Friday, May 13, 2011


Ola Dubh 16 year old
8.0% alch, from Scotland

Alrighty here we go for another beer review. This time I am hitting up the Ola Dubh line of brews, I have had the 12 and 18 year old beers already and they were fantastic. So I picked up the 16 and 30 year old brews.

So the aroma is pure molasses, not much more I can say about it really. It is not sweet smelling just that nice richness of a good molasses. There is a slight hint of roast in the aroma that squeaks through at the end.

The appearance is that of a nice dark tar like substance, the head is think and tan and lingers for a long while. It pours nice and even eluding to its body.

The first taste is a sweet dark fruit, that leads into a nice dark smokiness. Normally I am not a fan of smokey beers but this is so rich and luxurious that I cannot resist. The body is thick as it looked while pouring. There is a slight hint of the alcohol in the overall taste, which isn't too bad but slightly off putting. There is also a nice touch of roast in there also. Carbonation is low as is to be expected and nice.

So overall I really enjoyed this beer I enjoyed the 18 year old slightly more than this, but I guess we will see what happens when I taste the 30 year old. So scurry out of your holes if you haven't tried any of the beers in this line and let me know what you think of them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What the Huck!

So I am just sitting down to drink a beer from the Fernie Brewing company, its called What the Huck. They list it as Huckleberry Wheat Ale. I don't ever remember having a huckleberry so I am not sure what it is supposed to taste like.

So...what can I say about this, it definitely has the wheat malt aroma, with very little hops. It almost seems a bit earthy, I wonder if that could be my damp jeans as I just got back from a walk. It also does have a little sweetness in the aroma. The color is reminiscent of ice tea, maybe a little more towards orange. Has the nice cloudiness from the wheat.

The flavor is nice clean wheat malitness with a definite berry tasty in the middle. The lingering taste is all malt, not really a touch of hops at all it seems.

Tasty beer but not anything spectacular or anything, I wouldn't advise anyone to run out and buy this. But if your looking for an easy drinking ale then go ahead and pick this one up.

Monday, April 18, 2011


So today was a brewday, I was planning on brewing 5 gallons of a Wit but I didn't have enough flaked white wheat to make 5 gallons. So that kind of sucks but again I didn't have a way to serve 5 gallons yet, and you all know how I feel about bottling beer.

So here's the recipe:

1.10 kg Pilsener Malt
1 kg Flaked soft White wheat
.3 kg rice hulls (cause of the wheat!!)
.27 kg flaked oats
70 g Munich Malt

So that's the malt bill or the mash. I only ran the Pilsener and munich malt through the mill, not sure if you have to mill the soft wheat or not. My thought was that the wheat would be ground up too much and might clog the mill wheels. I mashed in at 50 C and let it circulate through the HERMS coil for 15 mins. I then raised the temp to 67 C, but started the 60 minute timer when the temperature hit 63 C. After that I raised the temperature to 77 C for mash out and let that circulate for 30 mins. Meanwhile I had another 10 L of water warming up to 77 C for the sparge water, I batch sparge. So once the first running's were drained down I added the sparge water and let it circulate for 10 mins to clear. Then I ran the sparge water off and started up the boil.

Stuff added to the boil was:

13 G Hallertau hops
7 G Crushed coriander seed
2 G dried chamomile flower
20 G fresh orange zest

So I did a 90 min boil with the hop addition at 60 mins. With 15 mins left I added a pinch of irish moss. At 5 mins I added the rest of the ingredients. Once the boil was over I circulated through the chiller plate for 10 mins to sanitize it, and to help settle the trub in the kettle. After filling the fermenter to 11.5 L I injected the wort with pure oxygen for 20 seconds, then pitched a fresh smack pack of yeast.

So my efficiency taken from the kettle was 82% which was bang on for what I was aiming for, this has been my system efficiency for the last 4 brews. I had initially set it to 75% but it always worked out to 82% so that's where I set it to. Thing is my OG's are coming in a tad low, like this one should have come out as 1.050 after the boil but it was actually only 1.044. I gotta figure this out cause it bugs me coming in low, but the pre-boil efficiency is bang on.

