Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last post of 2008

Be merry and safe and drink your homebrew. Tonight is a great night for sipping on some strong ales.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wheatwine 08' + Steam update

Finally, after reading about this style and having only tried it twice, from Karl Strauss brewing, I decided to brew it. Wheatwine is a very interesting style and can taste delicious. [1][2] I am trying to make a balanced version. As i write this am in the second hour of the boil. After the mash it seems to taste very "wheaty" with an aftertaste of hoppiness. I was only going to boil for 75' but after a gravity reading I decided it needed to boil longer. This will probably make for a long cool down...arrgghhh. One immediate change is add more caramel malt, for color/flavor. I will give it a few weeks and see how it turns out. Pics to come soon, batteries need recharging.

Here is the recipe:
Wheatwine 08'
2-row 4#
Wheat 7.5#
Crystal 60L .5#
(+ 1#rice hulls) [3]
Total grains: 12#

Hop Schedule:
60' Galena
15' Centennial
15' Cascade
5' Centennial
5' Cascade
Total IBU's: ~66

Yeast: WLP029 German Ale/ K├Âlsch Yeast [4]
Ferment @ 65F

[1] I like to brew styles that are hard to find
[2] This way its hard to compare and be dissapointed :)
[3] 1st time using rice hulls, it made brew day easy
[4] I had 2 yeast sitting in my fridge, did not want to purchase another. The other was Wyeast Ringwood 1187

UPDATE: The Steam beer(s) is trucking along at a constant 55F.

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Fermentations...

It's that time of year again to make the holiday Appleweizen. I still have most of last years batch (Appleweizen 07' and Spiced Appleweizen 07') which will be used for new year's eve celebrations. This years version consists of 2 gallons of apple juice with 1 pound of berries (blackberries, strawberries and blueberries) mixed in before fermentation. Also, have 1 gallon mixed with 1 pound of blueberries. MMMmmm, can't wait to taste.

Oh, there was an accident the 1 gallon blueberry mix blew off the airlock and has been fermenting exposed for a few days....oh well we shall see where this experiment takes us...

The Natural Experiment
Blueberry Appleweizen 08'

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Big Dampf Experiment [4]

A friend and myself have talked about brewing an steam beer experiment. We decided to play with the hops, like any other hop lover. Besides, I think the San Fran lager yeast is what really defines this style of beer. After doing some research, which by the way is very interesting for this beer (it's a hard style to define by history).

The Steam Beer Mash

After the research and talking to a couple local pro brewers we decided on this recipe. I went a bit further and made an additional experiment.

South Coast Steam Beer
O.G.: 1.058/F.G.: 1.012/IBU's: 29.5/ABV: 5.9%
Grain Bill:
2-row 7.5#
Maris Otter 1.5#
Munich 10L 1.5#
Crystal 40L .5#
Crystal 10L .5#
Victory .5#
Hop schedule: [1]
Cluster .75oz @ 60' @ 7AA's
Cluster 1oz @ 15'
Cluster 1oz @ 1'
Yeast(s): [2] [3]
(a) San Francisco Lager - White Labs (4 gallons)
(b) Saflager S-23 (1 gallon)
The homebrewery
(L) Saflager (R) WLP-810

[1] He will be using Northern Brewer hops
[2] Both beers are currently fermenting at 56F. My friends experiment is @ 50F. So much for controlling variables...
[3] 55F, average temperature in San Francisco
[4] Dampf is German for Steam

Friday, December 26, 2008

December Friday Fermentation


I believe that yeast are, or can, be your best friends when brewing beer. When you control the yeast, by control I mean give it the best possible environment, it can give you amazing results. Also, I believe that you should play with 1 or 2 strains of yeast and learn from it the best you can. At what temperature does this same yeast give you certain characteristics: fruity, sulfer, balance etc. I have been sticking with the WLP-029 German/Kolsch yeast and have learned quite a bit from it. If you ferment this yeast at lower temps 60-65F, recommended is 65-69F, it can give you a really clean "lager like" flavor profile. I have used this yeast in many different types of styles, kolsch, honey beers, stouts, porters, pale ales. I think this yeast can almost be as versatile as the WLP-001 Cal ale yeast.

Now that we are in winter mode I will be playing the WLP-810 San Fran Lager yeast

Friday, December 05, 2008

Prohibition Ends at Last...

With repeal I can:

Listen to The Brewing Network...

...Bring home a growler of Imperial Billsner from
Turtle Mt. Brewery...
...Share homebrew with family & friends
during the holidays...
...Make ales & lagers...
...Enjoy hotbreak on my stove...
...Enjoy the fruits of my labor legally anytime...
...Enjoy these...Cheers!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's flocculation time...

And the winner is...

A close race at the beginning, but by the end the Lads from White Labs took the win by getting 50% of the votes! The wise guys made it a race and took second place beating the radicals.

In any case, whatever yeast you choose I'm sure you will have great beer! If you haven't tried White Labs, Wyeast or any dry packets I would recommend you do so. They all offer unique qualities that can make some great beer with your imagination. I recently picked up some wyeast ringwood yeast and look forward to working with dry yeast.


