28 February 2006

I Love Japan

Asahi, The Beer Pouring Robot

Asahi Brewing Company of announced a special promotion for their low-malt beer. They've designed a robot beer refrigerator and will be giving away a total of 5,000 of the robots, fully stocked with beer, to applicants selected by a lottery drawing who collect 36 seals from special Asahi beer cans. The contest runs from February 20th through May 22nd.

Push the robots start button and it opens the can, tilts the glass, and pours the beer with a perfect head every time. The refrigerator section of the robot can cool six cans and two beer mugs.

Needless to say, I want one.


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:36 1 comments links to this post

26 February 2006

Hamas Beer?

Palestinian Brewer Nadim Khoury has developed a non-alcoholic beer named Hamas. Made partly to stay on the incoming government's good side, Khoury hopes Hamas won't adopt sharia, which bans all alcoholic beverages.

To be honest, I didn't know that Palestinians drank beer. I just assumed it was banned.

Nice looking labels, though.


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:20 1 comments links to this post

24 February 2006

Beer Burgler Alarm

Here's a great little gadget that's being sold in the UK. I wonder when it will get here. It's a Beer Burgler Alarm. "When alarm sounds," it reads, "Make your way to the nearest exit (for a severe beating)."


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:33 0 comments links to this post

22 February 2006

Raining Beer?

30-foot-high catapults were wheeled through Melbourne streets and even hauled to the top of buildings to shoot of malt, hops "and even a solitary stag into the stratosphere in order to satisfy the beer gods" and make it rain beer. Kind of like could seeding, I guess. This Monty Python inspired ad was Toohey New's response to last years Carlton Draught "Big Ad," and signals a change in Australian beer advertising. Now marketers are focusing on entertainment rather than the traditional beer ads, guys in a pub.

"Good on ya, mates," as the only Australian I know, Steve Irwin, might say. Here's a link to the original article.


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:21 1 comments links to this post

20 February 2006

Miller hunting down people who use fake email addresses

A recent post at Boing Boing is kind of scary. If you once used a throwaway email address to sign up for a contest on the Miller website, you might get this email:

Thank you for being a loyal consumer of Miller Brewing Company. As one of our VIP consumers, you have likely received email communications from us in the past. Recently, however, we have not been able to deliver email messages to the address you originally supplied. We have performed an electronic change of address to update our records so that we can continue to send you special offers, promotions, and announcements via email.

posted by Jeff Holt at 06:13 0 comments links to this post

19 February 2006

Cask ale into the fridge

After spending a week at about 70°, I put the keg of Winters Cask Ale into the fridge. I'll sample it next week. I can barely wait.


posted by Jeff Holt at 10:11 0 comments links to this post

16 February 2006

Canada's Trade Surplus

According to a story on globeandmail.com, Canada is running a beer trade surplus with the United States.

Canada's beer trade surplus with the U.S. hit $265-million in 2003 — the most recent annual figures available — a near $43-million increase from 1999.

Beer exports to the United States rose after the Canada-US Free Trade Agreeement was enacted, reaching $270-million by 1994. The export activity to the US peaked in 2001 at $367-million and slipped to $323-million by 2003.

Statscan said the increase in Canadian beer exports have far exceeded the slight rise in American beer imported to Canada, resulting in the beer trade surplus.

The surplus was steady during the 1990s at about $224 million, but has increased 19.2 per cent since 1999.

Canada is the third biggest beer exporter to the U.S. behind Mexico and the Netherlands.


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:29 3 comments links to this post

15 February 2006

I have an idea: A homebrewing wiki!

I am ging to put together a homebrewing wiki. I got a free wiki at PBWiki. “PBwiki makes creating a wiki as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich.” You can get one too!

As soon as I get a few articles up, I'll post a link here. It's a little more difficult than HTML, but so far it seems pretty easy.

PBwiki logo


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:05 0 comments links to this post

14 February 2006

Winters Cask Ale - Kegging (shudder)

Keeping in mind that my brewing partner and I haven't had too much luck with kegging, I think I know the reason why. We haven't been priming the beer when we keg it. So yesterday, at the College Street Pilot Brewery, I kegged the Winters Cask Ale and primed it.

The original gravity was 1043. The final gravity was 1009. That makes the beer 3.5% alcohol by weight, and 4.44% by volume.

I will let the keg sit at room temp (~68° F) for a week, and then move it into the cooler.

