What’s Brewing? November 2021 Edition

Brewing continues to be an on-again/off-again festivity, as I work my way through a busy chunk of the year. Thankfully, the weekends are starting to free up a bit, so I’ve started to get ahead of things again.

Beer Batch Updates

  • Since last report, I kegged my Ill Tempered Gnome clone, and it’s now on tap. Although I had planned to bring some to Thanksgiving with friends, plans changed and now I’m “stuck” with the keg all on my own. Looks like a few lucky local friends will get a growler!
  • Winter Dream Ale–a Belgianesque winter warmer–has been kegged, and is now conditioning. The flavors seem pretty nice in preliminary tastings, although it needs a bit more time to drop completely clear. I hope to move it on-tap in time for Christmas.
  • On November 6, I brewed an IPA using hops from a recent HOPBOX, and it is now conditioning in the keg. I expect it will go on-tap fairly soon, because the kegs in the main keezer are getting pretty low.
  • I brewed this year’s iteration of Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout on November 13. It’s finishing up the rest in the primary fermenter, and should be kegged in the next day or two.
  • A new German pils is currently fermenting, after my brew day on November 21. It is going to ferment next to an amber zwickel, which got brewed on November 22. The former beer was made using the Edelweiss hop blend, which is an interesting experiment. The latter beer is a bit of a kitchen sink recipe to use up some odds and ends (especially Munich and Vienna malt). For each, I did a hochhurz mash (45 minutes at 144° and 45 minutes at 160°, before mash-out), and this really seems to boost my mash efficiency! I was at nearly 77% for the zwickel and 74% for the pils, which are each well above my usual 68%. On my previous pils, I just did a 60 minute mash at 149°, which ended with 70% mash efficiency. So, I speculate that a longer mash can be a key to boosting gravity in the Anvil Foundry. I might add this in to my regimen more frequently, once I evaluate the results.

What’s On Tap?

  • Ill-Tempered Gnome is now on tap, and it drinks really well. It’s a perfect winter beer, in that it has lots of flavor but isn’t too heavy or cloying.
  • Farke’s Best Pils is also almost gone, but still tastes quite good.
  • Humboldt’s Lesser Hefeweizen is probably halfway through the keg.

What’s Coming Up?

  • I need to plan my holiday brewing sessions, and am starting to work out the possibilities. A tropical pale ale is in the lineup (using HOPBOX hops), and I’m also thinking an English dark mild for something a bit more sessionable that will use up ingredients.