30 December 2008

Happy New Year!

I want to thank everyone for staying with me all year. I will be back in 2009, with more stories and nonsense. If you have any nonsense to contribute, feel free!

I hope you had a great Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Saturnalia, or whatever floats your boat. And I wish a Happy New Year (Thanks goodness we don't have to be political correct about that greeting!) to you and yours.

Cheers!


posted by Jeff Holt at 09:11 0 comments links to this post

28 December 2008

A Quick Rule of Thumb

While brewing the Black Wine, I searched all over the Internet to see how much volume 10 pounds of DME would add to liquid. Since I never got an answer, I just did it by the seat of my pants, and learned that 10 pounds of DME will add 2 gallons to 5 gallons of liquid. If you do the math, that comes out to 1 pound adds slightly less than 1 quart to a gallon of water.

You are welcome!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:07 0 comments links to this post

26 December 2008

Brewing Resolutions

I was sitting at the desk trying to decide what to brew. I know another wheat porter is in my future. Satan and I will be brewing for Nationals in January or February. But I need to cram as much brewing as I can into these cooler months to stockpile some beer for the summer.

So, I will be trying to brew as many styles as I can from Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew. And since I really can't lager, I will brew ales.

I will brew one style a month, and if I brew more, I can do other recipes I want to try

As always, keep checking here for details!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:51 0 comments links to this post

25 December 2008

Push Eject's 2009 Light Display

Once again, Push Eject knocks one out of the park.

Merry Christmas!


posted by Jeff Holt at 04:54 1 comments links to this post

24 December 2008

Christmas Eve Gift!

This is for the Holt family everywhere! HA! I win!

This one, stolen from EHOWA, is for Satan.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 00:01 0 comments links to this post

23 December 2008

Drink 'Til I am Dead


posted by Jeff Holt at 01:30 0 comments links to this post

22 December 2008

Black Wine

Back in November, Satan finally scratched an itch he has had for a while. He brewed a porter from a special Zymurgy issue from last year. And he used licorice! This from the guy who once told me that licorice would never pass his lips.

Anyway, in the same issue was a recipe for Black Wine. Basically it is a barley wine that is black. I tweaked the recipe and came up with this:

Black Wine
Partial Mash

4# two row
2# Carafa Special
1# flaked oats
1# flaked barley
3/4# chocolate malt
1/4# flaked wheat
1/4# acid malt
1/2# turbinado sugar
1 1/2# corn sugar
10# light DME
1/4 oz Northern Brewer 5.4%/Full Wort
1 oz Chinook 13%/90
2 oz Northern Brewer 5.7%/90
3/4 oz Northern Brewer 5.7%/30
1/2 oz Mt. Hood 5.2%/30
1 oz Northern Brewer 5.7%/5
1.5 oz Mt. Hood 5.2%/0
WLP002 English Ale yeast in a 4L starter

I mashed the grains at 150° F (66°C) for an hour. I was shooting for 148 to get a more fermentable wort, but I can live with this. I collected 5 gallons of liquor and added the 10 pounds of DME, bringing my volume up to 7 gallons. I boiled for 90 minutes, and at 10 minutes left I added the sugar to the wort.

I had a very aggressive fermentation, with foam everywhere, so next time I will use foam control drops. The current plan is to let this sit in primary a month, then transfer to secondary for three months. After that I will keg it and let it stand for a couple more months before bottling and long term storage in the cooler. I'm thinking this should be ready for Thanksgiving 2009 or Christmas.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:28 0 comments links to this post

20 December 2008

Wolters Wheat 5 Kegging day

A few days ago I kegged the latest version of Wolters West Texas Wheat, which I brewed on November 17. I didn't use Sorachi Ace hops, thank goodness. But when I kegged the beer, I noticed a distinct cidery flavor.

After some research, I determined that it was acetaldehyde. It may be that the beer needs to age a bit more, which it will. It will be a couple of weeks before it goes into the fridge. Or it could be sanitation.

If I remember correctly, I think that as I was using the counterflow chiller to cool the beer, I suddenly remembered "I didn't sanitize the chiller!"

I will let you know the results in a couple of weeks.

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

18 December 2008

Competition Bottle Shipping

Have you ever seen and idea that was so simple and so ingenious that you wonder why you didn't think of it first? I just have.

Clark Brewing Innovations has come up with an ingenious way to ship bottles to competition. And it comes with the box to ship it in.

This is Nobel Prize ingenuity!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:31 1 comments links to this post

16 December 2008

Bottling Day

On Black Friday (forevermore known as America's Running of the Bulls), I bottled 15 Abbey Weizen (the company Christmas beer), 15 Christmas Stouts (tentatively named "Strengths of Feat Festivus Ale" (yes, I know it's Feats of Strength, but what would a drunk say?), 12 Old MILFwaukee, and 8 22 oz bombers of Sean's Saison. The Saison was not too dry, so I thought I would bottle it and let it sit a while. I also thought I had better make a habit of bottling some of my beer, seeing as how fast I can drink that stuff.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:23 0 comments links to this post

14 December 2008

Aud's No Scufflin' Ale Kegging Day

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I kegged the barleywine, Aud's No Scufflin' Ale. It's a clear amber with ruby highlights. You can smell the alcohol, and a little vanilla. I guess the vanilla's from the oak cubes I added about a month ago. It's a little sweet, with some hops on the back of the tongue. Good alcohol bite. If anything, I would have liked a bit more hops flavor, but I ain't gonna complain. I put it in a keg and primed with corn sugar. I will let it sit 6 weeks or so before bottling. Then a year or so in the cooler.