So from the first taste the coriander levels seemed to be bang on to me and the orange was nice also. The chamomile is alright I guess I can't seem to taste it all that much. I guess I will have to pass it around to see how people like it. Oh I am fermenting it at 18 C.

If you want pictures in the future posts of my system and some of the steps let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Random beers

So over the last couple of days I have been trying out the Dieu du Ciel mixed pack. I am happy to say that all the beers in this pack are very tasty. Its a bit of a toss up as to which would be my favorite of the pack though, the fore runners would have to be the Blanche de Paradis, and the Rosie d'hibiscus. The Blanche is a wit that is truly amazing and so very tasty, best part is there are 4 bottles in the pack. The Rosie is nice a fruity with a peach or apricot flavor, problem is there are only 2 bottles in the pack :( . The other tow beers consist of a hemp ale and a blonde ale, both tasty in their own right but not as memorable as the other two.

So I also just got back from being out with some beers with a couple of buddies. If you are ever in Edmonton looking for a nice place to eat the OJ's downtown by 124 st is a great choice. They have a really good selection of beer on tap and the food is well prepared. Some of the other OJ's in town are ok, but not anywheres close to this location.

The plan for this week involves brewing a Wit beer tomorrow. Followed by various session involving some beer. Oooh I do plan on having the 16 year old and 30 year old Ola Dubh so I will keep you informed on how those turn out.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Grrr packaging

I must admit that the only part about this hobby that I hate is the packaging. Bottling drives me nuts, it is so hard to get motivated to actually do it. I do enjoy kegging cause for a lazy man like me the math makes sense, 40 or 50 bottles, or 1 Keg. Hmmmm, no brainer. Well why don't I keg, well cause I don't have anywhere to serve my kegs from right now. I used to have a second temperature controlled deep freeze for serving and storing beers in, but since I have moved a couple times in the last few years I have lost one. So my next project is going to be to build a kegerator, I'll document it on here.

Well all that being said I was busy bottling this morning. I had 2 beers in my cellar that I had to get bottled. They have both been lagering for over a month so they should be well ready. These are two of the beers that I am gonna send to some facebook friends that answered a little status thing I put up. What I will be sending them is a Dusseldorf Alt and a Bohemian Pilsner. The Alt turned out a little low, and easy to drink. The Pils turned out really good to me, well balanced with the Saaz hops up front and a nice malt finish. I hope they enjoy them. Ended up with 48 bottles from the 2 three gallon batches, with 24-335ml bottles and 24-500 ml bottles. Oh and two 1L bottles about 3/4 full.

So the next post might be notes on the tasting of both beers after they have carbonated up. If not it'll be my next brew which is gonna be a Wit.



Friday, April 8, 2011

Back in the saddle

Gonna change the Blog a little, gonna start tracking my brews. Its gonna involve info about my set up and what I am brewing. Also you'll see how my brew days go and how the beer actually tastes. Lets see how this one goes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jacobite (Ale flavored with Coriander)

First aroma I get is a nice rich and caramel smell of the malt, very little hoppiness. The hop aroma I do pick up is a bit of earthiness and spice. The spice could be coming from the coriander. This beer feels like a scotch ale to me. Pours with a nice standing head with an ivory color to it and medium sized bubbles. Head stays around the rim in a bit of a lace as you drink it.

The malt comes to the fore front again in the flavor, is a rich dark fruit type of flavor. The lingering taste is almost of a herbal quality, maybe from the hops, or from the coriander. The is a little warmth from the alcohol in the middle but it is not overpowering, even for a beer that is rated at 8%. Bitterness is well balanced, so that the beer is not sweet nor is it to bitter from the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium to light heavy, with a medium amount of carbonation. Feels a little slick at the end but that could have been the from the alcohol in the middle.

Very tasty beer, like I said I think this feels like a scotch ale, but not as cloying in sweetness. I should sit down and do a better study of coriander flavors and aromas to properly judge the levels of it in this beer. I like it you guys should give it a try if you can find it.