This weekend I had a commercial pale ale that was fermented with a Belgian yeast, then a champagne yeast, filtered and bottled with an american yeast. It was cloudy, but very good tasting! Imagination...

Monday, November 24, 2008

+2 days to vote...

Haha, you now have until Thanksgiving day at noon to vote! Why, because I can. Results, will be posted on Thanksgiving day! Along with other beer photos of the day.

Cheers and vote...again.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Vote, Last day...

...and its all over. Do it now, Vote! Over there --->

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pulling away...

Well it seems that the W.L. Lads are slowly inching away with the win. There is still time, voice your opinion!

I just bought a beer made with Yams, yes Yams, called Autumn Maple, from a local brewery called: The Bruery

Autumn Maple is made with: yams (17lbs/barrel, that's ~1 pound/2 gallons), traditional holiday spices, and molasses and maple syrup.

Check out this Bruery and its beers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yes...31 & counting --->

Thank you for getting us over 30 votes! It's now clearly a two yeast propogation with the Lads still maintaining a small marginal lead over the wise guys. The radicals are I guess a bit to radical and have been left behind.

Now can we get over 35 votes with 4 days left...?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Can we get >30 votes? ---->

With only 5 days left it looks like the White Lab Lads are pulling ahead. It was suggested earlier that one should be able to stuff the ballot box, well there is not of that here. Unless, you have figured out that you can use a different ISP (ie., home/work) so you can stuff the box, well sorta.

Voice your opinion...once...or twice. Time is running out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

9 days left

And the race tightens...with 9 days left the lads have a slight advantage over the dead locked wise guys and radicals.

Have your voice heard! Make your choice!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Close Race...'s going down to the wire, with only 11 days left to vote and the Lads are leading. So don't forget to vote.--->

On another note, stay tuned for the Great Steam Experiment! A few (3) of us are getting together to create an experiment with a Steam beer recipe. Not sure if we will use different hops or yeast, but I will keep you updated on how this shakes down.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Vote = $2 pint

Free coffee or $2 pint of beer?

Here in San Diego you can go down to Obrien's pub and get a any pint for $2 and watch the election on the tube.

I've already voted, now to drink a pint with my left hand.(hint)


Please go and VOTE today!!!

UPDATE: I chose the Ichabod from Alpine brewery (a different pumpkin ale each year). This year it was a Pumpkin Dunkel Weisse. It poured dark with off white head. Typical pumpkin ale aroma and medium wheaty mouthfeel. I thought the beer was delicious and was a beer first with a hint of pumpkin. I recommend to try this beer if you can get your hands on it!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fermentation Friday - Horror Story(s)

Aahhh... its Fermentation Friday once again! And, once again it's never too late...damn it!

This month Fermentation Friday is hosted by Pfiff! So check out his site for his post and the others who have contributed for this month. Here is my collection:

My first horror story comes at the expense of my first homebrew session. Let me explain. After visiting a local brewery and later bumping into a homebrewer, I wanted to brew my own. So, I bought all the gear and listened to the easy brewing instructions the homebrew shop owner gave me. The guy at the brew shop said "It's so simple you don't even have to write down any instructions...umm OK! So, I went home with a S.A. Boston Lager clone. I followed directions the best I could remember anyway and later that day the beer was fermenting in a dark closet. A week later I bottled, two weeks later I tasted. Well, it was a HORROR SHOW! I wasn't sure what is was supposed to taste like, but it really tasted rancid. It could have been the high fermentation temperature, or that it took hours for the wort to cool off, or who knows. All I know is that it had plenty of fusel alcohol flavors...yuck!

Each time I brew! Yes, I know. But, I like to try to hit each mark on the dot (mash, hop schedule, etc.) and sometimes it makes me nervous. I have a homebrew and relax, but I still get nervous. I check, double check, triple check and aahhh its time to sparge! I guess its because I'm paranoid of losing a batch, like my first experience. So, to me its kind of like a HORROR SHOW! I think I need to...Relax, have a homebrew!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Hopolicious weekend

This weekend I went to "Obrien's Wet Hop" weekend. I had dinner before so I only had a little bit. I won't bore you with details, here it is: (I had these)

Friday night casks: Wet Hops ABV%
Ballast Point Schooner - Cascade w/cascade in the cask - 5.5%
Stone Arrogant Bastard - Chinook from Bistro garden - 7.2%

Local Beers:
Pizza Port Carlsbad Plant to Pint - Cascade, Centennial - 6.5%
Pizza Port Solana Beach Low Tide - Cascade - 4.7%
Ballast Point Schooner - Cascade - 5.5%
Port Brewing High Tide - Simcoe, Centennial - 6.5%
Port Brewing Homegrown Hop 15 - Boren Farms Fallbrook Centennial - 11.0%

