30 September 2011

Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg


posted by Jeff Holt at 22:00 0 comments links to this post

Home Brewer Obama?

The press and beer bloggers have been falling all over themselves gushing, pardon the expression, over the thought that President Obama is a home brewer.

It all started when Sgt Dakota Meyer, the latest Medal of Honor recipient, asked if he could have a beer with the President.  Who can refuse a bona fide War Hero? Certainly not the Commander-in-Chief!

Obama served White House Honey Ale, and they have served a Honey Porter. (I am perfectly willing to sample and review the beers for this blog, Mr. President. Hint, hint.).


I have read some blog and forum posts that have thought it was wonderful that the President is a home brewer.

He's not.

Sam Kass is. He's also a White House Chef.

The Obamas purchased the brewing equipment out of their own pocket, true. The Obamas have brought a lot of "crafty" things into the White House--like  bee-keeping, cheese-making and vegetable pickling--as well as a vegetable garden featured on Iron Chef America a couple of years ago.

So yes, it is cool there is home brew in the White House.  What is uncool is that there are no pictures of the White Brewing rig.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:00 0 comments links to this post

28 September 2011

If I Owned a Brewery Part 3 - Going Green?

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewing Company make a point of telling folks that they are running their breweries in the most sustainable ways they can.  Steve Dresler, Brewmaster at Sierra Nevada, appeared on the Brewing Network's Sunday Session, to talk about sustainability ,as has Geoff Larson and Plant Manager Curtis Holmes of Alaskan Brewing Company, Jayne Lewis from Mountain Goat Brewing in Richmond, Australia.  The owner of (512) Brewing Company, Kevin Brand, packages his beer in kegs only to reduce single use packaging usage.

Sounds good, right?

Then they put the beer on trucks and ship it around the country.  (In his interview on the Sunday Session, Dressler said Sierra Nevada ships as much as possibly by rail, which has a smaller carbon footprint than trucks.)

Horst Dornbusch wrote an article for the Brewers Association, The Economics and Carbon Footprint of Long-Haul Beer Transport which examines the problem. "Many brewers nowadays are trying to reduce the carbon footprint of beer inside the brewery, but perhaps it is also time to focus on the carbon footprint of beer outside the brewery," he writes.

This echoes some thinking I've been doing the last few years: why buy ice cream from Vermont, when the stuff from Brenham, Texas, is just as good? Should I really be buying strawberries from Mexico in January, or wait until Summer and get strawberries from Poteet?

Earlier I wrote about keeping my market small, and that, to me, makes a brewery greener than one that uses solar panels.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:05 0 comments links to this post

26 September 2011

Randy's Christmas Ale

Yet another brew from Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass. Normally I would have brewed this a little earlier in the month, but the heat has been a little too much to take, so I brewed it yesterday.


Randy's Christmas Ale
Belgian Specialty Ale

Type: All Grain Date: 9/25/2011
Batch Size: 6.00 gal Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 8.38 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Jeff's Equipment
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 53.19 %
4.00 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 17.73 %
2.50 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 11.08 %
1.50 lb Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 6.65 %
1.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 6.65 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 4.43 %
0.06 lb Carafa III (525.0 SRM) Grain 0.27 %
1.50 oz Northern Brewer [7.00 %] (90 min) Hops 27.2 IBU
1.00 oz Fuggles [5.00 %] (30 min) Hops 9.3 IBU
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [7.00 %] (30 min) Hops 6.5 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (10 min) Hops 2.2 IBU
1.00 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.083 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.019 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.32 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 45.2 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 19.7 SRM Color:
Color
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 22.56 lb
Sparge Water: 4.04 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, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
75 min Mash In Add 28.20 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 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: 84.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F
Notes
Toast the oats at 300F for 15 minutes the day before. Let cool.

Add the following spices together: 250ml Creme de Cacao liqueur, 600 ml Triple Sec, 50 ml Benedictine Liqueur (optional), .25 tsp black pepper (crushed), 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp cassia buds (ground), 1 tsp orange blossom water, .25 tsp aniseed, 3 oz coriander, cracked. Add at kegging

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:38 7 comments links to this post

24 September 2011

JZ's BYO American Pale Ale - Brew Day

Finally decided it was cool enough to brew.


