Sunday, October 16, 2011

Butternut Squash Ale

There's nothing like brewing in the fall. The weather is perfect and the flavors typically used are some of the best we get all year. The air is crisp and you can probably find me huddling closer to the propane burner as the day goes on, but I like it that way (until I catch fire, which is bound to happen sometime soon. Stayed tuned for that post).

Pumpkin ale has made its way back on tap in the past few weeks, and I know that's something we all look forward to over here. We usually brew our own pumpkin ale this time of year as well. But we're over it. 

Well I wouldn't say we're over it, but it's been done...a lot. And I should probably just speak for myself, but after two years of doing the same thing this time of year, it's time for a change. So we did a little swap of the pumpkin for butternut squash. Butternut squash ale, doesn't that sound good? It's not revolutionary, but it's still festive and just enough change to keep things interesting. 

For the grain we used 8lbs of pale malt two row, 2lbs of Crystal 30-L, 1lb of Cara-Pils, and 1/4lb of Victory, and 4lbs of the butternut squash (I keep automatically writing "buttnut" instead, which personally, I think is a better name) went into the mash with it. 

Dinner, anyone?
We spiced the boil with ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon (and vanilla, but that didn't go in until the secondary fermenter). Then you add eggs, sugar, butter...kidding. We're not making pie.

We eventually added 1 oz of Mount Hood hops and 1 oz Liberty hops to the wort.

Looks like fall to me. 

We finally added some London Ale yeast, and it's off to ferment for a bit. I'll report back when it's drinkable. I suppose I never let ya'll know how the Lavender Pale Ale turned out. Well it was delicious. More of an amber ale when all was said and done, but still pretty awesome. The lavender didn't smack you in the face or anything, but it definitely had some herby-ness goin' on. 

Cousins of ours came up from Florida and Virginia and popped in to help brew. And maybe to spend some time with their family, but mostly for the beer. And you know what? This is not the beer we brewed with them. But it was pretty great having their company. 

In other news, has anyone else been plagued by fruit flies lately? It's like they divide and multiply mid-air, then fester in anything containing food (NOT just fruit, don't be fooled). So my family (mostly my father), being the leader in good ideas, has taken to keeping the vacuum within reach in the kitchen and making a sport of sucking up the little buggers, and may or may not be keeping score (Bothwell's: 187, Fruit Flies: I'll give you 1 point for frustration). It's almost a full-time job, being a professional fruit fly trapper. 

Go get 'em, Dad!

PS--Thanks, Ma, for taking the pics! Besides that winner at the end. That was all me. 

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