30 January 2006

Winters Cask Ale - Secondary Fermentation

I transferred the Winters Cask Ale to secondary. The gravity was 1013. The original gravity was 1045. That makes the alcohol 3.28% by weight, and 4.18% by volume.

Before adding the beer to the carboy, I strained the oak chips that had been soaking in bourbon and Mexican vanilla. I added the chips to the carboy and racked the beer into the carboy. After taking the measurement, I put a bit of the steeping liqour into the test tube holding the beer. The beer itself was pretty clean, I didn't detect any off flavors. But the bourbon notes could make this beer another winner.

I intend to ferment another couple of weeks before I keg or bottle.

More to come . . .


posted by Jeff Holt at 17:49 0 comments links to this post

28 January 2006

Yes! More beer quotes!

You can only drink 40 or 50 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are.
-- Col. Adolphus Busch

Listening to someone who brews his own beer is like listening to a religious fanatic talk about the day he saw the light.
-Ross Murray, Montreal Gazette, 1991

Buy a man a beer and he wastes an hour. Teach a man to brew and he wastes a lifetime.
--Unknown

Cenosillicaphobia - Fear of an empty glass

I work until beer o'clock.
- Steven King

It's better to have beer in hand than gas in tank.

Life is too short to drink cheap beer.

Beer - it's not just for breakfast anymore

Beer: Nature's laxative.

Beer. If you can't taste it, why bother!


posted by Jeff Holt at 21:13 0 comments links to this post

26 January 2006

I've felt like this

Frank Cho has drawn another great strip at Liberty Meadows.


posted by Jeff Holt at 16:02 0 comments links to this post

25 January 2006

Rahr & Sons Rain Dance

On Saturday, January 21, the fine folks at Rahr & Sons Brewing Company in Fort Worth, Texas, held a rain ceremony.

Shortly after 2 p.m., about 200 people stood outside with a beer in one hand and an instrument (coffee cans, bean pots and tambourines) in the other. For a solid 10 minutes, the crowd banged on things, shook rains sticks, whooped and whistled.

Erin Rahr, who runs the Fort Worth brew company with her husband, Fritz, beat a Christmas cookie tin and surveyed the crowd.

“It’s looking pretty good,” she said of the chance for rain.

Jeff Lynch, 50, a glove maker from Keller who was visiting the brewery for the first time, had no worries as he shook his tambourine.

“I think it’s going to work,” he said matter-of-factly.

According to the Accuweather website it was raining on Sunday.


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:38 0 comments links to this post

24 January 2006

AHS Winter's Cask Ale

I brewed my version of AB's Winter Cask Ale. I bought Austin Homebrew Supply's Value Line Amber Ale kit. It has 6 lbs of Amber malt extract, 1/3 lb Crystal 90L malt, and an ounce of Amarillo hops.

I put 2.5 gallons of water into my kettle. When it hit 150° F, I backed off the heat, and added the Crystal malt. I let it steep in the water as the temp coasted up to 155°. After removing the muslin bag of grain, and bringing the water to a boil, I added the malt extract. As soon as the mixture came to a boil, I added 2/3 oz of amarillo hops, and boiled for 45 minutes. Then I added 1 teaspoon of Irish moss to clarify the beer. At 55 minutes, I added 1/3 oz of amarillo hops.

Meanwhile, I put 8lbs of ice an 2.5 gallons of water into the fermenter. When I strained the wort into the fermenter, the final temperature was 89°. I took a hyrdometer reading and got 1047. AHS said I should get about 1045. I'm happy.

Now, to make this like A-B did theirs, I put 4 ounces of oak chips in a pint jar, poured 8 ounces of whiskey and an ounce of Mexican liquid vanilla over them. When I transfer to secondary, I will pour the beer over the oak chips.

Does anyone have any ideas for variations on this whiskey theme?


posted by Jeff Holt at 18:54 0 comments links to this post

23 January 2006

Kegging day

We kegged the Bourbon Stout today. if you will recall, the orginal gravity was 1043. The final gravity was 1009. that gives us 3.5% alcohol by weight and 4.4% by volume.

And oooh is it gonna be good!


posted by Jeff Holt at 18:41 0 comments links to this post

22 January 2006

Brilliant!

Thursday, while browsing Fark.com I came across the Boston Globe recipe for Guinness Ice Cream. It reminded me of Emeril Legasse's recipe from a couple of years ago. So, in the interest of fairness, I have posted the two recipes below.

These recipes are the property of their respective copyright holders, and have been used without their permission.

