30 March 2008

Yes, I'm a Wimp!

I just opened a bottle of Sam Adams Double Bock.

Whew!

As the song goes: "Meow meow meow meow/ Meow meow meow meow/ Meow meow meow meow. . ."

Man! I'm a pussy. I want session beers.

I mean it's good, but, I want something less malty. I want something that kind of sparkles on the palate. I don't want something that tastes like I just drank a bottle of syrup.

Apparently, most homebrewers want to brew barleywines, eisbocks, Belgian Tripels, and stuff with an alcohol content above 9%.

Well, not me. The line must be drawn here!

Look! I'm an old man. I can't hang with the kids any more. I crash early and hangovers hurt more than they used to. I just can't do it any longer.

So forgive me if I try smaller beers. I hope you won't hate me.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 19:04 0 comments links to this post

28 March 2008

Second all-grain batch - Wheat Porter

Since I did so well with the first all-grain batch, I thought I would try a second batch. I consulted Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing, and stole this recipe:

Dick's Elixir Wheat Porter

Recipe Specifics
----------------
Batch Size (GAL): 5.00 Wort Size (GAL): 6.00
Total Grain (LBS): 14.38
Anticipated OG: 1.076 Plato: 18.40
Anticipated SRM: 26.2
Anticipated IBU: 23.1
System Efficiency: 75 (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain/Extract/Sugar
% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
34.8 5.00 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2
27.8 4.00 lbs. Munich Malt Great Britain 1.037 6
20.9 3.00 lbs. Lager Malt(6-row) Canada 1.031 1
10.4 1.50 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034 60
3.5 0.50 lbs. Flaked Oats America 1.033 2
2.6 0.38 lbs. Carafa Chocolate Malt Germany 1.030 525

Hops
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.25 oz. Nugget Whole 13.00 15.0 90 min.
0.75 oz. Nugget Whole 13.00 8.2 10 min.

Yeast
-----

White Labs WLP004 Irish Stout
Mash Schedule
-------------

Mash Type: Multi Step

Qts Water Per LBS Grain: 1.50 Total Qts: 21.56

Notes
-----
Toast flaked oats at 300F until a light golden brown an smell like cookies.

According to Randy Mosher, this should have a chocolate milkshake flavor with texture.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 13:57 0 comments links to this post

26 March 2008

Hubert Wolters' West Texas Wheat - All Grain

So Satan suggested that I start brewing all grain. Like a fool, I said, "Why not?"

Last Sunday, I brewed. I think I had a dry spot in the mash. My estimated OG was 1057 at 75% efficiency. My actual OG was 1.042, which makes it 56%. The new counterflow chiller I bought worked like a champ. It had a couple of leaks we'll need to repair. But I need a brewing sculpture and some pumps! I had to stack a side table on top of the picnic table to get enough height to make gravity work. The beer looks pretty good, a nice yellow color. We'll see how it looks in a week. Rub your rabbit's foot.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:24 0 comments links to this post

24 March 2008

Beer Costs the Same as Cocaine in UK

In their effort to reduce binge drinking, lawmakers in the United Kingdom have just increased taxes on beer with an interesting side effect.

A line of cocaine is now as cheap as a pint of beer after the latest alcohol tax rises took effect.

An average pint in Britain has topped £3 following a 4p rise in the budget – making it the same price as a line of cocaine, according to official government figures.

In London the average price of a pint – at £4.06 – is dearer than a hit of heroin.

A line of speed or the cannabis resin for a spliff now costs the same as just two cigarettes, according to separate figures released by the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit, which provides street prices for evidence in courts.

. . .

Spokesman Harry Shapiro said: 'The tax on alcohol has been going up and up while the price of cocaine has been coming down. There comes a point when the lines cross and it may well be that point is now.. . if you're asking me if it now costs no more to have a night on cocaine as it does on alcohol, unfortunately I'd have to say yes.'

Over the past ten years, the price of cocaine has dropped from £77 a gram to £45, while heroin has fallen from £74 to £53.

...

A spokesman [for the Home Office] said: 'Reductions in the price of drugs may be associated with increased competition or reduced demand, not just increased availability.

'The relationship between drug prices and drug use is not straightforward.

Interesting that the Home Office says that the relationship between beer and binge drinking is related, but not drug use.

