30 January 2010

Moonlight Tower Brewing Company

Another micro brewery has appeared on the Austin landscape. Moonlight Tower Brewing is in the early planning stages, according to TEXAS BEER. Their planned flagship beers are Wildflower Blonde made with wildflower honey, and a Trail Runner ESB. What caught my eye was a coriander peach summer seasonal. Hmmm.

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

29 January 2010

Southern Star Brewing Co. 2nd Anniversary Party

Southern Star Brewing Co.'s latest newsletter announced that the Conroe brewery will be holding their 2nd Anniversary Party on March 27th from 4pm-8pm (they have decided to cancel the Brewery Tour for that day). Admission is $10 advance/ $15 door. That includes live entertainment, beverages and a commemorative pint glass. They will only sell 300 tickets so call 936-441-2739 or email the brewery.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:54 0 comments links to this post

28 January 2010

BrewDog Plans Chain of Pubs

Scottish brewery BrewDog Brewing just can't stay out of the news. Owners James Watt and Martin Dickie plan to open a chain of pubs by the end of 2010.

I wonder if they knew I was brewing H2DC?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:43 0 comments links to this post

26 January 2010

The Return of H2DC!

Well, with all this talk of BrewDog taking over the world, I decided it was high time I rebrewed H2DC, but this time, avoid the keg clogging issue. I fermented this in my conical fermenter the first time, and the trub from the hops and dead yeast covered my side valve, so I got a lot of hop matter into the keg and that clogged up the dispensing post. This time, I will do it in a plastic bucket with an inverted back nut on the spigot. That should help eliminate some of the hop material.

I brewed this on January 24 and my OG was 1.030.

Well, I got H2DC into the fermenter finally, but you did miss one horse and pony show. Yesterday I cleaned the Williams fermenter I was going to use. When I reassembled the valve, I didn't get it tight enough. As I was pumping the wort into the fermenter, I could see a little leak. So I sanitized the other bucket I had, then transfered the wort from one to the other. Flat out dead run for the last twenty minutes.

O, Ninkasi, hast thou forsaken me?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:19 0 comments links to this post

24 January 2010

Beer, Bikinis, Crocs - I Love Australia!

These two Australian blonds, Darwin girls Ally Pettifor and Bonnie Keogh, have started a trend: swimming into baited crocodile traps. While I won't say that it's good idea, thanks for the photos ladies!

Not to be outdone, a week or so later, three "drongos" posed in another baited trap: two inside and one outside.

Steve Irwin is spinning in his grave!

There isn't much beer in these articles. Just an excuse to post the girls' pictures. Sue me.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:19 0 comments links to this post

22 January 2010

Beer Perfume

Ladies, looking to attract a man. Have I got a product for you: Beer Perfume! Spent grains are replaces the petroleum in the perfume making process. My favorite quote: "Beer smells good," beer drinker Conrad Eaton said. "A lot of people like beer, and a lot of people like women."

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:14 0 comments links to this post

20 January 2010

Mikkeller Chipotle Porter?

Eric Braun's "What's on Tap?" column recently explored the growth of Craft Beer in San Antonio. My favorite part of the article? "Internationally, two of the biggest names to hit Texas recently are Denmark's Mikkeller, which plans a chipotle porter for Texans this year, and England's Brew Dog, whose extreme beers have many palates revved up, and is working its way to our city."


posted by Jeff Holt at 10:31 0 comments links to this post

How to Lose Weight - But Not the Beer

Derek Gelber, 30, has dropped 102 pounds without giving up beer. He's done it by changing his diet and exercising. “I was as strict as I could be without changing the fact that I’m still going to hang out, I’m still going to tailgate, I’m still going to go to the pool and funnel beers with my buddies,” he said.

Gelber, a former swimmer for the University of Georgia, eats 350 calories every three hours, "with a low fat yogurt and low sodium vegetable juice for breakfast, two turkey sandwiches for lunch and plenty of lean meats and fish, as well as a protein shake two times a day."