Northern California:
21st Amendment Harvest Moon - Chinook, Cascade - 6.5%
Anderson Valley Mendo Mellow - Cascade, Goldings, Boonville Blend - 5.5%
Beach Chalet Hop Patootie - Chinook, Mt. Hood, Liberty - 5.9%
Bear Republic Grandma's Homegrown - 100% Roy Farms wet Chinook - 5.7%
Black Diamond Rye IPA Wet Hop - Chinook, Liberty - 6.0%
Blue Frog Last Hop Standing - Cascade, Chinook - 5.7%
Butte Creek Initial Attack IPA - Centennial - 6.0%
Lagunitas Wet Hop IPA - Cascade, Nugget - 5.7%
Moonlight Just Go Shopping Lager - 100% wet Cascade
Moonlight Sublimmminal Fresh Hop - 100% wet Chinook (aging tanks only) - 5.5%
Sierra Nevada Harvest - Cascade, Centennial - 6.7%
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest -
Pacific Hallertau, New Zealand Motueka, Southern Cross - 6.7%
Sierra Nevada Estate Chico Harvest - 100% wet Cascade, Chinook, Centennial - 6.7%
Sierra Nevada ESP (extra special pale) - Cascade, Centennial - 5.8%
Triple Rock Harvest Ale - Chinook - 5.8%

Deschutes Hop Trip - Crystal - 5.5%
Full Sail Lupulin Fresh Hop Ale - Mt. Rainer, Cascade, Nugget

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Joint

I recently found "the treasure chest" of beers in north county san diego. It's called Holiday Wine Cellar. Although this place is new to me its been around for many years, since 1965 to be exact. They had so many beers that I have only ever read about and never seen. So, I had $50 to spend thanks to my girlfriend, which as you know is not nearly enough! I have had a couple of these beers. After an hour here is what I purchased:

Ommegang - Chocolate Indulgence
Ommegang - Abbey
Hair of the Dog - Fred
The Bruery - Black Orchard
weizen bock
*Bison Brewing - 06' Winter Warmer
*Bison Brewing - Pumpkin Ale
Full Sail - Old Boardhead Barley Wine
Full Sail - Imperial Stout
Sprecher - Black Bavarian

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Math or something

I randomly came across this new site which could be helpful in calculating some math equations in brewing...if your into that sort of thing?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

SD surprise @ GABF...

A great surprise...

Kind of a big deal around these parts. All of the brewers who work there are from the homebrew club QUAFF and still participate in club meetings and homebrew themselves! Great job guys!

Cat:73 Strong Scotch Ale - Wee Heavy
Cat:74 Old Ale or Strong Ale - Decadence Old Ale

Cat:19 Aged Beer - Vintage Speedway Stout
Cat:75 Barley wine Style - Old Numbskull

Other San Diego winners:
Cat:47 Hopnotic 2x IPA - San Diego Brewing
Cat23: Party Pants Pilsner - Pizza Port Carlsbad
Cat:53 Ragtop Red - Rock Bottom - La Jolla
Cat:72 Night Rider imperial Stout - Pizza Port Carlsbad
Cat:73 Way Heavy - Pizza Port San Clemente
Cat:5 State Beach Blonde - Pizza Port Carlsbad
Cat:14 Big Wednesday - Pizza Port Solana Beach
Cat:67 Port Truck Sout - Pizza Port Carlsbad

New Mexico winners:
Cat:66 Sweet Sanderine Porter - Il Vicino Brewing
Cat:4 Sangre de Frambuesa - Santa Fe Brewing
Cat:20 Zwickel - Chama River Brewing

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Brew Crew: Brew Dudes

Here we go again! Another edition of the Brew Crew this time with the Brew Dudes.
1) Who are the Brew Dudes? Is it 1 or 2 dudes?
There are two dudes that run this site (www.brew-dudes) -- John and Mike. Other than us, there are plenty of brew dudes around the world. Since there are two dudes involved in answering this questionnaire, there may be two separate answers at times.

2) When/Why did you start brewing?

Mike started brewing in 1998. John started brewing in 2005. We love craft beer, craft beer pubs and craft beer events. By becoming homebrewers, brewing beer has taught us a lot about what gives craft beer its diversity and character style-to-style. We enjoy the DIY aspect of homebrewing and tinkering with ingredients.

3) When/Why did you start blogging?

Our blog started up in August 2007 as a tool to learn and share information about homebrewing. We are passionate about the hobby and we wanted to be a part of the larger homebrewing community. This blog is our attempt at reaching out and being a part of it.

4) What/Why is your favorite recipe/style to brew?

John: I don't have a favorite yet. I am still trying to find it.

Mike: My favorite recipe is for Ordinary Bitter. The style is so unassuming, yet very fulfilling; fulfilling to drink and to brew.

5) What is your brewery set-up and how did you piece it together?

John: I have a propane burner along with a 9 gallon brew kettle with a spigot on it. For my mash tun, I have a unconverted cooler that I use a large steeping bag to remove the grains from the wort.

Mike: I have a converted keg for my primary kettle and a second 10 gallon stainless pot for heating water or boiling smaller batches. I brew on two propane burners in my garage. I use a converted igloo 50QT cube cooler with a stainless braid as a manifold. I am a batch sparger.

6) What is your favorite technique to use? *Could be all-grain, partial mash or extract*

John: I am partial to partial mash…since that is what I can do with my set up without any issues.

