The Beer Diaries – Chapters 13-18

I’m consolidating several “Beer Diaries” posts that I’ve fallen behind on:

Chapter 13: Peach Cobbler Ale

This beer under-delivered on both the “peach” and the “cobbler,” but it came together a bit better after a few months in the bottle.   Strangely, it also must have continued to ferment, even in the refrigerator, as a bottle opened at my buddy’s house last week foamed aggressively.  He’d been storing the bottle in his fridge since this summer.


FG: 1.018

ABV: 5.6%

Batch Size: 2 gallons


Chapter 14: Horseradish Stout

I was psyched with how the horseradish stout experiment came out.   The stout base was a much better fit than the prior ale base I’d used.   Although I had a bit of an over-carbing issue –  this was the first beer that foamed and volcanoed out of the bottle within a few seconds after opening –  the flavor experiment was a success.   The result was a rich, smooth, chewy, earthy stout with great horseradish hues.  It’s not spicy – but the flavor is there.   My local homebrew shop guru enjoyed the sample I brought him of this beer.  I would brew this one again.

OG: 1.052

FG:  1.015

ABV:  4.9%

Batch size: 1 gallon


Chapter 15: St. Louis Summer Tea

One thing about the St. Louis Summer Tea is that my guests were nearly universally in agreement that they didn’t like it.   “DO NOT WANT,” was basically the feedback I got.  It was somewhere between a champagne and a bottle of Boones Farms, and despite being fine to drink on a hot day, it had that slightly “cheap”  “malt liquor” kinda aftertaste that made you feel like you’d fallen asleep after throwing up.

OG: 1.055

FG: 1.00

ABV: 7.1%

Batch size: 2 gallons


Chapter 16: Cucumber Beer

This unusual experiment was another raging success, and is first up on my “brew again” list, although it’s undoubtedly a summer-centric beer.   The flavor was crisp and clean – nicely weighted cucumber – which intensified slightly as it aged.   I did drink another bottle of this a few days ago, worried that the taste would have morphed into something more vegetal, but it still seemed nicely balanced.     My guests almost universally liked this beer – even those guests who don’t normally like fruits and veggies in their brew.  I entered this beer in the New England Homebrew Jamboree, but alas, I did not get any recognition for it.

For lots of my flavored beers, one feedback is “I like it, but I wouldn’t want to drink 6 of them.”   The cucumber beer, however, proved to be easy drinking, and a subject worthy of repeated indulgence.

OG: 1.04

FG: 1.008

ABV:  4.3%

Batch size: 5 gallons


Chapter 17: Raspberry Wheat

When I brewed this beer, I debated between blueberries and raspberries.  I ended up going with fresh raspberries, but I think the three 6 ounce containers for my 2 gallon batch was definitely overkill.   The raspberry flavor was too strong, and still hasn’t mellowed to the point where I really like the beer.   Some of my friends’ wives have said that they like this beer, however, so, go figure.

I had problem with my mash efficiency on this one, but that’s not the reason for the flavor issues:  beware of over-raspberrifying your beers.

OG: 1.04

FG: 1.006

ABV: 4.5%

Batch size: 2 gallons


Chapter 18: Black Cherry Stout

The Black Cherry Stout came out great – deep chocolately flavor that faded pretty quickly.   The cherry flavor was very subdued, despite having added the cherries in secondary.   I would probably brew this recipe again, and might even up the cherry content next time.   This beer was a hit with my guests, who were happy to drink my entire supply of it.   Interestingly, the last bottle opened, on Thanksgiving, foamed like crazy.   The other bottles hadn’t done this, so it may have been a consequence of being in the car for 90 minutes on the drive to dinner…

OG: 1.058

FG: 1.014

ABV: 5.9%

related: KD’s Homebrewing Posts


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