30 August 2013

Belgian Bombshell Rides Again

I want to thank Drew Beechum for this recipe.  I think I got it from a Zymurgy article back in 2009.  It's such a simple and tasty recipe that I needed to brew it again.

So last Sunday, I set my alarm so I could start my brew day in the relative cool.  But when the alarm went off, I said "To Heck with it!" and turned off the alarm.  Just after sunrise I got up and made coffee and started watching the Ice Road Truckers marathon on the Discovery channel. (I don't know why. All it is is a bunch of truckers bitching about their jobs. I can listen to that at work! And there are no truckers at work.)

About 11 am I decided to start brewing. There was a nice breeze and a lot of clouds to keep the temperature down. Despite an almost three month brewing vacation, everything went well.  By sundown (about 7 pm) everything was cleaned and back in its place!

Belgian Bombshell
Belgian Pale Ale


Type: All Grain Date: 8/25/2013
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:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
11.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 88.00 %
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.00 %
0.50 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 4.00 %
0.50 lb Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 4.00 %
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (90 min) Hops 6.8 IBU
1.00 oz Magnum [14.00 %] (20 min) Hops 27.1 IBU
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.50 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 items Cardemom Seed (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Belgian Ale (White Labs #WLP550) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.046 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG Measured Final Gravity:   SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.51 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 33.9 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 5.5 SRM Color:
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 12.50 lb
Sparge Water: 5.97 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 15.63 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
Created with BeerSmith


posted by hiikeeba at 09:57 0 comments

28 August 2013

Pete Brown Beer Quotes

Every time someone asks me if I fancy a pint, it seems like a remarkably good idea, one that never loses its sheen as an original, inventive, exciting concept.

It never occurred to me before now that there might be three separate quite distinct states of sobriety – sober, la chispa (what we might call buzzed) and drunk.

This is not a normal hangover. This is something life-threatening, with a yellowy-green tinge.

And like all the best brewery tours, there’s beer at the end included in the €2.50 admission.

The Nordic peoples used to think of the sky as a giant brewing kettle. When Thor, the god of thunder, cleaned the kettle, all mortals knew about it. On days when he brewed, there were clouds in the sky.

It seems that Anheuser-Busch won’t be happy until they’ve bought everything, as though they resent the very existence of any beer brands they don’t own. And their dominance seems consistently to be based on money rather than the character of the beer. It strikes me that Budweiser is the King of Beers in the same way that Michael Jackson (not the beer writer this time) was once the King of Pop: self-appointed, with little basis in fact and with a knee-jerk response to legal action should anyone dare question their undeserved appropriation of the title.

posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

26 August 2013

The Neo-Prohibitionists Are At It Again

We've all been to those parties where someone says, "Hold my beer and watch!" Or at least we've seen them on TV. Of course the results are disasterous. Which is, I suppose, why they are on TV in the first place.

Well, a recently published study finds that 5 beers account for most emergency room visits: Budweiser, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice and Bud Light.

AB InBev got three in the top five! I'm sure they are celebrating in Brussels. Their King Cobra also made runner-up:

Four brands of malt liquor (Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice and King Cobra) accounted for 46 percent of the beer consumed by the patients, even though those four brands account for only 2.4 percent of beer consumed in the general population.
To conduct the study, researchers interviewed people admitted to the Johns Hopkins Emergency Room in Baltimore, MD, on weekends from April 2010 to June 2011. Only 105 people admitted to drinking before being admitted and 68 were men.

"Recent studies reveal that nearly a third of injury visits to Level I trauma centers were alcohol-related and frequently a result of heavy drinking," lead author David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, said in a Hopkins news release.
"Understanding the relationship between alcohol brands and their connection to injury may help guide policy makers in considering taxation and physical availability of different types of alcohol given the harms associated with them," he explained.

posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

24 August 2013

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Michael Candelario, owner of Bastrop Brewhouse, will begin work on self-distribution. Because of the additional workload, they have started closing on Mondays and Tuesdays, so plan accordingly.


posted by hiikeeba at 10:52 0 comments

22 August 2013

Can Anyone Spare a Plane Ticket to San Francisco?

As the Beer and Bacon Festival phenomenon spreads across the nation, the next one will be in San Francisco. Benefitting Sprouts Cooking Club, which works to connect kids and teens with local chefs and food, the festival kicks off at 2:30 pm at the Fairmont Hotel.

The festival started in Boston in 2009 and spread to Denver in 2012.

posted by hiikeeba at 11:28 0 comments

20 August 2013

Ninkasi Speaks!

My cousin that I call Satan ("Get thee behind me, Satan, and stop pushing!") sent me this picture lat night with 'the comment, "Ninkasi gave me a message in my beer! "Noog!'"