But here's something more interesting:

This month a UN report condemned Britain's celebrity 'endorsed' drug-related lifestyles and said cocaine use here was among the highest in Europe, along with Spain and Italy. . .

Here in the US, we eagerly snap up any news about the drug related adventures of Paris, Lindsey and Britney, including their drug induced sexcapades. Is there any reason why there are binge drinking problems? Binge drinkers are just trying to act like celebreties.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to put my soapbox away.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:58 0 comments links to this post

22 March 2008

Guinness Cupcakes

Guinness can do anything. Over at Big City, Little Kitchen, they posted a recipe for Guinness Cupcakes. Mmmm. Cupcakes.


posted by Jeff Holt at 13:32 0 comments links to this post

20 March 2008

Beer Better for the Brain than Wine

Don't believe me? Click here!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 20:25 0 comments links to this post

18 March 2008

Hookarm's Maibock

Last month, I cracked the old record books and dug out the recipe for Hookarm's Maibock. It was always a pretty popular beer, but I haven't brewed it in a while. And since May is coming. . .

I have run out of kegs, so I transferred it to secondary. Here's the info:

Hookarm's Maibock Brewing Date: Monday February 18, 2008
Head Brewer: Jeff

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

14-B Bock, Helles Bock/Maibock

Min OG: 1.064 Max OG: 1.072
Min IBU: 20 Max IBU: 35
Min Clr: 4 Max Clr: 10 Color in SRM, Lovibond

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

Batch Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Extract (LBS): 9.00
Anticipated OG: 1.073
Anticipated SRM: 15.0
Anticipated IBU: 34.0
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Actual OG: 1.062 Plato: 15.12
Actual FG: 1.015 Plato: 3.83

Alcohol, Est.: 7.60 By Weight 9.57 By Volume - Full Attenuation.
Alcohol, Actual: 4.83 By Weight 6.17 By Volume - Measured Actuals.

Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
11.1 1.00 lbs. Crystal 90L America 1.033 90
11.1 1.00 lbs. Munich Malt Germany 1.037 8
5.6 0.50 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
72.2 6.50 lbs. Light Dry Malt Extract 1.046 7
Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.50 oz. Perle Pellet 8.20 18.1 60 min.
1.00 oz. Mt. Hood Pellet 5.20 11.7 30 min.
1.00 oz. Mt. Hood Whole 5.20 4.2 10 min.

Yeast
-----

White Labs WLP036 Dusseldorf Alt

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

Brought 2.5 gallons wiith grains in steeping bag to 165F. held for 30 minutes. Removed grains, removed from heat and added DME.

Tasting Notes
-------------

Malty with an alcohol punch. Crystal clear, too.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 16:45 1 comments links to this post

16 March 2008

Contest Beer Update

I just opened a bottle of Peppercorn Rye-Bock version 1.

It's delicious.

There's a nuttiness in the aroma. A hint of maple syrup in the finish from the concentrated boil. It peppery and bitter. So, I guess we are sending it to Nationals. Maybe. If another bottle tastes good, perhaps.

Please let it be one bottle.
Please let it be one bottle.
Please let it be one bottle.
Please let it be one bottle.

I'm gonna get another one of those "Drink it first" comments on the Oktoberfest, though. It's all butterscotch.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:23 0 comments links to this post

14 March 2008

Vintage Lone Star Beer Photo

A 1950s photo from Lone Star. I'm not sure why I wanted to post that. . .

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posted by Jeff Holt at 17:54 1 comments links to this post

12 March 2008

What the Future Holds

I have a short attention span. I can stick with something only so long before I move on. I am in the middle of writing a 300 page comic based on my experiences as an exchange student in Japan, called "Chasing the Sun." I got to the middle about two years ago and got started doing something else. I finally picked up painting using the Bob Ross technique because it's fast and easy. That's why I brew extract beers.

My cousin, Satan (as in "Get thee behind me. . ."), told me the other day that he wished I would start doing all grain because my beers would taste better. Then we spent almost eleven hours brewing a wiezenbock, about which I am sworn to secrecy. Some days, it's easier to get beer from a store than brew it.

I do want to return to all grain brewing. I brewed a few batches back before the millennium. I am collecting parts for my own brewing system. As soon as I have everything collected, I hope to either browbeat my Honey Creek brewing partner into welding me a frame, or I will hire it out.

Currently, I have the fittings to convert one keg and a counterflow chiller. I just received a check from my ads that will buy a couple of burners. That still leaves the parts to convert a second keg, two pumps and the electronics.

