30 October 2013

I Didn't Know This Was Legal

Satan's life in Midland just got easier.

Tipsy's Brew and Wine Delivery just opened, according to a story at mywesttexas.com. They will deliver beer, wine, cigarettes and party packages to his door on Fridays (4 to midnight) and Saturdays (4pm to 1 am), for a delivery fee of $3. They don't deliver hard liquor because the law would require them to stop delivery at 9 pm.

As the title of this post mentions, I didn't know this was legal. And I don't know why someone didn't think of it sooner.

Sadly, the beer selection is not too great. But at least they sell a beer pong package.

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28 October 2013

Deep Ellum Brewing Encourages "Rape Culture"

Deep Ellum Brewing Company bought a delivery van. The painted it with the image of their Dallas Blonde Ale, and their slogan "Goes Down Easy." They posted the picture on their Facebook page.

Someone got offended.

So of course, the offended person privately contacted the brewer, expressed their opinion calmly and quietly.

Nah! Just fucking with you. Genevieve Cato went full on ballistic on the blog Burnt Orange Report, "... shouldn't we expect more of our local Texas breweries than to rely on rape culture to sell their beer?"

If all double entendres are perpetuating the rape culture, shouldn't "Three's Company" have been banned by now?

There is a school of promotional thought that even bad news is good PR, and instead of calling the brewery and chatting with the owner, she put them on the National Stage, drawing more attention to something she found offensive.

John Reardon, owner of Deep Ellum Brewing, said in his blog post that he thought the little joke about oral sex was funny, and added that if you interpret it as Rape Culture that's your fault. "...if you somehow link all oral sex to violence against women, the problem might lay with you," he added.

Reardon will be removing the slogan from the van, but leaving it on the cans.

I'm glad I have a small audience. Imagine if Genevieve had run across the blog post about my last batch of Old MILFwaukee...

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26 October 2013

Pumpkinator 2013

A little bird told me that the only keg of Saint Arnold Pumpkinator that would ever hit Paradise in 2013 was at Auslander restaurant. So Wednesday when I got off work at 4 pm, I headed over.

Guess who's closed on Wednesday?

So I went yesterday.

Pumpkinator 2013 is fantastic. It has the pumpkin and spice flavor that reminds me of Dr. Pepper.

I love this beer!

But if I hear one word that outdated Pumpkinator is being given to cows instead of being distributed into the Great Texas Craft Beer Desert, I will be thoroughly pissed off.

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22 October 2013

FBC Pioneer Porter Clone

My Local is Fredericksburg Brewing Company. My favorite beer is the Pioneer Porter. It's chocolatey and a bit on the sweet side. I think I've had more pints of that than any of their other beers.

A few months ago, I was going through my Brew Your Own magazines, and organizing them.  I rediscovered the Replicator recipe for this beer, and thought I would see how close I could get.

I headed off to Austin Homebrew Supply and started filling in my order. When I got to the Crystal malt, I hit a road block.  They were out of all Crystal malt. I guess that's the perils of being a big, popular vendor.

While I was struggling to figure out who to buy from, I remembered the Cool Brewing fermentation cooler, basically, a large insulated jacket I could put my fermenter in to get a better handle on my fermentation. So I thought, why not buy from one of their vendors? One of them caught my eye: HopTech. When I first started brewing in the late 1990s, they were my home brew shop. At least until I discovered St. Patrick's of Austin, and later Austin Homebrew. I brewed this yesterday, although I used the cooler on the Pliney the Toddler.

FBC Pioneer Porter
Brown Porter

 


Type: All Grain Date: 10/21/2013
Batch Size: 6.00 gal Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 7.97 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Jeff's Equipment
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 59.00
Taste Notes:
 
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 79.44 %
1.00 lb Carastan (35.0 SRM) Grain 6.36 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.36 %
0.67 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4.27 %
0.47 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 3.01 %
0.09 lb Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 0.58 %
0.30 oz Northern Brewer [9.00 %] (60 min) Hops 8.0 IBU
0.61 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (20 min) Hops 5.9 IBU
0.61 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (2 min) Hops 0.7 IBU
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) 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: 5.57 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 14.6 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 26.9 SRM Color:
Color
 
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 15.74 lb
Sparge Water: 4.94 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 19.67 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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20 October 2013

Never Curse the Rain

Last Sunday, we got 2.67" of rain, so my brew day was scratched. We've had about 4" in the last few days, so I'm hoping to get another crack at this.

