Herb beer two ways

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Travel by the Pint
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Herb beer two ways

#1 Post by Travel by the Pint » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:31 am

Not an official tasting per se, but I'll be bringing a couple bottles each of an herb ale prepared two ways to the October meeting. Both batches use the same base recipe and same herb. The only difference is how the herb was prepared, and at what point it was added. If anyone else is considering making an herb beer, you might find the side-by-side comparison to be useful.
(And I'm not saying what *legal* herb I used. It'll be a surprise.)
-Sally
Primary: Rauchbier
Secondary: None
Conditioning: Curse of Hathor Fig Ale
Ruins of Olderfleet Oatmeal Stout
Blackduck Shallows Wild Rice English Ale
1 a.m. Hampsterdam Black IPA
Omar's Revenge - Vanilla Imperial Porter
On tap:
Sundog Rye
Rainmaker IPA
Great Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Hill Tribe Herb Beer
Tha(I)PA 1- Herb Beer
Tha(I)PA 2- Herb Beer
Tasmanian Devil - Saison

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klickcue
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Re: Herb beer two ways

#2 Post by klickcue » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:51 am

Sally,

Have never done a herbed beer yet but I can understand how it could be interesting!
Have Fun!

Chris

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klickcue
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Re: Herb beer two ways

#3 Post by klickcue » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:57 am

I had the pleasure of tasting Sally's #2 Basil beer. To me, it was grand 8)

Nice job on your beer Sally!
Have Fun!

Chris

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Travel by the Pint
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Re: Herb beer two ways

#4 Post by Travel by the Pint » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:05 am

Thank you!

:)

-Sally
Primary: Rauchbier
Secondary: None
Conditioning: Curse of Hathor Fig Ale
Ruins of Olderfleet Oatmeal Stout
Blackduck Shallows Wild Rice English Ale
1 a.m. Hampsterdam Black IPA
Omar's Revenge - Vanilla Imperial Porter
On tap:
Sundog Rye
Rainmaker IPA
Great Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Hill Tribe Herb Beer
Tha(I)PA 1- Herb Beer
Tha(I)PA 2- Herb Beer
Tasmanian Devil - Saison

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Rob Martin
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Re: Herb beer two ways

#5 Post by Rob Martin » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:16 pm

Sally - didn't hear the difference between the two. Could you explain when/where/how you placed the basil in each batch?

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Re: Herb beer two ways

#6 Post by Travel by the Pint » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:29 pm

Rob Martin wrote:Sally - didn't hear the difference between the two. Could you explain when/where/how you placed the basil in each batch?
Certainly!
Same base recipe, of course...

#1 fermented for 1 week then was racked into a carboy. We added "a good handful" of basil (about 1 1/2 cups) that had been soaking in vodka for about 24 hours.I don't recall chopping the leaves, but I could be wrong on that point. I didn't add the vodka per se because I didn't want to add extra alcohol (this might be a good experiment for someone else in the club), but instead scooped the leaves out of the vodka and added them only. About a week later the batch was bottled.

#2 the same amount of leaves were added at the end of boil (5 minutes or less) with no further handling other than plucking them from the stems and giving them a good rinse. Batch was fermented for two weeks and bottled without going into a carboy.

I've gotten strong reactions for a preference for one over the other, but which particular one is preferred differs from person to person. It certainly gave a different result, though the basil flavors come through strongly in both.

I'll also add that batch #1 needed to condition longer than a normal ale, IMHO.

-Sally
Primary: Rauchbier
Secondary: None
Conditioning: Curse of Hathor Fig Ale
Ruins of Olderfleet Oatmeal Stout
Blackduck Shallows Wild Rice English Ale
1 a.m. Hampsterdam Black IPA
Omar's Revenge - Vanilla Imperial Porter
On tap:
Sundog Rye
Rainmaker IPA
Great Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Hill Tribe Herb Beer
Tha(I)PA 1- Herb Beer
Tha(I)PA 2- Herb Beer
Tasmanian Devil - Saison

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Matt
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Re: Herb beer two ways

#7 Post by Matt » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:20 pm

Unfortunately, I only got to taste one of the two bottles (single tape, not double), but I liked what I had. I remember the basil taste being pretty potent -- which was fine to me, I love basil. But I'm betting you'll have a wider appeal if your next batch has a much more subtle basil flavor, maybe more of an earthy quality than the potency of the current recipe. Maybe instead of 1.5 cups, something like half that would let more of the beer characteristics come through, and really improve this beer, IMHO.

Overall, I liked it. Having never made any herb beers myself, I was happy to learn from your experience. Thanks for sharing.

Matt
Matt Bechtold
Anvil Chorus Brewing


Primary: Saison Luciole (Firefly Saison)
Secondary: N/A
On Tap: Oona McCool's Wee Heavy, Session British IPA

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Travel by the Pint
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Re: Herb beer two ways

#8 Post by Travel by the Pint » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:41 pm

Matt wrote:But I'm betting you'll have a wider appeal if your next batch has a much more subtle basil flavor, maybe more of an earthy quality than the potency of the current recipe.
Matt
Matt, you've just described Beer #2. The vodka resulted in a more spiked beer with higher flavor notes, while the other (end of boil) was warmer, earthier, and more balanced.

Not surprised you didn't get to taste #2. There was none left by the end of the meeting.

As I said in the meeting, there is no right or wrong, but more a question of personal preference.

Glad you liked it, and happy to share!

-Sally
Primary: Rauchbier
Secondary: None
Conditioning: Curse of Hathor Fig Ale
Ruins of Olderfleet Oatmeal Stout
Blackduck Shallows Wild Rice English Ale
1 a.m. Hampsterdam Black IPA
Omar's Revenge - Vanilla Imperial Porter
On tap:
Sundog Rye
Rainmaker IPA
Great Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Hill Tribe Herb Beer
Tha(I)PA 1- Herb Beer
Tha(I)PA 2- Herb Beer
Tasmanian Devil - Saison

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