Of course, first I have to figure out my contamination problems. . .

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:25 0 comments links to this post

10 March 2008

Contest Beer Update

I visited Satan in Midland to discuss the upcoming NHC and to brew a wiezenbock, to which I have been sworn to secrecy. We plan to enter the wiezenbock in the Big Batch Brew in Houston in May. Before brew day, we sampled beers we thought we would enter into NHC.

His Wit Willie, brewed with chamomile tea, was excellent. The last batch of Brother Spuds Oatmeal Stout was delicious and creamy. I thought he had too much oats, but other than that, I thought it was fine.

Next we poured a bottle of peppercorn rye-bock. Green apples. Rat farts! And I just sent some into the Bluebonnet Brew Off! Monkey muffins!

Next I poured him some Excelsior Oktoberfest Ale. Butterscotch. Big time butterscotch! Rabbit pellets! Guess what else I just sent to contest.

I put my head in my hands and wept as Satan poured us some Kentucky WTF. It started out as my Kentucky Common, but didn't sour. I asked Satan if it could be a porter. He swirled the beer in his mouth a few times, then allowed that it might just qualify for a porter.

Hopefully it won't go bad before I send it to NHC.

I am considering not entering anything of mine. And I am also considering giving up brewing and just going to the liquor store for beer.

Labels: ,


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:58 0 comments links to this post

08 March 2008

Welton's Wild Cow Wiezenbock

At the beginning of the month, I traveled to Midland to brew with Satan. I saw that the Big Batch Brew Off (whose site appears to be down now) was holding a wiezenbock brewing contest. So we came up with a recipe. Satan, however, asked me not to share the recipe in case we won. So, sorry, I can't tell you anything, except that it is a wiezenbock.

I ordered the grains and forgot to include the Crystal malt that would darken the beer and help us avoid a decoction mash. Satan and I got to his lab at work at 7:30 am, we had to re-calculate everything. Unfortunately, Satan works in the oil industry and he actually had to work while I did the math and mixed the grains. By 11 am, Satan helped me set up the equipment and we were ready to brew. We used a triple decoction mash, and soon realized we were in for a long day.

At 8 pm we started the 90 minute boil. At 10:30 pm, we had everything cleaned up and went back to Satan's house via Domino's Pizza. We were in bed by 11:30.

Our numbers were a little low. Even though Satan told me we would have a 6 gallon batch, I calculated everything for 5 gallons. D'oh!

We learned several things:

  • If we can't start brewing before noon, wait a day.

  • On Satan's system, figure a 6 gallon batch.

  • It would have been worth the $30 for overnight shipping for the Crystal malt.
  • Macht's nicht, baby. Macht's nicht.
  • Labels:


    posted by Jeff Holt at 09:39 0 comments links to this post

    06 March 2008

    Another Texas Brewery has Opened - Franconia Brewery

    According to Texas Beer, Franconia Brewery has opened in McKinney. A website for Franconia Brewery is under construction.

    Franconia will sell in draft and keg only for now. Originally planned are four beers: a light lager, a wheat ale, a third beer that will either be a kölsch or a schwarzbier, and one as yet unnamed that will be sold exclusively through the Two Rows chain.

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    posted by Jeff Holt at 15:40 1 comments links to this post

    04 March 2008

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    posted by Jeff Holt at 15:17 0 comments links to this post

    02 March 2008

    National Homebrewer's Conference 2008

    Back in January, I booked a hotel room in Cincinnati over Father's Day weekend for the NHC, "just in case." I mean Satan and my calendars are pretty full. We both work full time, and we both instigated a family reunion for the first weekend in August, which will be the first time the entire Roger Holt family has been together since the 1980s. I didn't think we would have time to make it to Cincinnati!

    I was discussing it with Satan, and he said, "Phuk et." I knew he wasn't referring to the village in Thailand, so, we registered. I have planned our route, since we can't afford to fly, and plan on hitting several brewpubs along the way to and from, and even plan a visit to Makers Mark and, NASCAR willing, The Brickyard in Indianapolis. We're taking the "Long Way Home" through St. Louis (to see the Arch), Kansas City (for BBQ) and Oklahoma City ('cause it's on the way back to Dallas).

    Anyone else going to NHC?

    Labels:


    posted by Jeff Holt at 08:02 0 comments links to this post