On this fine Friday I was invited in by Legends Craft Brewery Head Brewer Jeremy Mayo to check out the new location in Anaheim. It's a blast to get a sneak peek, but I have to tell you, I was impressed with this oasis in an industrial park not far from the Happiest Place on Earth. Jeremy treated me to their lineup of lagers and ales while CEO and Founder Jay Talley fed me cookies and pretzels. The beers: Aurora Red Cherry Lager, Sable Black Lager, American Pils Lager, Tranquility Imperial Stout, Double Karma Double IPA, and Wild Child Belgian Wit. The location: 1301 Lewis Street in Anaheim.
I used two brewing techniques for squeezing the most aroma and flavor from the hops of this American pale ale: first wort hopping and late wort hopping. First wort hops were added to the kettle immediately after mashing. The balance of the hops were added at 20, 15, 10, 5, 2, and 0 minutes of a 60-minute boil. The hops: Amarillo, Tomahawk, and Simcoe, supported by a rich, malty backbone featuring Maris Otter and Vienna malts. The use of reverse osmosis (RO) water will help me create a clean, refreshing beer to enjoy on these hot post-summer days.
Small batch brewing provides the opportunity to use your vial or smack pack of yeast to create more than one beverage -- in this case, an ale and a cider. Why not use the small batch opportunity to go with a theme (or craze, if you're especially ardent): Belgian Tripel or Octoberfest or . . . the possibilities are endless. Below is a glimpse of the Glow-Throated Belgian Tripel ale that I made on day one and the Royal SunAngel "Belgian Tripel" hard cider that I made on day three. The ale and cider share Wyeast Trappist High Gravity 3787 yeast, along with table sugar, on the list of ingredients. For the cider, I used Trader Joe's flash pasteurized, unfiltered apple juice (find it in the refrigerated section). For those who asked about my cider ingredients: I plan to add a tincture of hand-picked pink peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cinnamon in secondary fermentation to evoke the aroma and flavor of a Belgian Tripel. The ale will rely solely on the yeast for its spicy, fruity character. It makes me purr to think about doing a side-by-side tasting once I get these babies bottled.
Big ciders beguile you to slow down and reflect upon what's good in your life. When sipping an apple wine such as this one will be, I think of my mother and how much she enjoys her brandy at the end of a harrowing day in the entrepreneurial life she shares with my dad. When I made a Belgian Tripel ale a few days ago, I thought it would be fun to concoct a hard cider with a similar vibe. Thus, Royal SunAngel "Belgian Tripel" was born. I placed this baby in the fermentation chamber and active fermentation kicked in within an hour. Hang onto your hat, Peter -- this is a live one!
I realize only now that the saisons I have been brewing were the gateway to the Glow-Throated Belgian Tripel. My first plan of attack was to do market research -- drinking iconic Tripels brewed by the great and lesser masters. And I did some reading up. The drinking was more fun.
Brewing beer in one-gallon batches is a blast. I can brew as often as I like and the cleanup takes 10 minutes! What's more, this type of granularity in making beer unleashes my baker's frenzy for precision. I give special thanks to my friends, who answer my seemingly hundreds of questions regarding the particulars of small-batch brewing. For this American brown, I plan to use dried mission figs soaked in Bulleit Bourbon. Whenever I use Bourbon, I think of Gwen Conley of Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey, who is a huge influence in my beer adventures.
Getting a new chest freezer to ferment your beer is an exciting event in the life of a homebrewer. Why not ratchet it up a notch and go for disco lighting and a tiki hut ambiance? Now fermenting: a Roggenbier and an Irish red ale. For those of you who have been following my chest freezer adventures -- and you know who you are -- let's party!
I remember the magic of walking with my sister through the Canadian forest in search of fresh berries when we were children. Now that we're grownups, she particularly likes red ales, so I'll bring this one along the next time I see her. The recipe includes dried black currants soaked in Bulleit Bourbon during secondary fermentation for berry action.
I could not resist the allure and challenge of making a Roggenbier, a medieval ale composed of rye malt, barley malt and wheat. To this number, I added a touch of chocolate malt. I plan to add Brettanomyces in secondary fermentation for earthy complexity.
My tastebuds led me directly to Bauhaus Brew Labs on Tyler Street in Minneapolis after enjoying a pint of their Hairbanger Belgo-Style Pale Ale at Corner Table the night prior. I had to learn more, especially after hearing about the "explosion of breweries" in Minnesota. Eric, the general manager we met at Red Cow Restaurant & Bar in Minneapolis, had wondered aloud about the saturation point for breweries in Minnesota -- something I've heard a few times in San Diego County. Believe me, Eric, there's room to grow.
The Bauhaus taproom is a visual turn-on to those who like bold graphics, lots of natural light, and breathing room. Drinkers of all ages were in evidence, including young ones, who sipped on gourmet sodas. As I contemplated the German Schwarzbier poured by Beertender Brian, I had that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from a family vacation in Minnesota gone right, dontcha know?
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