Monday, March 1, 2010

First look: "Jess's Mean 40th" aka Delta Wheat

So here's a first look of the just kegged, and I mean, like, 6 minutes ago.. 'Jess's Mean 40th" American Wheat ale, aka 'Delta Wheat'. As you might have surmised, I've started keeping track of my beers with a military phonetic alphabet designation to go along with the name.. in case I can't think of something for a name, it'll have just a phonetic designation to go along with the beer, in the order in which it was brewed this year, so Delta Wheat is my 4th beer of the year.. but this one is named after Jess V's 40th birthday, which is a mean one! Here's a shot of it, in all it's cloudy glory:

It's currently at 72 degrees, so I'm not apt to drink much.. plus, it's not carbonated, either. It quite literally came out of the primary fermenter a few minutes ago. It has an aroma of pineapple and citrus all mixed together. It's cloudy as all get out, but got down to 1.014 F.G. That makes it a 5.0% abv as of right now. It's also a Brett. 'C' beer.. so it might drop further in the keg as it waits it's turn in line to get into the fridge. I brewed this beer with Pete W., btw.. so, hopefully he's paying attention here.

Flavor is OK! Tastes like.. hmm.. tough call. I think I'm going to reserve judgement here for a bit.. it's sorta hard to pin down. Body is good, no defects I can taste.. seems a little mild on hops, considering what we put into it. I'm getting a hint of a breadiness in the thing.. but can't tell what's going on otherwise. I'm not getting anything in the way of a typical Brett flavor. Interesting. This Brett. 'C' is a really cool yeast.. it just works!

OK, get out of here. Click my google ad before you go, though!

Will's homebrew.. the brutal truth! Smoked Maple Wheat..

Nah, don't be scared kids.. just a regular beer review here. What we have today is Will Siss's first attempt at  homebrew, made in his own home this time. All done on premise in Watertownville, with no outside help other than his co-brewer auntie Michelle. It's supposedly a Smoked Maple Wheat beer.. so let's see what we've got, eh?

I'll give it a 17 SRM or so on the scale.. about a Copper to Deep Copper in color. Clarity is fantastic, there's no haze whatsoever.. newsprint would be readable through this pint glass. There's a trace of visible carbonation in the glass, with tiny bubbles seen rising through the beer, but no real head on it. I've heard smoked malts can have head retention issues, but I've brewed smoked beers myself and didn't have that issue. The cap came off this one with a resounding POP, so I know it's carb'd.. but I suspect another few days in the bottle would have led to more bubbles overall. Aromatics give a faint smokiness, but a distinct, though mild, solvent aroma appears as well. It's a mix of yeasty esters and a drop of paint thiner, but that sounds much harsher on paper than the beer gives in real life. There's no real objection here, from this reviewer. One would suspect a hot ferment, as I've experienced here in my own beers, but conversations with the brewer lead me to believe that's not the issue.. curious. On first sip, I'm actually fairly amazed! The wheat comes right through and the beer blasts through with substantial body and great flavor. No sign of that solvent-y note in the flavor itself.. err.. no, wait, I take that back. This is a real time review, and I'm picking it up just faintly now. and I mean faintly. But the overall flavor of the beer otherwise, quashes it nigh immediately. Again, I'm struck by the really good balance this beer has with flavor, bitterness and carbonation. A bit of an alcohol presence I'm tasting now, alongside what tastes almost vanilla, to me. Wondering what the abv % on this creation is.. stay tuned for an update on that info. About halfway through the glass as I type and bubbles still rising determinedly now, but still no head formation seen even though I'm tossing the glass around. So, there's some issue with foam stability here.. and in a wheat beer, that's mostly hard to do. Wonder what happened there? In any case, I'm towards the end of this beer as I type and I'm ready for another. I know reviews tend to focus on the faults a beer has a lot of the time, but this beer has quite a bit going for it. Fantastic flavor balance between it's various attributes, and a good overall balance in general. I am ready for another, but I have none. I think this would make a fabulous cold weather beer, as it's a little too sweet for a spring or sumer drinker.. but damn, well done! I will not hesitate to drink another when offered. And I *better* be offered another! ;-)

'tis all for now.. carry on!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Firm starter..

Chopped to bits and added the flour, water and salt..

Some kid..

Slashed for baking..

Baked and ready for lunch..

Other than that, went to Delaney's Tap Room and had an Ithaca apricot Wheat.. then travelled to Prime 16 where a Brewdog Paradox was consumed, followed by a Stone Pale Ale.. a trip to an Indian restaurant was next, where water was utilized to wash down the spicy, and then finally a stop over at Bar, where a Damn Good Stout was procured for the finale.