28 February 2012

Pong Beer

It comes in a 30-pack with two ping pong balls. I don't know if it's a good thing, though. And at $18 for a 30-pack, Pong Beer Light Beer seems a bit pricey for beer pong.
I only have one question: Isn't "Lite" trademarked?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:58 0 comments links to this post

26 February 2012

First Smoking, Then Alcohol

I've long been a critic of smoking bans, warning that once the neo-Prohibitionists stamp out cigarettes, they will turn their attention to alcohol. In the UK, a recent study found that Social Smoking has been rising. Most respondents said they only smoke while drinking with other people. Typical anti-smoking piece, really, until I stumbled across an interesting sentence.

Stuck in the middle of the article this innocuous sentence: "Drinking therefore enabled them to 'binge smoke,' while also distancing them from this behaviour, so helping to maintain their 'non-smoker' persona."

The neo-Prohibitionists will likely seize on this.  "Alcohol causes people to smoke. When they smoke they get cancer and die. Logically, therefore alcohol causes you to get cancer and die."

When they start saying this, remember, I told you so.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:50 2 comments links to this post

24 February 2012

Dirk's Elixir

I want to rebrew Shadow Warrior, my imperial oatmeal stout, and I need a starter. So, I rebrewed Dick's elixir from Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing. Pretty simple brew day.  We'll see how it turns out.


Dirk's Elixir
Oatmeal Stout

Type: All Grain Date: 2/21/2012
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
7.50 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 34.77 %
6.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 27.82 %
4.50 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 20.86 %
2.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 10.43 %
0.75 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 3.48 %
0.57 lb Carafa III (525.0 SRM) Grain 2.64 %
0.25 oz Nugget [13.00 %] (90 min) Hops 8.5 IBU
0.75 oz Nugget [13.00 %] (10 min) Hops 8.6 IBU
1 Pkgs English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.081 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.071 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.026 SG Measured Final Gravity: ------- SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.24 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 17.2 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 31.9 SRM Color:
Color
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 21.57 lb
Sparge Water: 4.23 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 26.96 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
Notes
Created with BeerSmith

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:39 0 comments links to this post

21 February 2012

5 Ounce Sparge?


posted by Jeff Holt at 10:22 0 comments links to this post

20 February 2012

Das Wunderkind - Review

Jester King Brewery's Das Wunderkind officially arrived in Paradise last week. I bought a couple of these, and thought I would try it out. So last Saturday, I cracked open the bottle.

Appearance (0-4): Poured up a hazy gold with a minimal head. (To be fair, I did a gentle pour. Second pour from the bottle had a slight head that faded quickly.)  3 points


Aroma/Bouquet (0-3): Faint tart, citrus notes. 3 points


Taste (0-10): The sip was a jolt. Light to medium low body with an assertive tartness that lingers on the back of my tonge.  I also felt the carbonation tingle very faintly. Hops are very subtle. Not bad.  7 points


Overall Impression (0-3): Although I am not a sour beer fan, I could handle another bomber. 3 points


Total: 16 points



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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:00 0 comments links to this post

18 February 2012

Kettle Explosion at Franconia Brewing

Photo by Winston Edwards
During the tour today the kettle at Franconia Brewing Company exploded, injuring two. One of them was transported to the hospital by ambulance, one of them by helicopter. The one transported by ambulance is a Facebook friend, who posted that he was okay, but the other was seriously injured, but in high spirits.
Photo by @elbasumgo

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posted by Jeff Holt at 16:24 0 comments links to this post

The War on Home Brewing

A recent Chicago Tribune story got me thinking.

The Wisconsin Senate is considering a bill that would allow home brewers to take beer from their homes and serve it to people.  Several groups, presumably including distributors, naturally oppose the bill, saying it violates Wisconsin beer distribution laws.

Are we seeing the opening salvos in the War on Home Brewing? This is the second time someone reviewed the home brewing laws and found transporting home brew illegal.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:57 0 comments links to this post

16 February 2012

AHA Breaks a Record

Boulder, CO • February 14, 2012—The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) reached a milestone this month with more than 30,000 members. The 34-year-old not-for-profit organization has reached this record number thanks in part to the hobby's recent growth in popularity. Current estimates indicate that approximately 1 million Americans are making their own beer and wine at home.

The homebrewing craft has a long history in the U.S., dating back to the colonial era. However, an official organization for hobbyists was not established until 1978, shortly after President Jimmy Carter signed the bill that legalized homebrewing. Prior to that, the hobby was illegal thanks to a vestige of prohibition-era law. Buoyed by their newfound freedom, Charlie Papazian and Charlie Matzen founded the AHA that December with the first publication of Zymurgy magazine.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:37 0 comments links to this post

14 February 2012

Double Horn Brewing Company

On Saturday, a friend and I went to Marble Falls to try out Double Horn Brewing Company. It was a good driving day, except for the wind, but what can you do about it?

Double Horn Brewing Company is right on US Highway 281 as you come into town.  It's a bit hard to get to, what with Marble Falls' traffic, but a quick circle of the block got us into the parking lot. Inside, it is light and airy--pale walls and dark stained concrete floor. Old Texas maps and photos of various businesses named "Double Horn" were on the walls. Naturally, the brewing area was behind glass, because that's how the terrorists will get us: by poisoning the beer supplies in small town brew pubs.

I ordered a sampler. and as the waitress walked away we looked around.

The restaurant is on a high point, across the street from the famous Bluebonnet Cafe, and has a nice view of the road. Unfortunately, not a view of the river.

We continued to chat, noticing that people were trickling in at a good pace, and I idly began to wonder where the waitress was. She'd been gone awhile. Perhaps she was brewing the beer for the sampler? Finally she returned with my sampler.

