30 November 2008

Colonial Small Ale Kegging Day

I kegged the Colonial Small Ale a couple of weeks ago and here are my impressions:

Again I collected too much wort. Had to pour out about a half gallon of beer.

It finished dry, 1.007, which makes it about 3.5% alcohol. I sampled it, but I was drinking Old MILFwaukee, and it's a tad bitter, so I couldn't tell you much about it. I kegged it, and will let it age a couple of weeks before sampling.

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

28 November 2008

Shiner Holiday Cheer Review

Well, I have been looking forward to this, and finally the day has arrived. Sorry, Anonymous. Another Shiner 98 killer has been released.

Shiner Holiday Cheer

Appearance (0-3): This pours up a dark brown/mahogony with ruby highlights and a thin tan head that quickly fades to a few stray bubbles on top. I'd like a bit more staying power. 1 point

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): The aroma is a faint peach, with something nutty or earthy in it with just a hint of spice. No hops detected. Smells great! 3 points

Taste (0-10):Hop/Malt Balance (4): Let me start off by saying that Shiner's dunkleweiss is as much a weiss as their hefe is. By that I mean the typical hefe banana and clove notes don't come through. They are both clean, good beers. So too much peach flavor would overwhelm the base beer. Slightly nutty at the start. Finishes with peach flavor. But all flavors are subtle. No hops detected, which is great, because that would interfere with the flavorings. Sorry again, anonymous. 4 points
Aftertaste (3): There is a fresh peach flavor that fills the mouth with a little pecan nuttiness in the background. 3 Points
Mouthfeel (3): Feels a bit thin, but highly carbonated. 2 points

Overall impression (0-3): This is pretty good. I'll have to have a couple more, but I may be spending a lot of holiday money on this. I think I like it. A lot. I'll be drinking this all season long. 3 points

TOTAL: 15 points

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:25 0 comments links to this post

26 November 2008

Old MILFwaukee Kegging Day

Over on The Brewing Network forums, where I hang out as "Dirk McLargeHuge," one of my favorite threads is the Random Motivational Picture thread. I lack the creativity necessary to make these little gems, but someone posted this photo, which I adopted as the symbol of Old MILFwaukee Blond Ale. Enjoy.

The original gravity, if you will remember, was 1.049. The final gravity was 1.013, which gives me 4.6% alcohol. The beer is not as blonde as I had hoped. It's a little amber. I might have to change the name to Red Headed Stepchild, or something. Maybe next time I will use 2 row malt instead of pilsner.

I was trying to use up my Sorachi Ace hops, and used 1/2 an ounce at 20 minutes remaining in the boil. In retrospect, that may have been the wrong thing to do. The beer was a little too bitter. Maybe it's time to stop using Sorachi Ace at all.

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

24 November 2008

Abbey Weizen Kegging Day

One of the hazards of doing these posts so far in advance (I wrote this post on 11/2) is that nothing new can pop up. I kegged the Abbey Weizen on the 2nd, and here are the results.

It is a nice pale yellow color. The aroma has a faint orange scent. The taste is bitter. Since I missed my numbers I have a little more bittering from the hops. Also, the orange is a little bitter. I couldn't detect any cinnamon or pepper flavor. The beere was very dry, it came in at 1.008, which gives me about 4.5% alcohol.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:18 0 comments links to this post

22 November 2008

Colonial Small Ale

Since I had the weekend off, and I didn't want to waste it by not brewing, I thought I would revisit an old recipe Colonial Small Ale. Here's the recipe for this batch:

3# light DME
1 lb molasses
1.5 oz Northern Brewer Hops 5.7%/60 Minutes
Wyeast 1056 American Ale
Estimated OG=1.036
IBU=42.1
SRM=13
Actual OG =1.036

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:12 0 comments links to this post

20 November 2008

Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale Review

I have been lax in my beer reviewing. And since I picked up a four pack of this in Austin the other day, I might as well resume with a review of this beer.