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup Guinness stout
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons molasses
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 ounces Guinness stout
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 egg yolks

Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce:

2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup honey
20 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. In a medium saucepan, scrape in the vanilla bean seeds. Add the pod, milk, and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the flavors infuse for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the stout and molasses. Bring to a boil and turn off heat.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the hot cream mixture, then slowly whisk in another 1/4 cup of the cream. Add the remaining cream in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

4. Stir the beer mixture into the cream mixture. Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.

5. Strain the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Process the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

In a large saucepan, simmer the Guinness until reduced by 3/4 in volume, about 8 minutes. Combine the cream, milk, and sugar in a medium, heavy saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and add the vanilla bean halves. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Gradually add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, to the hot cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and add the Guinness reduction, whisking until well blended. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce:

In a medium saucepan, scald cream and honey medium heat. Remove from the heat. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the hot cream, let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Let stand until cool but still pourable. Serve over Guinness ice cream.

Yield: 1 quart
Yield: 1 quart

I propose an ice cream cook off! I wonder what this would taste like with my Bourbon Stout!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:52 0 comments links to this post

20 January 2006

Texas Microbrewery Festival - Maybe

My brewing partner has a guesthouse or three. He's always on the look out for ways to fill his rooms during off season. He's got a San Antonio astronomy club interested in a star party at Enchanted Rock State Park. Since he got into brewing, he's been trying to come up with a homebrewing festival in town, but isn't really interested in organizing it. So he pitched the idea to our local liquor store's owner.

She's managed to pitch the idea to a local group who has expressed some interest. Naturally, since I am a beer geek, and the she knows it, she has approached me to be on the committee that will investigate the possibility of such a festival.

I am not interested in a homebrewing festival. I am interested in a microbrewery festival.

My theory is: If you can find it in your local Mini-Mart, it's not a micro brew. I would like to see a festival that celebrates places like St. Arnolds Brewery, Real Ale Brewery, Live Oak Brewery, Independence Brewery, Rahr & Sons Brewery, and any other micro we can find.

Basically, I'm looking for input from fellow beer geeks and afficianadoes. What kind of event would you come to Fredericksburg for? Add an idea or suggestion in the comments section and I will send you a Gmail invite.

Yeah. I know. Everybody has 100 of those.


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:35 0 comments links to this post

18 January 2006

Kegging delay

I talked to my brewing partner last week, and we had hoped to keg the Bourbon Stout Monday. But he had some things come up, and we're going to try for next Monday.

I have to admit, this is beginning to be annoying. Currently, he's working on finishing a guesthouse on the property and another in town, auditing an astronmy class over at Schreiner University, trying to organize a star party at Enchanted Rock next year, and he just doesn't have time to brew. When I wasn't particularly interested in brewing, he was. Now that I'm getting interested, he's losing interest.

On Monday, I will pick up some of my equipment and start brewing at my house again. I'll still brew at his place, but we only brewed 6 batches of beer last year. I would like to brew more than that.


posted by Jeff Holt at 18:50 0 comments links to this post

16 January 2006

Selling Beer with Sex? Shocking!

"Pretty women make us buy beer. Ugly women makes us drink beer!" - Al Bundy

The UK recently passed a law prohibiting beer advertising that equates alcohol with sexual success. It only took a couple of months to find the first violation. Young's Brewery recently launched a "This is a Ram's World" campaign, featuring a guy with a goat head surrounded by bikini clad women who were all gazing at him admiringly. The English Guy posted a picture and his own commentary on the controversy.

I miss the Swedish Bikini Team!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:51 0 comments links to this post

14 January 2006

AB's Winter Cask Ale revisited

The Beer Advocate has some reviews of Winter Cask Ale up. With a score of 3.24 out of 5, it's firmly in the "doesn't suck, but ain't great" area. What interested me, though, was some of the descriptions of the appearance of the beer. I had assumed it might be a brown ale, but had dropped the black patent malt from Papazian's brown ale recipe and replaced it with 90L Crystal malt. Turns out, I might have been right. A lot of the reviews said it was amber colored. Hmmm. Interesting.

So, I've revised the recipe:

  • 6 1/4 lb light malt extract
  • 3/4 lb Crystal 90 malt
  • 2 oz Cascade Hops (~6% AAU) 60 minutes
  • 1 oz Cascade Hops 5 minutes
  • 1/4 tsp Irish Moss (last 15 minutes for clarification)
  • Wyeast 1056 American Ale/Chico yeast

This should result in a beer with about 6.3% ABV. Now for the interesting part.

Soak the oak chips with chopped vanilla beans while the beer ferments in primary. Then when transfeingr the beer to secondary, add the chips and vanilla beans. Age for one month in secondary, then keg and age another couple of weeks.

Notice that I've eliminated the chocolate malt, and bumped up the 90L Crystal. I'm going to try this one soon!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:39 0 comments links to this post

12 January 2006

Beer in 78 languages

If you ever find yourself thirsty in a strange country, make sure you have a copy of this list in your pocket: How to say beer in 78 languages!

