30 December 2010

Fire at Rochefort Brewery

Photo Credit: Reuters
In a news story that will undoubtedly rival the announcement of the Brew Masters premiere, a part of  Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy in Rochefort, Belgium was engulfed in flames Wednesday Evening.   The brewery and Abbey library are undamaged.  No one was injured, but almost 300 barrels of beer has been destroyed.  The cause of the fire is unknown, but early speculation is that electrical generators are at fault. 

Well, Happy New Year anyway, I guess.


posted by hiikeeba at 03:23 0 comments

28 December 2010

CYBI Rogue Dead Guy Clone Kegging Day

On the Monday before Christmas, I kegged my Rogue Dead Guy clone.  I looked pretty good.  And it tasted pretty good.  All I have to do now is be patient for a few more weeks and see how it turned out.

The original gravity was 1.060 and the final gravity is 1.010.  That gives me 6.6% ABV.

This was the last beer in the pipeline before Christmas.  There is nothing fermenting, nothing on order.  I plan to brew again on New Years Day.  Any suggestions on what I should brew?


posted by hiikeeba at 14:23 0 comments

26 December 2010

Old McQuaker Oatmeal Stout Gingerbread Cake

Over on my food and beer blog, I posted a recipe for a gingerbread cake made with Old McQuaker Oatmeal Stout.  I had a good time making it, and an even better time eating it.  As we are all recovering from our Christmas overindulgence, I thought I would let you know about it.

Hope you and yours had a good Christmas!

posted by hiikeeba at 05:07 0 comments

24 December 2010

Another Beer Belt

I've blogged about beer belts before.  This one looks interesting, but I wonder about the plastic beer holders and how durable they are.  It could potentially go from a six-pack holder to a four-pack holder pretty quickly.  But for $18, you could buy three or four to get a few back ups.

Rather appropriate that I post this on Christmas Eve, I guess.  Should the desire to buy me a gift overwhelms you and you can't justify a temp controlled conical, you could get me one of these.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


posted by hiikeeba at 09:37 0 comments

23 December 2010

Happy Festivus!

posted by hiikeeba at 12:26 0 comments

22 December 2010

Ranger Creek Mesquite Smoked Porter

On December 12, I drove to San Antonio because I heard that Ranger Creek OPA and Mesquite Smoked porter were on tap at the local Flying Saucer. I told my nephew, and (since he had taken the brewery tour with me) he wanted to join me.

Naturally, the beer I really wanted to drink, the OPA, had run out. (MAKE MORE!) I didn't take good notes. My nephew brought one of the boys with him, and he kept our conversation from getting too close to beer, but here's what I wrote in my 33 Beers journal:

"Jet black, thin tan head (probably because of the pour, not a flaw with the beer).  Nice malt flavor, subtle roast lingers in the finish, along with a light smoke flavor." I gave it four and a half out of five stars.

Live Oak Brewing's Primus Wiezenbock was on tap, and I had to have a pint of that. Another great beer! I finished the trip with a Real Ale Coffee Porter.

Both my nephew and I were disappointed that Jester King hadn't arrived in San Antonio. I guess that means I have to go to Austin. . .


posted by hiikeeba at 08:16 2 comments

21 December 2010

Coming to Marble Falls: Double Horn Brewing Company

As sure as the sun rises each day, there is a new brewing operation announced in Texas.  And guess what?  It's near Austin.

Double Horn Brewery is under construction in New Braunfels, Dusty Knight (a homebrewer) and Eric Casey (a microbiologist) plan to be open in March.


posted by hiikeeba at 16:04 0 comments

20 December 2010

It's Never Too Early to Be Thinking About Nationals

The bombers are for me.


posted by hiikeeba at 14:19 0 comments

Samuel Adams Infinium Donations Gratefully Accepted

Here's another beer I will never see.  But I would happily take one as a Christmas Gift.

Two if you're feeling generous.

Infinium is a collaboration between Boston Brewing Company and the world's oldest brewery, Weihenstephan Brewery.  The beer is from the Belgian Deus beer family, which is fermented with champagne yeast. According to various reviews, the 10% alcohol beer has a champagne-like body. However, is has no champagne yeast flavor, but fruit notes both in taste and smell.

