October 2005

When I put this together I never thought that the alcohol would ever get to this level. 20%+ I just made brandy! This will take a year to age before it is good enough to drink. I am planning on adding the apple butter to the secondary because I want to kick start another fermentation on this. I think using champagne yeast is a good idea, but I had to add 2 packets as this really pushes yeast to work harder. The original recipe was from a guy named Cruz from Spain. He rocks. I tasted his recipe before and I am hooked. Every year I am making this! I was lucky enough to get fresh pressed apples and honey locally grown. Here is my interpretation of this awesome cyser.

Apple Butter Cyser
5 gallons OG : 1.170 (no joke) FG: (anticipated) 1.020 ABV Lets just say that it is more than 18%

10lbs of Pumpkin Honey
5lbs Muscavado Sugar (must get this)
2lbs Liquid Light Malt extract
5 Gallons of apple cider (good juice will work too)
1-2 jars of Apple Butter
6-10 cloves
20 sticks of cinnamon
1pinch cayenne
Yeast nutrient
2 paks of champagne yeast or Wyeast 3374 Eau de Vie

Heat to 140deg 1 gallon of cider. Turn off flame. Add in all ingredients except apple butter. Stir to dissolve. Dump into fermenter then add 4 remaining gallons of cider. Mix well. Pitch yeast at 80deg or so. Leave alone for 2 months. After a week or so, stir this to rouse the yeast. After 2 months, or when FG is around 1.020, rack to a secondary fermenter and add apple butter. This will take off again. Some add raisins, but I am not going to as I hate raisins in meads.

I made this spiced pumpkin ale from fresh pumpkins that I picked a few weeks earlier. I simply cut up a few pumpkins in quarters and baked in an oven for 1 hour brushed with nutmeg and cloves. When cooled I mashed up like mashed potatoes and put in the fridge until brew day. The rest is a basic ale.

Old Ichabod’s Pumpkin Ale
OG: 1.060
FG:(anticipated) 1.012

5lbs pumpkin
10lbs Marris Otter
8oz Crystal 120L
1lb Wheat Malt
4oz Roasted Barley
9oz Munich

2oz EKG at 60min
1TBSP of the following added at 15min: Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon

WLP 001 cake

I mashed half of this on the stovetop. I took 3 lbs of Maris otter, 1lb wheat, and 5lbs pumpkin and held the following temps for 20min each. 120deg, 140deg, and 155deg. This is a great way to build the malt in a recipe. Just like the Germans do. I plan on secondarying this for 2 weeks with some vanilla and more cinnamon. MMMM.

This was my first Barleywine. The BJCP describes a Barleywine as:

“A well-hopped American interpretation of the richest and strongest of the English ales. The hop character should be evident throughout, but does not have to be unbalanced. The alcohol strength and hop bitterness often combine to leave a very long finish.

Here was my attempt at this one.

Kicked in the Nuts Barleywine 5gallons
OG: 1.110
FG: (anticipated) 1.020
ABV : 14%
IBUs: 145

10lbs Marris Otter
6lbs American 2 Row
5lbs Munich Malt
8oz Aromatic Malt
1lb Crystal 120L

.5oz Columbus at FWH
1.5oz Columbus at 60min
1oz Centennial at 45min
1oz Amarillo at 20min
1oz Cascade at 2min

I did a single infusion mash schedule at 152deg for 90minutes. I batch sparged to get 7 gallons. I boiled down to 5.5 gallons and pitched a big yeast slurry from an IPA made last week. This took off right away. White Labs 001 Chico yeast is great and clean for the malt and hops to pop through.

This past weekend was nice. I dressed up like the son of the “All-Mighty” and Monique was Brooksie. (Mary Louise Brooks) She looked smoking hot. I looked like a 60’s leftover. We went from party to party. Thanks to everyone that took care of us then. I added some pics in the photo section.

I also spent the entire day Saturday making a festive Pumpkin ale, and a huge Barleywine. Sunday my friend Tim hooked me up with the necessary ingredients to make an Apple Butter Cyser. Do a search on it to see what I made. All I can say is brandy? 😉 I will add the recipe I made in the fermentation section. Stop by in a year to sample all of them.

One year. A year full of sunshine and sunflowers. October 16th was the one year anniversary of the day that changed my life forever. I met an amazing woman several years ago and she chose to be with me. There is not a moment that passes where I am reminded of how amazing she is to me.

And sometimes, I am reminded of how great of a husband I am.

Yesterday evening we had dinner at home to wind down a weekend of celebrating. I took a crack at making a dish we served at our wedding that I was not able to eat due to my prior dietary restrictions. Chicken Marsala. It was quite nice. Simple comfort food. Great for a cold October day of picking pumpkins. We lit a few candles, poured some Chianti and ate this great meal. We began staring at each other, then it became a recollection of the wedding, then we brought out the album. We talked about how much fun that day was 365 days ago. Tears in our eyes, a bottle later, we began cleaning up. She blew out the remaining candles from the candle holder. I did the dishes. She put the candle holder in the freezer to try and get the remaining candles which had burned all the way down.

An hour later we decided to make home made pumpkin bread from the freshly picked pumpkin. Whole wheat, walnuts, cranberries, and brown sugar. Smelled wonderful. The loaf pan went into the oven, and I cleaned up. She watched a bit of tele. For some reason she decided to continue to remove the last candle from the holder. I asked her not to bother and I would take care of it later using a torch and some ingenuity. I turned by back for 1 minute, and as I walked away I could hear the silverware drawer open and then a could hear a soft squeak. Then it got silent. She said to me a few minutes later; “I think I cut myself. I think it is bad.” I helped her change into some workout clothes and out off her pajamas, and took off for the emergency room.

Three hours and four stitches later, we went home. She was embarrassed. I was relieved that she was ok. Reminding me of how important we are to each other.

Happy Anniversary DLB.

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