For the time being, I lack enough control over fermentation temperature to brew the three standards I’ve already developed – Marsupiale, Sirenia, Man on the Oss. So I decided to work with nature instead of against it and brew with the seasons. I’ve switched to using yeast strains that are more compatible with the ambient temperatures these days. While I could be making Kolsch-style beer galore, I felt that it wasn’t distinctive enough to wow you with just yet.
So here’s what I’ve been brewing over the last few weeks:
Wallaby – this is a cold-fermentation version of Marsupiale, with minor hop quantity variations. It will still be a refreshing, hoppy amber ale.
Koala – This is a slight variation on Wallaby, only it’s got more bitterness.
Cave Penguin Lager – This is an American-style dark lager I modeled after my favorite. It’s got moderate hop bitterness and lots of malty body. I used a classic lager yeast from San Francisco, which I plan to use more regularly in brewing because it’s such a fantastic performer.
Hallucigenia – Gruit is an unhopped ale that uses other herbs to flavor it. In this case I chose juniper berries, yarrow flowers, and mugwort. Gruits are traditionally dark ales, but I decided to make this one golden. I had a taste and it’s surprisingly fruity and fresh tasting. The juniper appears to have been subdued, but that can still change during conditioning. The mugwort provides the balancing bitterness to the sweet character of the ale. The yarrow gives it those bright palatal overtones. I used a blend of lager yeasts and ale yeasts to ferment this. I know people who are allergic to hops and therefore do not drink beer – this one’s for you.
Creme de Stout – As luck would have it, I made the original test batch of this stout using a cold hardy European ale yeast. This stout is brewed with peppermint and spearmint. Some people call it chocolately – some people don’t even notice the mint. This sweet stout is so refreshing, smooth, and light that you can drink it with food and not feel overwhelmed. It’s not cloying or syrupy like other sweet stouts. It’s unusual but wonderful.
Griselda – There’s a uniquely Argentine ale called Dorada Pampeana that I’ve been wanting to recreate. It’s a golden session ale with low hop presence and a dry finish. I learned of the death of a friend in Buenos Aires and I decided I would make a variation of the style in her honor. I switched to hops with more character, still keeping it on the light side, going with El Dorado, which I’ve never used before. It’s a high-alpha hop but added it late in the boil to keep the bitterness mellow. I also added some hibiscus flowers to give it a little tartness. Because I am using a lower-attenuating yeast than the style demands, I thought the hibiscus and stronger hop aroma would balance the slightly sweeter body.
These will start becoming available at the Hungry Bistro in mid-March. They will all go through a rigorous quality control process, so if they are not up to my high standards, you won’t see them at all. Except for the mint stout, these are all experimental, first-time brews.