The wheat beer was quite good. Normally, wheats are a little too thin and flavorless. This one had a nice grain note to sparkle it up. The 1855 Pale Ale definitely leaned West Coast, but wasn't too hoppy. The porter was excellent. Nice and chocolatey. Finally, the last beer was a Black IPA, or a Cascadian Dark Ale, depending on what side of the argument you come down on.  I was only a little disappointed that there wasn't enough pine flavored hops, but it was good enough to order a full pint.

The menu is impressive. It was a good thing the waitress took such a long time.  It took me the entire time to whittle down my choices. After the sampler arrived, I decided on a Texas Cheesesteak, a "beer braised brisket topped with sauteed mushrooms, pepperdews and smoked provolone on a hoagie bun." Ingenious! I ordered a Thirsty Planet Thirsty Goat off the Texas Craft Beer list, and my friend had a (512) Pecan Porter with her chocolate tart.

Just moments after receiving the last pints (and her tort), the waitress dropped off the bill. Thanked us and left. "I guess she's decided we've had enough," I muttered. "We must be stinking up their restaurant," my friend replied with a laugh.

Double Horn Brewing is a fine addition to the Texas Brew Pub scene. If only it was closer to my house.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:17 0 comments links to this post

12 February 2012

Colorado "Business" Trip

A pint of New Belgium Dig at the Denver airport

Enjoying O'Dell IPA at the hotel in Edwards.

The sampler at Gore Range Brewing. Yeah, I drank that one before I thought of taking the picture.

Inside Gore Range Brewing

Rye Porter at Tommyknockers

The view from Tommyknockers

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posted by Jeff Holt at 12:53 0 comments links to this post

10 February 2012

Brewing History of New Orleans

As you must know by now, I am a big history buff, and especially brewing history. To celebrate 175 years of New Orleans history, the New Orleans Times-Picayune has an article full of old photos and stories. Go check it out.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:42 0 comments links to this post

08 February 2012

Magic Hat's Alan Newman on Beer Geeks

Thanks, and a tip of the hat to BeerNews.org for this.

Magic Hat founder Alan Newman has this to say about beer geeks after the recent "overrated" thread on BeerAdvocate:

There are two groups out there: beer-lovers and beer geeks. Beer lovers love beer. I’ll put myself in that category. I love and appreciate good beer. Then there are beer geeks who ask questions like, “Have I never heard of it [a beer or brewer] before?” “Is it from a really small brewery?” “Does it have more than 75 I.B.U.’s? [International bittering units - a measure of bitterness related to hops in a beer; 75 is very high.] All they want is highly hopped, high-alcohol beers. They have disdain for the mainstream, but mainstream is what will bring more customers in, what will grow the category. They get very hung up on the size of a brewer and who owns them. Like Goose Island in Chicago is an old craft brewery, very respected. Anheuser-Busch bought something like 25-30 percent of them. So are they still a craft brewer? More importantly, to my mind, do they make craft beers? Does it matter who owns them?
I think I fall into the "Beer Lover" category, though I do like me some Double IPA. But I see a lot of people on BeerAdvocate and RateBeer who think the only beers worthy of consumption are those that are big and hoppy. Pliny the Younger is a 100 on BeerAdvocate, if you doubt me.

It's must be a sad existence to only find quality beer from one or two brewers.

As far as I'm concerned, the most overrated beers are the ones you have to buy on Ebay for more than $100. And I applaud brewers like Vinnie Cilurzo for limiting the Pliny release to pints only: no growlers.

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

06 February 2012

Ranger Creek OPA Review

A couple of Saturdays ago, I went to San Antonio and picked up a case of Ranger Creek OPA. I have had this beer several times on tap. This is my first time in the bottle. I confess, I feel all giggly and nervous.

Appearance (0-4): Pours up a hazy orange with a thick rocky head that lasts forever. As you refill your glass, you do pick up some sediment, further clouding the beer. Bottle conditioning also makes this overfoam. It's worth the wait.  2 points.


Aroma (0-3): Hints of citrus, pine and pepper. And I get soap. But not in a bad way. 2 points.


Taste (1-10): There is a nice malt backbone here. Starts with a malt sweetness. The hops come through with a grapefruit flavor, and lingers on the back of my tongue. Medium to full bodied, with a nice carbonation tingle. Leaves a sharp bitterness at the back of my throat.  9 points


Overall Impression (0-3): Sorry, Old Dominion, this is now my new Favorite Beer. I like the blend of hops, the way it hangs on the malt base, and I like the mouthfeel. My only gripe (reflected in the scores above) is the bottle conditioning. I respect the idea.  I don't like it, though. But, since they won't let me live in the brewery, sleeping under the bright tanks, with an IV from the tank to my arm.  *sigh*  Where was I? Oh yes!  I love this beer.  I want this beer inside me. I want this beer in a store in my town. (I also want their .36 Bourbon Whiskey in my town, but that's the subject of a different blog.) 3 points


Total: 17 points.


Please, please, please, Ranger Creek, spread out into the hinterlands.

Buy this beer.  Drink this beer. It's very good.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:07 0 comments links to this post

04 February 2012

Beer Map of Texas

Blatantly stolen from New Braunfels Brewing's Facebook page.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:37 0 comments links to this post

02 February 2012

BrewShuffle.com

Home brewers are a friendly bunch. Get a few together, and they're sharing the fruits of their labors. But if you live in a small town, it's hard to find other brewers. For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who home brewed.

Now, thanks to BrewShuffle.com, it's easy to find other brewers. Sign up for an account, list your address (I only used my city and state), and what beer you have to share, and as more people sign up, they will appear on a Google map.

Right now, it's a tad lonely out here in Paradise. So go sign up!

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