Friday, November 14, 2008

Birthday Drinkin Tonight

Tonight was my lil' sister's birthday, and the end of a long week for me so we got right to the drinkin. Well, first of all, when I got home I had a package waiting for me from Maryland. It was two beautiful Brewer's Art chalices sent to me by The Baltimore Beer Guy as a birthday present (mine was a few days ago).

I started off by tasting my just fully carbonated homebrew. I call this Leftover IPA because I made it with a bunch of hops I had leftover (Magnum for bittering, then Simcoe, Centennial and Columbus for flavor/aroma). It was a really simple beer with a really simple procedure- just a bunch of malt extract, a little bit of steeped crystal 40L and that was it. Only did a 10 day primary fermentation and then crash cooled for 2 days then bottled. It turned out ok... tastes fine... like hops, which was my goal. Has a nice orange citrus flavor to it, a fairly aggressive bitterness, but I think the extract got a bit too caramelized during the boil, turning the beer much darker than it should have been and giving it a little bit sweeter color than it was suppose to have (it finished dry too, which is good, with a final gravity of 1.011- not a whole lot of residual sugar). It basically reminds me of your standard East Coast IPA... nothing special and kinda misses the mark. Sadly, right now it's just too expensive for me to make a really good IPA with tons of kettle hop additions and lots of dry hops. Those hops are expensive.

Moving on we went with a Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere wet hop pale ale I've had sitting in my fridge for quite some time. Thankfully the fridge stopped the aging process quite nicely, as this tasted similar to when I had it on tap after it was released. I enjoyed this beer a little more this time than I did last time. It's got a real nice soft caramel sweetness to it, and just the right amount of bitterness and pine flavor to be a good pale ale. Reminded me of a slightly smaller Deschutes Hop Henge, in terms of balance.

Next up for dinner was a Weihenstephaner Dunkelweisse with our lasagna dinner... not sure if that looks like smart pairing or not, but it was good anyway, and the beer was delicious as always.

Lastly, and what put me to sleep for a few minutes was the Southern Tier Choklat. I wanted both of my sister's boyfriends to try this, since they are somewhat enthusiastic about beer, and it really blew them both away, in terms of flavor and strength. And I fell asleep. The chocolate milk smell of that beer amazes me every time.

Plus my favorite pup came over for a visit today. Kirby is still under a year old, but he's a great lookin' rotty. On the other hand, our cat is just a lazy bum.

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