Pliney the Toddler
American Pale Ale

 


Type: All Grain Date: 10/20/2013
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: 58.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 42.15 %
5.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 42.15 %
1.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 11.53 %
0.82 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (60 min) Hops 38.8 IBU
0.82 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (10 min) Hops 13.1 IBU
0.82 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 8.0 IBU
0.82 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.55 lb Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 4.18 %
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.047 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.77 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 59.9 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 4.6 SRM Color:
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
Notes
Looking for a sessionable, hoppy IPA. This recipe is from Drew Beechum, from Zymurgy.
Created with BeerSmith

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18 October 2013

Conflicting Messages

While flipping through my news feeds the other day, I came across two articles that seemed to contradict each other.

First, the New York Daily News calls beer the new wine, and even starts, "Stick a cork in it. Wine is done." Basically, the article argues that because of the popularity of 750 ml beers, and their higher prices, wine snobs are becoming beer snobs.  To wit:

“A 12-ounce bottle or a can has the stigma of being a cheaper beverage, and you might not want that on the table for a dinner you are paying a decent amount of money for,” says [John] Holl. (author of The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries) “But in a 22-ounce or 750-milliliter bottle, it changes the perception.”
Second, the Lighthouse Beer Festival has changed its name to Lighthouse Beer and Wine Festival. For the first time, patrons will be able to buy wine. To me, that suggests that wine is far from done.

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16 October 2013

Belgian Bombshell Tasting Notes

I tapped the Belgian Bombshell the other day. It's a refreshing beer, but there are some flaws.

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a hazy golden with a white head that fades rapidly to a thin string of bubbles on the top. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Sweet malt aroma with coriander and cardamom.  It smells like a spring breeze. I know that sounds silly, but it smells fresh and crisp. I gotta give it 4 points.

Taste (0-10): Starts with a slightly sweet flavor. Spices develop on the mid tongue followed by a smooth hop bitterness on the back of the tongue. Maybe a bit too much hop bitterness.  It's a bit undercarbonated, which makes it have a thin mouthfeel. It's a session beer, so that may not be a bad thing. 6 points

Overall Impression (0-3): My last few batches have turned out disappointing. Old MILFwaukee had a sour bite. The barleywine was thin, and the Citra DIPA (more on that later) didn't have a crisp hoppiness that I'd hoped for. The Paint Rock Bock went sour on me. I was afraid this one would turn out badly. Fortunately, it looks like the tide has turned. It's not a perfect beer, but I look forward to drinking it, which counts for something. 2 points

Total: 15 points

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14 October 2013

Farm Breweries in the News - Ranger Creek #8 Farm-to-Pint Brewery

In the Northeast, Farm Breweries are the new big thing. Farm breweries use local ingredients to make their beer. To be labeled a farm brewery in New York State, 20% of the ingredients must be produced in the state. Currently there are 14 Farm breweries, but they expect to see as many as 200 by the end of 2014.

In nearby Virginia, Blue Mountain Brewing is the only brewery in the state to be 10th best Farm-to Pint Brewery in America, as judged by FarmFlavor.com.

Our own Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling clocked in at number eight!

Here in Paradise, we have a dozen different wineries on Wine Road 290, along with Garrison Brothers Distillery. It sure would be nice if there were a few farm breweries out there, too.

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12 October 2013

Texas2013 GABF Winners

Herb and Spice Beer
Gold - Bitterama - Namaste Brewing at Whip-In - Austin
Bronze - Elba - Black Star Co-op - Austin

German-Style Schwarzbier
Gold - Black Thunder - Austin Beerworks - Austin

Extra Special Bitter
Gold - Public Ale - Community Beer Co. - Dallas

Belgian-Style Abbey Ale
Silver - Cedar Creek Belgian Style Dubbel - Cedar Creek Brewery - Seven Points

Munich-Style Helles
Silver - Saint Arnold Summer Pils - Saint Arnold Brewing Co. - Houston

German-Style Altbier
Bronze - Brewers Cut Altbier - Real Ale Brewing Co. - Blanco

German-Style Wheat Ale
Bronze - Saint Arnold Weedwacker - Saint Arnold Brewing Co. - Houston

Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale
Bronze - Atrial Rubicite - Jester King Brewery - Austin

Brown Porter
Bronze - Blind Jake - Pinthouse Pizza - Austin

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Pliney the Toddler

Today I am working at the Pedernales Brewing Company tasting room (open from 1 to 5 pm--come say "Hi!"). That means I have to brew tomorrow, and I plan to brew Drew Beechum's Pliny the Toddler, a session IPA.

