30 January 2008

Skirt Lifter Imperial Hefeweizen

Frankly, I don't understand the whole "Imperial" thing. There are Imperial Stouts, Imperial Pale Ales, Imperial Pilsners, and Imperial Oktoberfests. I'm sure someone, somewhere is even toying with an Imperial Dopplebock.

Anyway, I ran across a recipe on the Brewing Network Forums a while back (can't remember who posted it, I think it was Bub), and added it to my list of things to try. Now, many months later, I think I am ready to try it.

Skirt Lifter Imperial Hefeweiss
12 lbs wheat malt extract
1/4 oz Horizon 13%/60
1/4 oz Argentine Cascade/5
1/4 oz Argentine Cascade/0
2 vials WLP300 Hefeweis yeast
Est. OG 1.072

Northern Brewer had the 60-40 Wheat malt extract I was looking for, but no European hops. I couldn't even find any hops below 12% AAU ! The Argentine Cascade, the site informed me, are not a substitute for American Cascadem but for Hallertauer. We'll see.

Update: It was Bub who posted the original recipe on The Brewing Network Forums.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:43 2 comments links to this post

28 January 2008

Brewery chores

I kegged and transferred everything Tuesday morning. Whew! Three hours of work. I need a beer!

Let's see:

Kentucky Common - Not as sour, and the anise is so mild, I didn't notice it. Smells hoppy, though. I might have something here. OG 1048, today 1019. I will let this clear a week or two, then keg it. This beer was traditionally kegged young. We'll see how this turns out. This will go to Nationals, I think.

Oak Barrel Stout - OG 1054, FG 1018. Bourbon flavor seems subdued compared to last time, but that was a year and a half ago. Kegged it today. Should be good in four to six weeks.

Peppercorn Rye-Bock - I brewed this the day after I brewed the Kentucky Common, using the same recipe as before, but using Liberty Hops. OG 1064, today 1018. (I think I have spotted a trend here. Yeast starters are in order.) I didn't pull any yeast off before I transferred it out of the stainless conical, so it's a bit cloudy. Two weeks in secondary, then I'll keg it. Tastes pretty good.

Satan also suggested I send Excelsior to Nationals. I already had 6 bottles, so I bottled 6 more. I don't think it will win: it's too dark for style, but I have to admit it is darn tasty.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 18:29 0 comments links to this post

26 January 2008

Brother Spuds Oatmeal Stout

I went out to Midland over the weekend, with an obligatory stop at Eola, to help Satan brew his infamous Oatmeal Stout.

Brother Spuds Oatmeal Stout

7 lbs Marris Otter malt
1.13 lbs roasted barley malt
1 lb red wheat malt
0.5 lb Crystal 15L
0.5 lb Crystal 80L
1.13 lb flaked oats
1 lb flaked barley
1.2 oz leaf Yakima Golding hops/90 minutes
0.8 oz leaf Yakima Golding hops/15 minutes
White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast

We did a step mash, doing a 50 minutes rest at 148F, then taking it up to 158F for 2 hours. After the sparge, we did a two hour boil.

This is the recipe that got Satan to the second round of Nationals a couple of years ago.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:49 0 comments links to this post

24 January 2008

Start Your own Brewpub Class - Eola, Texas

Mark at Bright Brewery in Eola, Texas released this announcement:

Start Your Own Brew Pub

No previous brewing experience required. A great place to get real insight inside a successful brewpub. Eola School Restaurant Brewery and Lodge, open since 2004, has experienced strong, continuous growth.

  • Introduction to ingredients and the Brewing Process
  • Buying Equipment
  • Marketing and Events

3 day course - Restaurant and lodging on site

For information call Mark at 325-469-3314, or drop him an email for pricing information.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:38 0 comments links to this post

22 January 2008

Scientific Proof of Snobbery

Antonio Rangel and colleagues at California Institute of Technology had a theory (not a theory in the common sense of the word, but a theory in the scientific sense of the word, like the the Theory of Gravity and the Theory of Evolution) and decided to test it. According to a story on www.startribune.com, they thought that consumers perceptions of quality were influenced by the price of the item.

