30 January 2009

Magic Hat Coming to Texas

San Antonio Express-News writer Travis Poling reports in his blog, Brew Notes, that the first Vermont based Magic Hat Brewing Company beer has arrived in San Antonio. The distributer, Poling says, is Silver Eagle Distributors, an Anheuser-Busch distributor in Houston and San Antonio. It appears that this is Silver Eagle's first foray into non-AB beers. I can't say for sure, since I'm not in their distribution area. If that is the case, then Silver Eagle joins Ben E. Keith in branching out from under the Budweiser brands.


posted by hiikeeba at 09:07 0 comments

28 January 2009

The Closet

posted by hiikeeba at 09:04 0 comments

26 January 2009

Donn's Famous Horse Cram It In Brown Ale - All Grain

Last weekend, I decided to follow up on my New Years resolution of brewing more to style. I picked up my copy of Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew and reworked my Real Ale Brewhouse Brown Ale recipe that my Uncle Donn liked. That one time. Not last time. No one liked it last time. This time I brewed it all grain.

Donn's Famous Horse Cram It In Brown Ale
9# two-row
1.25# Crystal 40
1# Victory malt
1# Vienna malt
.5# chocolate malt
.75oz Chinook 11%/60min
.25oz Cascade 6%/10 min
WLP005 British Ale Yeast

I collected a bit more wort than I expected, and got 1.048, instead of 1.054. Close enough.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:09 0 comments

24 January 2009

Brewing for Nationals

By the time you read this, Satan and I will be doughing in our first batch. Probably Wit Willy, whose recipe even I don't have. This one a gold medal at the Cactus Challenge, so Satan thought it might do well in the National Homebrew Competition. We're also going to brew a hefeweiss. That one should be easier so we're saving that for Sunday.

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posted by hiikeeba at 09:01 0 comments

22 January 2009

Flatonia Bock

Flatonia Bock 3# 6-row malt
3# Vienna Malt
2.5# flaked corn
1# Crystal 60L
.5# roasted barley
1 oz Northern Brewer 5.7%/60 min
WLP060 American Ale Blend

I mashed at 154° F, then collected 5 gallons of wort, and boiled for 60 minutes. The original gravity was 1.050.

Two weeks later, I kegged it. Final gravity was 1.023, which gives me about 3.5% alcohol. It is almost the exact same color as a Shiner Bock. Tastes almost the same, except it's a bit more roasty. Next time, I'll use Carafa Special to cut back on that. Should be good in a month!


posted by hiikeeba at 08:53 0 comments

20 January 2009

Black Wine Update

I decided to transfer the black wine to secondary to free up fermenter space. The original gravity was 1.14, and the gravity at transfer was 1.072. It seems I had used a British Ale yeast that wimps out at 9% alcohol. So the beer is still way too sweet. I asked around, and I got two good pieces of advice: put the beer on another beer's yeast bed, and pitch two vials of WLP001.

Fortunately, a couple of weeks ago, I brewed "Flatonia Bock," a Shiner Bock clone. I used an ale yeast that is viable up to 14% alcohol.

To make a long story even longer, after kegging the Flatonia Bock, I transferred the Black wine to the other fermenter, and aerated. Then, a few days later, I added the two vials of WLP001.

More waiting!


posted by hiikeeba at 08:38 0 comments

18 January 2009

Slightly off Topic!

I posted this over on my whiney blog, and then had an idea that made it fit here. And since I don't like to waste copy. . .

Never one to miss out on free publicity, Larry Flynt, along with "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis, has traveled to Washington, DC, to ask Congress for a $5 billion bailout.

Meanwhile, a coalition representing the commercial real estate industry is also asking for a bailout.

So, the banks, auto industry, several cities, the retail association, and these latest guys all want money because you and I aren't spending enough money. And they want the government to take more money from us to give to them. Meanwhile, Obamessiah is giving us all about $8 a week to stimulate the economy.

