All 3 of my fermentors are full, and I haven't had time to bottle in what seems like ages. But I just checked my gravities tonight, and thought I'd post an update on these three batches (Maple-Wild Rice-Pecan-Corn Amber, Oatmeal Stout II, and "IPA Bochet" with Galaxy hops).
First, the IPA Bochet Mead: awful. Wrong choice of honey, should have gone with something light, instead I went with a dark wildflower honey and burnt a pound of it and the flavor (now a few months in) is just AWFUL. Like the worst cough syrup you ever had, except with a nice fruity hop aroma. I may dump it if I end up needing the fermentor, though I'd prefer to wait and see how it ages over the next six months. I brewed it to be low in gravity (for a mead) and was worried it'd get too dry--nope, it's been stuck at 1.022 for over a month, despite re-pitching some wine yeast and adding a ton of nutrient. It would be much better if it DID dry out.
Second, the Oatmeal Stout II: a re-brew of my No-Nonsense stout, with some minor tweaks: did about 50/50 rice and sorghum (instead of all sorghum), upped the oatmeal by another pound, and used Windsor instead of S-04. It's good, but I think the oatmeal actually dominates a little too much. I should have mashed it instead of steeping it, because it left a lot of unfermentables in the beer (gravity's stuck around 1.020). Might turn out just fine after bottling, though; I just added 3 oz of cherry concentrate to it, so I'll probably bottle it in a week or so after that stuff ferments out. I don't think it's going to be better than the original, unfortunately.
Third: Indigenous Amber, brewed with molasses, maple syrup, corn, wild rice, and pecans (no extract syrups). Okay, I'm never using molasses again. I used it in a mild I brewed a few months ago, and both the mild and this one have a strong minerally metallic flavor that I do not like at all. I didn't use much in either of them, but it really came through. There doesn't seem to be a lot of distinct flavor from the exotic ingredients, sadly, but we'll see how it does after it's been in bottle for a month. So far, it's pretty light for a 7.5% beer, and would be extremely tasty if not for the minerally flavor.
Lots of good lessons learned here. But my passion for brewing is in a slump right now, unfortunately. I'm just not stoked on the beers I've been making lately, and it's really dampening my enthusiasm.
Did the pecan flavor come through at all in the amber?
Sorry folks. My posting is in response to a comment that seems to have taken a powder..
This is the GLUTEN FREE brewing thread. Do you understand what that means ???
Some folks out there have medical conditions that require certain items be eliminated or at least restricted to some degree from their diets (and that includes the beers they want to drink).
If these people want to enjoy beer they must use ingredients other than the standard barleys. Rice and other ingredients such as millet and sorghum are used to make their beers.
They are not crazy. They just want to enjoy beer and acheive their goal using ingredients that you are not familiar with.
I have a few pointers for you and how best to use this great forum to improve and thus better enjoy the beers you make.
1. Before commenting on anything be sure you understand the topic.
2. Before asking for help do the best you can in describing the problem. This might include:
What recipe you used
What yeast you used
What temperatures you pitched and fermented at
How long you fermented
What water you used
What equipment you used
What your hydrometer told you before and throughout your fermentation.
How you bottled your beer (such as equipment, priming sugars and amounts)
Most people on the forum are here to help and to LEARN.
Pardon me if this seems a little harsh but you should read threads from start to finish as well as directions that come with your brewing kits and other brewing aids likle Starsan.
IF YOU DID A search for information on ALUMINUM POTS you would find tons of information and all your questions would be answered.
If you did a search on Starsan all your questions would be answered.
It seems to me you are reading what is presented to you in the same fashion that you post your responses and questions. POORLY.:(
Sorry but it is just my opinion and meant only to help you learn more about brewing.:)
A few unasked for tips/advice if I may.
First off--keep your chin up. You have made some great brews. The no-nonsense stout seems to be a pretty big hit. My favorite beer I've made thus far is the Grapefruit IPA!
Now in line with that it should be worth mentioning that both of those beers were rather simplistic they were, as you named the one, no-nonsense.