Pine Belt Pale Ale

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a cloudy amber with a thin white head that dissipates quickly to a thin cap. Definitely nonfiltered. I think I would like a bit more clarity. 1 point

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Smells of sweet malt and citrusy hops. Neither are very strong. 3 points

Taste (0-10): Hop/Malt Balance (4): This is a very sweet beer. There is burst of malt with lingering hop bitterness along the sides of the tongue at the start. 3 points
Aftertaste (3): Finishes with a almost cloying sweetness, and hop flavor on the back of the tongue. 1 Point
Mouthfeel (3): Full mouthfeel. 3 points

Overall Impression (0-3): This is not bad, and would be better if it were drier. 1 point

TOTAL: 13 Points

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:59 0 comments links to this post

18 November 2008

OOOW!


posted by Jeff Holt at 02:17 0 comments links to this post

16 November 2008

Freetail Brewing to Open

(November 7, 2008) San Antonio, TX – Freetail Brewing Co. will open the doors of their inaugural location on the corner of 1604 and NW Military in the Hill Country Plaza retail development on Thanksgiving weekend, November 28-30. The opening marks a fresh approach to San Antonio’s brewpub scene combining artisan pizza, salads and sandwiches with a microbrewery featuring unique selections of craft beer. Opening specials will include happy hour prices throughout the weekend.

“My philosophy here is to explore the nuances of beer that most people didn’t even know existed,” said Scott Metzger, founder and operator of Freetail Brewing Co. “We will have the finest quality examples of traditional styles, but also some that may not have even existed a few years, or even days, ago.”

The new location will offer spacious open seating, an outdoor patio with bar service, several high-definition televisions featuring live sporting events and take out service. Metzger plans on having eight to ten house style beers on tap at all times as well as have a number of draft beers from other Texas craft breweries and best wines from across the state.

Metzger first became involved with microbrewing through a passion for the unique and a quest to find some of the best craft beers in the U.S. and abroad. Metzger toyed with the idea of owning his own microbrewery, but it wasn’t until he began visiting breweries around the world that he finally decided to open Freetail Brewing Co.

“Having traveled to many beer-rich areas in both the U.S. and abroad, I developed a sense of what I really wanted to see in a brewpub. It should be a communal place where locals and visitors can enjoy a beer, some good food, catch a game and make a new friend,” said Metzger. “Unlike the English-styled pub, which seems to favor intimacy, I prefer a German-style biergarten approach that lends itself to interaction with your neighbors. Beer is a great way to make a new friend!” The Freetail name was chosen by Metzger to honor the official Texas flying mammal, the Mexican Free-tail Bat. “The Mexican Free-tail Bat is an often overlooked and underappreciated little creature that makes our lives better through the work it does in the darkness of night,” said Metzger. “In many ways, I hope my little brewery is defined in the same manner. Maybe a little overlooked, but out there changing the beer culture for the better in San Antonio and throughout Texas.”

Freetail Brewing Co. is founded on the pursuit of creating exciting, innovative and unique world class beers and artisan pizzas. We embrace the laid back and fun-loving South Central Texas culture and set out to create products that mirror the lifestyle of our diverse and rapidly growing community. We believe in promoting an increased appreciation of craft beer and its responsible enjoyment. We believe in going above and beyond customer expectations not only through our products, but also through exceptional customer service. We believe in providing a dining and leisure experience unmatched in the local community. And in case you didn’t get it the first time… we believe in having fun.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 02:57 0 comments links to this post

14 November 2008

Midland Brew Trip

I headed out to Midland to brew with Satan. We were going to brew Brother Spuds Oatmeal Stout for Nationals, and we thought we would try to tweak the Peppercorn Rye Bock. He has been urging me to make an all-grain recipe for some time. I discovered a Juniper Rye Bock in Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing. So we are starting our recipe there. I am also increasing the amount of pepper. We're hoping this will turn out well.

I won't reprint the recipe here. The link above takes you to Amazon.com where you can buy your very own copy of Mr. Mosher's excellent book.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 13:44 0 comments links to this post

12 November 2008

Christmas Stout Kegging Day!

A couple of weeks ago, I kegged the Christmas Stout. I collected a bit too much liquor, making my OG a bit low. The FG was 1.024, about 5.2% alcohol. After kegging, I poured out about half a gallon of uncarbonated stout. I even had a tear in my eye as I did it.

