28 February 2011

"The Garrison Brothers Bottling Days Blues"

I may live at the edge of the Great Texas Beer Desert™, but that doesn't mean I don't get some perks.  For example, thanks to my good relations with the local liquor store, I was able to score two six packs of Divine Reserve 10, and the first two releases of Garrison Brothers whiskey, make in Hye, Texas.

A few weeks ago, Garrison Brothers put out a call for volunteers to help bottle their second official release.  The rate of pay was nothing, but they would feed you and give you a bottle of whiskey for your troubles.

Naturally, I signed Satan and myself up as volunteers immediately, then told him to ask for February 28 and March 1 off.

Satan's brother, who I shall call First Brother of Satan, jumped in shortly afterwards only to be told that all the slots were full.  Bummer.

Now, work has reared it's ugly head, and I can't go.. Bad news for me, good news for First Brother of Satan, who will now be replacing me.  :(

I have asked them to take photos when they get a chance.  But they will be working too hard, I'm sure, to think of poor little me, stuck at work while they get to smell whiskey all day.


posted by hiikeeba at 07:51 0 comments

26 February 2011

Some Athletes Replacing Sports Drinks With Beer

Here's a story about athletes drinking non-alcholic beer after their sports events.  I just have one question: Where is the universal condemnation?  Where are the throngs of knee-jerk neo-Prohibitionists screaming "Think of the children"?  I mean, if a Bud logo on a racing plane on display in the Smithsonian will lead all children in the United States to instantly become binge drinkers and drug users, what will the sight of people drinking a frothy, golden beverage after a sporting event do to them?

But no, the article is free from any additional snide social commentary.  No concluding paragraph about the dangers of using alcohol from unnamed critics of the practice.

The best I could find was the concluding paragraph of this story:  "But whether it's a success in the U.S. remains to be seen. Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer's Insights, says sales of no-alcohol beer have been declining for more than a decade."


posted by hiikeeba at 10:52 0 comments

24 February 2011

Dirktastic - Brewing for Nationals

Dirktastic, my version of Tasty APA, is a beer that is all about the hops.  Since I want it to be at its peak when it's judged, I have to brew it next weekend.  I checked Austin Homebrew Supply and they were missing some hops, so I thought I would try BrewMastersWarehouse.com.

I created an account and entered the recipe below into the BrewBuilder™, rounding up the partial ounces of grains.  Once I save it, all I had to do is click "Buy Recipe" and all of the ingredients were put in my cart.  I also added a recipe for a barleywine, just to build up my recipe book.  I was going to enter Shadow Warrior, but I couldn't find flaked grains.

My package arrived today, and everything was inside (always a good sign).  I had such high hops for the hops, though.  I wanted Brew Masters Warehouse to group my hops by addition time.  Instead they came in individual ounce packages.  Sigh.

Oh well, it doesn't matter!  I will be brewing again, and that's the important thing!

Dirktastic v2
American Pale Ale


Type: All Grain
Date: 2/27/2011
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
9 lbs 12.7 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 61.54 %
3 lbs 10.8 oz Pilsner (2 Row) UK (1.0 SRM) Grain 23.08 %
1 lbs 3.6 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
9.8 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
9.8 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
0.24 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (90 min) (Mash Hop) Hops 2.0 IBU
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
0.24 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (60 min) Hops 10.8 IBU
0.24 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (20 min) Hops 5.7 IBU
0.24 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (10 min) Hops 3.7 IBU
0.24 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 2.2 IBU
0.24 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (1 min) Hops 0.3 IBU
0.24 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (1 min) Hops 0.4 IBU
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.50 tsp Gelatin (Secondary 5.0 hours) Misc
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.60 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 25.1 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 6.5 SRM Color:
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 15.91 lb
Sparge Water: 6.12 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 19.89 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: 35.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F
Added this recipe to BrewmastersWarehouse.com.
Created with BeerSmith

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posted by hiikeeba at 07:30 0 comments

22 February 2011

"The Freetail Old Bat Rastard Blues"

Whilst I was slaving away in Satan's kitchen on Super Bowl weekend, I had Satan Pushed™ my nephew into standing in line at Freetail Brewing Company for the first bottle release of 2011.  They were doing three releases at once, and by the time the nephew had arrived, one of them was sold out.  I wound up with two bottles of Barrel Aged Old Bat Rastard and one bottle of Fortuna Roja.  When I finally got possession of the bottles, I put them in the fridge, drooling at the impending delight.

A few hours later, I opened a 22 ounce Old Bat Rastard and poured it into a pint glass. It poured up a gorgeous dark brown with a thin tan head that fell quickly to a wisp of bubbles across the top.  Beautiful.  I lifted the glass to my nose and inhaled.

I got butterscotch. That's right, butterscotch.  A lot of freakin' butterscotch.  I hate butterscotch.  I hate butterscotch as much as Indiana Jones hates snakes.  I hate butterscotch as much as Hawkeye hates Frank Burns.  I hate butterscotch as much as an Aggie hates the Longhorns, and as much as the rest of the NFL hates the Cowboys.

