30 April 2011

Does This Make Me Less of a Person?

I just received the list of those who advanced to the second round of the National Homebrew Competition, and--surprise, surprise--my name is nowhere on the list.  I sure Jeffs Oberlin and Swearingen are wonderful people, but I sure get tired of seeing their names all over the place.

Now begins the long wait of getting score sheets back to see how much I suck as a brewer.


posted by hiikeeba at 15:46 0 comments

28 April 2011

Attention Texas Legislators: We could have a beer industry like this! Think of the taxes!

A story at WinesandVines.com shows just how successful the Texas Wine Industry has become.  Over the last decade, vintners have overcome disease and bad process to make the wine area around Fredericksburg (aka, Paradise) home to several excellent wineries.

That's because the State Legislature passed laws making it easier to open and run wineries, including selling wine without a distributor; selling at the winery; and even allowing places to serve food and wine, sell at the winery, and sell to a distributor to resell to a retailer.  We could have a state with 200 breweries, if only we had some legislators with vision, and the courage to stand up to the WBDT.

Just saying. . .


posted by hiikeeba at 16:30 0 comments

26 April 2011

They Just Don't Get It

The other day, I got an email from a beer distributor congratulating me on my post on the Great Texas Beer Desert, and encouraging me by saying that they were bringing a new beer to our area: Maui Brewing!

That's great, I replied.  I've had Maui beer and it's good.  But it's still not a Texas beer.  Instead, we are now outsourcing brewing jobs to Hawaii, because WBDT doesn't want to carry Texas beer.

They just don't get it!  I want to see Texas beer someplace other than along the Interstates, and instead we get more beer from other states.

posted by hiikeeba at 13:23 0 comments

24 April 2011

Didn't We Learn Anything from Prohibition?

Apparently not.

Violent criminals are starting to smuggle cigarettes from low tax states to high tax states.  In order to get more revenue, 27 states raised taxes since 2007.  So criminals from the other 23 states are now finding huge profits in smuggling cigarettes.  As an example, smugglers can buy smokes in Virginia for $4 a pack, and sell them in New York for $14 a pack.

While I didn't predict this consequence of rising taxes, I have written about the dangers of increasing excise taxes before.

But I am predicting that alcohol is next.


posted by hiikeeba at 10:06 0 comments

22 April 2011

Attention Texas Legislators: Colorado Craft Beer Sales Booming

Colorado craft beer brewers are having a record year, some even are having to restrict out of state sales to keep up with demand, says a Fox News article.

Denver-based Great Divide Brewing Co. announced that, come May 1, it will stop distributing to Michigan, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, southern Virginia and Washington, DC. At the end of 2010, it had stopped shipping to Alaska, New Mexico, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, and Minnesota. It still sells in 15 other states.
Don't worry, Texans.  Thanks to your Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas is keeping Texas brew pub beers off the store shelves, so we'll still be able to contribute taxes and jobs to the economy of Colorado!


posted by hiikeeba at 11:29 0 comments

20 April 2011

CYBI Epic Pale Ale With Different Hops - Kegging Day

Kegged CYBI EPAWDH, or "Cluster Phuk" for short today.  I didn't fine it, so it was a bit chunky going into the keg.  The final gravity was 1.005,  which gives me about 7% ABV.  I can live with that.  Here's the revised recipe.

posted by hiikeeba at 10:28 0 comments

18 April 2011

Kölsch I Said So 2

A quick, last minute trip to Midland put off this brew day, so I brewed this yesterday.

Kölsch I Said So


Type: All Grain
Date: 4/17/2011
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 7.50 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: 60.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
12 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 92.31 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
8.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
2.00 oz Hallertauer [3.90 %] (90 min) Hops 25.0 IBU
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.76 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 25.0 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 4.2 SRM Color:
Mash Profile
Mash Name: My Mash Total Grain Weight: 13.00 lb
Sparge Water: 9.86 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
ERROR - All Grain/Partial Mash recipe contains no mash steps
Mash Notes:
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 10:40 0 comments

16 April 2011

RIP Pierre Celis

Pierre Celis passed away in Belgium over the past weekend. He was 86. Celis was the person who revived the Belgian Wit style, and after losing his brewery in a buyout by a large multinational. He came to Austin, Texas and started Celis Brewing, bringing his witbier recipe with him. In 2000, after a too-rapid, debt fueled expansion, Celis brewing was purchased by Miller Brewing, which promptly killed the brand, replacing all those rows on store shelves with Miller Lite (which is what has Goose Island fans worried now). Michigan Brewing bought the rights to the Celis line and is currently producing Pierre's recipes

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posted by hiikeeba at 08:42 0 comments

14 April 2011

Ditch Your Water Cooler

posted by hiikeeba at 10:13 0 comments

12 April 2011

Neener, Neener!

I despise the chase mentality.

I wish breweries had distributors who had the huevos to carry more Texas craft beer and Texas craft brewers were able to produce enough beer to meet demand.

I like to flaunt my scores to people who can't get them.

