Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Frontiersman - Un-Distilled Whisky


I have recently completed another batch of un-distilled whisky, and although strictly speaking this is not a blog for such activities, I felt there was ample precedent for me to publish an article on this subject in this forum based on some recent posts on the subject eg. Fathers Day, Bringeth the LovethOld Engine Oil, The Classic. Mrs Colonel, a keen amateur photographer, was kind enough to record some of this action for posterity. I was inspired to write this post by reading the Art of Manliness’s Craft Beer  page.

The pictured brew is a Northwest Pale Ale (a regional variation on the better known India Pale Ale). Its an American style beer that is characterised  by a high hops count. This style of beer has become a personal favourite of mine over the last couple of years. Probably the best known NW Pale Ale available in Australia today is Fat Yak, brewed by the Matilda Bay Brewing Company. NW Pale Ales are a light (colour not ABV) beer and have a refreshing summery taste. I highly recommend beer drinkers who are not acquainted with the taste to try one (or more).  I really enjoy this beer, but I prefer their earlier Alpha Pale Ale, which is extremely hoppy. Its not easy to find in local bottle shops, but is usually available in Dan Murphy stores.

This is my second attempt at making a NW Pale Ale. My first attempt, which I am halfway through consuming, is by far my most successful home brew batch yet. Lucky DTWC members who visit Casa de Colonel may be invited to sample some of this brew, but only if they hurry. Its not going to last long.

Brewing is a relatively new hobby of mine; I’ve been at it for about a year. Its something I’d like to get into much more seriously. Initially I was using the Kit & Kilo method that most club members would be aware of, but more recently I have begun making partial’s (a slightly more advanced technique). But in the long term, I would like to try all grain brewing – that is making beer 100% from traditional ingredients only, not kits. Prior to bottling, my beer had been fermenting for about a month in the closet under the stairs at Casa de Colonel. It’s a balmy 21 degrees C all year round in the room which makes it ideal for the fermentation process.

To achieve this goal though will require some financial expenditure which Mrs Colonel is reluctant to authorise at present. I’m sure that, over time, I’ll be able to sweet talk her into the purchase (“think of all the money we’ll save in the long term), but perhaps not for the foreseeable future. In the mean time I have other hobbies on the boil which also demand much of my attention. For those who are interested, the pictures above depict the rather tedious process off bottling the beer. In future (once approved) a keg system will be installed to simplify bottling day and to shorten the period of time need for the brew to carbonate (to about three days).

As regular readers would know, I am not the only brewer in the club. The Baron has likewise an interest in brewing (and lets face it, all things alcohol) and in future I envisage a brisk trade in bottles between us. Perhaps Baron, we could both bring a bottle to next months Club meeting at El Capitan’s house?  I would encourage other members to get involved in this  noble endeavour too – Imagine if Club meetings involved a home brew tasting sponsored by the host, prior to official DTWC activities taking place? AWESOME!