There are those that are excited by this beer, and those who are not.  If anyone wants my opinion, send me a bottle please.


posted by hiikeeba at 11:43 0 comments

18 December 2010

Shadow Warrior Tasting Notes

The other night, I cracked open some Shadow Warrior.  It still had a small, lackluster head.  The aroma is a little unusual.  It's hard to describe, but there was no roast, just a combination of alcohol and chocolate in the nose.

The flavor starts off with a strong oat flavor.  As you drink, that fades, probably because I got used to it.  It's slightly sweet, and chocolatey.  It's much thinner than the last batch, but that's a good thing.  The last batch was very close to syrup.

I bottled some of this for the National Homebrew Competition for this year and next.  But to keep me out of it, I think I will have to rebrew this pretty soon.

Maybe New Years Day. . .


posted by hiikeeba at 08:13 0 comments

16 December 2010

The Surprise Consequences of Lobbying

For the last three years, convenience and grocery store owners in Colorado have been lobbying the state legislature for the right to sell high alcohol beer.  They have been restricted to selling lower alcohol beers, like Budweiser, Coors and Guinness.  Liquor stores and bars, who opposed the law change, can sell beers with higher alcohol, but were not legally allowed to sell those low alcohol beers, but law enforcement always looked the other way.  (The law was imposed to keep higher alcohol beers out of convenience stores because teens with fake IDs tend to hang out there.)

Not for much longer.

Figuring that if they can't sell high alcohol beers, grocery and convenience store owners asked the legislature if they would start enforcing the tiered sales system.  Lawmakers agreed.  Beginning in January, liquor stores and bars will no longer be allowed to sell Budweiser, Miller, Coors and Guinness.

So if you are going skiing in Colorado, and you drink light beer, you won't be able to get it in a bar.  All because some busybody reasoned that C-stores sell beer, teens hang out at C-stores, therefore, teens buy beer at C-stores.


posted by hiikeeba at 07:53 0 comments

14 December 2010

Texas Rice Brewing Company Coming Soon to Austin

In the 1880s, rice  began to be grown on the Texas Gulf Coast. In all this time, no one in Texas has tried to make sake.  Sake is the English word for a rice based alcoholic beverage.  (In Japanese, sake or o-sake is the generic term for alcoholic beverages.  Nihonsyuu is the Japanese word for the beverage.)  Well, that has changed.  Yoed Anis is the owner of Texas Rice Brewing Company, coming soon to Austin.


posted by hiikeeba at 15:16 1 comments

12 December 2010

The Reason to Ban Politicians

A noble effort to give non-profit organizations better access to temporary beer and liquor licenses has made it illegal for a business to get a similar license.  The wording was added in a legislative committee without comment, and almost certainly without forethought.  The law goes into effect on January 1, and the legislature won't be able to address the issue until then.

Feh!  Politicians!


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

10 December 2010

CYBI Rogue Dead Guy Clone

On December 5, as the mercury dipped into the 40s for the night, I brewed a Rogue Dead Guy clone from "Can You Brew It?".

I started as the sun was coming up, the blue glow from the Blichmann burner casting a nice glow on the back patio as I got the water heating for the mash.  All in all, it was a good brew day.  I was shooting for 1.065, and got 1.060.

CYBI Dead Guy Clone
Mailbock/Helles Bock


Type: All Grain
Date: 12/5/2010
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 8.38 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Jeff's Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 58.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 67.20 %
4.25 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 22.85 %
1.85 lb Carastan (34.0 SRM) Grain 9.95 %
1.25 oz Pearle [9.10 %] (90 min) Hops 33.5 IBU
1.25 oz Sterling [7.00 %] (1 min) Hops 1.0 IBU
1 Pkgs Rogue Pacman Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1764) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.065 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.49 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 34.6 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 12.1 SRM Color:
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 18.60 lb
Sparge Water: 5.60 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 Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 23.25 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 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: 4.5 oz Carbonation Used: -
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F  
Created with BeerSmith


posted by hiikeeba at 12:27 0 comments

08 December 2010

Saison Du Permienne - Kegging Day

After a week of procrastination mostly caused by Thanksgiving preparations, I finally got the latest version of Saison du Permienne into the keg.  This time, I decided to up the OG to 1.074, just for giggles.  Going into the keg I measured 0.997.  This gives it 10% ABW.