Therefore, this is my obligatory Divine Reserve Post:

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 11

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a crystal clear golden amber with red highlights and thick white head that takes a while to fall.  3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4):  Citrus and pine notes blend together, with some tropical fruit aromas.  3 points

Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4):  Malt sweetness quickly replaced with a blend of pine and citrus hops across the back of the tongue. 3 points
Aftertaste (0-3):  Leaves a subtle lingering bitterness at the back of the throat. 3 points
Mouthfeel (0-3):  Medium body with good carbonation.  3 points

Overall Impression (0-3):    I had my first draft Pliny two years ago and am convinced that it is a perfect beer.  Sadly, I didn't take notes then, so I don't know how this stacks up.  I know it's close!  But it ain't quite right.  I do know it's better than bottled Pliny, maybe because my bottle is fresher than the bottles of Pliny I have had.  This is easy drinking, and jam packed with hop flavor.  3 points.

Total: 18 points


posted by hiikeeba at 06:35 1 comments

10 April 2011

I Don't Think I Could Be a Monk

I'm sure you've all heard that dopplebocks were consumed by German monks during their Lenten fasts.  I don't know if any current German monks do it, but J. Wilson, editor of the Adams Country Free Press, is doing it, and blogging about it at Diary of a Part-Time Monk. He's been all the papers, and mentioned on TV Jimmy Fallon, who joked, "an alcoholic has just discovered it's Lent."

But Wilson isn't an alcoholic.  He is honestly doing it for Lent.  He drinks four 12-ounce, 288-calorie Doppelbocks a day on weekdays, and five a day on the weekend.

You can read his blog and he will explain his reasons, his motivation and the challenges.

I bring this up for two reasons:

  1. He's lost 15 pounds in 22 days.
  2. He's sick of dopplebock.
While reason number one makes the diet seem attractive, reason number two is going to keep me from trying it.


posted by hiikeeba at 11:13 0 comments

08 April 2011

Another example of Texas' stupid beer laws

In Texas, the word "beer" does not mean the same thing it does in the rest of the world.  For tax purposes, "beer" is below 5% ABV.  If a beverage is above 5% ABV, it is not "beer", but is, instead, "ale" or "Malt Liquor".  In the real world, ales, lagers, and malt liquors are all beer.

City of Ate posted a good article about the state of Texas' beer laws.

If HB 602 and HB 660 pass, I wonder if we can convince someone in Austin to start revamping the legal definitions?

posted by hiikeeba at 13:13 0 comments

06 April 2011

Donate to "Beer Hunter: The Movie" and Pints for Parkinsons

In memory of Micheal Jackson, the Beer Hunter.  Donate $10 to help fund the movie, and $1 will go to setting up Pints for Parkinson's.

posted by hiikeeba at 09:36 0 comments

04 April 2011

Dirktastic Tasting Notes

I finally got a bottle of Dirktastic off to NHC, but it had only been a week in the bottle.  By the time the judges taste it, Dirktastic will be about five weeks old.  Probably just about perfect.  Sadly, that means that I have to rebrew it before the first round is judged.

In the meantime, I have to get rid of this keg.

At dry hop time, I discovered I didn't have any Simcoe!  Zut Alors!  So I scrambled for a replacement.  I have a small stockpile of Citra hop pellets.  Not exactly the same flavor, but Macht's nicht, if I might be permitted to mix linguisticisms.  So I dry hopped with Citra.

Dirktastic, or Citrastic if you prefer, as a lingering grapefruit bitterness with a peachy/mango flavor.  I kinda like it.  I hope the judges do, too.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:42 5 comments

02 April 2011

The Great Texas Beer Desert™ - A Definition

The Great Texas Beer Desert™ is a broad geographic region outside the city boundaries of Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Houston, and to a lesser extent San Antonio. It is a region few Texas craft brewers explore, dominated as it is by the behemoth distributors for Belgian AB-InBev and South African SABMiller.The region is a vast trackless land, marked only by Bud Light and Coors Light neon signs in stores and billboards along the side of the road.

Recently, the large distributors, in an effort to retain shelf space left by their declining sales of the main brands, have begun bringing out of state craft beers into The Great Texas Beer Desert™.  It is quite easy to find Samuel Adams, or Sierra Nevada in the region, but nearly impossible to find Texas made craft beers, with a few exceptions.

The first Texas craft brewer to venture into the region was Real Ale Brewing Company, who despite the best efforts of ditributors of the Big Three, was able to get three rows on the shelves of juggernaut HEB Foods in most small towns, making them the only Texas owned beer in the store. Their success was aided by the brewer being physically located in The Great Texas Beer Desert™, in the small town of Blanco, Texas

Houston's Saint Arnold Brewing was next to arrive, thanks to a distribution deal with Ben E. Keith Distribution. The most recent Texas craft brewer to make an attempt to distribute into The Great Texas Beer Desert™ was Jester King Brewery of Austin. In March 2011, a few cases of Jester King Dark Metal arrived in Fredericskburg. A possible reason for this is that the brewery is located on the Fredericksburg side of Austin, and several miles from an Interstate highway.

No other Texas craft brewers dare venture into the region for fear of not being able to locate an Interstate and, therefore, their way home.

Oddly, persons not residing in The Great Texas Beer Desert™ often are the first and most vocal complainers about not being able to find Texas craft beer.

 --From Tounge-In-Cheek-ipedia

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posted by hiikeeba at 08:44 0 comments