Gowanus Brewery

American Harvest Amber Ale – Oaked! by Jeremy
September 22, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: amber ale, beer

Last night, I moved the Gowanus American Harvest Amber Ale off the oak to finish secondary (tertiary?).

I thiefed a taste while I waited for the beer to finish siphoning out of the carboy.  To my surprise, I didn’t notice any Home Depot-y flavors, but the beer is significantly drier on the back end.  I was intentionally conservative with the oak because I only wanted a tweak from it (and I didn’t want to have to age the hell out of it in case I over did the oak), so I added an ounce of oak chips and let it sit for a week.  I’m anxious to try the end product to really see what effect the oak has here.

By the way, the gravity is at 1.014, down from 1.045 and ambient temperatures have been in the low 80s, although in the last week they’ve dropped to the mid 70s.

Gowanus American Harvest Amber Ale by Jeremy
September 6, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: all-grain, amber ale, beer, hops, naming, northern brewer, recipe

A new season; a new brew.

The “Harvest” of the Gowanus American Harvest Amber Ale is represented, pitifully, by the half-ounce of fresh hops I pulled off the garden this season. I say pitifully, because that’s the entire harvest. A small harvest is typical, though, for newly-planted hops, which can take up to two seasons to reach their full potential.

Still, a half ounce of garden hops is kinda weak for a harvest ale, especially considering that the ratio for fresh hops to pellets, which recipes tend to assume, is 5 to 1. So, to cover all my bases, I’ll add that the spent grain went to the compost for next year’s harvest. So, we’re agreed. It’s harvesty.

Anyway, the beer. I bought the all-grain American Amber Ale kit from Northern Brewer, which they describe as follows:

It’s not quite an alt; it’s not quite a pale ale. Our American Amber borrows from German and British brewing traditions to make a beer that’s uniquely American, perhaps similar to the ales our forefathers brewed in the colonial days. Hearty and smooth, this beer improves greatly with a little extra aging, if you’re patient enough.

It includes 8 lbs. 2-row pale malt, 1 lb. Munich malt, and 1 lb. Caramel 60, 2 oz. Cascade hops (60 mins.), 1 oz. Cascade hops (15 mins.), and an American Ale yeast. I modified the recipe to include a quarter ounce of home-grown Centennial and a quarter ounce of home-grown Cascade for aroma (the Willamette has yet to flower). I’m also going to put 1 ounce of oak chips on this beer during secondary for about a week to add enough extra tweak to feel like I can really call it my own.

Will tell you how it turned out in about six weeks!