Pliney the Toddler
American Pale Ale

 


Type: All Grain Date: 10/13/2013
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: 58.00
Taste Notes:
 
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 42.15 %
5.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 42.15 %
1.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 11.53 %
0.82 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (60 min) Hops 38.8 IBU
0.82 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (10 min) Hops 13.1 IBU
0.82 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 8.0 IBU
0.82 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.55 lb Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 4.18 %
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) Yeast-Ale
 
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.047 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.77 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 59.9 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 4.6 SRM Color:
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  
 
Notes
Looking for a sessionable, hoppy IPA. This recipe is from Drew Beechum, from Zymurgy.
Created with BeerSmith


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10 October 2013

What the Government Shutdown Means to a Beer Lover

As the government shutdown drags on and on, and the Republicans and the Democrats play the "You Go First" "No! YOU go first" game, the effect on the brewing industry is setting in. The government does not consider new beer releases to be essential.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, is closed and cannot process new label applications. While this doesn't apply to year round beers, it could delay those seasonal releases that everyone loves.

For example, rumor has it that Pedernales Brewing Company will have a spiced porter available for winter consumption, but only if they already have label approval.  If they don't have label approval, the beer will likely be delayed. But they could still sell and produce their regular line of beers: Lobo, Lobo Negro, Classic IPA and Classic Hefeweizen.

Larger breweries, like Lagunitas and New Belgium, are already feeling the pinch, eliminating some seasonal beers from production.

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08 October 2013

PicoBrew Zymatic - The First Fully Automatic All-Grain Beer Brewing Appliance

Bill Mitchell is a former Microsoft employee and homebrewer. Frustrated by the difficulty in getting recipes to turn out the same every time, he turned to his food processing engineer brother, Jim, and another Microsoft employee Avi Geiger, to create PicoBrew Zymatic.

Users browse a list of recipes online on their desktop computer or smartphone. Recipes are submitted to the site by users. They they weigh the grain into a plastic tray, add hops to special filters, and water to a small cornie keg (which transfers water back and forth into the device). In 3.5 hours, their brew is finished. (They can even monitor their PicoBrew from their smart phone.)  Add yeast to the cornie keg "refrigerate it for a week or so and the beer is ready," wrote Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times.

Look for PicoBrew Symatic on Kickstarter. The first machines will sell for $1300 and the second wave for $1500.

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06 October 2013

Dog Fish Head vs. Whip-In

Earlier this year, Austin's Library of Beers, Whip-In, opened a brewery named Namaste Brewery. Dogfish Head has approached the store about changing the name of their brewery. They have not filed a cease and desist.  Yet.

Apparently, people of Indian descent (and by Indian I mean from the sub-continent of India) can't use a word from their culture, but white guys can.

There is no way anyone could confuse Dogfish Head Namaste witbier with Namaste Brewing Company.  But I understand protecting copyrights. But I wonder what spurred the action? Could it be that on BeerAdvocate, Namaste Brewing scores higher that Dogfish Head Rehobeth Beach?

The truth is out there.

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04 October 2013

The Search for God and Guinness - Review

I love the San Antonio Flying Saucer. The location is perfect. It's less than an hour from my house, lest than 20 minutes from my nephew's and it's a great place for us to meet and visit every couple of months. Unfortunately, the location sux. It's three doors down from a Half Price Books. After a couple of pints, the part of my brain that normally says "You have plenty of books, already!" starts saying "Why not?"

My last visit, I picked up a couple of beer related books: a history of Prohibition and The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World, written by Stephen Mansfield.
Mansfield has written several books, including The Faith of George W. Bush (for which he received no death threats) and The Faith of Barack Obama (for which he received several). As a minister, all of his books use faith as a major theme. He's also a frequent commentator on Fox News and CNN.

