Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another cask, Hefeweizen & Double IPA

Another visit to the Liar's Club and another fine cask ale. This time it was the Pizza Port Wipeout IPA. Fantastic stuff. I asked the proprietor of the Liar's Club where he got his beer engine and once again I was led back to UK Brewing. He also suggested ebay. So i'll be on the lookout for that.

In addition to a couple of pints of the cask, I also tried a bottle of Stone's o6o6o6 Vertical Epic. I have a bottle at home that I got for my birthday, but being a specialty ale, I wanted to try it without opening my bottle to see what kind of occasion it befitted. Turns out it reminded me a lot of my strong ale and so my bottle will be saved until it gets cooler.

Meanwhile, I started a new Paulaner Hefeweizen today. Up until this year, Hefeweizen had always been my favorite beer. But now i'm a Hop freak and IPA has taken its place. Still, it's summer (and in San Diego will be for a while) and I ought to have a Hefeweizen on tap. That meant that I moved my double IPA to secondary. However this may be a time when one week primary really was too short. As I siphoned the wort into the secondary carboy, i noticed the hose clogg up with traub. Usually after primary there is about a 1/2" of fairly firm traub in the bottom of the primary bucket. Not this time. There was over an inch of fairly liquid traub and you could smell the yeast hard at work. Pity to loose that. Some of it made it into the secondary so I hope it gets going in there and creates a more active secondary fermentation than i'm used to. Oh well, we will see.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's summer... where is my Hefeweizen

With the Ballast Point Big Eye IPA returned and the Abstract Bastage too heavy to drink in this weather, I have nothing on tap. The Double IPA I started is about a month out if not longer.

Since I've not done my usual summer Paulaner clone, i need to start one this weekend. That one is tasty after two weeks of fermentation and force carbonation, even if it's still a bit green.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Double IPA & Cask Conditioning

A couple of months ago, friends of ours introduced us to the Liars Club. Or more specifically they introduced us to their Friday night cask ales and otherwise excellent micro brew selection. Since then I've had three different Cask IPAs there and they have all been fantastic.

But the question is was it the cask conditioning, the properties imbued by the beer engine or that Liars Club just gets excellent beers for their cask ale nights? Or is it a combination of all three?

Last night we went to the San Diego Brewing Company. They had a Fullers ESB cask ale and while it certainly had that mouthfeel that handpulled gives you, it didn't make it a more enjoyable than the Alpine Pure Hoppiness. So i'm still more of a Hop fan than cask fan.

I did a little bit exploring, trying to track down a beer engine, and it at least appears that they'are all imported from the UK. The only place on the web that seemed to be selling them in the US was UK Brewing Supplies.

But I still want explore the cask ale thing a bit more. Since it appears that beer engines are hard to come by, expensive at that and rigging up a corny for beer engine dispensation is no simple feat, I decided to not test the handpulled part of the equation first.

Yesterday I brewed a Double IPA using one of Home Brew Mart's stock recipes. 11# of extract and about 10oz. of Hops and 2 more coming for the dry hopping should make for a tasty IPA. After secondary fermentation i'm going to split this batch into two and cask conditioning one with priming sugar and force-carbonating the other with CO2. Give them both 3 weeks to age and then see if I can't tell the difference. Sure, they'll be put on CO2 the same way for kegerator use, so it's not a true cask vs. keg comparison, but at least I should be able to tell whether cask conditioning itself creates a significantly different flavor.