Monday, November 10, 2008

Beer Update: Coffee Vanilla Porter and Blueberry Ale

I spent a good hour or so yesterday transferring two batches of beer from their primary fermenters to secondary fermenters (this two-stage fermentation allows the beer to clear a bit before bottling/kegging). My initial fermenters are plastic buckets, and the sendary ones are big 5-gallon glass bottles called carboys.

One is a blueberry ale that I'm making with a friend of mine... the base beer, a cream ale, turned out really nice. I'm a little worried how it'll taste after the addition of two cans of blueberry puree -- the smell isn't phenomenal and the color is nothing short of weird. I don't think we're going to get what we wanted from it... but if it's drinkable, I'll be happy. We wanted an intensely blueberry-flavored beer, so our general attitude was "no guts, no glory". If anything, we'll just age the hell out of it until the fruit mellows.

The second beer is a porter (a dark, toasty beer), to which I added freshly brewed coffee and homemade vanilla extract at the time of racking to the secondary. I have to say I am really excited about this beer. The vanilla seems to have gotten lost in such a deep beer (bummer), but the coffee aroma comes through beautifully. Hopefully it still will when I keg it in two weeks. Maybe the vanilla will still show up in the flavor profile. I could always add more, but I really don't want to overdo it. I thought about throwing a few split vanilla beans into the secondary but I don't wanna fish those babies out, seeing as the carboy has a very narrow neck. I imagine it akin to trying to get my pick out of my guitar when it happens to fall through the hole. :)

So, stay tuned. When the beers are done, I'll post some pics and a review of how they taste.


LisaZ said...

Jen, my husband got very excited about those beers, so if you ever need a taster...He missed Chris' coffee beer.

I'm so excited you're coming to my house for an herb appointment. I finally get to meet you! We'll firm up the date/time soon.


Jen said...

I'll tell ya what... I will secure some of the coffee porter for George. I'ma little worried about the blueberry, but if that turns out he can try that too!

I'm excited about the herb appointment, too... it'll be great to meet face to face. I feel so much like I already know you through your blog.