Monthly Archives: January 2013

Quality over Quantity: Pliny The Elder / Pliny the younger

I admit I’ve never had Pliny the Younger.  But I’ve had plenty of Pliny the Elder.  It’s friggin’ amazing!

Great Documentary on the Russian River Brewing company:

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Avery India Pale Ale

Having a nice brew right now, Avery IPA.

It’s a pretty tasty IPA.

Tan and quite clear with a very nice white foamy head and great lacing.

Aroma is a little subdued but is nicely hoppy and piney,  with notes of citrus and maybe some apple juice.

Taste is piney, with lemons and grapefruits, a little sweet fruitiness, and some nice hoppiness.

Body is medium, carbonated nicely, and easy to drink.  Mellow and not too over the top, it’s a clean tasting, somewhat mild IPA.

Overall it’s a nice beer.  I’ve got five left from my sixer and I think I’ll enjoy them all as much as I’m enjoying this one!

Cheers Avery Brewing!

SMaSH weekend!

Well I’m ready to brew again, two batches in fact.  Both Blonde Ale III and Elderberry Wheat II have fermented long enough (by the time this big brew day goes down) and we’re ready to bottle them.

I’ve also been wanting to try some more SMaSH beers.  Why?  Because SMaSH beers are simple, and they help develop your processes.  Also, I’ve been liking these simple pale ales a lot, tending towards slightly on the hoppy side.  So we’re going to brew two SMaSH beers in one big brew day!

The first SMaSH beer will be a Munich malt and Bravo hops special.

  • 12 lbs Munich
  • 14 grams Bravo at 60
  • 2 oz Bravo at 5 minutes
  • 2 oz Bravo at flameout
  • 2 oz Bravo dry hop

Targets:

  • OG 1.064
  • IBU 45
  • SRM 12.3
  • ABV 6.6

The second SMaSH beer will be a pilsner malt and fuggles hops with saison yeast smash, with 3711 yeast.  Thanks to scurvy311 on beer advocate for the idea!

  • 12 lbs pilsner malt
  • 1 oz fuggles at 60
  • 1 oz fuggles at 15
  • 1 oz fuggles at 5
  • 1 oz fuggles at 0
  • 2 oz fuggles dry hop

Targets:

  • OG 1.062
  • IBU 27.8
  • SRM 2.7
  • ABV 6.9

It’s really going to be a big day!  We’ve got multiple brews going, a couple beershed projects working, and I gotta fix my brakes too!  We have an entire “crew” to get things done, and plenty of homebrew to boot!  I’ll be “orchestrating” the brewing side of it, my bro the “building” side of it, and the scallywags will be fixin’ my brakes if they want any beer!

Should be a smashing day!

Sam Adams Double Agent IPL

I picked up a mixer twelve pack from Sam Adams today.  I love that they do these mixed 12-packs.  You get a chance to try seasonal beers, and to enjoy some Boston Lager (always two of them in any mixed pack).  I have always enjoyed Sam Adams beers, albeit some more than others, but today I’m actually quite excited about this Double Agent IPL!

Golden to tan and clear, some rising bubbles, a good head and good lacing, a good looking beer.

Aroma is pungently hoppy, smells like an IPA. Spicy, citrusy hops dominate the aroma, complimented by a little bit of maltiness.

Taste is again bold and hoppy, very nice!  Spicy, citrusy (grapefruit, lemon peel, orange peel), with a good balancing slightly sweet maltiness, bready and grassy, delicious!

Drink is off the charts. I just got done with school and I’m thirsty, it’s all I can do to keep from chugging it!

I would happily buy a twelve pack of this. Next time I’m in the grocery store, I’ll see if they have sixers or twelvskies.  I want more!

Great job on this one!

Sam Adams continues to produce fine products, and continues to be an example for any American brewery to look up to.

Cheers!

reblogged to beer and stuff.

Good Beer Better Hats

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Brew: Ticket to Rye

Brewery: Magic Hat Brewing

Style: Rye India Pale Ale

ABV: 7.1%

Tasting Notes: When I spied this little beauty on the shelf in the variety pack I was defiantly excited to drink it! This beer is the latest installment in Magic Hats IPA on tour section of brews. It pours a yummy looking reddish brown color with some orange/ yellow highlights. The head on this beer is an off white color and sticks around for a few sips to help set the mood. The nose is a burst of rye and citrus from the hops with a mellow malt undertone. The carbonation of this beer is a little on the low side which leads into a medium/ high mouth feel, some of this can be attributed to the use of wheat malts. The sip starts out with the rye malt taking center stage followed by some nice caramel…

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I am going to try this recipe. Reblogged to beer and stuff. Cheers!

