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.

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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.

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