Since I’m stuck in the kitchen today anyway making food for the week, I figured I’d create a complete disaster and do some work with my existing brews. I finally kicked my Oatmeal Stout last weekend when I brought a growler up to a St. Patrick’s Day party, and I decided to toss the last gallon of a Pale Ale that I really wasn’t happy with (it had picked up a strange off-aroma). That’s two empty kegs ready to go!
First up, the RyePA. It was brewed 65 days ago, and it’s been sitting (dry-hopped with Cascade) in secondary for 42 of them. More than enough time; whatever it’s going to be, it is. As soon as I popped the stopper off the carboy I picked up that signature spicy rye aroma, and knew I my first try was a success. And that color! What a gorgeous shade of copper it is, and crystal clear. HOW good it is is yet to be determined; I won’t be tasting it until Tuesday probably, I want to give it time to carbonate. But the aroma and a sample of the flat, room-temperature beer was really encouraging. At least I didn’t fail, which is always a risk when one makes up a recipe on the spot at the supply store. Final gravity was 1.011 (down from 1.071), for a final ABV of 8.0%, and a calculated IBU of 104. Dry, spicy, and hoppy? Winning.
Of the two other brews I had sitting in buckets, I decided to keg the Maple-ish Amber. Smelled great and looked great, but once I started racking it into the keg, I realized it was extremely cloudy, the same problem I had with the pale ale I just tossed out. I yanked the hose from the keg and put it over the sink and ran beer off until it cleared up. I wound up pouring off 3/4 of a gallon, but 4.25 gallons of good beer is better than 5 gallons of off-looking and -tasting beer. The taste-test of the clean run-off was satisfactory, so I’m happy to have a decent, drinkable keg-filler. Final gravity was 1.014 (from 1.064) for an ABV of 6.7% and a calculated IBU of 37.7.
I do need to solve this clarity problem, however.
That left the Dark Mild to rack down into secondary. Pitch black of course, with a toasty aroma and a nice touch of bitterness. Still too much residual sweetness (gravity is 1.016), so I’m glad it has more time to sit around (maybe another month), see if it gets down to 1.012.
I’m quite pleased with the status of my keg fridge, as you can imagine…