“When you set a goal, you have to have a why. It’s got to be important enough because if you don’t have a strong why then it’s not going to work out very well because you’re going to find reasons why not to (do something).” -Derek Gelber"

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:06 0 comments links to this post

18 January 2010

North Dakota Woman sets US Blood Alcohol Record

Marguerite Engle was arrested Dec. 1 in Rapid City with a blood-alcohol level of .708 percent, almost nine times South Dakota's legal limit of .08 percent, and almost twice the .40 level normally considered dangerous.

About the same time, an unnamed 21 year old woman in Australia blew a blood alcohol level of 0.385, 19 times the permitted level and one of the highest levels ever recorded in that country. According to the story, "As a newly qualified driver her permitted limit was only 0.02."

A blood alcohol level of .55 is generally considered fatal, although a Bulgarian man blew a .914back in 2005, and survived.

I wonder what that hangover was like.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:27 0 comments links to this post

17 January 2010

Shiner 101

From the label: “Simple things aren’t necessarily easy. In fact, when it comes to brewing, it’s tough to brew great beer with just a few ingredients. But fear not, at the little brewery in Shiner we know a thing or two about refining even the most challenging of old-world recipes. This Czech-style Pilsner is brewed with barley, hops, water, yeast and 101 years of brewing experience. Here’s to sticking to your roots and keeping things simple, P R O S I T!”

Via Beernews.org who suggests a February 1sh release date. Also check out the new Shiner 101 site and see how much Czech you speak.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:42 0 comments links to this post

16 January 2010

All Citra West Texas Wheat

I've been hearing a lot about Citra hops, and how fruity they taste. So I thought I would test them out. I toyed with the idea of using my Dirktastic recipe as a base. But Satan said something to me that got me to thinking. He said he finds most American wheat beers to be bland and tasteless. And after sampling the Jester King Das Wunderkind the other day, I figured I would try my hand at a hoppy American Wheat.

All Citra West Texas Wheat
OG 1.052 - 60% efficiency - 6 gallon batch - 27 IBUs
7# Wheat malt
6# 2 Row
.5# CaraPils
.5# Crystal 20
.75 oz Citra 11%/60
.5 oz Citra 11%/10
1.75 oz Citra 11%/ dry hop
WLP001

I planned to brew this on January 10. But freezing weather forced a delay. It's on deck for Saturday. Stay tuned

Update: Got this into the fermenter. I got 1.042. The Citra hops are interesting. Very tropical aroma. Can't wait to taste this!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:31 0 comments links to this post

14 January 2010

Cigar City Brewing's Improvisacion Review

Every year, The Brewing Network Army has a Secret Santa beer exchange that is organized on the forums. This year, I received a sixer of homebrewed Oktoberfest, and a bottle of Cigar City Improvisacion (an Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale), and a saison from Saint Somewhere Brewing. I shared the saison with the nephew, and didn't write any tasting notes. But I did make some notes about Improvisacion.

Cigar City Improvisacion

Appearance (0-4): Pours up a cloudy, opaque brownish black with a dense, long lasting, tan head that never seems to fall. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-3): Faint malt sweetness, dark fruit aromas, a bit of oats and some pepper notes from the rye. Maybe. It was pretty faint and I just might be reaching a bit. I would have liked a bit more aroma. 2 points.

Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): I wasn't sure what to make of this from the label. I was a little worried I wouldn't like it. Caramel malt notes, with a bit of hoppiness. Not too noticable. Are you sure this isn't an oatmeal stout? 3 points
Aftertaste (0-3): Finishes bitter at the back of the tongue. Also a subtle tartness that builds as the beer is consumed. 2 points
Mouthfeel (0-3): Definite oat silkiness, with good carbonation. 3 points

Overall Impression (0-3): Not a bad beer, but confusing. It reminds me of Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout in a way. It was certainly nice of 'em to print "Bottle Conditioned. Please Pour Gently." vertically on the label so you have to tip the bottle to read it. I liked it, but am still very confused. 3 points

