All Things Beer

Maverick Amber Ale from Brew to Taste

The day I transferred the Lawnmower de Saison I decided to get all my summer brews done. I threw the brew kettle on the stove and got the water boiling. The Maverick Amber Ale was a less complicated beer than the saison but it still had a 6 week wait time and we were already in the first week of August. It looks like I’m going to have a heck of a lot of beer ready at the end of September!

All of the treasures that went into brewing up the Maverick Amber Ale
All of the treasures that went into brewing up the Maverick Amber Ale

I brewed up the Maverick with little issue… I of course traditionally spilled a little on my floor – but it’s sort of my thing. I had a dry and liquid malt that I used this time. I will need to remember in the future to not put so much water into the brew kettle as the dry malt really fills up the kettle and almost caused the dreaded “boil over”. The boil over was averted however and everything else went smoothly.

testing my limits with the boil over.  Adding the dry malt extract
testing my limits with the boil over. Adding the dry malt extract

I got the Maverick Amber Ale in the fermenter and in 7 to 10 days I was to add a second dose of hops, this time a Cascade hop. This process is called dry hopping – adding dry hops to the beer after it has been fermenting.

If I would have planned better I should have pushed out the Maverick brewing two days so I could place it in the glass carboy after I bottled the saison. Apparently you get more out of the hops by pouring the beer over the hops (called racking), thus dissolving the hops right into the beer instead of placing the hops in the beer, which is what I will be doing. I love hoppy beer – so this is why I am disappointed… oh well – next time.

I may have also put myself into a situation that I need to get some empty bottles from friends. I’ll be bottling two 5 gallon brews within 8 days of each other and I only have 36 bottles right now – YIKES! I usually bottle between 42 to 50 bottles per 5 gallons. So I may need to come up with 64 bottles quickly. It is really too bad Boomer can’t help me out.

Eight days later I sterilized a nylon mesh bag and added the additional Cascade hops to the brew bucket for the dry hopping. It was a pretty straight forward task, drop the hops in the bag, sink them into the brewing bucket and the hops will sit in there for another 7 to 10 days. After that I should be able to move onto bottling (which I am still lacking quite a few empty bottles for – I should probably have a home-brew now that I think of it.)

adding the hops for dry-hopping
adding the hops for dry-hopping

It’s now bottling day. I was able to get enough bottles with a little help from my friends. You tell them you need empty bottles and they show up ready to drink your beer. Bottling went as expected – I started late, spilled on the floor and got everything capped and stored away in the brewery room. It would be another two weeks before I could taste this brew – luckily some of that time I would be on our Utah trip so it would not feel as long.

The day of tasting had finally come. I pried the cap off and heard the hiss of the carbonation release from the bottle – yes another success! I poured the beer into the glass and was pleased with the amount of head (or foam) that built up as I poured the beer. I took a sip and was pleasantly surprised with the heavy amount of hoppy taste the beer had. Most of the home-brews I have had or made have never really suited my love for hops. This beer does and will be made again. It probably has a lot to do with the dry hopping and the Cascade hop – which is a flavor that I like in my beers.

I’ll be having friends over this weekend to try this beer out, hopefully they enjoy it as much as I do… although I will preference it will be in limited release. I plan on hoarding this beer 🙂

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