30 December 2007

Time to start Thinking about Nationals

"Entry deadlines for National Homebrew Contest are March 31-April 11. Are we ready yet?" I wrote to Satan last week.

His reply? "Bwahahahaha!!!!"

Happy and Prosperous New Year, everyone. Cheers!

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:17 0 comments links to this post

28 December 2007

Kinda Sorta Charlie P's Palalia Pale Ale - Tasting Notes

Kinda Sorta Charlie P's Palalia Pale Ale

Appearance (0-3): Pours up yellow/orange with a thick tan head that dissipates quickly. 2 points
Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Sweet malt with notes of piney hops. It was a bit stronger when I kegged it. But it smells good. 3 points
Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Starts off slightly sweet and is overwhelmed by hops. 3 points
Aftertaste (0-3): Finishes with an intense hop bitterness on the back of the tongue. Within the style. 3 points
Mouthfeel (0-3): Carbonation creates full mouth feel. 2 points
Overall Impression (0-3): It reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, except for a slightly sweet tang. 3 points

Total: 16 points. I will definitely try this recipe again.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 16:23 0 comments links to this post

26 December 2007

Another Fun Chess set


posted by Jeff Holt at 09:27 0 comments links to this post

24 December 2007

Christmas Eve Gift!

An old family tradition.

The "Christmas Eve Gift" part. Not the drinking enough Grolsch to make a beer tree.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Cheers!

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 18:47 2 comments links to this post

22 December 2007

My 2008 Project - A Brew System

Okay. I want to go all grain and spend a whole day making beer. But I want a cool brewing system. I really don't want to spend three or four grand on a system. Who can afford to do that?

I do have a couple of kegs that a restaurant gave me. Their distributor stopped carrying a brand and refused to pick up the empty kegs. My brewing partner at Honey Creek Brewery has cut the tops out already. All we need are false bottoms and some plumbing.

Well, I got some Christmas money a bit early, and bought the stuff to equip one keg. Hopefully, we can assemble the hot liquor tank in January or February.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 10:37 0 comments links to this post

20 December 2007

Scottish Surprise Scottish Ale - R. I. P.

I took one last sample of Scottish Surprise Scotch Ale and dumped the keg.

I'll try it again. But it will be next year.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 19:58 0 comments links to this post

Conical Experiment Day Thirteen

Brewing Date: Friday December 07, 2007
Head Brewer: Jeff
Recipe: Conical Experiment Maerzen

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
-------------------------------

09-A German Amber Lager, Oktoberfest/Maerzen

Min OG: 1.050 Max OG: 1.064
Min IBU: 20 Max IBU: 30
Min Clr: 7 Max Clr: 14 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (GAL): 5.00 Wort Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Extract (LBS): 8.50
Anticipated OG: 1.049 Plato: 12.16
Anticipated SRM: 24.2
Anticipated IBU: 25.7
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Actual OG: 1.057 Plato: 13.97
Actual FG: 1.014 Plato: 3.58

Alcohol, Actual: 4.42 By Weight 5.64 By Volume

Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
11.8 1.00 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034 60
5.9 0.50 lbs. Chocolate Malt America 1.029 350
82.4 7.00 lbs. Munich Liquid Malt Extract 1.030 8

Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 0.75 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.40 23.6 60 min.
0.25 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.40 2.1 15 min.

Extras

Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.0 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)

Yeast
-----
WhiteLabs WLP862 Cry Havok

Bottling/Kegging Specifics
--------------------------

Bottling Date: Thursday December 20, 2007
Desired Carbonation Level: 2.30 Volumes CO2
Fermentation Temperature: 68 F

Amount Kegged: 5.00 Gallons
Days Conditioned: 0
Carbonation Method: Forced
Carbonation Temperature: 42 F
Pressure Used: 11.07 Psi

Well, I kegged "The Great Experiment." The verdict? Well, I don't have a new planter. The beer was malty and slightly sweet. I couldn't detect any contamination.

I did notice, however, that my lid doesn't make a good seal. I think I'm going to have to invest in some small clamps.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 13:46 0 comments links to this post

18 December 2007

Maybe I Can Do This After All

A couple of weeks ago, I tried the Late Hopping technique and brewed Kinda Sorta Charlie's Palilalia Pale Ale. Four days ago, I added some gelatin to the fermenter to clarify it. On Saturday, I kegged it.