Mike: All-grain, however I have been experimenting with the occasional extract brew lately to explore yeast strains.

7) What brewing technique do you want to learn next? (mashing, hopback, kegging etc.,. maybe one you've created) *same as above*

John: Lagering

Mike: No, I am going to master Lagering. OK OK...cold fermentation.

8) Do you brew self-sustainably and/or organically? Explain?

John: I would like to grow my own hops. I don't think I will be growing and malting my own barley any time soon.

Mike: I try to brew with water savings in mind. I currently use an immersion chiller, but I constantly monitor the water flow to keep chilling rate at a maximum. I also capture the first 5 gallons of hot water and mix it with PBW to have for cleaning.

9) What is your favorite blog(s) to read? (Doesn't have to be beer related)

John: is a good one.

Mike: What's a blog??? Oh Oh... I currently follow Keith Brainards site, and of course the Brookston Beer Bulletin .

10) Are you a member of a homebrewing club or American Homebrew Association?

John: I am not a member of AHA yet.

Mike: I have been a member of the AHA for the last three years. I also have the occasional group brew session with some local members of the Brewing Knowledge Base brewing forum. (Great guys over there)

11) What is your favorite local brewery(s) to patronize?

John: I like to go to Gritty's when we are in Portland, ME. The Boston Beer Works are ones I frequent often.

Mike: Gritty's in Portland ME and Watch City in Waltham MA.

12) Is it hard to find brewing ingredients in your area?

John: We don't seem to have a problem finding stuff.

Mike: There are three shops within 20 minute drive from my house. One is only 5 minutes from my office. Also after Al Gore invented the internet its been even easier to get stuff from online vendors.

13) Are you a White Labs Lad or Wyeast Wise Guy?

John: I would say that I have used White Labs more often than Wyeast….but that's not due to any conscious preference.

Mike: I started as a Wyeast guy because I though smack packs were cool.. Then I transitioned to WhiteLabs because....I thought it was cooler to use a starter from a vial.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thank you contributors!

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the September edition of Fermentation Friday! I tried to choose a topic that was unique and made people think a bit. I not only look forward to the next time I host, but also to the October Fermentation Friday edition. The next FF will be hosted by Rob @ Pfiff! We await his choice of topic.

A few beer events upcoming in San Diego:

Oct.1 Taproom: cask of Stone - chipotle smoke porter
Oct.2 O'Briens: cask of Alesmith - X extra pale ale
Oct.3 Beer for Boobs events II @ Port Brewing - $10 = pint glass & 2 fills
Oct.3 Hamiltons 2nd anniversary release (Pallet Wrecker-W.C. IIPA by Green Flash)
Oct. 9-11 GABF
Oct.25 Ballast Point 12th anniversary party
Nov.8 San Diego Brewers Guild festival
Nov. 15 Green Flash 5th anniversary party
Dec. 5th Pizza Port Strong ale festival

Friday, September 26, 2008

September Fermentation Friday!

Well, this month I am the host of Fermentation Friday, and the topic I chose was:

"What indigenous brewing ingredient have you used or would you like to brew with and what style would that beer be?"

It's never to late to contribute so to learn the rules of Fermentation Friday click HERE to learn more from Beer Bits 2 (the Creator!).

My indigenous brewing ingredient would be a type of food I grew up eating and is only found in a localized area, green chile! No, jalapenos I mean New Mexico Green Chile's. They are long, green (sometimes red) and can be found in mild, medium or hot spiciness. You can have this ingredient with anything eggs, burgers, pizza, quesadillas, pasta, burritos, steak well you name it. The green chili especially the extra hot version are very strong in flavor and can stand up to the caramelized flavors of grilled red meat. It is indigenous to southern New Mexico because NMSU germinated this tasty chile. Green chile is also healthy for you.

(antimicrobial capsaicin in chiles controls the growth of bad bacteries in our intestines. The capsaicin also stimulates tissues inside our stomach, widens the blood vessels, and fixes blood flow too, to prevent us from irritation. has the ability to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure)

Now, on to the beer! Naturally, in New Mexico there have been a few breweries who make green chili beer that range super spicy hot to a roasted green chile flavor. Their harvest beer there is the green chile beer, as the green chile is harvested this time of year. I have since moved from New Mexico, but often go back to get my fix as green chile is very addictive!

My recipe and style would naturally be a pale ale with the green chile added during the boil (seeds taken out). I would experiment with a small 1 gallon batch and add some green chile as a dry hop. I also think a saison, kolsch or fruit beer would make an interesting beer. For example: an apricot fruit beer with green chile would be tasty.

Where can you find New Mexico Green Chile? Since its a seasonal agricultural product it can be found in abundance in September and in New Mexico year round. Otherwise, your probably out of luck. Although, I have seen that Whole Foods market is selling the NM Hatch Green Chile as far as New York on a 1 day basis. Good luck on sourcing this limited product.

Below are the crazy indigenous contributers to the September Fermentation Friday!

