More Red Racers

These three treasures in the picture (left to right) are: Red Racer IPA, RR White Ale, and RR Extra Special Bitter.

This is a brief follow-up post to Red Robster’s post on Red Racer IPA, which can be viewed here: https://beersforbreakfast.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/red-racer-ipa/

I happen to be residing in BC right now and Red Racer is readily available. It even seems to be a highly acclaimed, local favourite. Admittedly I’m in Powell River, BC, not Surrey where The Red Racer Brewery is located, so, it’s still not as local as can be. There is a brewery in the small town of Powell River and they do make a delicious IPA and a wheat beer, but I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty hard to beat a Red Racer. I did find myself going back to the RR shelf at the liquor store again and again.. until recently I became over-stocked so much on home-brew that I can hardly justify buying beer at all.

I completely agree with Rob’s review of the IPA. Never have I tasted such a citric, hoppy brew. It’s hard to believe that there isn’t actually any grapefruit in there! This is a very refreshing, delicious beer that can be enjoyed over and over again. At about $15 /six-pack it is more expensive than most six-packs of cans, but well worth it for the quality in my opinion.

 
The White Ale (wheat beer) and the ESB are also tasty treats. They both definitely have elements that are reminiscent of the IPA. They are not quite as hoppy of course, but there is a certain flavour that transcends them all. I would imagine they are using some of the same variety of hops to achieve a signature taste across their entire selection of beers. The White and the ESB taste pretty much as you would expect (or at least as I did). The White is light, crisp, cloudy and refreshing as wheat beers tend to be. The ESB is darker, not actually that bitter, kind of roasty and fruity. Both of these beers are worth checking out if you get a chance. They’re good but not irresistible like the IPA.

IPA            

White Ale 

ESB           

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Ah yes – IPA

From left to right in this picture you see: (5 gal. jugs) Ah yes -IPA, and Yarrow Honey Mead (1 gal. jugs) Raspberry Melomel, Pear & Rhubard Melomel, and Rhubarb Melomel

Ingredients:

-3lb. Light malt extract

-4 lb. Amber malt extract

-1 lb. Crystal malt

-1/2 lb. Toasted malted barly

-7 oz. Cascade hops

-2 oz. Northern Brewer hops

-2 tsp. Gypsum

-1/2 tsp Irish moss

-1 pkg. WYEAST (Irish Ale)

-1 1/4 cup Amber malt extract (for priming)

This is another recipe from “The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing” by Charlie Papazian. I did make some modifications based both on what was available to me, and my own taste. I used liquid malt extract instead of the dry malt extract that the recipe called for. I’m not sure what the implications of this change will be. Liquid malt extract is readily and cheaply available to me in bulk from the local U-Brew establishment. (As are all the other ingredients.)

I am apparently the only customer in Powell River who uses the U-Brew for their bulk ingredient purchasing service, everyone else pays them to make the beer for them! The guy there does all the work and to make it legal, the customer has to go and pitch the yeast. That brew-master’s got pretty sweet job if you ask me. The health food stores in town also sell some beer and wine-making equipment, but only the “basic” kit-brewing supplies are available and they are more expensive. You can however find drilled bungs at the health-food store. It’s so nice to find a place that will drill your bung at a reasonable rate. Ah yes, drilled bungs.

Back to beer. This recipe was described as sweeter than a traditional IPA. I prefer a dryer beer so I upped the hops. Hop hop hops. I Added the bittering hops (Northern Brewer) several times throughout the process instead of just at the beginning. I also added the aromatic hops (Cascade) 10 minutes before the end of the boil and again during the last minute. I plan on adding 5oz of Cascade again when I transfer the beer into the secondary fermenter.

The Irish Moss was also not part of the original recipe. Irish Moss is a positive addition to almost any brew. Actually, it is a negative addition with a positive result. Irish moss is negatively charged and attracts the positively charged precipitated and coagulated proteins in the brew-pot. This causes the proteins to settle to the bottom, helping the beer to become clear and less cloudy. I also use Irish moss in mead.

I’ll keep ya’ll poster on how it goes.

Yarrow Honey Mead

For I Gallon I used:

-3 lbs. organic fireweed honey

-1/5 tbsp. gypsum

-3/4 tsp. acid blend (not as exciting as it sounds!)

-Small pinch of Irish Moss

-A handful of freshly picked yarrow leaves (I left the premature flowers alone so that they would seed more for future batches.)

-3 gr. champagne yeast, dehydrated in 1.5 oz water and 1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast

Excuse the poor quality picture, the lighting was all wrong, it’s actually more golden in colour than it appears here.