Big hop aroma! Floral and citrus. Nice hop bitterness that wasn't too overpowering. Satan will need Tums when he tries this, but he won't mind.

Three to four weeks in the keg, and it should be perfect. I hope I can wait that long!

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 19:45 2 comments links to this post

16 December 2007

The BN Theme and Christmas Lights

This is the Brewing Network's theme song timed to Christmas lights. The lyrics are explicit and funny.

Tonight is their last show of the year, and the inauguration of their new stripper pole! See you in the chatroom!

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 15:51 1 comments links to this post

14 December 2007

Sampling Peppercorn Rye Bock

It's a cloudy orange color with a very thin head, next to no carbonation. (I thought I had that figured out!) Aroma is slightly sweet with some alcohol at the end. Very mild aroma. Tastes very clean. Maybe a hint of the pepper in the finish, but other than that it's pretty smooth. I think the pepper might be more in my head than on my tongue, if you know what I mean. It does have that extract tang, a residual sweetness that comes from a concentrated boil. Could have some more carbonation. I will let it age a few more weeks. And I bumped the CO2 up from ten psi to fourteen.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 16:58 0 comments links to this post

12 December 2007

Souther Star Pine Belt Pale Ale

The folks at Southern Star Brewery have released an image of their Pale Ale label. According to their site, they will be canning the beer.

Wish 'em luck folks.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 21:23 0 comments links to this post

11 December 2007

Conical Experiment Day Five

I pulled a quarter cup sample of The Great Experiment and tried it.

I'm about ready to trust the conical.

The beer had fermented. It had a nice Maerzan flavor and not too much hop flavor. This may be a keeper.

The next step is to take Satan's conical home and wash it with soap and a cloth, rinse it out several times and try the same recipe I did here and see what happens.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 10:29 0 comments links to this post

10 December 2007

Thinking of Quitting Again

Well, I tasted my Yule Ale. It's bitter. Kind of a harsh bitterness that isn't from the hops. Story time: I kegged the beer and left the keg in my room a couple of days. I set a box on top of the keg. When I got ready to take the keg outside, there was a brown cloud-shaped growth along the edge of the lid. I thought I'd had secondary fermentation in the keg and it pushed it's way out the lid. There was no pressure on the keg when I lifted the vent valve. So maybe it's contaminated. Shit. I used to be kinda good at this.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 20:40 3 comments links to this post

Sam Calagione and the Sabco Brew-Magic

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 10:00 3 comments links to this post

09 December 2007

Conical Experiment - Day Three

I checked the conical this morning and the airlock isn't moving. That means that either the conical hates me, the CO2 layer I put down on the beer (someone on the Brewing Network Forum suggested that my problem was there was oxygen getting into the fermenter) inhibited the yeast, the yeast I got was dead, or it has already fermented out.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:22 0 comments links to this post

08 December 2007

Hookarm's Christmas Beer - Not so Great

Hoo-kay! An unbiased scoring.

Hookarm's Christmas Beer

Appearance (0-3): Very cloudy brown with an off white head that dissipates slowly. 1 point
Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Ginger aroma dominates. There is some sweetness, but it's all ginger. Smells really great! 3 points
Taste (0-10): Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): This is tough. There is some malt sweetness, but the ginger flavor is immense. It's almost bitter, like hops. It's almost too much. 3 points
Aftertaste (0-3): Again, the ginger flavor dominates, but there is an slightly unpleasant hop bitterness at the back of the tongue. 1 point
Mouthfeel (0-3): Full mouthfeel, nicely carbonated. 3 points
Overall Impression (0-3): I like it. But the cloudiness and the bitterness bring this one down. 1 point
Total: 12 Points

I don't hate this beer. On the other hand, I'm not in love with this beer. I served this at my employer's Christmas Party. Someone said it was rough around the edges. I don't disagree with that. I think the beer is unbalanced. I just don't know what is missing. It needs some sweetness to cut the bitterness.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 20:44 0 comments links to this post

07 December 2007

Excelsior Oktober Ale

I conducted "The Great Experiment" today. Is my conical fermenter destined to be a planter? Or is it capable of making beer?

