Crow’s Nest is back!

Fear not faithful readers, Crow’s Nest is back in action! I took the last part of the year off blogging and keeping up with the website. Here’s the homebrewing action that was missed over the last few months.

Irish Stout #3 – In what is becoming my yearly winter stout, this years edition was pretty similar to past years. This one is a little different in that the smoked malt was dropped due to the homebrew shop not having any available. I also tried using some new local malts, Mecca Grade, from over in central Oregon. Not sure the reason but when using the Mecca Grade malts my efficiency is about 10% less. This caused the beer to go from an expected 4.2% down to 3.5% and is the smallest beer brewed to date.

OG: 1.037
FG: 1.011
ABV: 3.5%
Mash – 148
Ferm. Temp: 69

Malts: Lamonta Pale, Flaked Barley, Wheat Malt, Roasted Barley, Chocolate Malt, Pale Chocolate Malt, Dextrose
Hops: Nugget, Mt. Hood
Yeast: Imperial A31 Tartan

Turned out to be a decent little beer – a touch bitter and kind of watery but there’s some good flavors in there. Will probably add the smoked malt again and lower the hopping for next time but pretty good for a 3.5% beer.

Cashmere Single Hop Pale Ale

Picked up a pound of Cashmere hops last year and wanted to see how they tasted on their own. Cashmere has a description of “…Tropical coconut, peach and tangerine filled out the aroma, while a similar flavor profile paired coconut, melon, tangerine and lemongrass” and sounded great for a single hop beer. But sadly I didn’t experience these flavors and there didn’t seem to be much hop presence at all.

OG: 1.044
FG: 1.007
ABV: 4.8%
Mash: 152
Ferm. Temp: 68

Malts: Pelton Pilsner, Breiss Pilsen, Wheat Malt, CaraPils, Acidulated
Hops: Cashmere
Yeast: Imperial A31 – Tartan

Sadly, ended up moving on from this when the Rip City Rye Lager was ready. I used a ton of hops but the flavors just didn’t come through as I was expecting.

Rip City Rye Lager

Decided to switch up this years Rip City Red to do an amber rye lager at a lower gravity. I’ve moved on from hoppy red ales and been gravitating more towards crisp lagers and this one falls in line with that. I got the reddish color from the chocolate rye malt, so the flavor impact is pretty minimal but really darkened up the beer.

OG: 1.042
FG: 1.011
ABV: 4.1%
Mash: 149
Ferm. Temp: 55

Malts:  Pelton Pils, Rimrock Rye, Metolius Munich, Chocolate Rye
Hops: Loral
Yeast: Imperial L17 Harvest

Really enjoying this beer and well received. Found myself getting pints of this before the other beers that have been on tap. Crisp with a little spiciness coming through from the rye makes for an interesting session beer. I’d probably tweak the recipe slight if brewed again to up the maltiness a bit.

Holman Pale

After brewing a ton of pale ales over the years I’ve kind of settled into what I really enjoy in the style and plan on keeping this beer on tap most of the time. A pretty simple malt bill with some wheat and oats and 2 or 3 of my go to hops and that’s about it. I think the yeast choice is still up in the air as I’m trying to nail down the right finishing gravity so the body and hoppiness perception is in the right range. I’ve been using the Tartan strain lately and like it but it drys out this beer a little too much so I think I’ll change that in the future.

OG: 1.045
FG: 1.006
ABV: 5.2%
Mash: 152*
Ferm. Temp: 69

Malt: Pils, Pale, Wheat, Oats, Carafoam, Acidulated
Kettle Hops: Centennial, Galaxy, Simcoe
Dry Hops: Centennial, Comet, Galaxy, Simcoe
Yeast: Imperial A31 Tartan

I mashed this one longer than usual in order to get a few sets in on the tennis court. The result was a super dry beer, drier than usual with this yeast. Ended up with 85% attenuation which is a little bit too much. The color is also just a little too dark so I think the pale malt will get dropped next time around. The taste is great on this one, very hoppy and the bitterness is still in check. It’s so damn dry that it drinks really crisp but also give a little perception of bitterness when it’s right off the tap. The body does suffer as a result of the dryness though. I’m thinking somewhere around 1.010 – 1.012 will be just right for this one in the future.





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