Rob @ Pfiff: Where the wild things are

Steph @ Apple Ale

John & Mike @ BrewDudes: Indigenous Brewing Ingredients

Bunz @ The Panhandle Beer Snob & Redneck Brewery: Indigenous Ingredients

Chris @ B.O.B.'s Place Brews: Fermentation Friday

Damon @ Life With Beer: Mushroom Beers

keep em' coming:

Bryon @ Pumpkin Ales

Keith @ Brainard Brewing: Homegrown & Homemade

Matt @ A World Of Brews: Indigenous Brewing Ingredients

Jon @ The Brew Site: Fermentation Friday

Jim @ Lootcorp 3.0: Avocado

Thanks for all who have contributed, please keep them coming as it is never to late, Indigenous Cheers to everyone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Il Vicino Brewing Co.

Il Vicino beers I had when I visited their brewery recently...

Seasonal Milk Stout

Award Winning I.V. IPA
Award Winning Slow Down Brown

Monday, September 22, 2008

This Friday is Fermentation Friday!

Bust out your pens and join us this friday for Fermentation Friday! It is about homebrewers who blog about well homebrewing! Each month there is a different host and a different topic. This month it is me and the topic is:

What indigenous brewing ingredient have you used or would you like to brew with and what style would that beer be?

Please provide some history and description of ingredient.

Submissions can be sent to:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2nd saturday at Hamiltons

Every 2nd Saturday Hamilton's Tavern, in South Park, celebrates a local brewery by ONLY serving their beers on their taps, including casks!

This time around was all 3 Pizza Ports! So much beer and NOT enough time.

Hamilton's Tavern in South Park, CA

Check Out the Tap List
(usually its a large chalkboard)

Pouring the cask beers

The cask runneth empty

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pictorial of TMBC

Turtle Mountain Brewing Co.

View of mash tun by manway

Bill (asisstant brewer) during grain-out

Spent Grain

Cool view of yeast inside a conical fermenter

Me during grain out

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September 26th is glorious FF!

Hello Fermentation Friday participants!
I will be hosting the next episode on the 26th. I wanted to choose a fun unique topic. One that would represent a bit of where you live. The special ingredient may be something that grows wild, is a (unique) agricultural product in your area or maybe you grow it yourself. So you here it is:

What indigenous brewing ingredient have you used or would you like to brew with and what style would that beer be?

Please provide some history and description of ingredient.

Submissions can be sent to:


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BYO - October

I just picked up this months BYO (brew your own mag) and the main topic is Green Brewing. the style of the month is a Roggenbier, which I am very interested in, and there is a great article about partial mashing. I think I may want to start partial mashing again, because I just don't have the time and energy these days to devote an entire day to all-grain brewing. I remember when I was brewing "partially" (sounds funny) the beer tasted great. Also, I sure do miss brewing and I would like to get back to it. I hope this magazine will help get me kick started in that direction.

Cheers Mates!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Turtle Mountain Wrap-up

I am now back from my trip back home and my day at Turtle Mtn. Brewery. It was an early start and a fun day. The brewers at TMBC treated me like a super star and made sure that my glass was always full. There were some delicious beers I had and some of my fav's were: The Bilsner Pilsner, an Imperial Pilsner named after wild bill "The man who sticks it to the man". Also, their IPA has won many awards and very drinkable. The Triple Play Pale Ale is also very drinkable, nice caramel flavors and balanced hop flavor/bitterness. And, their kolsch was clean with lots of flavor.

After drinking a couple pints I paid the piper in that I helped with grain out. (Pics to come). The brewery is fairly big and there is lots of room to move around without getting in each others way. I had a lot of fun and can not wait to get back and taste their newest creations. One experiement that they were trying was an IPA with muscat grape juice. That could be a tasty!

P.S. They also gave me two beers they bottled for experimentation: 1) their award winning IPA with oak 2) the Red Barn (a sour ale)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Helping the Turtle

I am back home visiting the parents this weekend. While at the World Beer Cup I was able to bump into a couple of breweries from back home. I have contacted them and as a result I am getting an up close and personal tour of their breweries. Also, on monday I will be helping the Turtle Mtn. Brewery brew their award winning IPA! Pretty Sweet. These guys were fun to hang out with at the WBC so I'm sure monday will be a lot of fun. Pics and updates from the breweries I'm visiting and helping out will come soon after.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sun Beer

In southern california the sun shines often. Stone Brewing Co., working with Borrego Solar, has invested in a $2.5 million solar system to help with environmental conservation. Stone's 312kw system consists of 1,561 roof-mounted solar modules, plalcing it in the top 12% of solar energy systems in California in terms of size. The system will supply up to 43% of the brewery's energy needs. If you have not visited the brewery, do it. The outdoor patio and garden is quite a treat. Read more about it here.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Hello, it's been awhile...again. Well today I confirmed my volunteerism to at the GABF. There are many perks, among them are "free" samples during the judging event, free breakfast, lunch, free tickets to the event, a box of randomized beer for each day worked and a "PRIVATE" friday night party. Sweet...I can't wait.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fermentation (psuedo) Friday!

Here is my belated fermentation friday post. I'll get right to it,

Question: What advice would I give to a beginner foraying into homebrewing?