Gambling that the offending aroma was a fluke, I took a sip. It was sickeningly sweet, and finished with butterscotch notes that coated my tongue and the back of my throat.  This beer is way too sweet, and tastes like it should be poured over ice cream.  Where were the tannic oak flavors?  Where was the teasing vanilla notes?  Where was the whiskey flavor?

Sadly, I could only drink half of the pint, and poured out the rest.  I gave the remaining ounces a similar burial at sea.   I am perfectly willing to accept that I got a bad bottle.  As I wiped the tears from my eyes, and wiped the butterscotch flavor off my tongue with a curling iron, I put the remaining bottle of Old Bat Rastard in a cool place to let it age.  Maybe, just maybe, the yeast still in the bottle can clean some things up.  I will check it again in June and let you know.


posted by hiikeeba at 07:31 0 comments

20 February 2011

CYBI Bam Biere Clone Kegging Day

I've posted this everywhere else on the Internet, why not my own blog?

Last Sunday, I kegged my CYBI Bam Biere Clone.  I took a sample, and the beer had a light tang to it, not too sour.  It rather reminded me of the New Glarus Enigma I purchased last summer.  Good, since that's what I was kinda hoping for.

The OG was 1.039 and it finished at 1.007, making it about 4.2% alcohol.  I want to have this carbonated and Ready to go when Satan and his brother arrive to bottle at Garrison Brothers.

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posted by hiikeeba at 11:39 0 comments

18 February 2011

"The Ranger Creek Blues"

A few months ago I was fortunate to tour the Ranger Creek Brewstillery with Satan.  We sampled OPA and La Bestia Amiable.  Delicious beers.  They didn't have any of the mesquite smoked porter, though, so we were a little bummed.

I bring this up because I know Ranger Creek makes beer.  I've seen the mash tun.  I've seen the fermenters.

What I don't know, and am now beginning to suspect, is that they are not selling it, and are hoarding it for themselves.

A few Sundays after they sold their first keg, I met my nephew in San Antonio at The Flying Saucer, where @RangerCreek_Rob said they had sold beer on the previous Wednesday.  I did manage to get some Smoked Porter this time.  So far, that has been the only time I've been able to get Ranger Creek beers.  I can honestly say that I am 0-5 in trying to get Ranger Creek Beers.

Oh, I've seen tweets that they are delivering beer.  I've seen the photos that they have bottled beer.  Like Bigfoot, ghosts, Santa Claus, UFOs, the Easter Bunny, and winning lottery tickets, I have never seen them personally.

So after a tweet about delivering beer to Flying Saucer, and to pick up the beers my nephew grabbed for me at the Freetail bottle release the week before when I was in Midland, I headed to San Antonio.  I had even taken the precaution of asking @RangerCreek_Rob (aka Rob Landerman, brewer at Ranger Creek) if beer was there.  He wasn't sure if the tapped it, but it was there.

So I plopped my butt at a table on a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon.  After two weeks of freezing temperatures, it was delightful to sit outside in the sun.  It must have been.  The patio was packed and I had to sit inside.

It took about ten minutes for a frazzled, overworked, and well endowded young lady to ask me what I wanted to drink.  I asked, "Do you have any Ranger Creek on tap?"

She thought for a moment.  I could almost see the list of beers running in her head.  "No, we don't." she said emphatically.  I ordered a Real Ale Coffee porter and tweeted: "Not entirely convinced @rangercreek sells beer yet. No Ranger Creek at @FlyingSaucerSA hello Real Ale!"

My nephew arrived and we chatted for a while, and then he hitched a thumb over his shoulder.  "There are the Ranger Creek guys."

Sure enough, three of them were sitting at one of the tables going over spreadsheets.  I wondered what they were drinking, since there was no Ranger Creek on tap.

By the time I got home, @RangerCreek_Rob had replied, "If they don't have it on tap, tell them to tap it!"  Which made me wonder why they didn't tell 'em to tap it.

I am not accusing Ranger Creek of anything, other than not being able to brew enough.  The recently bottled La Bestia Amiable sold out at the San Antonio Spec's before they even received the four cases allocated to them.  And the Flying Saucer blows the kegs as fast as they can tap them.  It's just frustrating that I live an hour away from Ranger Creek, and will not be able to drink their beers until the brewer can afford to add more fermenters.  And they lack the manpower, much less the product, to deliver to my local honey hole.

Rest assured I'll keep trying to buy the beer.  I'm just not sure I'll be able to find it.

Although I just read a tweet from @RangerCreek_Rob that they are delivering beer to Whip-in on Wednesday, I get to Austin even less that I get to San Antonio.


posted by hiikeeba at 11:17 4 comments

17 February 2011

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That. . .

A Mexican brewery, Minerva brewery, has made a beer that "will initially be marketed to homosexual consumers in Mexico, Colombia and Japan."  The article says that Minerva believes that homosexuals have been snubbed by larger brewers.  The beers, Salamander and Purple Hand Beer are honey ales with labels that can be removed and worn as stickers promoting gay pride.