They asked 20 people to sample wine while undergoing functional MRI's of their brain activity. The subjects were told they were tasting five different Cabernet Sauvignons sold at different prices.

However, there were actually only three wines sampled, two being offered twice, marked with different prices.

A $90 wine was provided marked with its real price and again marked $10, while another was presented at its real price of $5 and also marked $45.

The testers' brains showed more pleasure at the higher price than the lower one, even for the same wine, Rangel reports in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In other words, changes in the price of the wine changed the actual pleasure experienced by the drinkers, the researchers reported.

"Our results suggest that the brain might compute experienced pleasantness in a much more sophisticated manner that involves integrating the actual sensory properties of the substance being consumed with the expectations about how good it should be," they reported.

Over at Appellation Beer, there is a discussion of the merits of high prices on beer. But I think they are missing the real point: People want to be perceived as having good taste; and in our society how much you spend on your activity is an external indicator of taste.

When I was in High School, back in the days before the Internet, Shiner Bock was a cheap beer. When the current owners took over, their first step was to raise the price to match Premium beers of the time: Lone Star, Pearl, Budweiser (This was even before Bud Light), etc. While their older consumers dropped the brand in favor of Texas Pride, sales exploded.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:57 0 comments links to this post

20 January 2008

Texas' Stupid Liquor Laws

Just to demonstrate how ridiculous Texas' liquor laws are, here is a link to Chisholm Trail Winery's "Find Our Wines" page. I counted 67 locations on the page.

Here the "Where to Buy" page from Independence Brewing Company in Austin. If you don't like clicking, here's what the page says: "Independence beer is currently available on draft and in bottles at some of Austin's favorite bars and restaurants."

That's all a brewery is allowed to say: "It's for sale somewhere."

Contact your State legislator and ask him to change Texas beer laws.

Just to prove that chaos and anarchy, fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together and mass hysteria doesn't occur if a microbrewer tells people where to buy their beer, I present the O'Fallon Brewery, in O'Fallon, Missouri. Here is their "Where to Buy" page. Notice that they even include out of state distributors.

I haven't heard any reports from Missouri of drunken beer riots because people know where to buy craft beer. . .

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:28 5 comments links to this post

18 January 2008

Kentucky Common Again

Satan came down, and we went to Austin Homebrew Supply. We bought ingredients for our NHC beers. So I thought I would brew Kentucky Common one last time. (I have a rant about a comment from the Dixie Cup, but I will save that for another post.)

Contest Kentucky Common

Brewing Date: Saturday January 12, 2008
Head Brewer: Jeff Holt
Asst Brewer: Gary Turner

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

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

Batch Size (GAL): 5.00 Wort Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Extract (LBS): 8.25
Anticipated OG: 1.046 Plato: 11.37
Anticipated SRM: 52.5
Anticipated IBU: 36.8
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Actual OG: 1.046 Plato: 11.37

Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
72.7 6.00 lbs. Williams americann Lager Extr 1.030 3
12.1 1.00 lbs. Chocolate Malt America 1.029 350
3.0 0.25 lbs. Black Patent Malt America 1.028 525
12.1 1.00 lbs. Carafa Germany 1.030 400

Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.00 oz. AHS Cascade Pellet 6.40 31.5 60 min.
1.00 oz. AHS Cascade Pellet 6.40 5.3 5 min.

Extras

Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.13 Tsp Anise seed Spice 30 Min.(boil)
1.00 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)


Yeast
-----

White Labs WLP550 Belgian Ale

This will be the last time I ever brew this for a contest.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 21:51 0 comments links to this post

16 January 2008

Peppercorn Rye-Bock version 2

Extremely proud of my last attempt, I thought I would brew it again. This time, I added 8 ounces of carapils, because I had it in the pantry.

