Beer Swap 2007 RichBrewer's Beers
My samples were sent to BrewPastor, KNIPKNUP, And Sean. Thank you guys for sampling my beers. Both are in the HBT recipe database.
First the Pumpkin beer:
I had quite an argument with some folks about when to add the pumpkin. I added it to the boil and I was told that this will lead to lots of problems with proteins. I donít think I encountered any problems other than it is a bit hazy. The other side of the argument is for the pumpkin to be put into the mash. I disagree for two reasons. 1. íI've read there arenít enough starches in the pumpkin to warrant mashing and the risk of a stuck sparge just isnít worth the effort. 2. I thought the flavor of the pumpkin would be infused into the wort better by boiling and setting in the primary fermenter. I used 2 large cans of pumpkin. I didnít mess with whole pumpkin because my research told me that canned works just as good if not better. When I drained the brew pot, I let as much pumpkin as possible get into the fermenter. I made this one a 6.25 gallon batch to account for the trub and pumpkin left in the primary. I ended up with 5 gallons kegged and it was force carbonated. OG was 1.067 and it finished at 1.012
I am still trying to master this style. I wonít tell you what I think of it until you give me your impressions. I tried the Belgian Candi syrup at the recommendation of the salesman at my LHBS. This one finished at 1.016 and was kegged and force carbonated. OG was 1.055.
RichBrewer's Pumpkin ale
Pour: First off, very cool holiday label and wax coating on the cap. These would be very nice for gifts. I poured it into a glass, nice head, lasted pretty good, better than mine usually do.
Appearance: It has a beautiful reddish color, and crystal clear.
Aroma: Immediate spice and pumpkin aroma. Smells like clove, but I see from the recipe it is the allspice and nutmeg. Not overpowering, just very inviting.
Taste: I was pleasantly surprised by how light this beer is on the palate. Initially I got floral and spicy, with enough bitterness to balance the floral/sweetish flavors. As it warmed a bit I got a nice caramel flavor. The mouth feel is just about perfect. In the aftertaste, the other flavors fade cleanly, but the spice lingers a bit. Overall the taste is very balanced and drinkable.
Proximity to Traditional Styles: Totally smokes any other pumpkin beer Iíve had. If Belgian monks made pumpkin beer it would taste like this. I work in a restaurant, with a wine and beer shop. I tasted 5 or 6 pumpkin beers last October and they all sucked. We got the one that sucked the least.
Overall: I would never have guessed I would enjoy a pumpkin beer so much. So many fruit beers are overpowering, and the malt and hops are lost. This beer is definitely beer, with pumpkin and spice flavors, instead of the other way around.
I am thinking I will make this this year and give it as gifts. Iíll probably reduce the allspice, but everything else the same. Very Nice.
Thanks for opening my eyes to a new style.:D
Wow! Thank you for the nice remarks.
I hope I can do half as good a job as you when I review the beers I'm getting.
Hey RichBrewer, how did you like the pumpkin ale? I would have liked to taste it 3 months ago to see how it changed. At what point did you think it was the best, ie. 2 mo. 3 mo. 6 mo.?
I'm thinking it is better now and it is about 7 months old (4 months in bottles). For one thing it had a bad chill haze at first. It spent an extended time at 38 degrees both in the keg and in bottles and I think that helped. It ended up being a pretty big beer so I'm sure the extra time was needed.
I also think the flavors have blended over time. At first I found the pumpkin a bit over powering for my tastes and the beer as a whole was kinda rough.
Thanks again for the kind words.
Well, Porters and Stouts used to be my thing. Since brewing, I have turned hard towards IPAs. I also bought a few Spaten Optimators a few months ago and could barely choke them down. I still have four 20 oz'ers in the fridge... That shizzle is harsh!
On the other hand, this beer swap is starting to re-open my eyes.
Here's the skinny:
Average sized rocky caramel colored head that diminished fairly quickly. The beer was very clear in the sense of no haze and no particles. Heck, there was nothing at all on the bottom of the bottle. Very clean. You didn't mention it was filtered, so I figure it is a function of the bottling from the keg that played a large role in how clean this beer is. The color was a very dark ruby - super nice!
The malt was heavy roasted chocolate and caramel character, very light on the hops. I actually couldn't detect any hops aroma over the malt, though the malt wasn't overpowering to the nose. No yeast or alcohol aroma was detected.
Full creamy body, almost chewy with very soft carbonation character. Nice and smooth.
Moderately sweet flavor, balanced by moderate bitternesss that lasted quite a long time. I'm not saying it lasted like a Guinness, which is annoyingly and bitterly long, just lingered in a pleasant kinda way. No off flavors that I could detect.
This was a very tasty beer, like smooth chocolate coffee with no off flavors and very easy to drink. I finished the tasting profile and only had a third of the glass left. I kicked back and enjoyed it while it lasted. Great job!
I can't wait to hook up next time I'm in Aurora and raid your beer fridge!!!
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I rated this one a 39.
Again, Thank you for the kind words knipknup. I'm glad you liked the porter. I'll give my impressions of it once everybody has commented.
You don't want to raid my beer fridge right now. It's almost empty. The last of the porter leaked out of the keg when I disconnected the beer line. It made a nice mess in my fridge...:mad:
I have a Keg full of New Ireland IPA that loses pressure when I leave the beer line attached. It is the first time I've used this keg, so It may need some TLC once it is emptied. However, it hasn't leaked all over. Bummer. I'll be trying the pumpkin ale in a few days. Gotta work tomorrow through Sat. It has been enjoyable so far trying your ales. From the review of your pumpkin, so far, I'm tempted, but want to hold off until I'm not so:drunk:
Enjoy that CO air - I'm in envy...
Let me know what you think of the pumpkin beer.
I can't wait to try some beers from folks when they get here. :mug:
mmmmm, Pumpkin Ale....
I had a few friends over and we all did the major taste test on some brews last night.
Spare off-white head that dissipated fairly quickly. It may be that my buddy poured all gentle and such - what a wuss... No lacing to speak of. The beer was very clear with no sign of particles at all. Color was a nice amber.
Difficult to detect much for malt or hop aroma but definitely a pumpkin presence. Smelled just like pumpkin pie with pumpkin aroma and all the spices that make it nice.
Medium body with creamy texture and average carbonation. I could not detect any off flavors.
Long lasting pumpkin pie experience that was reasonably sweet with no bitterness. A very good dessert beer. I had flashbacks of holiday dinners around the dessert table.
This beer was very good. I have rolled my eyes at the thought of a pumpkin beer and figured I'd never brew one ever. This beer has changed my perspective. I will brew this one... it was excellent!
The whole group ooh'd and ahh'd over this one. Overall, I gave it a 38.
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