Answer: Get organized, sanitize, watch fermentation tempuratures, and have fun!

Does that count as one thing? Oh' well. When beginning to brew organization is very important. Writing/printing out a brew schedule can help with staying on schedule and not becoming disorganized, which can be easily done. Without proper sanitization one could screw up an entire brewday wasting money and time. Always, start out your brew day with sanitization and have that bucket around for the entire day, so you can sanitize anything on demand as you need. And finally, watch your fermentation temperatures! Your yeast package should have directions on the temperature your yeast play well at. This can be important as my first brew fermented at 85F, needless to say it did not come out well and as a result I did not brew again for awhile. Also, brewing at different temperatures will ensure that your beer will be inconsistant and may not be drinkable.

In the end making beer whether it is extract, partial-mash or all-grain can be relatively easy. You just need to be organized, sanitized and watch your fermentation temperatures (damn it, does'nt rhyme). It's really not that hard and all you need to do is well...decide what to brew!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

QUAFF meeting

Today is the monthly meeting for my beer club, QUAFF. It is always fun to go and taste the club homebrews and talk about it. Today's topic will be 2009 AHA competition. QUAFF over the last couple of years has lost out after winning 7 years in a row. I believe today is a step to move back to the winning ways.

Pics and topic discussion to come.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Update: InBev Brands

Here is an update on what brands InBev currently owns:
Prague's Staropramen

These are only a few for more go to the InBev website.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

World Cup Beer #16

Aroma - Lots of vegetable with not much else

See - Clear light bronze, with a thick white head that dissapates quickly

Mouthfeel - medium

Flavor - There is an intense bitterness with vegetable aftertaste. The beer has a typical "cerveza" flavor with more bitterness, sweetness and flavor. Note to self: Do NOT brew with chestnut flour. There is not much else to say about this beer as I do not like it and can not finish it. I recommend to PASS on this beer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A-B goes Belgian

Anheuser-Busch is now Belgian owned. I'm sure you can read about this anywhere so I won't babble on. What I find interesting is InBev owns over 200 brands among those acquired by A-B. I will dig around and try to find some interesting ones. InBev's website is down currently, but here is what I have so far:

Stella Artois, Boddingtons, Beck's, Staropramen, Bass, Leffe, Labatt, Hoegaarden, Brahma, Budweiser and Michelob.

GOLDEN FLEECE UPDATE: Team Columbia (although only having 1 american rider) is considered an american team has now lost all jerseys after todays difficult mountain climb. They were not expected to keep the yellow jersey, but have now lost all three. The bright spot is Team Garmin/Chipotle (the othe american team) now has a rider in the top 3, Vandevelde. Just like the hostile beer climate, riding in the mountains the standings can change quickly.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

World Beer Cup - Beer #15

Aroma: A light malty hints of chocolate, caramel and toffee

Sight: Dark brown with a Red/Amber tint, has an offwhite head that dissapates to a ring

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body

Flavor: Sweet rich caramel, hint of chocolate and a subdued roasty flavor. Mild hop flavor. Finishes mild sweet with an easy bitterness flavor. After taste remains clean. This beer is very smooth and drinkable, I like it. I could drink a few of these on a hot day.

Overall: This beer has a great complexity and richness due to the use of the various munich malts. It is basically a subdued bock. I like it and want more!!! Damn its a seasonal beer that they don't can. Oh yes, this brewery cans their beers.

Team Columbia still has the yellow, green and white jerseys. Tomorrow will be the first serious mountain climb stage, so watch it! Oh yeah, they also finished 1st and 2nd yesterday, getting their second stage win.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

World Beer Cup Beer #14

(pics will come soon)

Aroma: Coffee-like aroma with some faint malty caramel aromas

Appearance: A dark/black ruby red with small white head that dissapates and clings into a white ring

Flavor: A clean sweet malt flavor, similar to Munich malt. A clean lager with light hop flavor. Aftertaste is a smooth building dry finish with an easy hop bitterness and a clean light roasty flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium with medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: A clean smooth german style lager that blends an easy roastiness to hop bitterness and makes it drinkable. I recommend this one!

P.S. Munich Dunkel, Maibock and Schwarzbier have fast become my favorite lagers

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hamilton's Tavern

This past weekend I went over to Hamilton's Tavern located in the South Park (haha, yes South Park) a region in southern San Diego. It's on the other side of town from me, but well worth the trip. They always have an extensive tap list and an incredible bottle selection. The tavern is tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood and is the kind of place where you will find a wide variety of people downing the local suds. They have many pub games to play from which we chose foosball. No matter what team I was on I managed to to be on the loosing end, nonetheless I enjoyed every pint I had. I began the evening with: Ballast Point - Tongue Buckler (a double american amber ale), Coronado Brewing - Maibock (a dark bock & my favorite of the night), and finally ended with a Port brewing - Hop 15 (Double IPA). If you are ever in San Diego I recommend stopping by.

Team Columbia [1] now has the yellow, green and white jerseys in le Tour de France. The team is doing well, but it is very early [2] in the tour.