Homemade Delish

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This time of year is great to invent some delicious soups.  Today in Philadelphia it was slightly chilly, and that just sets my mood for some homemade soup.  I remember growing up and having my dad make the best soups, full of veggies and heart healthy goodness.  When I went to the supermarket, I picked up some different veggies and hoped that the combo would work.  For a garnish i decided on frying up some sage (no you don’t bread it or anything, you just want it crispy).  Here is the recipe.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

4 Cups of Butternut Squash, cubed into 1 inch squares

2 Parsnips, chopped

1 bunch of Asparagus

5 Carrots, Chopped

2 Leeks, Chopped

3 Garlic Cloves

1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt (to taste)

Peppercorn (to taste)

1 Quart of Chicken Stock (You can also use Vegetable Stock)

3 Bay Leaves

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Great Divide Yeti

Wow!  Amazing!  I’ve had a bunch of the Yeti series, not all, but a bunch.  I’ve never met a Yeti I didn’t like!

Regular ol’ Yeti rates a 100/98 on ratebeer and a 95 on beer advocate.  Honestly, I think BA under-rated it!

I guess my favorite from the series is the Oak Aged Yeti, but the regular is pretty darn close.  I prefer the (simple) oak aged or regular Yeti’s to the espresso or chocolate, all of which are quite similar, although obviously each has its nuances. The Belgian Yeti is an altogether different animal, and very delicious in its own right.  There are some other Yetis that I have yet to try, but I will!

Today I’m going to enjoy a bottle of regular ol’ Yeti Imperial Stout. They had it at the grocery store of all places, and at a somewhat reasonable price too!  It’s a 22oz bomber, so here we go!

Pours like a sample of 100 year old used diesel motor oil from a catepillar bulldozer.  Like an imperial stout should look!  Head isn’t real tall but it lasts and leaves monstrous lacing!

Aroma… it’s so good I can’t stop sniffing my glass.  Tons of great burnt, roasted, and kilned malts assault your nose.  Dark chocolate and coffee are ever-present, but don’t overpower.  There’s a surprising hop note too, this one isn’t shy on hop bitterness.

The flavor is AMAZING.  Talk about a balanced beer… well, is any imperial stout really that balanced?  I dunno!  But it’s really well done in every way.  The roasted, toasty and burnt flavors are in proper proportions to the coffee and chocolate notes, and the hop bitterness is about friggin’ perfect if you ask me.

Body is thick and rich and incredibly drinkable.  Amazing that I’m describing anything “Imperial” and 9.5% ABV as drinkable!   It’s damn smooth and leaves a long lingering near perfect roasty, bitter aftertaste.

It’s almost impossible to improve on Yeti.  I admit I do like the touch of oak in the oak aged version, but really, if it says Yeti, pick it up, you won’t be disappointed.  If you are, I’ll buy you a damn beer next time you’re in my neck of the woods. 🙂

If I might add just a touch of personal philosophy… this beer, and the Yeti series, illustrate that things don’t necessarily have to be “coffee,” “chocolate,” or “raspberry oyster chardonnay barrel-aged with brett and cacao nibs” to be top in their class.  Simplicity often trumps complication.  This beer is simple, yet as close to perfection as any self-respecting Imperial Stout can hope to get.  Great Divide has set the standard here, everyone else needs to either catch up or struggle to top it.

A good measure of how good a beer REALLY is would be “how often do I buy it, when offered multiple choices?”  Some of the extreme imperial stouts I’ve had were certainly fantastic, but honestly, if placed side by side with Yeti… a lot of them I’d just buy the Yeti anyway.  Only a few would even make me hesitate, to be honest.  I find myself buying Yeti almost anytime I want an imperial stout.  That says a lot.

Hats off to Great Divide.  Again.

Breckenridge Small Batch 471 IPA

One of my favorites from Breckenridge Brewery, 471 IPA is a nice IIPA/Imperial double.  Coming in at 9.2%, it’s got some kick too!

Light orange in color and almost clear. Head was pretty good at one finger, and lasted. Lacing was good. It’s certainly a pretty color, and not the typically color you’d expect from a DIPA.

Hops and citrus dominate the nose, along with a touch of pine.

Tastes bold and fresh, very darn tasty. Piney hops is the predominate flavor, but citrus (grapefruits, lemon peel) and a light fruitiness come through as well. It’s kind of sweet and has a nice light malty background too. A light spiciness finishes things off.

Feel is quite light and refreshing for a double IPA, yet the body is still medium and amply carbonated. The finish is semi-dry and slightly oily with fruity hops.