Total: 16 Points

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:26 0 comments links to this post

13 January 2010

Jester King News

Jeffrey Stuffings at Jester King Brewery just announced that he's purchased a new 30 barrel brewhouse from Newlands Systems, Inc. of Canada. It will take Newland Systems six weeks to build the brewhouse and then it will be shipped to their ranch in Southwest Austin. The brewery also order four 30 barrel conical fermenters from Pacific Brewery System Technologies. Also, he concrete foundation for the warehouse will be poured later this month, and is scheduled to be finished at the end of March.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:10 0 comments links to this post

12 January 2010

BrewDog 1412 Designed by University students

At the risk of turning this into the "BrewDog Fan Blog," here's another story about the much maligned Scottish Brewer.

An "Apprentice"-- style contest was won by design and media students from Wrexham, Wales' Glyndwr University to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009. From Packaging News: "In a format similar to that of BBC TV show The Apprentice, the teams were given a day to come up with the flavour, packaging and branding of the beer. They then sent video pitches to BrewDog founder James Watt, who subsequently selected the 1412 beer as the winning entry."

The winning team was Mark Scott, Michelle Roberts, Qinyun Hu, Yz Wez and Phillip Chan, who will travel to Scotland to try to get the beer released in March for the University's Spring Ball.

According to the University press release, Chan, a second year Interactive Multimedia Design student, said, “We chose the name 1412 as this was the year that the last sighting of Owain Glyndŵr [the last native Welsh person to hold the title Prince of Wales] was recorded."

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

10 January 2010

Dirk's Elixir

I am renaming Randy Mosher's wheat porter recipe from Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass. I have had to mess around with the grain bill a bit to match my efficiency.

I brewed this on January 3, and the pump-in-a-box is still playing with my mind. I sanitized everything except the counterflow chiller. I did fill the head of the pump with sanitizer, and that was pushed through the coils, so maybe I did okay. I didn't hit my numbers, either, but I wasn't too concerned about it. Sometimes, Ninkasi looks out for me.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:17 0 comments links to this post

09 January 2010

Aborted Brew Day

Well, with temps predicted to hit the low 20s tonight, I am postponing tomorrow's brew day. Since I brew outside, I'd spend all morning melting the ice in the kettle! So now I'll be having a recliner Sunday!


posted by Jeff Holt at 15:05 0 comments links to this post

08 January 2010

Drinking Beer Helps Your Bone Density

The Brookstone Bulletin has reported on a study that shows moderate drinking helps men and post menopausal women increase their bone density. More than that causes the bone density to decrease.

Beer. Is there anything it can't do?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:06 0 comments links to this post

06 January 2010

Paint Rock Bock Without the Damn Black Patent

About this time last year, I brewed Flatonia Bock, which I later renamed Paint Rock Bock. I scored pretty good at NHC, and everyone liked the beer, it was just too roasty for the style, so I replaced the 1/2 ounce of black patent with a quarter ounce of Carafa.

My predicted OG was 1.048, and I got 1.044. I had planned to keg it right after Christmas, but caca occurred, and didn't get it into the keg until January 4. Final gravity was 1.007, which yeilds about 5% abv.

It tasted a bit grainy, but I think I nailed the color. Some aging out to even it out a bit.

Assuming I can keep my hands off it.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:48 0 comments links to this post

04 January 2010

Wanna Own a Brewery

Utilizing the power of crowdsourcing, taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing them to a group (crowd) of people or community in the form of an open call (Wikipedia), two advertising companies are soliciting pledges to raise $300 million to buy Pabst Brewing Company. Besides a lifetime supply of PBR, one has to ask why.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:43 0 comments links to this post

02 January 2010

Ray Wiese, Pearl Harbor survivor, Shiner drinker

Here's a nice article to start your year off, Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Wiese, 93, lives in Shiner. ". . I had two loves in Shiner, my wife and the brewery," he said. There is even a nice video interview.

Happy New Year, Mr. Wiese!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:11 0 comments links to this post