From what I'm learning when it comes to gluten free brewing the simpler the better, the longer they sit, the better. I happened to find a bottle of my first GF homebrew in the back of my brew closet last week and cracked it open. I remembered not really enjoying it (but liking it more than redbridge) but wow, 8 months did wonders. The beer tasted great! As for the IPA mead, the b. nektar one is pretty simple from what I gather. I'm thinking it is probably free from maltodextrine and it definitely isn't a bochet. From all the reading I've done on bochets, they need at least a year before they stop tasting like @ss. Whether that is bulk aging or bottling I don't know but when I read through the stark raven mad thread on the mead forum that does seem to be the general consensus on bochets.
Now I'm not immune to tackling complex recipes, but those have been by in large failures. My Autumn bourbon ale seems to be the best success thus far and it is only *ok* Again, it seems to be getting better with time so I packed a case up and told my wife to hide it with the Christmas presents so I could see how it tastes as it ages. But my Pecan Pie ale--FAILURE! I poured that whole thing out. Granted, I'm very lax with sanitation so there may have been an infection but it smelled like sour milk and tasted like sour milk and was only getting worse as time went by. The carrot beer I poured out because it turned green, smelled funky and never started fermenting. All of those beers were my most complex beers. The simple ones I think taste great and others seem to thoroughly enjoy.
I'm not trying to say "we all have it rough" just encourage you to keep at it and maybe simplify. Master the IPA first, then tackle all grain. You've come up with some great recipes and I imagine you'll find more along the way. Maybe limit your experiments to one category: like hops. Or rice and not throw in corn and maple syrup, etc, or proper proportions of sorghum to rice syrups: 3/1, 1/1, 1/3?
I hope this was helpful! :tank:
Thanks, ChasidicCalvinist (can I just call you Cal?), the encouragement is much appreciated. You're right, I should just bottle the bochet and check in with it a year later. The other beers are at least not failures, so I should be thankful for that. I think I'm gonna simplify the next few recipes I was planning on brewing, because no matter how many times I tell myself to simplify, I keep coming up with these over-complicated recipes. I just gotta recognize that sometimes, I go through slumps, and I'll pull out of it in time. Cheers.
@ Boscobeans, I'm going to keep your rant on record and copy+paste it in future for rude posters. That's just awesome.
@ igliashon, ChasidicCalvinist makes some very good points. And if you want my advice I'll cover off a few points of note.
When you're pushing the limits of obscure beers (these would be obscure if you were using barley as well) you can expect that not all expirements will work out. Like me you're a bit of a dreamer, and that creativity is important for your ability to create some of these beers.
A couple of bits of advice:
* Keep meticulous notes, as detailed as possible. (If you do already keep it up).
* Try and keep a note of what different ingredients impart on your beers. It might prove useful in future for creating other recipes.
* I work on an odd / even turn over of beer. If I try something it's for one beer, and on the next beer I'll stick with a proven recipe / hop / style. Rinse and repeat. Maybe try a proven recipe (fermenter 1), new ingredient (fermenter 2) and crazy recipe (fermenter 3).
* If you're not already kegging do it asap. No waiting for bottles to carb up, it's almost immediate. You can also force carb high gravity beers.
* Have you got this book? http://www.amazon.com/Yeast-Practical-Fermentation-Brewing-Elements/dp/0937381969 If not get it. Understanding more about yeast will help you in future.
* Don't put any carbing sugar in the bottle with the mead. Bottle it, stick it in the back of your cupboard and forget about it.
* If you can afford the space don't ever peg a batch unless it's infected. Time can improve beers.
Igliashon, I'm planning my first GF brew based on your No Nonsense Stout. You said you upped the oats to two pounds in a 3 gallon batch? Do you think 1lb was a better recipe, or would you split the difference in the future?
I think 1 lb was a better recipe. Although maybe doing 1 lb toasted and 0.5 lbs untoasted might also be worth trying...however, the 1 lb will not disappoint.
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