Peppercorn Rye Bock

Brewing Date: Sunday January 13, 2008
Head Brewer: Jeff
ProMash Brewing Session - Recipe Details Printout
-------------------------------------------------

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

Anticipated OG: 1.065 Plato: 15.78
Anticipated SRM: 7.8
Anticipated IBU: 23.5
Wort Boil Time: 65 Minutes

Actual OG: 1.064 Plato: 15.58

Alcohol, Est.: 6.76 By Weight 8.52 By Volume - Full Attenuation.
Alcohol, Actual: 5.36 By Weight 6.83 By Volume - Measured Actuals.


Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
5.3 0.50 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
10.5 1.00 lbs. Flaked Rye America 1.034 2
5.3 0.50 lbs. Munich Malt(2-row) America 1.035 6
68.4 6.50 lbs. Light Liquid Malt Extract 1.035 7
10.5 1.00 lbs. Light Dry Malt Extract 1.046 7

Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.00 oz. Casacade Pellet 4.20 19.9 65 min.
1.00 oz. Liberty Pellet 3.90 3.6 10 min.

Extras

Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.00 Tsp Peppercorn Melange Spice 2 Min.(boil)
1.00 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 10 Min.(boil)

Yeast
-----

White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch

Mash Notes
----------

I brewed this with the eextract late method. I brought the grains up to 170F in 2.5 gal of water. Then I added 1 pound of DME and 3.5 lbs of liquid extract. I boiled as described. When the boil was over, I added the pepper and the remaining extract.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 21:44 0 comments links to this post

14 January 2008

Shopping For Nationals

Satan came for a visit this weekend. He wanted to shop at Austin Homebrew Supply and I thought we would squeeze in a visit to North by Northwest and Grapevine Market.

Satan hopes to brew Brother Spuds Oatmeal Stout, his American Lager, and Wit Willy for Nationals. I'm bought ingredients for Kentucky Common and another Peppercorn Rye Bock.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:47 0 comments links to this post

12 January 2008

Playing with the Beer Gun

On January 4, I spent four hours bottling a few six packs of beer to give to some friends. I bottled two 6-packs of Peppercorn Rye Bock. I got halfway through another bottle before I blew the keg. I bottled 11 bottled of the Oktoberfest conical experiment beer. It's a bit roasty for an Oktoberfest, so I'm keeping 5 bottles back for the Bluebonnet Brew-Off in March. I also bottled a six pack each of Kinda Sorta Charlie P's Palalia Pale Ale and Hookarms Yule Ale.

I made up three sampler six packs for some friends. I'm keeping the two six packs of Peppercorn Rye Bock back until I find out how many I need for Nationals. I may enter the rest in the Bluebonnet Brew-off.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:30 0 comments links to this post

10 January 2008

The Hop Shortage and competitions

Friday night, I began wondering about the difficulty in finding hops for, say a German Bock, like Satan wants to brew for Nationals. So I decided to post my question to The Brewing Network forums. Here's what I wrote:

I was ordering ingredients for a stout, and at my LBHS there are no English hops. They can substitute US Goldings for UK Goldings. Another homebrew shop suggested a German hop as a substitution. For my drinking purposes, I can live with it. But if I were brewing for competition, like Nationals, would that substitution hurt my scores? Or would the judges take the hop shortage into account? So If I brew a stout with a German hop, will that hurt me in competition?

OR, should I wait until I get the right hop for the style of beer I'm brewing (German beer/German Hop, English Ale/English hop)?

I was wondering what the impact would be on future competitions if brewers can't get Saaz hops, for example. Will a Pilsener brewed without Saaz hops lose the competition?

My BN Army comrade in arms, BDawg posted this reply:

Go with your instinct. When I am judging, I know I'd won't be able to tell US Goldings from EKG as a bittering addition, particularly in something like a stout.

Neither does it matter. Remember-
The guidelines say things like "english hop flavor" or "noble", or "citrusy American hops". They don't mandate EKG, Saaz, or Hallertaur. Sticking with like hops will still get you good results. This is an opportunity for all of us to become a little bit creative in our substitutions, too. You'd be surprised how versatile some hops can be.