The first sip I took was dry, tart, and subtly citrusy from the grapefruit peel I added.  It tasted far sweeter than 0.997 should taste, but I measured with both the refractometer and the hydrometer, I am reasonably sure the reading is accurate.

Now it's off carbonating in a corner.  Hopefully this will be on tap in a couple of weeks.  Details. to come.


posted by hiikeeba at 13:39 0 comments

06 December 2010

Pecan Porter

Inspired by Can You Brew It? on The Brewing Network and (512) Brewery's flagship beer, I decided to make a Pecan Porter. And thereby hangs a tale. . .

In August 2009, Can You Brew It? came up with a clone recipe for Obsidian Black Butte Porter.  I have had it floating around just in case I ever wanted to brew it.  Here's the recipe, converted to my efficiency.

6 gallons | 58% Efficiency | OG 1.058 | FG 1.012 | 37 IBUs | 76 SRM | 90 minute boil
13 lbs 2 Row
1.5 lbs wheat malt
.70 lb Crystal 80L
.5 lb US Chocolate malt
.5 lb UK Chocolate malt
.5 lb CaraPils
17g Galena or Nugget/90 minutes
7g Cascade/30 minutes
7g Mount Hood or Tettnanger/5
WLP002 English Ale yeast

Mash at 150F 10 minutes. Raise to 156F for 60 minutes. Mash Out at 168F 10 minutes. Ferment at 64F.

Then in September, "Can You Brew It?"  did a clone recipe for Australia's Holgate brewery's Nut Brown Ale.  It was a great interview.  Kudos to my friend Peter Symons, who filled in for Jamil in the interview segment.  In that segment, they described how they toasted the nuts they use for their beer.  Thinking about (512) Pecan Porter.

Wheels began to turn in my head.

Why not make Pecan Porter?

On Thanksgiving day I did just that (our family would have our Thanksgiving on Saturday, so I had a free day), and here's what happened.

I screwed up the brew day pretty early.  In fact, I screwed it up when I ordered my ingredients.  My Local Home Brew Shop doesn't carry English chocolate malt, so I ordered one pound of American chocolate malt. On unpacking, I discovered that I had, instead, ordered 1 pound of chocolate wheat malt.  So this recipe now has 2.5 pounds of wheat in it.

Since Ninkasi protects fools and brewers, and the LHBS was closed, I forged ahead.   The day before brewing, I took 2.25 ounces of chopped pecans, purchased at the local supermarket (it's Thanksgiving time and there was a nice big display or fresher pecans than are on the rack), spread them on a cookie sheet and toasted them at 350°F oven for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.  I let them cool a bit, put them in a bowl and covered with cling wrap.  (As an aside, did you know that cling wrap only clings to itself?)

Then next morning, I got up before the sun.  A cold front was scheduled to blow through Paradise, so I wanted to get as much accomplished before the temperature dropped too much.  I fired up the HLT, hit my strike temperature, and doughed in.  The folks at Holgate stressed that the pecans were added to the top of the mash, so I poured the pecans into water, and let it sit for an hour and sparged.  I hit my pre-boil gravity and boiled 90 minutes.

In May, I bought a Blichman burner, and I am still trying to figure that thing out.  I had a very vigorous boil.  Too vigarous, in fact.  Instead of collecting six gallons, I collected five.  And I would have gotten all five gallons into the fermenter, but somehow, I pulled the out hose off the chiller.  It was like a three stooges routine as I struggled to get it back on.  I figure I lost at least a quart, maybe more.  I checked the gravity, and instead of 1.058, I got 1.069.

Check back in three weeks and see how I did.

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posted by hiikeeba at 08:06 0 comments

04 December 2010

Who Couldn't Have Predicted This?

In Philadelphia, as the FourLoko ban approaches, fans of the drink are paying top dollar to stockpile the beverage.  I hesitate to call it beer.  Consumers are paying $32 a case, and places that sold 50 cases a week are selling 60 cases a day!

posted by hiikeeba at 09:43 0 comments

02 December 2010

iBottleopener for iPhone

It's been far too long since I blogged some new beer gadget.  Fortunately, it's getting close to Christmas, so I'll stumble across more things.

The folks at ThinkGeek.com have done it again!  A bottle opener case for your iPhone!  If it had a built-in battery, it would be perfect!

Let me know if you need my shipping address.


posted by hiikeeba at 14:42 0 comments