Homebrewing, Smoked, Wheat

Smoked Wheat was not a Success

My smoked wheat brew did not turn out well. It tastes perfectly fine but for some reason it makes me feel bloated after drinking. I wonder if i’m getting yeast in my cup. You can see the yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

Yeast on the bottom of the bottle.

Yeast on the bottom of the bottle.


The beer looks good too. Lighter than I think it should have been- but looks like beer and smells like it too.

Smoked wheat looking a bit light.

Smoked wheat looking a bit light.


I am not a huge wheat beer drinker so maybe that has something to do with it – not much reference. I still have some in the fridge and will try again. Maybe it was me and not the beer.

Whether the beer is good or not, I will implement a new policy of two beers while brewing – one while mashing and one while boiling. I think we might have overdone it while brewing this one and our mash suffered – as well as a less than vigorous boil.

Chalk it up to experience. I will boil sausages in it if I don’t drink it. Learned that from a buddy who homebrews – cook with bad batches.


Belgian, IPA, Saison

Weekend Beers

This weekend, I enjoyed two Belgian style American brews: Ovila Abbey Saison and Cali-Belgique IPA.

The Ovila Abbey Saison is a collaboration beer between Sierra Nevada and the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux. This is a beautiful bottle of beer. It stood out on the shelf commanding my attention-and it got it. This beer shows the range of Saison. Nowhere near as dry as what you would typically expect from a Saison. This beer was more like a Saison mixed with a Tripel. And how could you go wrong with that.20130902-122304.jpg

The second beer was a Belgian inspired IPA by Stone. Half the bottles are labeled Cali-Belgie and half Cali-Belgique. The idea of brewing an IPA and adding Belgian yeast sounds simple enough and makes you think “hey, I could of thought of that.” But you didn’t and Stone did, and it’s brilliant. I will add an IPA with Belgian yeast to my must homebrew list because this beer is delicious. It tasted like a Belgian Tripel with lots of hops. The purist, old world beer side of me loved the Belgian spiciness and the American in me loved the smack in the face from the hops.
20130902-123939.jpgI love Belgian beer, who doesn’t, right? But American takes on Belgian beer are making me fall in love all over again. Everything New Belgium is doing, to the beers I just mentioned, the New World is shaking things up.

Homebrewing, Smoked, Wheat

Bottling Smoked Wheat

Bottling day is judgement day. Unless something went terribly wrong, it is now that you can tell if this batch fermented properly. I tried a few new things with this batch- using a blowoff tube for the entire fermentation and a strictly controlled temperature-as strict as a bucket of water and ice can be. So I am justifiably nervous. We transferred the wort to a pot that had 1/2cup water and 3Tbsp of honey. It looked good, smelled like beer, nothing out of the ordinary.



I could count the wheat beers I have drunk on one hand. What a shame. I have really started to appreciate and enjoy them. I know I posted on my weekend beers and these were not on the list but brew and bottling day beers don’t count-that’s what I tell my wife. These are working beers required by my homebrew union.

I have seen these bottles at the store and they have always caught my attention so time to give them a try. The Ur-Weisse was sweet and refreshing. Just under 6% ABV made it a good working beer.

I also had to try the Altbairisch Dunkel. Hops are great but sometimes you want a nice malty beer and this hit the spot.

Beer wasn’t the only thing on the menu on bottling day. While I was cleaning and sanitizing everything, we peeled some freshly roasted green chile. Fresh green chile on a tortilla with a wheat beer…..one good Labor Day weekend.