Um, okay, I guess.  I don't really think that big brewers are "snubbing" homosexuals.  I work in retail and as long as a person has a valid credit card, I will let him/her buy whatever they want, without regard to sexual orientation.  I'm sure the big brewers feel the same way.

But a peel and stick label?  Really?  That's what homosexuals want from their beer?  I suppose we should all be grateful it wasn't a "fruit" beer. . .


posted by hiikeeba at 10:25 1 comments

16 February 2011

Mark Your Calendar - Texas Beer Festival May 7

On May 7, you really need to head to the Humble Convention Center for the Texas Beer Festival. Still in the planning stages, the festival will celebrate Texas craft beer in particular, and craft beer in general. "We would like to see a strong support of our local brewers and national craft beer as opposed to blind control of beers sales controlled by mega-corporations that promote their beer through mass media coverage and contracts with grocery stores rather than any basis of sales based on flavor," they say on their website. They are hoping to get every craft beer available in the state there.

Unlike other beer festivals, you will have to pay with "coopuns" (for you Ron White fans), this means you don't have to rush to drink as much as you can in a short time frame. That's good for your liver and good for your criminal record. Their other reason? "The TABC has guns."

So mark your calendars and arrange for baby sitters. Only those 21 and older can get in. And, please, for the love of Ninkasi, please brush up on your beer festival etiquette.

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posted by hiikeeba at 11:04 1 comments

15 February 2011

Texas Beer Freedom

The fight for HB 660, which would allow brew pubs to sell beer to distributors and enter the supply chain has a new tool: www.texasbeerfreedom.org.  Texas Beer Freedom is raising money to help with expenses related to ensuring HB 660's passage, most importantly a lobbyist to help the bill get through the legislature, and a consulting firm to help with events coordination and PR. While you and I writing our legislator every day to voice our opinion is a good thing, politicians really only listen to lobbyists, not to the hoi polloi.

Head on over to TexasBeerFreedom.com, and shoot 'em a $20 bill.  It's a good cause.  And keep writing your Legiscritter.  Maybe if we bother them enough, they will do what we want them to do, rather than what large corporations want them to do.


posted by hiikeeba at 14:46 0 comments

14 February 2011

Pork Soda - Would You Even Try It?

Goose Island Brewery and Longman & Eagle have teamed up to produce a Belgian Double IPA (remind me to talk about this concept later) called Pork Soda. It doesn't contain pork, and isn't soda, so my question is: Would you even try it?


posted by hiikeeba at 06:59 2 comments

12 February 2011

Beer v. Sun - Are Brown Bottles Better?

In the eternal battle of truth versus advertising, David asked The Straight Dope's Cecil,

The current ad campaign for Samuel Adams beer makes the somewhat dubious claim that the company’s beer, stored in brown bottles, is better preserved than beer in — eew! — clear or green bottles. So, time to break out your beakers (and beer bottles) and tell me if there is any validity to this claim, or if it's just the usual marketing babble.

So Cecil set some homebrew out in the sun in different colored bottles.  Click here to see the results.  (Spoiler Alert: Brown bottles win.)


posted by hiikeeba at 13:45 2 comments

10 February 2011

Beer Cocktails?

Beer cocktails, more popular in Europe than here, fall into three categories:  beer blends; beer mixed with something juice, spirits or other ingredients; or beer used as a flavoring ingredient in a cocktail.   For example, a Green Devil is 1/4 ounce absinthe, 1 ounce of gin and a bottle of Duvel.  Hmm.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:47 0 comments

06 February 2011

Humanity Owes is Existence to Beer

According to Bread, Beer and the Seeds of Change, from the rise of ancient Sumerian civilization to the rise of the British Empire, most people on this planet got their nutrition from bread and beer, since both were made from the same grains. This diet generated 5000 calories a day, necessary for the backbreaking work the people did, and also yielded a high rate of "vitamin deficiencies, cognitive impairment, high infant mortality and fetal alcohol syndrome".  Gradually, over the millennia, machines began to replace people and the work we did, lowering our caloric needs, until today when we consume far too much food for the work we do.  Now excuse me, I have to walk around the block. . .


posted by hiikeeba at 08:19 0 comments

04 February 2011

CYBI Bam Biere Clone - Transfer to Secondary

Over the last weekend I transferred the CYBI Bam Biere clone into a glass carboy for oak aging with brett and lacto.

posted by hiikeeba at 03:56 2 comments

03 February 2011

The Satan Push™

So the Satan Push™ is like the Force? Hmmm.

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posted by hiikeeba at 19:14 0 comments

02 February 2011

ND Proposal Would Let Homebrewers Sell Their Beer

If HB660 and the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas weren't  big enough windmills to tilt at, here's an idea from North Dakota.  Dan Ruby (R) has introduced a bill into the state legislature that would establish a domestic brewery license that would let home beer brewers sell their suds, offer beer tastings, set up stalls at trade shows, and sell their beer to wholesalers for wider state distribution.

You think WBDT would let that happen here?  Pshaw! They would have their pet legislators kill this bill faster than you can say "We have the best legislature money can buy"!


posted by hiikeeba at 07:46 2 comments