Initiate, Male, from Washington
- DangerousDanBrewery was last seen:
- Oct 26, 2019
- August 20
My wife started all this by getting me a 1-gallon kit to brew a Dry Irish Stout. Made about every mistake you can imagine but sanitized everything well and the stout actually turned out great - I would buy it in the store great! HOWEVER, only got 9 bottles out of that and decided I would never do a 1-gallon batch again. Have done 5-gallon batches ever since.
First 5-gallon batch was Seamus Copper Ale, which is as close to a clone as I can get to Otter Creek's Copper Ale. OC's Copper Ale hasn't been made for years, so I'd try to make my own. It's a Düsseldorf Alt-Bier and it turned out perfect - right aroma, right taste, right finish, head that laced to the bottom of the glass. Was my favorite beer when I lived in Vermont and I used to get growlers filled at the brewery. I was loving it and drank it up entirely too quickly.
Next was a 5-gallon batch of another Irish Stout. Messed up and only put in half the amount of aroma hops in it. This one took 3 weeks of bottle conditioning before it was drinkable (after 2-weeks I was afraid I might have to dump it) and at 4 weeks it was quite good - just not as much aroma as I expected. Aroma seemed to improve a bit with longer bottle conditioning
Then onto a clone of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. NAILED IT! And this one was spot on after only 1-week of bottle conditioning. I did a side by side taste test of my homebrew and SN Pale ale. My color was almost identical and so was the clarity (surprised me, expected it to be cloudier). My head was cream color vs SN's white head and slightly smaller at first, however my head laced nicely through the entire glass whereas SN head was short-lived and did not lace. Aroma and mouth feel were the same. Taste was almost identical with my homebrew being very slightly more robust. My homebrew was 5.64 ABV vs SN at 5.6%
All of the above were extract brews, so I decided to jump into All-Grain brewing. First All-Grain try was supposed to be a Northern UK Nut Brown Ale. Found a "award winning" recipe on line and went for it. Plan was to make a lightly hopped session beer - think Newcastle or Bass ale. Thought I might be in trouble when OG turned out to be 1.057. Final Gravity was 1.014 for an ABV of 5.64%. Hmmmm....was looking for something in the 4% range. I had actually made what I would call an American Nut Brown Ale. Had a much bolder and fuller taste profile than North UK. Was a good Nut Brown Ale as the nutty taste was definitely present, but not really a Northern UK nut brown. Was a good ale though, so I drank it.
Next, I decided to do an All-Grain version of my Seamus Copper Ale. Went to a Home Brew Store (it has since closed) to convert my extract recipe to All-Grain. Lady out front took it to the guy in the back and came back with the grain bill. I said great I'll take it. As we were getting the hops, they didn't have the Hallertau Hersbrucker Hops. Lady said, "just use this Hallertau Mittlefrau. Same hops strain from a different village." That was a HUGE mistake - much different flavor profile! The Hallertau Hersbrucker is used as the flavor hops at 45-minutes into the boil, Tenanger was the aroma hops and also the dry hops added after a week in the Fermenter. After 2-weeks in fermenters and 2 weeks bottle conditioning it was ready. Man, was I disappointed. It was a fine Alt-Bier Copper Ale. but it wasn't the same as the Otter Creek it was styled on. Took longer than normal to drink this because every time I had one it reminded me of what it should have been.
Most recently brewed a Cooper's Pale Ale from one of their brew cans. My son lives in Australia and numerous times has told me that Cooper's is a real Australian Beer and none of that Foster's export crap. Looked into brewing it but they use a special yeast that until very recently was not available in the US. Visited my son for Christmas in Australia and he gave me a brew-can of Cooper's so I could make my own.
While I was there I ordered some Cooper's yeast to take home and lo and behold an American company (Adventures in Home Brewing) supplied and delivered it to my house in the US. So, if you want to do any of the Coopers Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale, Session Ale, etc. you can get the yeast from AIHB.
This Cooper's Pale Ale brew can was weird, Was actually a can of LME with a small packet of yeast on top of the lid and some very abbreviated instructions on the label. You're supposed to mix the LME in with 5-gallons of water. Called them a couple of times about it.
One of the things the label suggested was to add 500gm (about 1 pound) of light DME and 250gm (about half a pound) of Dextrose (corn sugar). Called them about this and they said to boil the DME and corn sugar together with 1 gallon of water, cool it off, and then add it to the wort. Said do NOT boil the wort because it is pre-hopped and you will boil away the flavor and aroma hops. So put 6-gallons of wort into the fermenter. Weird not to do the 1-hour boil.
Finished it last Saturday and it has been in the bottle for a week. Broke one open last night and it tastes like Coopers. I'll let it bottle condition for another week before I start drinking it again as I have some Dead Guy Ale in the fridge right now.
Think I might give the Clone for Dead Guy Ale a try next...