The beer tasted pretty clean. There was a hint of vanilla in the finish that I really liked. I might have to try this with procedure with my Holiday Beer.


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:31 0 comments links to this post

12 February 2006

S+mapede Light Beer -- What the?

S+ampede Brewing Company in Dallas has released a Light beer. The founder, Lawrence Schwartz, used his grandfather's 1900s homebrew recipes as the basis for his beer, then got one of the invetors of light beer, Dr. Jospeh Owades, to make a light beer with flavor and body. Plus some stuff, hence the plus in the name. They added vitamins!

BFD (Big Fat Deal)! Beer already has vitamins in it. They are marketing to beer drinkers in their 20s who don't know about the world of beer, and are only familiar with pale yellow fizzwater produced by the three major brewers. The Federal government won't let them put the vitamins on the label because that would be making a health claim. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission probably objected as well. They would argue that putting the vitamins on there would constitute enticement to purchase. (Anything that entices you to purchase is illegal in Texas. Doesn't explain beer ads, though.)

I wish him luck, but I won't be trying his product anytime soon. I avoid light beer.


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:20 0 comments links to this post

10 February 2006

Evaluating Beer

Jeffrey over at Why do I Bother? made this comment a few days ago:

With my love for beer I was thinking of adding a beer review feature to my blog on a weekly basis or so. Do you know of any good resources for developing a rating system for beer tasting?

Personally, I always fall back on The Master, Charlie Papazian. His New Complete Joy of Homebrewing has a 50 point beer scale. With all due respect, I am summarizing it here. Please note that each category is based on how appropriate the beer is to the style.

THE 50-POINT SCALE
By Charlie Papazian

Bouquet/Aroma 1-10 points:
malt (3 pts)
hops(3pts)
other fermentation characteristics (4 pts)

Appearance 1-6 points:
Color (2) Clarity (2) Head retention (2)

Flavor 1-19 points:
Malt (4)
Hops (4)
Balance (5)
Conditioning/carbonation (3)
Aftertaste (3)

Body 1-5 points

Drinkability and Overall Impression 1-10 points

The 50 point scale depends on a familiarity with the style. So the closer the beer gets to the style, the higher the score. Since I am not a Certified Beer Judge, I don't like that scale. However, The Master also included a 20-point scale that is more subjective.

THE 20-POINT SCALE

Appearance 0-3 points

Aroma/Bouquet 0-4 points

Taste 0-10 points
Hop/malt balance (4)
Aftertaste (3)
Mouthfeel (3)

Overall Impression 1-3 points

Over at Beer Advocate, they rate beers. Here's a link to their system. It's very simple.

I hope this helps!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:17 1 comments links to this post

08 February 2006

The Pursuit of Flavor

I have written about my pursuit of subtle flavors in beer: vanilla and bourbon. The problem with subtle flavors is that they tend to meld into the overall flavor of the beer.

If you think about the flavor, you can pick out hints of it. Some of the folks who tasted my holiday beer said they could taste the vanilla when I told him it was in the recipe. The bourbon stout has a very delayed bourbon finish, but it's more like a hop bitterness that real bourbon flavor.

I have also brewed sour beer. Instead of actually souring the mash, I used Belgian ale yeast that acheives the same result. After a few weeks in the bottle, the sour flavor of the beer smoothed out. That was one of my biggest successes.

So the lesson, is: flavors blend, flavors smooth. The taste of a typical homebrew will change over time. Don't expect to have all that beer taste the same, unless you plan to drink it all at once!


posted by Jeff Holt at 18:51 0 comments links to this post

06 February 2006

I can't Keg

I tapped the bourbon stout today. I wish I knew how to keg. The beer was barely carbonated. It was good, but flat.

The dominating note was the malt. The bourbon finish I had hoped for was barely noticeble. But it was a good beer.

I put 40 lbs of CO2 into the keg and let it sit overnight, then added more CO2 the next day. I hope the beer will carbonate.


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:41 1 comments links to this post

04 February 2006

Still need quotes!

Send your favorite beer quotes to hiikeeba at gmail dot com. For all your hard work I will send you a Gmail invite.

Thanks to everyone who have already contributed.


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:50 2 comments links to this post

02 February 2006

I Need more beer quotes!

Send your beer quotes to hiikeeba at gmail dot com. (Figure it out.) Each person who suggests a quote will get, in return, a gmail invitation! So please include your email address.


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:19 0 comments links to this post