1. Headquarted in San Luis Obispo
2. 5 days young with ~ 19 more to go

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Honey Anyone?

I'm curious to know if anybody has made any beers with honey and what flavors/aromas did you get?

Avocado, Citrus, Sage, Wildflower, Buckwheat, Leathwood or any other flavor of honey.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I found out today that I was able to volunteer at the GABF. Yes, that's right the Great American Beer Festival!!! I will be working wednesday-friday. If the GABF is anything like the World Beer Cup I am in for a treat. I can't wait! I would like to thank my homebrew club, QUAFF, for helping me get in and the GABF for having me. I'm thirsty already.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Golden Fleece

Le Tour de France
It's all about the golden fleece, aka. Maillot Juane. Which means it must be July and its the Tour de France! Turn your T.V.'s to versus and watch the tour all month. Ok, this is not really a beer post, but think about all of the cool towns they ride through that BREW good beer!
My ride:
Giant TCR carbon monocoque frame w/non-matching grip tape
Notice the bar end caps: they are belgian beer corks!
What do you ride?...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A very kolschey experiment

This weekend I finally decided to transfer the kolsch to the secondary, but in doing so I added two different types of honey to it. Currently, there is 3 gallons of kolsch, 1 gallon w/4oz clover honey, and 1 gallon w/4oz wildflower honey.

5 gallons of Kolscheyness Experimentess (or whatever)

The original taste of the kolsch was delicious. Upon initial taste it had a sweet flavor with a slight bready character and a slight wheat taste, quickly followed by an easy spalt hop spicy bitterness which quickly fades to a dry crisp flavor. With the addition of honey I noticed that the wildflower honey which was very aromatic darkened the kolsch from a bright gold to an medium amber color. The clover honey darkened slightly but not very much and was not as aromatic. My plan is to lager for 2 weeks at 45F, bottle and lager for another 2 weeks. I can't wait to taste/smell/see the difference.

(L) Wildflower Honey, (R) Clover Honey

Monday, June 23, 2008

Beer Book

I have been reading a great book about american beer history it's called "Ambitious Brew" by Maureen Ogle published in 2006. The book starts out with the original fathers of beer, the Pabts, Millers, Busch and many others and how they endured migrating to america, assimilating, the struggles of prohibition, the world wars I and II, post-prohibition and ends with the beginning of craft beer revival. I am in chapter 6 of 8 and have learned that the original brewmasters learned and cared about their beer flavor and how it was pervieved by the public. Most of the original brewers also were original characters. After reading this book and knowing that Anhauser-Busch today may be bought out by a european conglomerate makes this an even more interesting read, very interesting. As LaVar Burton from Reading Rainbow states "Don't take my word for it".

Friday, June 13, 2008

Beer #13 WBC

Aroma: piny, grapefruit, citrusy

Apperance: Clear light amber, white haed dissapates quickly and clings to sides of glass.

Mouthfeel: Med-thick on syrupy side, but not underattenuated

Flavor: hoppy, hoppy, hoppy like it should be. Full of citrus, grapefruit, pine and has hints of caramel. Finishes sweet with some bitterness

Overall: Great beer. I can actually drink this beer. Good balance and good flavor. Great representation for this style.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Whew...Back in the Saddle!!!

After a long break, I'm back! It's been over a week since I posted anything, shame on me! Since my last post I have helped a friends brew a batch and ordered a new book to read. Also, the last batch I helped my friend make was a Belgian Pale Ale turned out to be a Strong Belgian Pale Ale. It was still young but smelled and tasted delicious!

The book I am now reading is called "Cellarmanship" by Patrick O'neill. The book is about anyone interested in working in anytype of beer cellar. It talks about cask care to proper cellar requirements to the head on a pint. I will post my thoughts once I finish reading the book.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beer #12 - WBC

Maui Brewin Co.
Big Swell IPA
(from World Beer Cup)
-No pics, sorry-

Aroma: sweet malty, mild hoppiness for an american IPA

Appearance: Nice offwhite head pours thick with gentle pour, clear light amber color

Mouthfeel: Light

Flavor: hoppy bitterness throughout and it lingers well after the taste, almost to much. There are hints of caramel flavors and slight butter (maybe diacityl) flavors.

Overall Impression: It smells more sweet than it is. There is lots of hop flavor and bitterness like an IPA should be, but malt is lacking and therefore lends to an unbalance. There is a low hip aroma for an american IPA.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Beer 11# - WBC

Aroma: malty fruity aroma with slight hop bitterness

Appearance: clear orange huewith white head that dissapates to a ring and clings to the glass

Mouthfeel: medium mouthfeel

Flavor: Sweet maltiness followed by an easy balanced spicy bitterness. There is great balance here between malt and hop bitterness/flavor.

Overall: I believe this is one of the best beers I have had from the WBC swag bag. The beer is very drinkable, balanced and very flavorfull. A complex beer that is very well done. This is one of my favorite breweries from back home.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Beer #10

Xingu Black Beer
Amazon beer
Schwarzbier Style Guidelines

Aroma: Faint hints of chocolate and anise, sweet malt and brown sugar

Appearance: Dark red, pours thin brown head that dissapates quickly

Mouthfeel: light to medium

Flavor: Sweet, malty followed by a hint of hop bitterness ending with a sweet finish. I find some chocolate/anise flavors and some nutiness.

