the nose the beer gives some rich medium roast aromas with a bit of oak sweetness. The flavor is a great malt forward beer with just a bit of hops for bittering and a big long oak finish. It has nice small bubble carbonation from the natural carbonating and gets even better as it warms up just a bit.