What’s Brewing? October 2020 Edition

The past month has been a quiet one for the blog, but not necessarily a quiet one for brewing. I’ve gotten a few batches started, got some awesome new equipment, and enjoyed some of the fruits of my labors. Admittedly, I am not turning over kegs as often as I would like, if only because I’m not having people over. I make up the gap a little bit by doing growler swaps!

The Anvil Foundry, my new brewing toy.

Beer Batch Updates

  • My first kveik-fermented beer is now history. It was a super interesting beer, and pretty drinkable, although the dry hopping unfortunately ended up a little harsh. At ~3.5% abv, it was also possible to have a few without getting woozy-headed. The keg just kicked last night!
  • I repitched the kveik culture from my pale ale, to do a sessionable brown ale. It came in around 3.6% abv, a bit lower than expected. I’m somewhat surprised by the fairly low attenuation on the Hornindal strain, with ~61% attenuation on both batches so far. This is probably due to the intentionally high mash temperatures I’m using, at around 156° for each. The beer is now on tap,
  • I’ve been brewing a sequence of lagers, as mentioned last month. The German pils is now on tap, and a Vienna lager just went on tap also. I just did a rebrew of my Stygimoloch Bock, repitching the yeast from the German pils. Finally, I’ve done another German pils, using the Pfriem Pilsner from Dave Carpenter’s lager book.
  • Finally, I made a small (3 gallon) batch of a spiced Christmas beer. It uses Vienna, Munich II, and honey malt, along with a smattering of crystal and chocolate malts as well as some honey. A mixture of “holiday spices” went in, with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, and coriander. It’s fermenting with another repitch of the kveik (probably the last pitch for this one

What’s On Tap?

  • Dog Days Pilsner has been drinking exceptionally well. It’s just a great German pils–I feel like I have finally mastered this style!
  • I just put a Vienna lager on tap, after about a month of lagering. It’s a super-simple SMaSH beer, with just Vienna malt (Weyermann) and Saaz. Vienna is still one of my favorite malts, and this recipe is no exception!
  • Finally, I have a session brown ale fermented with kveik. “Kveik the Keg Brown Ale” is a super interesting and super drinkable beer, clocking in at only 3.6% abv. It has a really delightful chocolate and citrus character. I’m in love with this beer!

What’s Coming Up?

  • I’m thinking a stout of some sort is in order…not sure what yet, but probably a recipe that has a fairly dry, sharp character at a sessionable alcohol level.
  • It’s always lager time! I might do a “winter lager” of some sort, emphasizing a mix of Vienna and Munich malt.

Equipment Notes

  • I recently purchased the Anvil Foundry 10.5 gallon electric brewing system, and am loving it so far. Given the pandemic, I’m trying to avoid unnecessary trips out for propane, and it seemed like a good time to look at moving to electric. The Foundry system hit all of my interest points, with solid reviews, reliable reputation, and simple operation. To date, I’ve brewed a German pils as well as the holiday ale.

Commercial Beer Notes

  • I’ve been cutting back my alcohol consumption some, and so have been exploring non-alcoholic options with interest. I recently tried Partake Brewing’s line of 0% alcohol beers. Unfortunately, they were a bit disappointing. There were things I liked about each, but the character was just way too thin, and they all had a bit of a “twang” reminiscent of some of my early extract brews. I’ll continue to try some other brands, but probably not this one again.