JZs West Coast Style IPA
Imperial IPA

Type: All Grain Date: 9/13/2011
Batch Size: 6.00 gal Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 8.38 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Jeff's Equipment
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
18.15 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 82.69 %
1.65 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 7.52 %
1.65 lb Carastan (35.0 SRM) Grain 7.52 %
0.50 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2.28 %
1.70 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (90 min) Hops 38.4 IBU
0.60 oz Amarillo Gold [9.00 %] (Dry Hop 4 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (Dry Hop 4 days) Hops -
0.60 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (Dry Hop 4 days) Hops -
0.31 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (60 min) Hops 10.6 IBU
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (Dry Hop 4 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) Hops 10.6 IBU
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (30 min) Hops 8.1 IBU
0.31 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (30 min) Hops 8.1 IBU
0.92 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (15 min) Hops 15.8 IBU
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 7.7 IBU
1.22 oz Cascade [6.00 %] (10 min) Hops 6.6 IBU
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (1 min) Hops 0.9 IBU
0.61 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (1 min) Hops 0.9 IBU
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [Starter 2000 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.079 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.072 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.06 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 107.7 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 10.2 SRM Color:
Color
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 21.95 lb
Sparge Water: 4.15 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, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
45 min Mash In Add 27.44 qt of water at 170.5 F 158.0 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
Notes
Created with BeerSmith

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:23 0 comments links to this post

23 September 2011

JZ's BYO DIPA - Update

Last weekend, when the gravity was around 1.034, I add my dry hops to the still fermenting beer. I checked the gravity this morning and it was 1.013. My OG was 1.072, so this gets 7.9% abv. so I added some gelatin to fine the beer.

I tasted some of the sample, and a nice hop nose with some orange citrus flavor. I'll keg this on Sunday, and give three or four weeks before sampling.

I have missed hoppy beers. I hope this turns, despite my substitution of Northern Brewer for the impossible-to-find Simcoe.

posted by Jeff Holt at 10:41 0 comments links to this post

22 September 2011

Austin Sips - Drinking Event Blog

Since I live in the fringes of the Great Texas Beer Desert, I try to keep an eye on beer events in Austin and San Antonio. It can be a haphazard affair: checking brewery sites, local blogs, and the occasional brewery newsletter.

Now someone is doing all that hard work for me: Austin Sips - Drinking Events Calendar. You can keep an eye on upcoming events by clicking the link in the blogroll on the right!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:33 0 comments links to this post

20 September 2011

New Braunfels Brewing Company

Kelly and Lindsey Meyer, owners of Anytime Fitness wil be opening a microbrewery in downtown New Braunfels, called New Braunfels Brewing Company. They are ressurecting a long deceased brand name of the last brewery in New Braunfels (closed in 1925) and making German style ales: LuftWeiss-The HefeWeizen Of the Sky and ErdeWeiss-The Dunkel Of The Earth.

New Braunfels, a staging point for German immigrants entering the Fisher-Miller Grant, had one of the first breweries in Texas.

Apparently, Kelly and Lindsey read this blog, because they have taken my advice (wink,wink).  "New Braunfels Brewing Company will be as much a tourist attraction as a great craft beer producer,” Lindsey said.

Their brewery should open in late October, and tours should start in November.

I see lots of trips to New Braunfels in my future.

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

18 September 2011

Apartment Complex Evacuated by Beer Kit Smell

From the Newswire:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- It's a brew with quite a head. A Colorado apartment complex was evacuated yesterday because of a noxious odor. Turns out the smell was from a home beer-brewing kit. Authorities tell KRDO-TV that two workers at the Colorado Springs complex went into an apartment and were sickened by the smell. Firefighters cleared part of the complex. Residents were allowed back less than an hour later.
You could have just asked him to brew outside, instead of calling the fire department. . .

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:00 0 comments links to this post

16 September 2011

Beer's Black Market

Recently, the Washington Post published a story about Beer's black market. You know, when someone gets a limited edition beer, puts it on eBay for hundreds of dollars. You know how I feel about the whole chase mentality thing. I am glad to see that the brewers are getting more proactive about the problem.

However hard they work to shut down this black market, they don't seem to be doing anything about the root cause of the situation: an intentionally small supply.

As the popularity of craft beer grows, people like me, who don't live in the popular brewing centers, are given short shrift. It's unreasonable of me to expect Russian River or Lost Abbey to distribute all over the country, but I do get tired of hearing how wonderful their beer is. (I've been to both places. They do have wonderful beer.) It's not their fault I live in the Great Texas Craft Beer Desert.

I could move into a place across the street from Russian River, or even Spec's in Austin. But I like the town I live in. So I make the occasional trek to one of the Oases (San Antonio or Austin) once a month to load up on Texas beers. I don't, as a matter of principle, put it on eBay. For several reasons.

First, I don't have a license to sell beer.

Second, if I put a "collectible bottle with an unknown liquid inside" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) in a box and ship it in an unrefrigerated truck, the beer will be damaged at arrival. I don't want the buyer to leave me bad feedback for the shipping conditions. Now, I'm willing to gamble that damage on the beer I make when I send it to friends.

