17 June, 2012

Loads of Beer, Mead, and Wine brewing

I have been fairly busy the last couple weeks in the brew shop. And by brew shop, I mean kitchen and back porch. I've brewed up some plum wine, mint mead, and just finished a batch of Pale Ale this morning. Here are some notes about each:

Last Sunday, I had noticed how big and luscious the small plums were getting on our front and rear plum trees. These are the little plums off the ornamental trees. Usually you don't eat them, as they are pretty tart. But this year, they were much larger, and quite sweet. So I picked about 8 pounds of them, and on Tuesday night while Susan was off playing bunko, I got funky. Actually, I started the process on Monday night. I filled the mash tun with 3 gallons of 155 degree water, and threw in the eight pounds of plums. I just slit the skin on the plums, to the meat would get in contact with the hot water. I let that sit for 24 hours. Come Tuesday night, All the meat of the plums has turned into luscious goo, with the skins and pits sitting on the false bottom. So I racked off the sweet plum juice, added some sugar and red wine yeast. It has been extremely active in fermentation all week.

Yesterday we were out and about, and I asked Susan what type of mead flavor she would like. We both ended up saying mint. So we picked up a bottle of Monin Frosted Mint syrup. I added that to the 4# of honey and water, and a packet of ale yeast. That too is bubbling away like a demon.

This morning I brewed up a batch of Pale Ale, using a pound of Belgium Aromatic Malt and a pound of Honey Malt for specialty grains. Two row completed the recipe, along with Magnum and Cascade harvest hops for bittering, and crystal and citra hops for flavor and aroma. I'll likely drop hop with more citra. This should be a good drinkable beer in about 3-4 weeks.

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