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

18 August 2013

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA - Updated Review

Another beer picked up in Dallas. I've been looking forward to this beer ever since I heard they were coming to Texas. I quickly contacted the distributor's rep for our area, and asked how quickly he could get it here.  A couple of days later, he told me it was only going to be in Dallas and Austin. Only. Not in San Antonio, Houston, or here in Paradise.  Bastards! No link for them! Update: Guess who is delivering to Paradise! So here's an update to my review in April:

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a crystal clear orange with a creamy white head that lasts forever. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Slight malt sweetness, with citrus overtones. Well balanced. 4 points

Taste (0-10): Medium heavy body with a nice crisp carbonation. Starts off with some malt sweetness, quickly followed by the bitter hops on the sides of my tongue. Spicy, piney hops, but smooth. Finishes with a smooth bitterness. 9 points

Overall Impression (0-3): A truly great beer. It doesn't drink like a 7% beer. It's sneaky and delightful. It's now my favorite beer. 3 points

Total: 19 points


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

16 August 2013

Pat's Backcountry Beverages Announces Concentrated Beer

You know what's good after a long day of hiking?


It's also better than a long day of hiking, but I digress.

Par's Backcountry Beverages will soon be releasing beer concentrate for all you athletic types. Initially offered in two flavors, the beer is not dehydrated. Instead, Pat's has come up with a secret way of brewing beer with next to no water. "...our process (patent pending) allows us to start with almost no water, and carefully control the environment of the fermentation."

The beer will be launched mid-September, and will cost $9.99 for four concentrated packets that can each make 16 ounces of sweet, sweet beer. Simply add water, carbonate with a small carbonation device (sold seperately), and presto Pale Ale or Black Ale with "the same great taste you’re used to in a premium micro brew," according to a Fox News article.

No longer will you have to pack in (and out, of course) those heavy bottles or cans!


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

14 August 2013

Le Mort Vivant - Reviewed

When Satan and I stopped at Five Points Bottle Shop last month, in my frenzy to buy things I hadn't seen before, I came across Le Mort Vivant. I didn't look at the label, and when I got home, I discovered that it was brewed by Southern Star Brewing Company.


It's ironic that I had to drive to Athens, Georgia, via Philadelphia to get a bottle of beer brewed in Texas.  Southern Stars is in, like, 27 states, but has a piss poor presence in Texas. Sure, you can get some Southern Star here in Paradise, but not in 720 ml bottles.  Just in 16 ounce cans. However, that may be a good thing.

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a crystal clear amber/orange with a thin white head that disappears quickly. 2 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Faint treacle-y aroma. No hops detected. Not terribly appetizing. 1 point

Taste (0-10): Like most Southern Star beers, this is under-attenuated. It's too sweet. If this were a bit drier it would be a great beer. It's medium bodied with low carbonation, and the hops do help make it a bit less cloying, but, frankly, it's too sweet. 7 points

Overall Impression (0-3): I keep trying Southern Star, and I keep being disappointed by the sweetness of their beers. They must be doing something right to have such wide distribution (I've seen it from San Diego to Athens), but I can't tell you what it is. 0 points

Total: 10 points


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

12 August 2013

The Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck RIS - Reviewed

As I mentioned earlier, it's a bit hot here. I want to brew, but I can't convince myself to: 1) order ingredients, 2) get up extra early to start a brew day and 3) I'm lazy. I suspect that as soon as I run out of homebrew, I will be brewing in the heat anyway.

As Satan will gladly tell you, and so would Gary Glass (President of the American Homebrewers Association), I love Russian Imperial Stout!  So here's my review of Rabid Duck, from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery.

 Appearance (0-3): Pours up jet black with a tan head that slowly dissipates to a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Faint aroma with chocolate and roast.  2 points

Tastes (0-10): Malt sweetness start, a subtle roast flavor that seems to slide along  my tongue, and a subtle hop bitterness in the finish. Full bodied with medium carbonation. Hops are a bit strong, but not unpleasant. 8 points

Overall Impression (0-3): A little too roasty for me, but not bad. It's drinkable, and doesn't offend, but I don't think I would drink two in a row. I think the hop bitterness in the finish would just pile up on my tongue. 2 points

Total: 15 points


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

10 August 2013

Terrapin Wake N Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout - Reviewed

Let's face it. I'm trying to wait out the heat wave here in Paradise, so I'm reviewing a few more beers than I normally do. Let me know if I'm boring you.

Ever since I listened to Terrapin's Brian "Spike" Bukowski interviewed on The Brewing Network, I've been obsessed with this beer. I used his recipe to make a coffee wheat porter. The BN intereviewed him a second time for the Jamil Show, and he gave out the tweaked recipe that I haven't tried yet. So when I realized I could route us through Athens, Georgia on the way home from NHC, I was hoping to find some of this. Satan and I found it at Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, and made my wish come true!

