Apr 21 2009

Quick Review: New Holland Golden Cap Saison

Occasionally, I’ll try to throw out a review of a beer I’ve had on draft, or while out and about. Sure, I’m a dork and take notes while I’m trying a beer, but it is harder to do so if you are out with the family or a couple of sheets into a long night. These will be quick reviews.

I found this one on draft at Timberwood last weekend. I was sitting down to an enchilada plate and had prepared to order an IPA to go with it, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to try this one despite the fact that a saison was not all that complimentary to the meal.

The New Holland Golden Cap Saison poured a golden amber with a medium white head. The aroma was made up of soft notes of coriander and spice. The first sip was lemon and more coriander with a touch of honey. The body was on the thin side, but that is to style and it made this one even more drinkable. The dry finish left me wanting more.

A very nice sessionable saison. Well, a much as you can session a 7% beer. This is just as nice a summer sipper as Bell’s Oberon. That is very high, although calendar specific, praise.

I’m impressed, and I’m psyched to get my saison brewing later this spring.


Apr 21 2009

I’m Done Homebrewing

…until the f’ing keggle is done.

I bought an old keg from Starr Hill last year, and I still haven’t gotten the top cut off and the nipples welded on in order to turn it into a brewing pot (or keggle). I’ve ordered the parts and hopefully I will get this done next week.

I currently brew with a 7 gallon aluminum pot, which has been OK for many years, but it doesn’t give me a lot room for error when brewing a 5.5 gallon batch, and it doesn’t have a spigot so I’m always having to lift the pot up or siphon to get the wort out of it. The conversion of the keggle will give me a 15 gallon pot, the ability to simply pour the wort out, I can weld a thermometer permanently into the side of the keggle, and I’ll have just about everything except for the March pump to make a whirlpool chiller later in the year.

We’ll see what difference the keggle will make to my batches. Changing an element in your brewing set-up can cause some profound changes in the final beer. I expect that the evaporation rate will be higher from the boil, and I will have to sparge longer than usual in order to have the volume to lose. But that might bump up my efficiency, too.

We will see, but I had to drawn a line in the sand. And if I *can’t* brew until the keggle is done, then it will get done. Soon.