November 9, 2008

Pump(kin) Up the Volume

Is it my imagination, or is Batch Bet rolling along more quickly than the 1st set? I mean, all of the right things are happening, and the beer looks, smells, tastes and seems just right. It must be the additional ingredient - a dash of self-confidence as brewers - that's making the process seem like it's moving at such a heady pace.

But I digress. Yesterday Nahum broke out our latest tool/toy - The Thief, a long tube that lets you draw out a smaller volume to check specific gravity - and got an SG reading of 1.012 (again: just right!). He then dropped some cracked nutmeg and a cinnamon stick into the carboy. Within just 24 hours (or maybe just a bit less?) the pumpkin ale now had a more powerful aroma, the spices making themselves more present and highlighting the pumpkin notes that had been sitting underneath.

Not wanting it to get too strongly spiced, we racked the carboy (which had a lot less solid matter in it, a nice benefit of the double fermentation), boiled up a sugar solution, waved the bottling wand (no lie: that's the totally real name for the bottling attachment that goes on the end of the siphon), and filled 43 freshly sanitized bottles with 2JB Pumpkin Ale.

To be honest, it probably could have been 44...but we had to sample enough of this new brew to see what we were dealing with. The beer has a deep color (maybe just a bit darker than the non-pumpkin ale, but not too much); it smells spicy & intense, but the taste is much smoother/less intense than the aroma suggests. It's somewhat spicy and fruity, but the sweeter flavor is in the back of the overall taste.

Just like last time, we felt like we'd be perfectly happy drinking it as is...a sign we're taking to mean that it will be thoroughly delicious in 2 weeks' time. think pumpkin ale will go well with a Thanksgiving meal? As America's Alaskan Sweetheart would say: You betcha!

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