Monday, December 31, 2007

Last chance to brew!

For those who are brewing today good luck to you!

Have a safe and Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Mild, pleasant and hoppy
Flavor: Mild, pleasant and hoppy
Alpha Acids: 4-5.5%
Storageability: 70-80% alpha acids remaining after 6 months storage at 20C
Trade Perception: A hop long associated with English alebrewing. Imparts good hoppy late-hop flavor
Substitutions: US Fuggle, Willamette, Styrian Golding
Typical beer styles: All English styles, ESB, Bitter, Lager, and Lambic

Friday, December 28, 2007


(from BJCP)

The intermingling aromas of Munich-type malt, alcohol and fruity esters are typical, along with spicy phenols which may be contributed by warm yeast fermentation and/or actual spice additions. Hop aroma may vary from moderate to none. Typically theres is no strong dark (roast) malt aroma. No diacetyl.
Apperance: Deep burgundy to dark brown on color. Clarity may be fair to good. Head retention may be quite good or may be adversely affected by high alcohol content.
Ripe fruit flavors, including raisin and plum, are common. Malt usually dominates, but some examples are balanced slightly toward bitterness. Some spicy phenols, from ferment or actual spices, may be present. Hop flavor can range from moderate to none. Some sweetness is contributed by alcohol. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, creamy and warming.
Overall Impression:
A dark, very rich, complex, very strong ale.
History: Most versions are unique in character relfecting the characteristics of individual breweries.
Comments: Some beers of this type are brewed at or in association with monasteries, and some are not. In comparison Dubbel, these are typically significantly stronger beers of a wider variety.
Dark candi sugar is a frequently-used additive and may contribute as much or more color and flavor as dark Munich or caramel malts. Spices are sometimes added for complexity. Yeasts prone to production of higher alcohols, esters and spicy phenols are commonly employed.
Vital Stats: OG: 1.065-1.098+
IBU's: 25-40+ FG: 1.014-1.024+
SRM: 7-20 ABV: 7-12+%
Commercial Examples: Pawel Kwak, Gouden CArolus, Scaldis (aka Bush), Rochefort 10, Chimay Grand Reserve

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone of you blogsters,

With the end of the year right around the corner, I have been thinking about what I would like to accomplish with this site. There are many things, but here is what I have. I will continue with posting just about everyday and trying to make it as informative as possible.

What I have now:
  • Series on "Fever for the Flavor Friday" - style highlight
  • Series on "The Mash" - brewery spotlight
  • Series on "Hop is King" - hop description and substitute
Next year I would like to:
  • Series on "Beer & Food Pairing"
  • Clean up ths site, improved navigation
  • Post more pics & videos of what I am talking about
  • Compare/contrast Beer & Wine

I'm excited about working on this site and making it a user friendly/informative educational blog that will inspire others to brew thier own.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry X-mas and Beer History

I wish you a Merry Christmas


Happy Holidays




a Happy New Year!

In the meantime read this about beer history:

Friday, December 21, 2007


(from BJCP)
5C. Doppelbock

Aroma: Intense maltiness. Virtually no hop aroma. While diacetyl or esters should be low to none, a fruity aspect to the aroma often described as prune, plum or grape may be present due to reactions between malt, the boil, and aginig. A very slight roasty aroma may be present in darker versions
Appearance: Gold to dark brown in color. Lagering should provide good clarity. Head retention may be impaired by higher-then-average alcohol conten
Flavor: Very rich and malty, infrequently a touch of roastiness. Invariably there will be an impression of alcoholic strength, but this should be smooth and warming rather than harsh and burning. Presence of higher alcohols (fusel oils) should be very low to none. Little to no hop flavor. Hop bitterness varies from moderate to low but always allows malt to dominate the flavor
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Low carbonation.
Overall Impression: A very strong, rich, lager beer
History: A Bavarian specialty invented in Munich by the brothers of St. Francis of Paula. historical versions were less well attenuated than modern interpretations, with consequently higher sweetness and lower alcohol levels
Most versions are dark colored and may display the caramalizing and melanoidin effect of decoction mashing, but pale versions have also been made.
Pale lager malt for pale versions, Munich and vienna malts for darker ones and occasionally a small fraction of dark-roasted (burnt) malt in those. Continental European hops. Water hardness will vary. Lager yeast.
Vital Stats:
O.G. 1.073-1.120
IBUs: 20-40 F.G. 1.018-1.030
SRM: 12-30 ABV: 7.5-12%
Commercial Examples: Paulaner Salvator, Ayinger Celebrator, Spaten Optimator, Tucher Bajuvator, Augustiner Maximator, EKU Kulminator "28", Loewenbraeu Triumphator, Hacker-Pschorr Animator, Old Dominion Dominator

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Medium, Strong
Flavor: Medium strong with some wild tones
Alpha Acids: 8-10%
Storageability: 70-85% alpha acids remaining after 6 months at 20C
Trade Perception: A true-dual purpose hop containing moderate amounts of aa's combined with a good aroma profile
Possible Substitutions: German Northern Brewer, Chinook
Typical Beer Styles: All english styles, especially porter, American Ales, Kolsh, American Ales

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Lost Style?

