It’s been about a month since the Fall Equinox, and the days are noticeably shorter. Although it’s still 80+F in Austin, I’m sure many readers are experiencing noticeably cooler weather as well. I’m finally back after another short hiatus, and have wrapped up my travels for awhile. In this AHB blog post, I’ll provide some updates on what the heck is happening in my apartment brewery. As always, cheers, and happy brewing!
Kegging the Session Alt
After three weeks of fermentation, the Session Alt is kegged and conditioning. Although not quite fully carbonated, initial tastings are promising. At this point, the Session Alt is quite German Pils-like in aroma and flavor; it’s also nicely bitter. At 2.9% ABV, it definitely achieves session status. I’ll post tasting notes and a recipe in the coming month. Hopefully by that time, a bit more malt character will be apparent, although at present, I quite like the pseudo-pilsner character.
Brewing a Kolsch
Secretly or not so secretly, the Session Alt was doing double duty: (1) satisfying my need for a session beer on tap and (2) culturing yeast for a future batch. Using the direct pitch principles discussed in much detail from these Small Batch Brewing posts [part 1 part 2 part 3], I avoided making a starter for the Session Alt by direct pitching. Using a sanitized mason jar, I saved the yeast cake from this low gravity batch. From this, I intend to brew up a Kolsch later this week and re-pitch part of the saved yeast cake. Although Kolsch is quite the spring/summer beer, it’s still hot here in Austin, and I’m still thirsty for a light lager-ish beer.
As mentioned before, my low post rate since August has been due to my many travels. Since mid-August, I’ve travelled to Northern Colorado, Flagstaff, Arizona, and San Diego, California. Partly for graduate school conferences and partly for vacation, I’ve had the chance to taste many of the wonderful beers in these regions. In Colorado, my favorite place among a dozen or so breweries was Avery Brewing Co. Their IPA was killer and very fresh. Interestingly, among their tasting room only beers, they had both a passion fruit wheat beer and session IPA, and both were very nice. In Flagstaff, Arizona, I tried beers from the Mother Road Brewing Co., and they had quite nice examples of both APA and Koslch. However, my favorite was their Imperial Black IPA coming in at 8% ABV! Lastly, my most recent visit was to San Diego, where my favorite stop was AleSmith Brewing Co. All their beers were fantastic (seriously good IMO), and possibly the best American IPA I’ve ever had (and I’ve had quite a few). It’s not a surprising that it’s the number two example listed in the BJCP guidelines. Also while in San Diego, I made sure to stop by the famous Stone Brewing World Gardens and Bistro. Although not my favorite brewery, the food was great and I had a great visit. If you are planning travels soon, definitely pay a visit to Avery, Mother Road, and AleSmith whenever in their respective areas.
Do you have any session beers on tap? Leave your favorite session beer advice in the comment section below. Cheers, and happy brewing!