Satan suggested I make something malty, like an Oktoberfest. I chose a recipe by The Master, Charlie Papazian: Winky Dink Märzen. I made a couple of changes. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of chocolate malt. I made it 8 ounces. And I chose The Master's signature strain, Cry Havoc. And since Austin Homebrew was out of Hallertauer hops, I used Cascade.

ProMash Brewing Session Printout
--------------------------------

Brewing Date: Friday December 07, 2007
Head Brewer: Jeff
Recipe: Conical Experiment Maerzen

ProMash Brewing Session - Recipe Details Printout
-------------------------------------------------

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
-------------------------------
09-A German Amber Lager, Oktoberfest/Maerzen

Min OG: 1.050 Max OG: 1.064
Min IBU: 20 Max IBU: 30
Min Clr: 7 Max Clr: 14 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (GAL): 5.00 Wort Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Extract (LBS): 8.50
Anticipated OG: 1.049 Plato: 12.16
Anticipated SRM: 24.2
Anticipated IBU: 25.7
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Actual OG: 1.057 Plato: 13.97
Actual FG: 1.012 Plato: 3.07

Alcohol, Est.: 5.11 By Weight 6.44 By Volume - Full Attenuation.

Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
11.8 1.00 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034 60
5.9 0.50 lbs. Chocolate Malt America 1.029 350
82.4 7.00 lbs. Munich Liquid Malt Extract 1.030 8

Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.75 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.40 23.6 60 min.
0.25 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.40 2.1 15 min.

Extras
Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.25 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)

Yeast
-----

WhiteLabs WLP862 Cry Havok

The experiment will be conducted in the same manner and I use my plastic fermenters. I will leave the wort in the fermenter for a week and a half, then add some gelatin to fine it, and let it sit a couple of days. Then I'll keg it.

Tune in next time! Same Beer Time! Same Beer Channel!

Labels: ,


posted by Jeff Holt at 17:36 0 comments links to this post

06 December 2007

Seeing the Light

At the NHC in Denver, I learned about using gelatin to fine my beer. It's taken me almost five months to actually do it.

I tried it in a California Common kit a couple of weeks ago, which I kegged on 11/26. It was a gorgeous beer. Sparkling and bright. And it tasted good too! On the 26th, I added 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin to 1/2 cup of hot water, and added it to the Peppercorn Rye-Bock. I was talking to my buddy at Honey Creek Brewery (the name I use to refer to his barn where we brew), and he said, "That just sounds delicious." I conceded the point and confessed I was eagerly anticipating getting it into a keg.

Well, I kegged it on the 1st!

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 17:10 0 comments links to this post

04 December 2007

Kinda Sorta Charlie P's Palialia Pale Ale

I want to experiment with late hopping to get more hop aroma and flavor. Here's Jamil Zainashef's article on the topic. The best part is that since the hops only need to be boiled 20 minutes, it's a short brew day!

ProMash Recipe Printout
Recipe : Kinda Sorta Charlie's Palilalia Pale Ale

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
-------------------------------

07-0 India Pale Ale, India Pale Ale
Min OG: 1.050 Max OG: 1.075
Min IBU: 40 Max IBU: 60
Min Clr: 8 Max Clr: 14 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (GAL): 5.00 Wort Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Extract (LBS): 8.50
Anticipated OG: 1.072 Plato: 17.42
Anticipated SRM: 9.5
Anticipated IBU: 58.0
Wort Boil Time: 25 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar
% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
82.4 7.00 lbs. Light Dry Malt Extract 1.046 7
11.8 1.00 lbs. Crystal 10L America 1.035 10
5.9 0.50 lbs. Toasted Malt(2-row) America 1.033 30


Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.00 oz. Willamette Whole 5.00 3.4 5 min.
3.00 oz. Amarillo Gold Whole 10.00 40.7 20 min.
3.00 oz. Cascade Whole 5.75 13.9 10 min.


Extras

Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.25 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 10 Min.(boil)


Yeast
-----
White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale

I brewed this on December 1. My Actual OG was 1062.

Labels:


posted by Jeff Holt at 04:08 0 comments links to this post

02 December 2007

Drinking Myself to Death


posted by Jeff Holt at 16:06 1 comments links to this post