Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bluefield Experiment Part I

I home-brew my own beer. I like brewing. You might say I am a bit obsessed with brewing. If you have been following this blog for awhile, you probably know that my sister is to blame for this obsession, as she is the one who bought me my first beer kit. Actually, if you have been reading my blog regularly, chances are you are my sister. Hi Tera.

Ironically, my sister does not like beer. Sad, I know. The one time she tried one of my beers, she made a horrible disgusted face that still hurts me when I think about it. Often, I see that look in my nightmares. But, I really can not take it personally. At least I know that she's very unlikely to ask me if I can brew something that tastes like Coors Light.

Recently, she asked me to brew a no-calorie dark chocolate non-beer tasting beer, so that if she tastes it, she doesn't say "yuck, that tastes like beer". She has nagged me a bit after the initial request. Obviously, I cannot brew a no-calorie beer. I cannot make a non-beer tasting beer, but I can make one that doesn't taste like any beer she has ever tasted. I can certainly make it dark and I can add chocolate to it. I do not think she would like this type of beer, and since she is at the Sheppy Brew nano-brewery so seldom, chances are she'll never get a chance to taste it anyway.

But, part of the spirit of home-brewing is experimenting with different ingredients to make unique flavors. And this could be an exciting unique beer to play with.

I started my recipe based on Jamil's Chocolate Hazelnut Porter from his Brewing Classic Styles. I converted it to a Mr. Beer sized batch and added in some lactose to give it more sweetness. I increased the cocoa powder and reduced the hops. You can see the recipe at the Sheppy Brew website.

This past weekend, I bought some unsweetened Hershey cocoa powder and then stopped by the liquor store for some Tommyknocker brewery Cocoa Porter Winter Warmer to get me in the mood for this great experiment.
Weekend purchases
Today, I headed to the Brew Hut  for the rest of the ingredients. Brew day will probably be Sunday.  Hmmm... I just realized that I need to get propane sometime.

I expect this will be a recipe that I have to tweak several times.  I might even tweak it a few times before my sister even gets a chance to taste it.  Who knows ... I might get sick of brewing this before she ever gets a chance to try one.  Unfortunately, I do not know what she means by "beer taste".  There are so many different styles of beer that can taste so radically different that I am not sure I know what I mean when I say a "beer should taste like beer".  I do know that her definition of what would taste good in a beer is radically different than mine.  My buddy Charlie has said that when people tell him that they don't like beer, he doesn't believe them.  He strongly believes that if you try hard enough that eventually a beer can be found for every taste.  My sister is probably the exception to the rule.  Maybe if the Great Bluefield Chocolate Experiment fails, I need to give Charlie a call and have him work on finding a beer for my sister.

I'll be posting results.  Hope you are looking forward to seeing them.

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