Third, I want to drink it!

There are two solutions to the beer black market and neither of them work: The brewers could make more beer, or we consumers could stop being dicks by trying to profit off of someone else's hard labor.

posted by Jeff Holt at 08:36 0 comments links to this post

14 September 2011

Win a Trip to 2012 Oktoberfest From Sam Adams

Boston Beer Company is holding a Stein Hoisting Contest and the winner will go to Oktoberfest 2012.

The rules are simple: hold a liter of Sam Adams Oktoberfest parallel to the ground as long as you can without spilling or dropping it.

The rules may be simple, but the hoist isn't. Keep in mind that a liter of water weighs 2 pounds.  According to Amazon.com, the stein weighs a bit less than 3 pounds.  So you have to hold 5 pounds, let's say, for as long as you can.  First place is 7:12.

Check the Sam Adams website for upcoming hoists.

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

12 September 2011

I Heart Tonya Cornett

Ever since I heard Tonya Cornett, brewmaster at Bend Brewing Company in Oregon and Brewmaster of the Year in 2008, on The Brewing Network a few years ago, I have been a fan. She gave a recipe for a red ale on the show that I have brewed  a couple of times. A visit to Bend Brewing has been on my bucket list for a while.  (Thanks to NHC being in Seattle next year, that will be one to check off!)

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about her attempt to make a "Girly beer," something pink and fruity.  The result is Ching Ching, a beer made with hibiscus and pomegranate and fermented with lacto. It also mentions a stout inspired by a blood orange, and her experiments with moles and peppers.

So is it too early to start wishing it was June?

posted by Jeff Holt at 08:21 0 comments links to this post

10 September 2011

This Can't Be Right. . .

In my last post, I mentioned a British study that said moderate drinkers are at a greater risk for cancer and death. Here's a study that says just the opposite. And I quote: ". . .researchers found that women who drank up to one alcoholic drink a day were 20 percent less likely to develop chronic diseases compared to nondrinkers."

I guess that must apply only to women in the United States. . .

posted by Jeff Holt at 10:25 0 comments links to this post

08 September 2011

Fireman's 4 for Firefighters Benefit

The Barber Shop Brewpub in Dripping Springs is donating all the profits from their sales of Fireman's #4 to local fire departments.

Real Ale Brewing Company, the brewers of Fireman's #4, has donated some items to sell to raise money.

With the fires in Bastrop and Camp Bullis stretching volunteer fire departments to the breaking point, every little bit helps.

posted by Jeff Holt at 12:42 0 comments links to this post

Another Salvo in the Prohibition War

Did you know that if you have a beer or two a night with meals, avoid binge drinking and alcoholism, you are a "risky drinker."

Yep.  It's true.

Maybe.  A new study finds, and I quote, "drinking too many beers or glasses of wine a week, even in moderation, could leave drinkers at risk to cancer or stroke."  The English Government think tank 2020health is using this study to encourage the government to enact a 40 pence per unit of alcohol tax (about £1.20 per can of beer) to discourage casual drinking.

posted by Jeff Holt at 09:29 0 comments links to this post

06 September 2011

Panic in Czech Republic - Beer Sales Down

The Czechs are the world's biggest drinkers--163 liters per year per capita in 2005 down to 144 liters in 2010--with the price of water about the same as beer. This drop in consumption has folks afraid of losing their jobs!  A 33% excise tax increase and wine's growing popularity are probably to blame. But, Jiri Vesely, the Czech Beer and Malt Association executive director, is optimistic that there will be 5% growth in next years' numbers.

Americans account for a measly 79 liters a year.  I am doing my best to get that number up, but I'm only one man!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:30 0 comments links to this post

04 September 2011

Shy? Try A New Bar

Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that people are more likely to be less inhibited in a new pub than at their local, which suggests that alcohol impairment is affected by location as well as the alcohol.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:24 0 comments links to this post

02 September 2011

Lager Beer Yeast Traced Back to South America

Scientists have determined that modern lager yeast, Saccharomyces pastorianus, is a hybrid derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and a yeast from Argentina, Saccharomyces eubayanus. S. eubayanus was lives on beech galls in cold Patagonian forests and is "unlike any other known species of wild yeast, but 99.5 per cent similar to the unidentified half of the lager hybrid." It could have been carried to Europe on some wood of a traders boat or in the stomach a fruit fly 500 years ago. When Bavarians moved their beer barrels into caverns, the cold loving yeast mingled with the warmer loving S. cerevisiae.

As interesting as that is, or isn't, Diego Libkind, the primary researcher on the study, is also planning to brew with the ancient yeastin combination with other strains.

The study was published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:13 0 comments links to this post