OG=1.122
FG=1.018
13.92% alcohol

I will brew another batch of this in January or February of next year, and again in July. You can never have enough barley wine on hand.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:16 0 comments links to this post

12 December 2008

Beer Dispenser

Have I mentioned lately how much I like Japan?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 02:15 0 comments links to this post

10 December 2008

Old MILFwaukee, a. k. a. Alimony Ale

Unable to wait any longer, and being out of any other beer, I poured a pint of Old MILFwaukee. It poured up an golden yellow, leaning towards amber, with a nice white head. Didn't have a lot of aroma, but there were some hops there. Slight haze, but mostly clear. I accidentally kegged this a week early. I would have fined it with some gelatin if I had been paying attention.

I took a sip. Not bad,but I sure could tell I used Sorachi Ace. It has a very harsh bitterness. Do yourself a favor, avoid this hop. It does have a lemony aroma, and that's what saves it from being flat out nasty. After three pints, there was an intense bitterness on the back of my tongue.

So I dubbed it Alimony Ale. Then I tried The Bitch In Austin, Do I Sound Bitter? Then I remembered a line from Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Crow T. Robot would often say "You do it, I'm bitter." Finally I came back to Alimony Ale.

It's actually pretty good, once you get past the hops. But I won't be using Sorachi Ace anymore.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:36 0 comments links to this post

08 December 2008

Abbey Wiezen a Hit

Last night was my employer's home owner party. My boss bought the ingredients for the Abbey Wiezen. I must confess that I was afraid everyone would hate it. I thought it was a bit too funky for the room. However, everyone who tried it came back for more. I guess I need to add this to the rotation.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:10 0 comments links to this post

06 December 2008

Beer to cure cancer!

Rice University students are working on genetically modifying a yeast strain to produce resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine that's been shown to have cancer fighting and cardiovascular benefits. The beer isn't drinkable yet, they have put some chemical markers into it to make it easier to analyze.

SOURCES:
News Radio 1200 WOAI
AHN
Discovery.com

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:18 1 comments links to this post

04 December 2008

"Rep" Beer - Made in Texas?

Jim Sigmund of the Cypress Historical Society dropped me an email wondering about a pre-Prohibition brand of beer. He has a picture of a saloon advertisement taken in 1907 at Juergens Saloon in Cypress. Here's a photo of the ad:

He also has an unusual item we both believe would have been in a bar. I haven't seen then item, but theorized it was a can opener. Jim said it looked more like a cork remover or cap remover.

Currently, the sign hangs on the wall of 1907 saloon in Cypress, Texas (northwest of Houston). Cypress was a major stop on the Houston and Central Texas Railway, which had major branches west to Austin, and north to Denison. In fact, one of their major liquor suppliers was L. Eppstein & Sons in Denison, Texas, since Cypress and Denison were daily stops on the railroad. It is owned by Harris County Precinct 3, and on display at their newly opened Cypress Top Historic Park. "Your brewery friends would love this place . . . it is a time capsule of old bar stuff and brands from 1897 to 2002," Jim added."

But, he wondered, who made "Rep" Beer?

So I checked the most authoritative site I know: TexasBreweries.com. And according to the author, me, there were only two breweries open in Houston around 1907: The American Brewing Association, owned by Adolphus Busch, made American Perfect Beer; and Houston Ice and Brewing Company, whose Magnolia brand was so popular the brewery was also known as Magnolia Brewery. But I don't know what other brands they made.

Since their supplier was in Denison, northeast of Dallas, perhaps "Rep" Beer came from there. Dallas Brewery, Inc. (also known as Home Brewery) operated form 1880 to 1918, but I don't have a brand list. Texas Brewing Company in Fort Worth operated from 1890 to 1918, and, again, I don't have a brand list.

I don't believe the beer came from San Antonio, Pearl and Lone Star were selling their eponymous brands. And the Degen brewery was at best a regional brewery. The Aschbacher Brewery, the Beck's Muenchner Weiss Beer Company, Peter Brothers Brewery, Schober Ice and Brewing Company, and Jospeh Wesp were also active at the time, but I doubt they were distributed much beyond San Antonio. Only the big companies could afford that.

So now I call on you. Does anyone have any idea who made "Rep" Beer? Contact me at jeff@texasbreweries.com.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:07 0 comments links to this post

02 December 2008

Agave Wheat Review

Breckenridge Brewery's Agave Wheat appeared in HEB last week, so I grabbed a six pack.

Agave Wheat

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a golden yellow with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. 2

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Spicy smell that smells a little "green." Is it the agave? Fades quickly. 2

Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Nice wheat huskiness with a slight sweetness with a hint of hops. 4
Aftertaste (0-3): Typical wheat finish - Husky on the back of the throat. 3
Mouthfeel (0-3): A little thin with a syrupy feel. Almost honey-like. 3

Overall Impression (0-3): Extremely drinkable beer. Would have liked a bit more head. 2

Total: 18 Points

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