This is a beer I’ve never liked. I’ve tried a couple of bottles over the years and Rolling Rock disproved for me the adage that ‘The best beer is a free beer’. Any Rolling Rock I’ve ever had was never one I actually paid for and never one I could even finish. They’re just all too reliably skunked by their green glass bottles I suppose. As a result I was more than hesitant when Rachel wanted us to brew up a batch of this as a nice summer time “lawnmower” beer. She found the recipe in an older Brew Your Own magazine article on retro clones. (more…)
Category: Brew Days
I’ll be the first to admit when Rachel and I started homebrewing this was probably my least favorite style of beer by far. Imperial IPAs with their high level of hopping for me often just a mass of bitterness that I really couldn’t get behind. Rachel on the other hand loved hoppy beers so we certainly brewed our share. In fact a Black Imperial IPA was the third batch of beer I brewed, the evidence of which is still visible on our basement ceiling where you can still see hop leaves and tiny bits of wort stuck the ceiling. The whole leaf hops I added during primary fermentation (oops) clogged the airlock and blew the bung along with a couple gallons of beer all over the room. Enough beer was lost in the explosion to turn a 5 gallon batch into a 3 gallon batch. Thankfully Rachel was out of town that week visiting her sister, we might have stopped brewing all together.
The 3 hour boil. That’s easily the most noticeable thing about this recipe. Well that and the 3lbs of Maple Syrup. In reality, I didn’t add any Maple Syrup to the boil, instead all of the liquid going into this beer was pure maple sap which had already been boiled down.
This is the third maple sap based beer I’ve done and the second which was a brown ale. My first Maple Sap Brown Ale wasn’t that successful, the maple was completely lost in it and the overall recipe just didn’t work. The second beer was a Belgian Tripel, again on pure Maple Sap. It has a bit of maple character, but not really what I was looking for.
This time I set out to make sure the maple character stays in the beer, (more…)
This was probably the coldest brew day I’ve ever had; and I only ever brew indoors. My garage is unheated and the never ending below zero temperatures here in Michigan for the last several weeks meant that by the start of this brew it was around 10 degrees in my garage. Since there’s always a bit of spillage no matter how careful I am, by the end of the day I was standing on frozen wort as I waited for the last of the of the wort to run-off to the fermentor.
This was a joint brew day with my father in law so it was a full 10g batch that will end up being split. The recipe was inspired by Rob Vrabel’s gold medal winning stout with some alternations to the grist for grains I didn’t have on hand. I didn’t have pale chocolate malt, so we ended up making up for it with a portion of de-bittered black malt and special B. I also tried an experimental hop screen around my dip tube that really slowed the run off and left me with more liquid in the kettle than normal. I ended up saving that wort in a couple of mason jars in the freezer and this morning I pitched 1200ml of krausening wort into my keg of the stout.