What did it taste like? Well, it did have a slightly sweet flavor, and quite a bit of roast. Hops weren't evident, and it was flat. But it will taste really good in a couple of weeks, after it has carbonated. I'm not planning to get into this until December 7.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:39 0 comments links to this post

10 November 2008

Old MILFwaukee Blonde Ale

Old MILFwaukee Blonde Ale

Anticipated OG: 1.049
Actual OG: 1.048
Anticipated SRM: 5.6
Anticipated IBU: 32.3
System Efficiency: 60
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

8.50 lbs. Pilsener
0.50 lbs. Flaked Corn (Maize)
1.00 lbs. Munich Malt
0.50 lbs. Crystal 20L
0.50 lbs. Flaked Soft White Wheat
0.50 oz. Cascade 6.30%/60 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade 6.30%/20 min.
0.50 oz. Sorachi Ace 14.00%/20 min.
0.50 oz. Sorachi Ace 14.00%/0 min.
1.00 oz. Cascade 4.10%/0 min.
0.25 Tsp Irish Moss 15 Min.(boil)

White Labs WLP001 California Ale

Mash Schedule
-------------

Mash Type: Single Step

Qts Water Per LBS Grain: 1.25 Total Qts: 13.75

Saccharification Rest Temp : 152 Time: 60
Sparge Temp : 170 Time: 30

I wanted to use up some hops I have purchased. I had two different Cascade purchases, each with a different alpha acid. I also have far too many Sorachi Ace hops and I needed to use them. The beer was a nice golden color going into the fermenter. I have high hopes for this one.

The estimated OG was 1.049. Actual OG was 1.048. I think I'll take that. The ice chest really made a difference! Especially once I figured out I was getting 60% efficiency. But I'm happy with 60% if I can hit my numbers. It's only like an extra pound of malt in a recipe of this size.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 20:58 1 comments links to this post

08 November 2008

Smoked APA Small Batch Experiment

I have written before about my Mesquite Smoked Pale Ale, and how good it smelled when it was boiling, and how it was kind of bacony when I kegged it, and how it tasted of plastic, then later of Band-Aid.

I submitted it to the Alamo City Cerveza Fest and The Cactus Challenge. While neither batch of judges sent me a $50 bill and a note begging me to stop brewing, the first contest scored the beer in the mid 20s, and the second scored it in the low 30s. The folks in San Antonio tasted the Band-Aid, the folks in Lubbock called it astringent.

I have a theory that the plastic/Band-Aid flavor is part of the mesquite flavor. So I am going to brew the beer in a one gallon batch, and test my theory. Here's the recipe:

Smoked Pale Ale 1 gallon batch
1.5 lb 2-Row malt
.2 lb Crystal 60
.2 lb smoked 2-row malt
.1 lb Cara-Pils
.25 oz Cascade 6%/60 min
.5 vial of WLP001 Cal Ale yeast

Thanks to James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio, who reminded me what issue of Brew Your Own his article about small scale brewing was in.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:17 1 comments links to this post

06 November 2008

New Hampshire Regional Homebrew contest scores

I got my scores back from New Hampshire. I entered the Peppercorn Amber Ale in the New England Regional Homebrew Competition as an amber ale, Category 10B. (Two of my mom's sisters passed from cancer, and my dad's sister has cancer. Since the proceeds for this contest go to the American Cancer Society, I figured I oughtta enter.)

I got a 35 out of 50, my best score ever. Both judges said the beer was too hoppy. It was based on Jamil Zanisheff's recipe in Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew. Of course it would be too hoppy on the East Coast.

I should get the scores from the Dixie Cup soon.

I hope.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 19:02 2 comments links to this post

Bar Stool Economics

Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.' Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I got."

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

UPDATE: Anonymous, yet again, (come on people, unless you're a dick, we're all friends here. Leave your name. I don't spam or flame.) has written in to correct me. I found this on the above web site, and, needing beer-related content, posted it. However, according to Dr. Kamerschen's page, he is not the author. I didn't bother checking Snopes.com before posting it.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 04:45 2 comments links to this post

04 November 2008

Sean's Saison - Kegging Day

A couple of weeks ago, I kegged Sean's Saison. I decided to naturally carbonate it, so I added 5.6 oz of sugar dissolved in 1.5 cups of water at kegging. Should make it fairly well carbonated. My OG was 1.062, my FG was 1.016, making it about 6% ABV. I let it sit in a cool room until last Sunday, when I put it into the cooler, where it will sit until, I hope, December 7.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 04:32 0 comments links to this post

02 November 2008

Beer Label Quiz

Name That Beer Label

posted by Jeff Holt at 04:51 0 comments links to this post