There are many different styles of beers to choose from some classics like german hefeweizen and some new like american double IPA's. There is a style that might have arisen in the United States, most likely California, during the craft brewing revolution. The style is Wheatwine.

Wheatwine is very similar to barleywine with one obvious exception: Wheatwine's primary ingredient is wheat. It's a bit like a doppel weizenbock, with different hops and yeast. Wheatwine is smooth, full-bodied and high in alcohol content. This beer packs a wallop and it's a worthwhile style for the homebrewer to master.

A wheatwine grain bill might look like this: 32% pale two-row malt, 64% wheat malt, and 4% crystal (40L). This grain bill will produce a light amber hue and a nice caramel malt flavor. The OG will be around 1.100 and the IBU's should be around 60. The yeast should be a clean fermenting yeast like White Labs WLP005 or a similar yeast that will produce a smooth, balanced flavor. Age the wheatwines for 3 months, minimum, at a the coldest temperature above freezing.

Friday, December 14, 2007


(from BJCP)
19C. American-Style Barleywine

Aroma: Moderate to intense fruitiness; presence of hops (typical American varieties) may range from moderate to dominant. A caramel-like aroma is often present.
Appearance: Color may range from rich gold to very dark amber or even brown. Often had ruby highlights. May have low head retention.
Flavor: Fruity, with a great intensity of malt. Hop bitterness may range from just enough for balance to a firm, resiny dominance; balance therefore ranges from slightly malty to intensely bitter. Some oxidative flavors maybe present, and alcohol should be evident.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with a slick, viscous texture. Gentle smooth warmth from alcohol should be present.
Overall Impression: A well-hopped American interpretation of the richest and strongest of the English ales
History/Comments: Usually the strongest ale offered by a brewery, and often vintage dated. Normally aged significantly prior to release. Often associated with the winter or holiday season. The American version of the Barleywine tends to have a greater emphasis on hop bitterness, flavor and aroma than the English Barleywine, featuring American hop varieties.
Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt should form the backbone of the grist, with judicious amounts of caramel malts. Dark malts should be used with great restraint, if at all, as most of the color arises from a lengthy boil. American hops such as Cascades and Centennial.
Vital Stats: OG: 1.080 - 1.120+ FG: 1.020 - 1.030+ IBU: 50 - 100
SRM: 10-22 ABV: 8 - 12+%
Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Rogue Old Crustacean, Victory Old Horizantal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BeerSmith or ProMash?

I have been contemplating on which brewing software to use. I have narrowed it down to 2 and not sure which one I would like to order if any. Does anybody have any experience with owning one or the other? Which one do you prefer?

BeerSmith or ProMash?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Food Blog Guide

If you have visited this site at all you may have noticed a food blog section. This is my attempt to show that beer can accompany food just as good as wine if not better. I believe that beer, as many of you know, have a wider array of flavors than wine, but that is my jaded point of view. From time to time there will be a mention of beer/food pairing and pics. Here's one now:

Taco and Enchilada with New Mexico grown Hatch Green Chile good! It pairs well with a pale ale, IPA, IIPA, and bitter ales. My personal favorite is the homemade Honey Kolsh made by No Limits Brewing!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Flowery and citrusy. Can have a grapefruit note.

Flavor: pleasant flowery, spicy and citrusy. Can have a grapefruit flavor.

Alpha Acids: 4.5-7.0%

Storageability: 48-52% AA's remaining after 6 months storage at 20C (68F)

Trade perception: Aroma variety with well-balanced bittering potential. It is the most
popular hop with the craft brewing industry. Good for dry hopping.

Possible Substitutions: Centennial, Amarillo, to a lesser extent, Columbus

Typical beer styles: American style ales, especially pale ales, IPA's, Porter, Barley wine; can also be used in Witbier.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Session #10 - Winter Seasonal Beers

Many years ago when I was introduced to craft brews I was just happy to find one locally and drink it. It was like being 8 years old on christmas morning. Now, luckily, craft brews can be found everywhere...well almost. Now we look forward to seasonal beers, especially the winter warmers!

The winter season is a great time of year for dark hearty malty beers. Winter seasonals, in my opinion, are the best of the year and can be the most creative. Here are two I have had most recent and highly recommend; Sam Smith Winter Seasonal and Odell Brewing Isolation Ale.