I like various Colorado breweries, and this beer racks up another winner for Colorado!   It’s a pretty good price for a four pack too.

Bleach Blonde Ale III

Well due to a rather weird set of circumstances, I wound up postponing again my planned production of Elderberry Wheat II, and wound up making Bleach Blonde Ale, part III.

An oddball on this one… the LHBS was out of US-05.  Some people from Mexico had bought out ALL the US-05 (and a lot of other stuff too, lol) because they can’t get it in Mexico.  Thus I was forced to us S-04 yeast on this one.  We shall see what happens!

  • 8 lbs pale malt 2-row
  • 8 oz Vienna malt
  • 6 oz caraamber
  • 6 oz carafoam
  • 1 lb flaked corn
  • 0.25 oz belma hops at 60
  • 1 oz cluster hops at 10
  • 1 oz cascade hops at 3

Mash at 151F

Targets

  • OG 1.053
  • FG 1.010
  • IBU 22.7
  • SRM 4.6
  • ABV 5.6%
  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. reconstitute dry yeast using 95F boiled spring water and allow to cool to room temperature
  4. Add grains to mash tun
  5. bring 4 gallon spring water to 167 F
  6. Add 3 3/4 gallons of 167F spring water to mash tun on top of grains, then stir well
  7. add more water to boil pot, bring to near 172F and hold for sparging
  8. measure temperature after temperature equalizes in mash.
  9. adjust mash temperature using either heated mash water or cool spring water as needed to reach 152F
  10. mash for 75 minutes at 151F
  11. during mash, stir about every 15 minutes or so, checking temperature and adjusting if needed
  12. at end of mash, begin draining wort into pitcher
  13. allow first runnings to drain into a pitcher until clear
  14. pour first runnings back on top of mash
  15. slowly drain remaining wort into boil pot until mash tun is near empty
  16. add 2.0 gallons 170F water (adjusted as needed)
  17. stir well, let sit at least 5 minutes
  18. drain first runnings of first batch sparge into pitcher until clear (or close to it)
  19. pour first runnings of first batch sparge back on top of mash
  20. drain wort into main boil pot until near empty
  21. add another 2.0 gallons 170F water to mash tun (adjusted as needed)
  22. stir well, let sit at least 5 minutes
  23. drain first runnings of second batch sparge to pitcher until clear (or close to it)
  24. add first runnings back into mash tun
  25. drain wort into main boil pot
  26. add wort chiller to boil pot
  27. bring main boil pot to a boil
  28. when boil is reached, boil 60 minutes total
  29. at 60 minutes, add 0.25 oz Belma hops
  30. at 15 minutes, add 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
  31. at 12 minutes, add 1/4 tsp Irish moss
  32. during boiling, skim off hot break as needed
  33. add 1 oz cluster hops at 10 minutes
  34. add 1 oz cascade hops at 3 minutes
  35. at flameout, turn on water for wort chiller
  36. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  37. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during cooling
  38. ensure bucket, wine thief, thermometer, strainer, spoon are sanitized
  39. when wort gets to about 68F, add to fermentation bucket, pouring through sanitized strainer to catch any extra solids and to help aerate.  If necessary, clean strainer during process and re-sanitize to remove most of the trub before fermentation
  40. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  41. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  42. ensure wort is 68F or a little less before pitching yeast
  43. ensure yeast is a little cooler than wort before pitching
  44. pitch yeast
  45. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  46. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  47. ferment in temperature controlled freezer chest for 14+ days at 66F
  48. take FG sample and bottle
  49. use 5 oz corn sugar at bottling

Actual OG: 1.046

Actual FG: 1.010

Notes: Trying to develop a house beer on this one.  This recipe will be refined and tried again and again over time until it’s perfected.  I don’t think this particular batch will be perfect, but it should be quite drinkable!

Hop Stoopid!

A great beer from Lagunitas, Hop Stoopid is a great IPA that hop heads will probably love!

“102 IBU 4 U” on the label.

Orange and pretty clear. One finger head and good lacing.

A rather unique smelling brew.   Tons of hoppiness and loads of citrus.  Very clean smelling.

Definitely bitter, but very clean tasting.  Fruity and citrus flavors complement the bitterness. Not much in the way of maltiness. A fair degree of sweetness.  Clean tasting.

Pretty good medium body feel. Medium carbonation. Long lasting bitterness. Alcohol warming.

Drink is good and the beer finishes clean.  I was surprised that my Busch drinking brother found this one tasty!  The clean hops profile, without pungent maltiness, makes this beer very drinkable.

Highly recommended for hop-heads!

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