Yarrow Pale Ale II
It’s been, uh, a while since I’ve updated the brewing log. About a year ago I discovered that the yarrow-weizen, which I had thought was ruined but never bothered to throw out, had actually matured into an amazing sour. Not just “yeah it’s pretty good” amazing, but getting double-takes and holy shitballs from hard-to-impress third parties. I have a handful of bottles left, which I now only open for special occasions, because they keep getting better.
Meanwhile, last year’s YPA seems to be headed towards a similarly delicious sour fate, but is still too green to drink.
I don’t know exactly what’s happening here but I’m going to try to keep doing it. Here is this year’s effort. Skipping the dandelion root this time, after a slowly-consumed batch of dandelion brown ale convinced me that its flavor doesn’t age very well.
- 7lbs golden liquid malt extract
- 8 oz aromatic malt
- 7 oz carapils
- Whirlfloc tablet
- 1.5 oz mugwort, half added for 60 min and half for 15
- 0.4 oz (15 min) of what I believe to be Labrador tea but I don’t know which species. It was a gift a few years ago from a survey respondent, who only knew the plant as “Indian tea”. It still smelled nice but I’m sure it’s lost a great deal of potency since it was picked.
- 6.5 oz yarrow flowers (0 min)
- 1 qt. starter Northwest Ale
OG: 1.048 @ 78ºF. Wort tastes pretty balanced as-is, a little sweet, herbal.
Other booze updates:
Lilac hooch: Horrid. Bitter, wretched pfaugh. I’ll try opening another bottle next year sometime.
Blackberry wine: Bottled April 12. Drinkable! A bit thin-tasting (I may need to improve my vocabulary if I’m going to keep doing this…).
Osoberry piquette: Also bottled April 12. Really good! Not amazing like the yarrow-weizen, but genuinely enjoyable. Might get better if I can manage to let it sit long enough, but we’ll see – half a gallon doesn’t give me much room for impatience.
Edit, 7/7: I left the YPA in the bedroom closet for quite a while, and it was still making regular blorping noises when I racked to secondary Saturday night. I was bit worried about the effect of the heat wave, but the taste was a really good kind of sour, so it’s probably okay. Gravity 1.01 @ something like 80º. Suuuper hazy, lots of plant crud in the trub. Now it’s in a carboy in the basement, hopefully insulated a bit better from temperature fluctuations.
Edit, 9/15: Bottling day. Gravity 1.01, ~5% ABV. It’s gone sour, all right, but not too sour – better than last year’s batch, not as good as the initial weizen. I think next year it’ll be time to go back to wheat malt and maybe a heavier gravity wort.