The Sam Smith Winter Ale beer always has an interesting artwork on their winter seasonal to go along with the tasty complex brew. I have had this one many times and have not been dissapointed, but then again I'm sure everyone knows that.

On the other hand the Odell Brewing Isolation Ale was very very tasty. It was first time tasting this classic. It nicely balanced its american bitterness with a hefty dose of dark malts. I recommend you should try this at least once. I'm saddened that I can only have this beer once a year.

I'm gettin' cold, I need a winter warmer!


(from BJCP)
13F. Russian Imperial Stout

Aroma: Fruity esters, reminiscent of dark fruit, merged with intense roastiness and maltiness. Hop aroma is usually also present.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-black color; opaque.

Flavor: Intensely fruity and malty, backed up by balancing roastiness and prominent hop bitterness and flavor. A "burnt currant" character may be present, along with a suggestion of cocoa or strong coffee. Alcoholic strength should be evident, along with a deep, complex malt flavor. The finish can vary from relatively dry to moderatley sweet, usually with some lingering roastiness and warming character.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied and rich, with intense flavors and perceptible alcohol presence. Carbonation is relatively low.

Overall Impression: An iintensely flavorful beer. Roasty, fruity, and bittersweet, with a notablealcohol presence. Dark fruit melds with roasty, burnt, almost tar0like sensations.

History: Said to be popular with Russian Imperial Court

Comments: Brewed to high gravity and hopping level in England for export to the Baltic States and Russia

Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt, with generous quantities of roasted grain. Flavor and aroma hops should include English varieties for authenticity. Alkaline water would balance the abundance of acidic raosted grain in the grist.

Vital Stats: O.G. 1.075-1.095+
IBUs: 50-90+ F.G. 1.018-1.030+
SRM: 20-40 ABV: 8-12+%

Commercial Examples: Samuel Smith Imperial Stout, Courage Imperial Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Rogue Imperial Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, Victory Storm King

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Mash - Il Vicino

Welcome to the second edition of THE MASH! Today we present to you one of the best breweries in the southwest: Il Vicino Brewery

An Italian Trattoria and now having 8 locations in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri this pizzeria/brewery had humble beginnings. They began the brewery as an afterthought to the original Il Vicino pizzeria located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not having much room they turned the basement into a crammed brewery and started to pump out quality beer. As a matter of fact they started to win prestigous medals as soon as they brewed the first batch, well almost. They have been winning medals more many different styles since 1995 a winning tradition that continues today. And oh they also serve GREAT FOOD!

Today they have a small brewery located just off I-25 open mon-fri and is even fit with a tap room. Here is where they make all of the beer that feeds all of its 8 restuarants. You will not find there beers in bottles as they only make the beers for their restuarants and for pick up at their brewery.

Brew Master - Brady Mckeown
who brews on a 7bbl system and brews 1500bbls/year

The tap list is always changing but here are some of there beers:
Wet Mountain IPA - multiple WCP & GABF medal winner **my favorite**
Slow Down Brown - multiple WCP & GABF medal winner **my favorite**
Irish Red - WCP medal winner
Past Due Porter - medal winner
Pig Tail Blone
Joe's Stout
Grandpa's Porter

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Very mild, spicy and earthy

Flavor: Mild and pleasant, earthy and spicy

Alpha Acids: 3.0 - 4.5%

Storageability: 45-55% AA's remaining after 6 months storage at 20C

Trade perception: available in small quantities

POSSIBLE SUBSTITUTION: Czech Saaz, Polish Lubin, Sterling

Typical Beer Style: Pilsner, Lager, US Wheat, Belgian-Style Ales, Bitter

Part II - Southern New Mexico Breweries

Here is the second edition of the NM southern breweries.

So NM Breweries:

Artesia -
The Wellhead Brewpub

Las Cruces -
High Desert Brewing Co.

Los Lunas -
Tractor Brewing Co.

Socorro -
Socorro Springs Brewing Co.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Malt &Hop Shortage Update

Recently, the Brewing Network interviewed two individuals from the malting industry and the hop industry. Whether you brew beer or just drink it you need to listen to these interviews. There is a lot of valuable information discussed in both industries, hint: global warming, ethanol production, and market place demand.

Check out these two interviews at:

Monday, December 03, 2007

Largest Heist Ever... Ireland. Irish police were hunting for a beer bandit who stole 450 (180 kegs of Guinness, 180 kegs of US budweiser, 90 kegs of Carlsberg) full kegs from the Guinness brewery - the largest heist ever at Irelands largest brewery. National police said a lone man drove into the brewery on wednesday and hitched his truck to a fully loaded trailer awaiting delivery to city pubs. The total thefts involves 39,600 pints with a retail value exceeding $235,000. No description of the subject was issued, suggesting that nobody got a good look at him.