Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NoVA Homebrew Club & Delirium Noël

In renewing my interest in homebrewing, I decided to look up any local homebrewing clubs to see if I could find someone who was doing an all-grain batch so that I could learn from them.

To anyone not familiar with homebrewing beer, there are a few "methods" generally used to make some delicious brew. One way is called "Extract Brewing" where people use a can of malt extract and pour it directly into the boil kettle in order to have yummy fermentable sugars for the yeast to gobble up during the fermentation process. Another way, which commercial brewers use, is called "All-grain" brewing. As the name implies, you get all your fermentable sugars by steeping a pile of cracked grains in hot water for an amount of time, before transferring that goodness to a boil kettle.

Anyways, I managed to contact the Nothern Virginia Homebrew Club and asked its members if anyone was doing an all-grain brew anytime soon, and if I could observe/help them. Turns out that one of the founders, Mitch, was doing a brew and invited me out. It was a great experience. He ended up using his new 3-tier brewing "sculpture" to brew. It ended up being a fairly long day because of a combination of his recipe requiring long periods of time and a few errors on our part :)

A tradition of homebrewing for most people is to drink a homebrew during the brewing process. Since I didn't have any homebrew, I offered up to Mitch a bottle of what is one of my favorite beers: Delirium Noël.

Delirium Noël is a seasonal beer and is only out for a few weeks close to the winter holidays, so I suggest that you go out and snag one ASAP. It is a strong belgium ale that sits at 10% ABV. My picture doesn't do it justice, but it pours an amber color with an orange glow to it. The aroma on this beer is excellent, and smells like a combination of citrus notes and holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It has a very slightly roasty flavor characteristic, but mostly the taste that comes through is the sweetness of the malt. It has a pleasant citrusy/ale aftertaste and the alcohol in this beer is sure to warm your belly on a cold winter night.

I give this beer an A+ and will certainly be grabbing another bottle or two before the end of the month. Cheers!


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