Here's my plan: Everyone over the age of 21 (the Federal mandated legal drinking age) who filed an income tax return in 2008 should get $100,000 (tax free). And when we file our return for the next year, we must include the receipts for purchases that equal $90,000 or more. Any money put into savings, retirement accounts or used to pay any debts will be taxed at our normal tax rate.

Assuming that there are 300,000,000 people, and 25% are under the age of 21 (data from here), that leaves 225 million people who will receive the cash. The government will spend $22.5 Billion (correction: trillion. Thanks, Kevin. Ignore the rest of the sentence.), far less than the predicted $700 Billion just going to the banks!

Think about it. You could buy a car and some porn, and make everyone happy!

Me? I'd buy a cool car, then a brew sculpture from B3, and a little brewhouse in the back yard to house it, complete with walk-in cooler!

Write your Congresscritter today!

Back to beer next time.


posted by hiikeeba at 11:12 3 comments

16 January 2009

Wheat Brown Porter Kegging Day

On January 3, I kegged the Wheat Brown Porter.

Not too appetizing looking--it's a muddy brown. It has some caramel sweetness, and isn't bad. But I don't know if it's good, either. I cold brewed some coffee and added it to the keg. Now this has to age for 12 weeks. At which time it may be renamed to Sink Porter.

posted by hiikeeba at 11:40 0 comments

14 January 2009

Buddy's Amber Kegging Day

Mid December, I rebrewed the Peppercorn Amber Ale recipe that I have dubbed Buddy's Amber. This time I scaled back the hops to get 25 IBUs, instead of 42 IBUs of the original. Judges at the Dixie Cup found it too bitter.

I kegged it on January 3. The OG was high (1.030), but still manged to taste dry. I added corn sugar so it will naturally carbonate. We'll see how this comes out in three weeks.

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posted by hiikeeba at 11:31 0 comments

12 January 2009

Bluebonnet Brew Off Entries now being Accepted

It's that time of year, again. The Bluebonnet Brew Off has been accepting entries for a couple weeks now, and the final deadline is February 26. Details are here. Good luck everyone.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:45 0 comments

10 January 2009

Coffee Wheat Brown Porter

Ever had one of those "Oh Crap!" moments? I did when I realized there was no Carafa in my grist. Oh, well. I had some Crystal 60L on hand, so. . .

Coffee Wheat Brown Porter
Brown Porter


Type: All Grain

Date: 12/21/2008

Batch Size: 5.00 gal

Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 7.50 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00
Taste Notes:


AmountItemType% or IBU
5.00 lbWhite Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)Grain31.25 %
4.00 lbMunich Malt (9.0 SRM)Grain25.00 %
3.00 lbPale Malt (6 Row) US (2.0 SRM)Grain18.75 %
1.50 lbCaramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)Grain9.38 %
1.00 lbCara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)Grain6.25 %
1.00 lbCaramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)Grain6.25 %
0.50 lbOats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)Grain3.13 %
1.00 ozNorthern Brewer [5.70 %] (90 min)Hops19.8 IBU
1.00 ozSpalter [2.80 %] (20 min)Hops5.5 IBU
1.50 ozWake n Bake Coffee, ground (Bottling 12.0 weeks)Misc
1 PkgsIrish Ale (White Labs #WLP004)Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.070 SG

Measured Original Gravity: 1.054 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.019 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.70 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.39 %
Bitterness: 25.4 IBU Calories: 235 cal/pint
Est Color: 19.2 SRM Color:

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 16.00 lb
Sparge Water: 5.22 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step TimeNameDescriptionStep Temp
60 minMash InAdd 20.00 qt of water at 165.9 F154.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 3.8 oz Carbonation Used: -
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F Age for: 84.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F  


Created with BeerSmith



After two weeks, I added my cold pressed coffee mixture and kegged.


posted by hiikeeba at 04:15 0 comments

08 January 2009

Beer Cooler Racer

posted by hiikeeba at 04:03 1 comments

06 January 2009

New word added to German Dictionary

According to an AP News Story a new word in German is unterhopft which literally means "under hopped," but can be used as "in need of a beer." Ich bin Unterhopft. Du auch?


posted by hiikeeba at 07:36 0 comments

02 January 2009

Shiner Brewery Centennial

Shiner is fourteen miles west of Hallettsville in western Lavaca County. Shiner was incorporated in 1890. Czech and German immigrants soon became the dominant ethnic groups.