Bottled Steam Beer

“The Sun Has Left Us On Time Steam Beer” has been bottled in an array of different shapes and sizes of bottles, including a one gallon jug:

“The Sun Has Left Us On Time” Steam Beer

As Chris suggested I have moved my Imperial Stout into a secondary fermenter and am now in the process of cooling my wort from “The Sun Has Left Us On Time” Steam Beer to pitch onto the yeast from the Imperial Stout. The Stout is merrily fermenting away in its new home, where it will live for another 3 weeks or until there is next to no sign of active fermentation. Below is a picture of the Imperial Stout that was taken after I had filled the secondary fermenter and was removing the last bit of beer, leaving the yeast behind for this new beer. I thought I would have a little taste. Note the chunks of hop debris floating on top, apparently I need to use a finer strainer. This was definitely tasty, very yeasty and flat, of course, but it has got potential!

Here is the recipe I used for “The Sun Has Left Us On Time” Steam Beer:

1/2 lb. crystal malt
8 lbs. light malt extract
1 oz. Northern Brewers hops (boiling)
1/2 oz Northern Brewers hops (finishing)
1/2 oz Willianette hops (finishing)
The yeast cake from the bottom of “Honey Imperial Stout”

And I plan on using 1 1/4 cups blackstrap molasses for priming.

The finishing hops were supposed to be Cascade hops, which I thought I had, but I did not, I had Willianette hops left over from last time. I don’t think this beer will be as botanically aromatic as it would have if I did use Cascade — too bad. The Cascade hops smell GREAT, these other 2 varieties smell.. good.

This beer recipe also called for lager yeast, not ale yeast which I am using. It is not going to turn out how it is described in the book that I got it from. Also considering that there is going to be some flavour and colour from the Honey Imperial Stout that was left behind with the yeast. Hopefully it will be really good despite all this, but I am having some doubts to be honest, the lack of Cascade hops was truly disappointing.

Here is the wort coming to a boil with the crystal malt in it (no malt extract or hops at this point):

Here is the final wort coming back up to a boil (note the colour — not what you would expect from a “steam beer” recipe):

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of both of these beers.

Nosradamus

A dark brown, ruby-reddish, “worn leather jacket” coloured beer. It’s well carbonated and kind of cloudy with a thick head that dissipates to the perimeter. It smells like a lemon tree. The flavour of this warming, strong Belgian ale is very complex. It took a few sips to appreciate it. At first it seemed to be too sweet, but after a few sips I began to enjoy it more. It’s not syrupy, it is very sweet, but refreshing.  The are definite hints of molasses, liquorice, prunes, pear, sour cherry and other dark fruit, but the strongest flavour and after-taste is of lemon. It’s also quite “bready” or “yeasty”, would probably make a lovely lemon loaf (ah yes, alliteration). The after-taste definitely also leaves a warm alcoholic feeling behind.

9% ABV

Good beer, don’t know that I’ll buy it again for a while though, a little sweet for my taste. 3.5 out of 5 heads.

Honey Imperial Stout

This is my first homebrew, so I thought I’d make something that packs a punch! This is a modified recipe from the book “The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing”. Emma picked this book up for me at a rummage sale for something like 25 cents — and it’s great! It includes everything from how to make beer for beginners, to much more advanced, start-from-scratch techniques. It also includes info on growing hops, culturing yeast, beer nutrition, etcetera. Anyway here’s the recipe I came up with based on what was available to me:

1/2 lb. roasted barley
5 lb. dark malt extract
6 lb. “regular” malt extract
400 g honey
3 tsp. gypsum
2 oz. Northern Brewer hops (bittering hops)
2 oz. Willanette hops (flavouring hops)
1 oz. Cascade hops (aroma hops)
1 package liquide ale yeast
1 1/4 cups blackstrap molasses (for priming)

Here are all of my ingredients (and the oatmeal stout that I was drinking at the time):

This is how I steeped the roasted barley as I heated the water for my wort:

This is Oscar’s insulated pot and grill contraption that I used to boil the wort:

He uses that contraption to distil alcohol, not to boil wort, so he didn’t know that it wouldn’t work for my purposes. It was taking way too long to bring the water to a boil, so I switched over to this burner instead:

Here is my wort (cooling-down) and my liquid yeast with nutrient pack (warming-up):

24 hours later, the yeast buddies are going nuts!

This brew smells great! It smells like a strong Belgian ale, which isn’t what I was going for.. but I’ll take it!