Homebrew Improvisation

I really felt like brewing the other day, so I went to the Coralville Hy-Vee liquor store where they sell some homebrew supplies. I just sort of picked things out at random (their selection’s not very big), so I’ll be intrigued to see how it turns out.

I got 4 pounds of Dingemans malt: aromatic, biscuit, carapils, and Munich. I also got a pound of Maris Otter. I steeped this in 4 gallons cold water and brought it up to conversion (it was about 154F), let it convert for twenty minutes. I brought it all to boiling, removed the grains, and added another gallon or so of water.

To this mini-mash I added 3 pounds of light dry malt extract and allowed the beer to return to a boil. I was intrigued by the Argentine cascade, so I picked up 3 oz to throw in. Watch out: when cascade is grown outside the Pacific northwest it does not possess the same citrusy character. In particular, Argentine cascade has a spicy and peppery flavor and only a hint of lemon. They are much more similar to Tettanang or Hallertau varieties.

The only yeast they had were dry packets (which I am too lazy to rehydrate properly) and a few on-sale out-of-date White Labs vials. I got two different English strains, figuring that stressed old yeast fermented warm might make something estery and somewhat Belgian. It might make something horrible, too. We’ll see.

It took a little while for the fermentation to take off but now it’s going pretty strong. Updates to follow. Here’s the recipe again:

3 lbs. Light Dry Malt Extract
1 lb. Belgian Munich malt
1 lb. Belgian carapils malt
1 lb. Belgian aromatic malt
1 lb. Belgian biscuit malt
1 lb. Maris Otter malt

2 oz. Argentine cascade @ 60 min
1 oz. Argentine cascade @ 30 min

Original Gravity: 1.050

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