The book starts, as any good book on beer should, with the history of beer. Mansfield's telling of the story describes the religious uses of beer, from the offerings of the Egyptians and Sumerians, to role of beer in the Roman Empire and Catholic Church.  When Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the cathedral door and initiated the Reformation, monastic breweries closed all over Germany. Mansfield is quick to point out that was not part of Luther's plan.  Luther, John Calvin and John Wesley were all proponents of moderate drinking. They called beer and alcohol gifts from God.

Then Mansfield starts the story of Arthur Guinness and his beer. Unlike most histories, this doesn't go into so much detail that you forget what is going on. And his history shows the progression of Guinness' philanthropy from the beginning to today. In an age where corporations will fire thousands of Americans so they can outsource production and phone banks to increase profits, it's astounding that a corporation like Guinness helped restore a cathedral in Dublin, give their employees health care, and had the company doctor make strides in eradicating diseases among Dublin's poorest residents in the 1900 slums (which eventually earned that doctor a knighthood). Corporations don't give back to the community! They give back to their stockholders. And if they can shift some bank accounts to the Cayman Islands to prevent paying more taxes, then all the better.

Mansfield argues otherwise. He boils the lessons from the Guinness legacy to a few steps all corporations (and by extension, us) should take to be more socially responsible: 1) Discern the way of God for life and business; 2) Think in terms of generations to come; 3) Whatever else you do, do one thing extremely well; 4) Master the facts before you act; and, perhaps the most important, 5) Invest in those you would have invest in you (Guinness paid high wages, offered education, health care, entertainment to all their employees and their families--unlike corporations today, who use all their employees energies and when they are drained, turn them over to the church and state to take care of them. Bascially, they repaid the loyalty of their employees with loyalty to their employees. That doesn't happen today.).

I'm not particularly religious. I do not believe that religion (specifically of the protestant Christian variety) makes you a moral caring person. In fact, these days, listening to the GOP tell us what God's plan for America is makes them seem like the exact opposite. (Sometimes I think they'd like to revise the loaves and fishes story to have Jesus saying, "I know many of you are hungry. Go out and get a job! Don't mooch off other people! Leave the people who brought loaves and fishes alone!") So to read a self confessed conservative espouse such views is a delight.

Mansfield may be getting more death threats for this book, mainly from the CEOs of Wal-Mart and GE.

Is it a great beer book? No. But it is a great book to remind people about the role of corporations is our lives.




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02 October 2013

I Have a Dream! Not That One. Another One.

"Before Prohibition, if you were looking for a Louisiana brewery, it was likely to be in New Orleans. Now you need a GPS to find the craft breweries spread across our state," writes Todd A. Price at NOLA.com. This comes as the lead for a story about Louisiana's new brewery trail, designed to boost Louisiana tourism.

This has inspired the folks in Ohio to begin setting up their own brewery trail.

So what's my dream, you ask, and why am I waiting so long to get to it?

Well, here in Paradise, there are a couple dozen wineries. There's the Texas Wine Trail for the entire state, Wine Road 290 for the wineries around US 290 between Fredericksburg and Johnson City. And they are all open from 10 am to 6 pm.

But there's nothing like that for the 5 breweries on 290 between Fredericksburg and Austin. That's my dream: A Texas Brewery Trail. Part of the problem with a brewery trail is that production breweries don't have their tasting rooms open during the week, and most are only open a few hours on Friday and/or Saturday.

For example, If you wanted to start in Fredericksburg on Friday, you could have late lunch at Fredericksburg Brewing Company, hit the open house at Pedernales Brewing at 3 pm, you could have a beer before leaving for the Real Ale tour. But drink fast. They close at 5 pm. Have a beer and head to Jester King. Fortunately they are open until 9 pm, but you still have a couple more breweries to visit! Head into Dripping Springs for a beer at The Barber Shop, then turn and burn for Johnson City and dinner at Pecan Street Brewing Company. Saturday would be a little easier, Pedernales is open 1 pm to 5 pm, but Real Ale is closed. You could make it up by stopping at Double Horn Brewing Company.

If you want to stay around the Austin area, Thirsty Planet is open 11 am to 1:30 pm, Independence Brewing is open on the 1st Saturday of the month from 1-3 pm,  Hops and Grain is open noon to 6 pm, Live Oak is open from 5 to 7 pm, and Jester King is open until 9 pm.

So for now, the dream remains unfulfilled.

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