2014 Recap Part II

As promised, here are the rest of the beers that I brewed in 2014. Apparently, I didn’t brew at all in June, somehow. I guess I was kept busy with PROOF for the first couple weeks, anyway. Here are my July to December brews.
Style: Hefeweizen
Brew Date: July 2
I brewed this with my buddy Kory. He picked the style and I added the idea to use a Belgian yeast (which I could use again for the Tripel I was planning). It is not my favorite beer, but Kory seemed happy with it. The Chimay yeast gave it a distinct cherry flavor. Not very Hefeweizen, but interesting and refreshing.
Triple Valor
Style: Belgian Tripel
Brew Date: July 16
This beer took forever to carbonate. I was nervous. Once it finally conditioned, the cherry flavor from bCloud was again present. This time, it was joined by some booziness and as the beer warms, it can be pretty pleasant. In the future, though, I would definitely pick a different yeast.
Sour Cherry Sour
Style: Cherry Berliner Weisse
Brew Date: July 16
I was not happy with this beer. I used two kinds of cherry juice and two kinds of fresh cherries in my third Berliner Weisse and I think it ended up muddling the flavor. Despite a longer and more active lactic fermentation, it is not as tart. The cherry flavor is… well, muddled. In the future, I will stick to one variety and go for a more crisp, clear cherry flavor. All that said, this beer is very popular with the ladies. Sorry. Some stereotypes seem to have some merit, and non-craft-beer-geek girls just seem to love light, fruity beers. This was an oversized batch and there is a lot left, but it comes in handy.
Fruit Spectrum IPA
Style: American IPA
Brew Date: August 5
This beer was fantastic fresh. It did not hold up well. That is to be expected with IPA to a certain extent, but I seem to have bad luck with them in my homebrewing. This one was loaded tropical fruit flavor from lots of Southern Hemisphere hops. After six or eight weeks in the bottle, though it became over carbonated and the hops were muted and seemed slightly oxidized and stale.
Old SMaSHy (2014)
Style: English Barleywine
Brew Date: August 13
The 2014 version of Old SMaSHy used the same 25 pounds of Maris Otter as the 2013 version and ended up with a similar OG, the yeast change from White Labs’ British Ale to Dry English Ale took the FG down a bit and the alcohol up a corresponding amount. The body is still full, but there is a bit less sweetness. I still haven’t made up my mind which I prefer, but I love both.
Jade Otter (2014)
Style: Saison
Brew Date: August 13
Jade Otter is the second runnings of Old SMaSHy with Pacific Jade hops and a Belgian yeast. In 2014, I changed the hopping rate to mimic Table Cat and also switched to the saison yeast I used for that beer. The result, while a little higher gravity and with a much different hop character, filled in well when that beer’s supply was diminished much earlier than expected. I’m planning keep the new hopping rate but continue to play with a different yeast this year.
Yellow Cat Tart Cider
Style: Dry Cider
Brew Date: September 2
Despite changing the recipe quite a bit to accommodate supplies, this ended up tasting pretty similar to the 2011 batch. I had carbonation issues, though. It took forever to carb up and it is still less lively than I’d like.
Style: Wet Hopped Pale Ale
Brew Date: September 10
My 2013 wet hop beer was a disaster. In 2014, it was a delicious, albeit not very hoppy, ale that was easy to drink. The addition of a good portion of Red Wheat to the grist gave it an expected twist that was appreciated by everyone I shared it with. This is definitely not your typical wheat beer, but the wheat definitely had a noticeable effect.
Yellow Cat Sweet Cider
Style: Sweet Cider
Brew Date: October 18
I make this every year and it is always good. Didn’t disappoint in 2014.
Yellow Cat Caramel Apple Cider
Style: Semi-Sweet Cider
October 23
This turned out great. It was a little drier than I initially hoped for and I considered back-sweetening, but I’m glad that I didn’t. It is much drier and more austere than you might expect with “caramel” in the name, but it works great with all the elements subtly contributing. There are hints of caramelized sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and it is surrounded by apple, but none of it steals the show.
Quadruple Grim
Style: Belgian Quad
Brew Date: October 28
I was nervous on the day that I bottled this beer. The final gravity was much higher than expected, but fermentation had ceased for a few weeks. The beer did carbonate, and didn’t over-carbonate, which were my main fears. It did finish with a sweetness that can sometimes seem to be too much. In other situations, I like it. In any case, it is definitely better as it warms and I enjoy it, overall.
Night Work
Style: Belgian Brown Ale/Fruit Beer
Brew Date: October 28
This is not technically second runnings from Quadruple Grim, it is actually just a portion of that beer’s wort with water, cherry juice and raspberries added, whereas that beer had caramelized sugar syrup added. I love this beer and I got great feedback from my homebrew club, which encouraged me to enter it in the Lancaster Iron Brewer competition. I’ll get the results back this week.
Elkland Amber Ale
Style: Amber Ale
Brew Date: November 4
I was disappointed in Elkland Amber Lager, so I toyed with the recipe and re-brewed it as an ale with some other changes. This version ended up much better and disappeared so quickly that I had to brew another batch less than two months later.
Brettland Amber Ale
Style: Brett Amber Ale
Brew Date: November 4
My first Brett beer was made with a portion of the wort from Elkland Amber Ale fermented with Brettanomyces Lambicus. I have had a few of these but I still haven’t made up my mind on them.
Swell Time
Style: Cranberry Sour Spiced Holiday Ale
Brew Date: November 17
I like this beer a lot, but I was surprised by some of my relatives who also enjoyed it at Christmas. I don’t think most of them would like a sour beer normally, but the cranberry prepared them for the tartness. There are a lot of things I want to alter about this recipe, but I definitely want to do something similar next Christmas.
Day of the Red
Style: Oak Aged Hoppy Red Ale
Brew Date: December 3
This is the other beer I entered in Iron Brewer. The oak took over more than I expected in the beer right after bottling, but it has mellowed a bit and I think it has gotten better. The color is darker than I wanted and I’d like a little bit more hop punch, but I’m pretty happy with it overall.

Mount Hoodie (2015)
Style: Amber Lager
Brew Date: December 24
My third annual batch of Mount Hoodie is still fermenting.

Green Painted Gold
Style: Saison
Brew Date: December 27
My second Brett beer, on the cake from Brettland Amber Ale is still fermenting, but I took a sample a couple weeks ago and I’m very excited with where it was at.

Amy and Mitch’s 3rd Anniversary Mead
Style: Semi-Sweet Mead
Brew Date: December 30
It’s going to be a long time before I get to try this, but I have high hopes.


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