I can say "Uno mas cerveza, por favor," "Ein mal bier, bitte," "Mo ippon biiru, onegai-shimasu," and "Who drank all this beer?"


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:54 0 comments links to this post

10 January 2006

Sanitation

They say "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." (In my house it's next to impossible.) But They are wrong. I checked the dictionary. Goggles is next to Godliness. Cleanliness is between Claustrophobia and Cleavage. (My writer is Gallagher.)

In brewing, everything that touches the extract must be clean. Everything that touches the beer must be sanitized.

The simplest method of sanitation is to use bleach. Use 1-2 ounces of household bleach per gallon of water. I let things soak 30 minutes, then rinse with hot water.

The next easiest way to sanitize is to use iodophor. According to the entry in Wikipedia, "Iodophor is an Iodine solution that is commonly used in dairies, and by homebrewers and home wine makers to sanitize equipment and bottles. Its major advantage to other cleaners is that when used in proper proportions it sublimates directly from solution to gas, and hence leaves no residues on your equipment. It is also non-toxic and safe for use in food processing equipment." The iodophor I use says to pour a capful of iodopher into five gallons of water. This stuff is great! But it will stain your fingers.


posted by Jeff Holt at 21:58 1 comments links to this post

08 January 2006

From the Mouths of Babes. . .

...come the stupidest ideas.

A Missouri legislator, Sen. Bill Alter, wants to stop the sale of cold beer in his state. The idea came from a a fifth-grade student studying the state government. Alter likes the idea because it will cut down drunk driving in the state.

If this really bad idea gets made into law, might I humbly suggest to the beer drinkers of Missouri that a combination of water, ice and salt can chill the beer to 34° in 5 minutes? You can then legally get your beer cold and drink it before you drive.

Source


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:08 0 comments links to this post

06 January 2006

Tired of $7 beer at ball games?

Everyone knows men with beer bellies have more fun. If you didn't know it, take it from me. But it's darned difficult to maintain your beer belly at $7 a pop at ball games. Fortunately, there's a solution.

The Beer Belly!

The Beer Belly comes with a reusable bladder, a sling to carry it, a pleasure extender (or straw), a hot/cold pack, and a cleaning kit. All for the low, low price of $49.99.


posted by Jeff Holt at 14:28 0 comments links to this post

04 January 2006

A-B Ends Busch Series sponsorship

As Budweiser sales fall, Anheuser-Busch has decided to stop sponsoring NASCAR's Busch series. Saying that they are diluting their marketing efforts, moving consumers from Bud to Busch.

The big breweries need to take a lesson from Big Tobacco. Back in the 90s, as Tobacco Companies increased prices on their major brands, cigarettes sold at two price points: Premium and generic. By the mid 90s, B&W had driven the sub-generic market, and PM and RJR were producing private label brands for large chains as sub-sub-generic prices. Marlboro noticed that their profits were being impacted, and cut prices on their premium line causing pandemonium in the marketplace as their competitors scrambled to match them. To prevent slippage of all-important market share, A-B had to sell premium and generic beers.

Competing in both markets is a bad idea, and it will eventually impact your premium line.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:34 0 comments links to this post

Front Range Fresh Hop Ale - Only at A-B Hospitality Rooms

Anheuser-Busch brewers in Colorado experimented with some fresh hops in tha fall, and the resulting brew is being served in hospitality rooms at A-B's four tour centers.

It is brewed using hops fresh off the vine, instead of dried as most brewers use. This gives the beer a "bolder hop flavor."

Brewmaster Jane Killebrew-Galeski (that can't be her real name!) said, "We think it can be a special thing -- like Christmas cookies -- that you enjoy one time a year. When we made it, we knew it wouldn't be practical to sell year-round. But the results were so good that we came up with having it at the tour centers as a way to share it." They expect supplies of the beer to run out by February. So if your in the vacinity of an Anheuser-Busch tour center, drop in.

Source: The Belleville News


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:15 0 comments links to this post

02 January 2006

MythBusters Beer cooling results

Last night, during the MythBusters marathon, they rebroadcast the cooling a six-pack segment.

It took a CO2 fire extiguisher 3 minutes to cool a six pack to 37°. It took five minutes for salt water and ice to do it. Ice and water took 15 minutes. Sticking the beer in a freezer took 25 minutes, just ice takes 30 minutes, and putting it in the fridge took 40+ minutes.

As Adam said, "Science + Beer = Good!"

Links:
M5 industries
MythBusters Fan Club
The Official Site


posted by Jeff Holt at 18:15 1 comments links to this post