Beer Lab Revisited

Back in November I posted about some beer that I had brewed as Christmas gifts. Each batch got its own custom label, personalized for its recipient. However I got a late start on two of the beers because it takes about 6 weeks to really get from start to "this would pass as a beer you could buy in a store". Well, its been at least 8 weeks since then, so this weekend I'll be giving them a taste test.

The first beer was an American Amber Ale that went to Debbie's in-laws. I don't have a picture of the label we created, so I am instead going to use the Red Dragon Ale bottle from the beer that Peter & Rachel gave to Peter's dad for Christmas. Both beers used the same ingredients so the end result should be the same, though I must admit I'd be a lot more comfortable if I had a bottle of Debbie's beer so I could be sure nothing went wrong.

Peter and Rachel gave me the idea for what they wanted on the label, that being the Welsh lion and the traditional Sheldon family crest. It was a good idea. So good in fact, that I kind of ripped it off for a Christmas beer I was giving.

American Amber Ale (Brewed Saturday Nov. 22)
6.3 lbs - Liquid Amber Malt E
1 lb - Crystal 10L
1oz - Amarillo Hops (60 min to boil)
1oz - Cascade Hops (15 mins to boil)
White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001)

The second beer I brewed was called Murphy's Irish Ale and was given to Lauren (Murphy)'s dad. This time I used the Murphy crest, with some slight alterations. Being that they're from South Carolina I used a Palmetto moon for the I in Irish. I also cut out the apples on the apple tree and replaced them with Clemson Tiger paws, since Lauren's dad is a proud graduate of Clemson University.

The beer is an Irish Red and used the following ingredients:

Irish Red Ale (Brewed Nov. 21)
6 lbs - Liquid Pale Malt Extract
1 lb - Raw Honey
0.5 - Cara-pils
3 oz - Roasted Barley 300L
1oz - Amarillo Hops (60 min to boil)
1oz - Amarillo Hops (15 min to boil)
White Labs Irish Ale Yeast (WLP004)

The entire process was really fun, and if the other beer recipients appreciated it as much as Lauren's dad did, it was well worth the time and effort. Ideally it would be cool to start a business with this sort of thing, in the mold of Vermont Teddy Bear setup. But up to this point it appears as though I'd need a $100,000 commercial brewer's license to make it happen.

Later tonight or tomorrow morning I'll attach an update at the bottom of this post and provide a comparison for what each beer tasted like.