Shiner Brewing Association 1909-1914
Home Brewing Company 1914-1915
Petzold & Spoetzl 1915-1918
Spoetzel Brewery and Ice Factory 1933-1934
Spoetzel Brewery 1934-Present
Hermann Weiss, first brewer at Shiner, and his family
A group of Shiner businessmen established the original Shiner Brewing Association in 1909, with Herman Weiss as the first brewmaster. Weiss had closed his brewery in Galveston (Weiss and Sons) to move to Shiner. He was the first of several brewmasters, and his sons, Herman Jr. and Charles, also worked in the brewery. Weiss--who, coincidentally, is my cousin by marriage--later returned to San Antonio, to work for the San Antonio Brewing Association.

The founders offered the plant for lease again in 1914. Kosmos Spoetzl, a German immigrant brewmaster, learned of the Shiner operation and coleased the facility with Oswald Petzold with an option to buy in 1915. Spoetzl had attended brewmaster's school and apprenticed for three years in Germany and worked for eight years at the Pyramid Brewery in Cairo, Egypt, before moving to San Antonio in search of a better climate for his health. He came with the recipe for a Bavarian beer made by his family from pure malt and hops.

Kosmos Spoetzl had a simple marketing philosophy: A good beer will sell itself. So he set out to brew the very best beer he could. That done, he had to make sure that people drank it. So he bought a Model T, and with a couple of kegs iced down in the back, Spoetzl drove the country roads that surrounded surrounded Shiner, plying the the thirsty farmers with ice-cold beer. Spoetzl produced "Old World Bavarian Draft," which was a heavy, dark, all-malt German-style lager.

The Spoetzl Brewery trucks started rolling again the very minute Prohibition ended in Texas (one minute past midnight on September 15, 1933) to towns like Praha, Dime Box, Mickle Community and the Sandies. Spoetzl never went more than 70 miles out of his way in any direction for business. Spoetzl also changed the name (but not the recipe) to "Texas Special Export," and began bottling it for the first time, in the familiar longneck bottle. Kosmos died in 1950 and his daughter Cecilie-"Miss Celie"-inherited the brewery and was for a time, the only female brewery owner in the country.

Brewery records indicate that Bock was brewed here as early as 1917, but its popularity is a relatively recent phenomenon that owes to the old Austin hippie scene. Shiner premium became a popular beer for members of the Austin counterculture in the early 1970s for a variety of reasons (including low price). But when a seasonal shipment of Shiner Bock rode into town about 1975, it was "love at first quaff." By 1978, Spoetzl was brewing Bock year round to supply the Austin market.

Brewery tours are given Monday through Friday at 11 am and 1:30 p.m. The hospitality taproom is open Monday through Friday after the tour. The gift shop is open Monday through Saturday. Visit the Shiner web site at www.shiner.com. Every October until 2007, Shiner threw a "Bocktoberfest," a thank you party for its loyal supporters. But escalating costs forced the brewery to suspend the festival.

In 1999, the Spoetzel brewery purchased the defunct Frio brewery in San Antonio to test recipes and ingredients for its beers. These beers were not be sold to the public.

The Spoetzel Brewery today.

In October of 2005, the Shiner Brewery began counting down to their centennial celebration with the release of Shiner 96, an Oktoberfest-style beer; Shiner 97, a Bohemian black lager (which was so popular it was added to the regular lineup); Shiner 98, an Amber Lager; Shiner 99, a Munich Helles; and soon, 100, called Commemorator, a dopplebock.

Happy Birthday, Shiner!

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posted by hiikeeba at 08:46 2 comments