Thanks, BDawg. I can sleep better, now.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:21 0 comments links to this post

08 January 2008

Bourbon Stout tranferred to secondary

On Sunday, January 6, I drained the oak chips and put them in a carboy. I transferred the Austin Homebrew Supply Dry Stout on top of the oak chips.

Fermentation of the stout was quite vigorous. Twice the airlock filled up with krausen. The original gravity was 1.054, and the gravity on Sunday was 1.017, giving an alcohol content of 4.3% by volume.

The plan is to age it for two weeks, and then keg it. Hopefully, it will turn out good, and be ready in time to submit to the Bluebonnet Brew Off.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:10 0 comments links to this post

Guinness Commercial


posted by Jeff Holt at 14:37 0 comments links to this post

06 January 2008

Rating Peppercorn Rye Bock

Peppercorn Rye Bock

Appearance (0-3): Except for a slight chill haze, this poured up a crystal clear bronze color with ruby hightlights. There is a lingering offwhite head that laces up the sides of the glass. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Smells of malt, some yeastiness, and a very slight pepper aroma. Of course, that may be because I know it's in there. . . 3 points

Taste: Hop Malt Balance (0-4): Very well balanced. There is some residual malt sweetness. This isn't an extremely hoppy beer, so the sweetness isn't too cloying. 3.5 points

Aftertaste (0-3): Finishes with a peppery flavor, probably from the rye, and accented by the pepper. Not a spicy peppery flavor, but a subtle background flavor. 3 points

Mouthfeel (0-3): Perfect mouthfeel. 3 points

Overall Impression (0-3): I think it's the best beer I've ever brewed. 3 points

Total: 18.5

I am sending this to Nationals.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:17 0 comments links to this post

04 January 2008

Oak Barrel Stout

On December 30, I brewed an Austin Homebrew Supply Dry Stout kit. As soon as I pitched the yeast, I put 4 ounces of American oak chips into a Mason jar, and poured 8 ounces of Tennessee Whiskey over them. On January 7, I transferred to secondary, and added the oak chips. On the 31st, I will keg the beer and let it age for 6 weeks. I'm hoping it will be ready for the Bluebonnet Brew Off in March.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 16:48 0 comments links to this post

02 January 2008

Pueblo Indians Made Beer from Corn

FOXNews.com recently reported on a new study that suggests Pueblo Indians brewed their own type of corn beer 800 years ago. FOXNew's lead paragraph concludes "contradicting claims that the group remained dry until their first meeting with the Europeans."

"A thousand years ago," the story continues, "traditional Native American farming villages were already scattered across parts of New Mexico, Arizona and northern Mexico, divided among several tribes including the Apache, Pueblo, Navajo and the Tarahumara. Many of the tribes living in Mexico and some in Arizona are known to have produced a weak beer called tiswin, made by fermenting kernels of corn, but no evidence has ever been found that the same thing happened in New Mexico." Until now. A pot shard was found and scanned. Scientists found small amounts of fermented residue common in beer production.

I don't know why everyone assumed the Pueblos were dry. The Maya made a ceremonial wine called balche from honey and the bark of a tree. Other native wines were made with fruits like pineapple, guava, cactus fruit, and mesquite pods. In central Mexico they made a mescal wine, the predecessor to todays tequila and mescal. Pulque was made from the sap of the mescal plants.

Corn was used to make beer from Peru to Northern Mexico, diverting as much as 30% of their corn crop to beer production. This corn beer was usually a ceremonial beer, not something consumed everyday. (The preceeding from " 'Native' Brewing in America" by William Lintzinger, published in Zymurgy Fall 1980 (Vol. 3 No. 3)

Most of the alcoholic drinks were produced by people living in well established communities, once again proving Micheal Jackson's assertion that grain production for alcohol production is the drink that civilized humanity.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:39 0 comments links to this post