Appearance (0-3): Pours up jet black with a thin tan head that quickly fades into nothingness, leaving a few bubbles on top. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Huge nose with chocolate, hints of coffee. A little alcohol heat. Amazing aroma! 4 points

Taste (0-10): To quote Colonel Sherman T. Potter, "Not enough 'o's in smooth to describe this." Slightly sweet, with a chocolaty coffee flavor. Full bodied with medium carbonation. Just enough hops to cut the malt sweetness a bit, it finishes with chocolate on the back of the tongue. 10 points

Overall Impression (0-3): This one is so smooth that the alcohol sneaks up on you and makes gravity's pull much more apparent when you stand. If I had to find a flaw it would be the lack of head, but oatmeal will do that to you. Extremely drinkable. Many coffee stouts are acrid and bitter. This blend created by Bukowski is sold by Jittery Joe's in Athens. I should have stopped there for coffee the day we left, but "coulda, woulda, shoulda. . ."! 3 points

Total: 20 points

Kids, this is my new favorite beer and one of the few I would call perfect. I may even have to move to Georgia.


posted by hiikeeba at 17:47 0 comments

08 August 2013

Weekend Brewery Tours Won't Change Much

Now that the dust has settled over the new laws, the changes are starting to be felt. Or the lack thereof.

Jester King has already changed their license to a brew pub license, as has Hops and Grain. Both are in Austin.

In the Metroplex, things are a bit different. According to this story, Deep Ellum, Lakewood and Peticolas breweries won't change their tours, or sell by the pint.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

06 August 2013

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout - Reviewed

Another of my NHC beers.

One of the great things about traveling through Kentucky is picking their barrel aged beers.  I don't know how anyone can keep up with all the companies that barrel age stouts. I found Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout in Lousiville. Lexington Brewing and Distilling makes both beer and whiskey, and I have had their Bourbon Barrel Ale at quite possibly the best restaurant in the region, the Talbot Tavern in Bardstown. That sent me on a quest for a few sixers to bring home.  I should have looked a bit closer.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a jet black, opaque, with a thin, light tan head. I would have like a thicker head, but who doesn't. 2 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Smells of vanilla, and bourbon, with a hint of roast/coffee.  A little subtle, but smells delicious. 4 points

Taste (0-10): Hints of roast, coffee and vanilla.  There's a lingering sweetness, with no apparent hop aroma.  Full bodied, low to medium carbonation. Silky and smooth. Not too impressive, but good. Very good.  9 points

Overall Impression (0-3): Smooth, if a little sweet. I can't pick out the bourbon barrel, so, I'm not too sure it is a barrel aged stout.  It's a little too subtle, in my opinion. But it is extremely drinkable! 2 points

17 points


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

04 August 2013

Founders Breakfast Stout - Reviewed

I brought back a lot of stouts from NHC. While Founders Brewing Company has moved into Texas, I can't get Breakfast Stout here in Paradise. So I picked up a sixer somewhere along the way. So here's my review.

Founder's Breakfast Stout

Appearance (0-3): Pours up an opaque black with a light tan colored head that slowly fades to a thin cap of bubbles on the surface.  3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): There are notes of chocolate with coffee.  It smells great! 4 points

Taste (0-10): Starts with a malty sweetness then the coffee/roast flavor that lingers at the back of the tongue. There is a hint of hops that swirls through my mouth. It's full bodied with a smooth medium/high carbonation. I really like this beer. 10 points

Overall Impression (0-3): This just might be the perfect beer.  It's tasty, smooth, roasty, silky, boozy, tasty, smooth, roasty, silky. . . Sorry.  I'm repeating myself.  It's that good.  3 points

Total: 20 Points

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posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

02 August 2013

Fu Manbrew Belgian-Style Wit - Reviewed

I'm nearing the end of my NHC stash. At least the pale beers. anyway. I have a few Imperial Stouts to work my way through.

Fu Manbrew Belgian-style Wit

Appearance (0-3): I had to rouse the yeast a bit to get the yeast into suspension. It pours up a hazy, pale gold with white head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer of small bubbles. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Hints of citrus and spices. Subtle, subdued with a hint of honey from chamomile. 3 points

Taste (0-10): Full of citrus, spice and a sweet finish. I can't decide if it's chamomile or lavender in this. Lavender has, to me, a hint of soapiness that I'm picking up. But, Satan's Wit Willy is made with D-Limonene, and citrus oil used for cleaning, and it's remarkably close to this flavor. Medium bodied with high carbonation. 8 points

Overall Impression (0-3): A nice summer brew, that is drinkable and smooth. The only thing that detracts from the score is the slight soapy taste. 2 points

Total: 16 points


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments