Sunday, March 25, 2012

Toad Chateau Misty Moorings Tasting

Toad Chateau : Misty Moorings
Toad Chateau Misty Moorings Scotch Ale was brewed to be our premier beer at the 2012 Spring Fest party at Toad Chateau. Dark malty and complex yet smooth.

Appearance: It poured fairly clear with a deep chestnut color. We had a lot of keg jostling during the last week so the slight turbidity was not unexpected. The head was composed of fine bubbles, a nice tan color too. It fell faster then most of the beers we have brewed but did still linger in a fine layer through most of the glass.

Aroma: A good nose of malt with a bend towards toffee and caramel, maybe just a whiff of burnt sugar and smoke in the background. As it warmed there was a fairly pronounced black cherry note and a bit of spicy herbal hops that started to show. If served warm this would be very similar to a Belgian Dubble, or Dark Strong in aroma.

Taste: Very smooth, not quite as silky as an Oatmeal Stout but for no oats about as close as you could get. The body seemed a bit lighter then the aroma would lead one to believe, but otherwise excellent. The flavors came through with a good maltiness, noticeable kettle caramelization, solid cherry like fruitiness but not overpowering. The hops were perfectly absent. And after a few sips you could easily feel a pleasant alcohol warmth radiating up from your belly.

Overall: A very nice beer. Sweet, Malty, & Strong. Nothing here that I would object too. The cherry notes might be a bit strong, not sure if that was due to the Caramunich II or the Cherrywood Smoked Malt. Also I was expecting a bit more of a smokey note to come through since the ECY07 lists smokey as part of the flavor profile. But as I said the beer was very well received by all.

  • J - 6
  • K - 8.5
  • T - 5

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Toad Chateau Red Headed Stepchild

Sorry for the lateness of this post we have been busy brewing up a storm here at Toad Chateau. So how did our brewday go on the 15th you ask? Well, let me tell you....
The plan for this day was to brew 10 gallons of Red Rye. We were looking for a nice amber beer to serve at our Springfest on March 24th. Also, I wanted to brew an additional Flanders Red style ale for aging and blending. So the recipe can be found here. Everything went fairly well surprisingly. Ended up with a bit less then expected due to some particulate displacing wort in the boil kettle and thusly showing too high of a volume, but... otherwise pretty good.
This was the first beer we have brewed using Crystal Rye. The expectations are very high for a good spiciness with licorice hints. The grist smelled wonderful. Took a bit of work to get 23# of grain ground and into a 5gal bucket but we managed. The first rest for this beer was @ 117f for 30 minutes. The second rest @ 154f for one hour, we needed to recirculate the wort for about 30 minutes in order to achieve this temperature. I made the decision that for ease of brewing I would brew 'entire' and do three batch sparges for our beer. The first pull was 6.5Gal, this was sent to the boil kettle. My observation at the time was that the color seemed a little light for my hoped target. The Mash Tun was then refilled the temperature checked and @ 152f allowed to rest for an additional hour. The second runnings were pulled totaling an additional 5Gal. The final runnings were pulled after a 30 minute rest at 148F and totaled 3.5Gal. Total pull of 15Gal from 23# of grain.

And now we boil, and we boil, and boil.......... (Following the hop schedule on the recipe.)

As we approached our final intended volume it became clear that we were going to miss or color mark. So using quick thinking and a survey of our available malts, I grabbed 1/4oz of crushed black malt and tossed it into the boil with 40minutes left. It helped a bit but still not quite what I wanted, so I grabbed the last dark malt I had, 3oz of chocolate wheat. I added this with 5 minutes to go in the boil. After flame out I let the wort sit for 10 minutes before chilling and sending to the carboy. This was perfect as the color was a gorgeous ruby.

Chilled and ready we pitched Wyeast 1768 into one carboy, and ECY02 into the other. Tasting notes for these beers will come sooner and later, as the 1768 version will be served at the end of the month.