It's been a busy week or so. My mother flew back to Dublin yesterday after what seemed like a very quick eleven days. Things are getting back to normal, in a way, so last night I bottled the amber ale I made two weeks ago. I can't wait to taste it carbonated, as it has a really unusual flavour; heaps of passion fruit, or grenadine. I'm not sure which. Certainly more hoppy in the flavour stakes than an amber ale should be, but that's because I got distracted and added the flavour hops too early. Maybe a good thing, who knows?
Today (spread out between familial tasks) I made a barleywine I'd been planning for ages, using yeast trub from the amber ale to get this monster off to a good start. It should finish out at about 10.5% alcohol, and the bitterness units are estimated to be around 106. I used heaps of American "C" hops; Chinook, Centennial and Cascade, all with wonderful citric, grapefruity aromas. My son really wanted to chew the pellets, but he had to settle for the malt and malt extract ("that's not enough Daddy! More!"). I tasted the wort and it was so hoppy it tasted like black pepper. I plan on maturing it on oak for three or more months before bottling (maybe longer) and to try and leave most of it till next Christmas. That's the plan anyway!
For the geeks, my full recipe can be found here.