It’s been a few weeks since I published Mac’s Brew News, but please don’t think things have been slow at Mac’s Brew Pub. On the contrary, I’ve been busy, as you will see. I posted some terms and definitions yesterday on this site (see the “Terms and Definitions” category). This was the result of a suggestion from my good friend Marcos. Thanks, Marcos.
Mak’s Dunkelweizen – I bottled Mak’s Dunkelweizen on Tuesday May 1, 2012. It’s 7.0% ABV – a bit higher than expected. There’s no mistaking that it’s a German style hefeweizen, but the crystal malts give it a different flavor. It’s quite good. It’s conditioning in the bottles right now, and will be ready to drink at the beginning of June.
Mak’s Bavarian Hefeweizen – Yesterday was tasting day at Mac’s (beer appreciation day). Sheila and I had a couple of these beers and watched the Kentucky Derby (we watch the KD every year in honor of our youngest child, Rosie, who was born on Kentucky Derby day 1994; a free Mac’s brew to the first one among you who can name the 1994 KD winner). This beer is REALLY good. The ABV is a little high for a hefeweizen, but there is no alcohol flavor at all. This beer is highly carbonated and is very cloudy, due to the high wheat malt content and the presence of yeast. It is quite fruity, with the signature banana/clovey taste. It has a lot of malt character as well, and I think it compares well to any high quality commercially brewed German style hefeweizen available (when you try it, you might think you’re drinking a Paulaner). It is so far superior to the German hefeweizen I brewed last year that you wouldn’t even know the two recipes were quite similar. After tasting this (I had a sneak preview on Tuesday May 1) I decided to enter it into the OC Fair home brewing competition.
Phat Pliny – I tasted it on Monday April 30, 2012. Great taste, but the carbonation is still quite low. I’m not sure why that happened, but I have a feeling that the yeast is worn out – they made this a 10% beer, and they just might be at the end of their useful working capacity. This would probably be better suited to forced carbonation (keg the beer and carbonate with a CO2 tank) rather than bottle conditioning. Oh well, next time . . . . . For now, I have put it away for another month and will sample it again at the beginning of June.
Mac’s Cherry Wheat Ale – This is my 2012 family vacation creation (a Waddell family tradition – I bring a couple of cases of Mac’s brew to our annual beach house vacation; every year it’s something different, but always some kind of fruit beer). I brewed it on Tuesday May 1, 2012. It’s an American style hefeweizen, with cherry added to the fermenter (and some cherry flavoring will be added to the bottling bucket). The recipe is very similar to Mak’s Bavarian Hefeweizen; the grain bill is exactly the same, but it has a little extra hops (about 1/3 oz more). The additional hops will not be noticeable, but the flavor profile will be quite different from my Bavarian hefe because of the different yeast strain used. It is still in the primary fermenter. Yesterday (Saturday May 5th), I added the fruit (pureed sweet cherry). The fermentation, which had slowed way down, took off again after I added the cherry. Oh yeah, those little critters (yeast) sure love all that sugar. This will boost my gravity – I calculate it should raise it from 1.062 to 1.064. This boost will increase the potential alcohol content, so I am anticipating about 7% ABV when it’s all finished (that’s what I got from my dunkelweizen, which had the same OG – 1.064).
I’m thinking I will brew a red ale later this month, then (probably) take the summer off. I’ll see what the weather looks like in June – I could possibly brew one more time before summer really hits Fullerton. I’ve been brewing a lot since January, and a break sounds kind of nice right now – what do you think, Sheila?
This week I will be delivering my entries to the Orange County Fair competition and hoping for the best. The four beers I entered are: Little Levi’s Bourbon Barrel Stout; Mac’s Black Forest Stout; Mac’s Aeronautical Amber Ale; and, Mak’s Bavarian Hefeweizen. All of these are good beers, but they will be in competition against a few thousand other brews. If none of them win any ribbons, who cares, I’ve still got lots of good beer to drink all summer long, and I’ve already won Sheila’s admiration for Mak’s Bavarian Hefeweizen.
That’s it for now. Cheers,