I racked my third beer, the "Blessed Virgin Mary Milkstout", into the secondary fermenter today. The colour is really nice. I tasted some of the un-conditioned and un-carbonated beer, and it tasted very sweet, and had some nice chocolate/burnt flavors as well. Above all, since it's a milk or cream ale, it should be smooth and sweet. Looks like I'm on the right rack so far. I'm gonna let this ale condition in the secondary for a little longer than I had in the past: probably about two weeks. Then I'll bottle it and it will be ready for drinking in another two.
I'm not sure what my next beer will be. I have some ingredients for a wheat beer, and I'd like to give another try to my dry-hopped IPA that didn't turn out. I also want to bite the bullet and start brewing from all grain. That involves some more equipment and about 3 hours of time added to my process. Everyone tells me that it's mostly a big mental hurdle, and the actual process isn't all that terribly hard. Plus, in the long run it will be cheaper to brew from all grain, it can make bigger batches, and hey: it gives me the most control over the details of a beer. Eventually, using all grain brewing, one *could* taste any beer and know how to make a similar clone.
I think I need a shed for my fast expanding hobby....
In beer drinking news, I'm very impressed with the beers from Atwater Brewery
of Detroit Michigan. Their "shaman's" porter is great, and last night I had two pints of their "Hell" lager, which was light sweet and thirst-quenching.
I had a beer from Ommegang
a week ago: their Hennepin Saison. It was refreshing and a little spicy, with great citrusy hops. Their Witte is always a great one. Soft, pale, and refreshing wheat with orange and coriander: one of my favorite wheat beers for sure.
One I meant to write about for a while was the IPA I had from Saugatuck Brewing Co.
. It was really thick, super high gravity. Lots of bitterness and hops. I can't find it on their website, so perhaps it was discontinued. The waitress who served me tried to disuade me from ordering it. When it arrived, I took a sip and she was grimacing and asked me if I actually liked it, which I did very much. Apparently it was way too bitter for her. Her loss. :)
Now I'm off to work. I shall report back in when the BVM milkstout is bottled, and when it is tasted!