Overall: More red than black and virtually no head, but overall beer was clean with no glaring faults. A good representation of the schwarzbier style (see above at style guidelines). I could drink this as a session brew. A good clean lager beer with plenty flavor.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beer #9

Aroma: Spicey, malty

Appearance: Clear orange/light amber, pours white head quicly dissapates

Mouthfeel: Medium to light-medium

Flavor: Sweet and malty followed by rye spiciness and hop bitterness and finishes sweet, very smooth and drinkable.

Overall: A nicely balanced beer. You can tell the rye is there without it being overpowering. The beer is very complex and smooth. I could drink a few of these. I recommend this beer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beer #8

World Beer Cup Beer
Alt Platz Brewery

Appearance: Dark red with no head present, there was very minimal carbonation.

Aroma: a mix of diacetyl and medicinal aromas

Mouthfeel: medium

Flavor: I get phenolic, medicinal, plastic (band-aid), metallic flavors. There are some hints of nutty, maple, chocolate flavors followed by a slight bitterness. There seems to be something very wrong about this beer.

Overall: After tasting this brew I became curious about the brewery. After a quick review I found the brewery may not be a brewery? They have a wierd website. Anyway, it seems to have been fermented at a high temperature and/or needs healthy yeasts and finally may have some serious infection issues. This beer also seems to have a homebrew quality character to it, kinda like it's a 100% extract brew. I have to dump out this beer!!! I hope I don't have to do this more often in the future... :( Alt Platz, NEIN!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Honey Kolsch

Well, its been awhile since I brewed my Honey Kolsch (April 5th). I have been both busy and waiting on a certain type of honey to use. I had hoped to have this bottled by now, but life has intervened. Meanwhile the kolsch has cleared up nicely and will get a wildflower honey put into the secondary, where it will lager a while longer (maybe 2-3 weeks). At that point I hope to bottle with a different type of honey, maybe blackberry? I decided to put the honey in the secondary, instead of the boil like last time, to see if there is a difference in taste, mouthfeel, aroma etc. It is the same honey and ingredients. Cheers,

I finally recently bought a book called "Radical Brewing" by Stan Mosher. I have to say that the book is very intertaining and motivating. It is probably the best "homebrewing" book I now have. If you feel you are lacking some creativity in your beer formulations, pick up this book!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Beer #7

World Beer Cup Beer
F.X. Matt Brewing Co.
Saranac Imperial IPA

Label states: 10 malts & 10 different hops were used It has 85IBU's and 8.5% abv. This is the first in the series of high peak series of beers that are bigger, more complex and flavorful. These beers are meant to be sipped and savored.

Appearance: Orange hue, with white head that clings to the side

Aroma: citris, sweet, bready, orange citris aroma

Mouthfeel: light to medium

Taste: Alcohol is dominant flavor (giving it a sweet taste) followed by abrasive bitterness and a hint of caramel flavor. There seems to be so much hops in this that it has an oily texture. There is a semi-dry finish & a lingering bitterness aftertaste.

Overall: Malt backbone seems to be hidden by alcohol and hop bitterness/flavor leaving this IIPA kinda unbalanced for my taste. I'm on the fence with this one, especially with the it leaving an oily texture in my mouth. I'm glad I got to try this beer and would drink this one again, but not anytime soon. This beer was true to its label "a beer to be sipped and savored", that I did.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Beer #6

Appearance: Orange/amber white head dissipates quickly, clings to glass, hazy

Aroma: Citrus, hoppy aroma, grapefruit like, very floral, earthy. Aroma was a bit weak.

Mouthfeel: medium

Taste: very bitter, but very drinkable, malty caramel backbone followed by a building bitterness aftertaste and finishes semi-dry. Earthy, hoppy, with alcohol notes and drinkable for a double IPA.

Overall: Another great beer from Pizza Port. Hop bitterness was present but not abrasive and the malty background was not masked. Although the aroma was on the weak side, I thought it made this beer more approachable. I would drive to San Clemente to drink another pint of this!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Beer #5

World Beer Cup Beer
Oskar Brewing Co.
Dale's Pale Ale
Lyons, CO

Appearance: Light copper/amber with white head persisting. Clear

Aroma: Light cascade -like aroma, citris/earthy

Mouthfeel: Medium

Flavor: Creamy with caramel notes, follwed by bitter aftertaste & dry finish

Overall: Great balance & complexity, as it starts sweet with caramel notes and is followed with a hoppy flavor, aroma, bitterness. Great version of an american west coast pale ale. Balanced and tasty enough that you can't taste the alcohol (6.5% abv).

Thursday, May 01, 2008

World Beer Cup Wrap-up

After two weeks of getting over the carziness of the World Beer Cup I still feel as if I need more rest. It was so much fun, yet so very tiring. But, I will do it again in a heart beat! In fact I plan on going to the next GABF and WBC in 2010 in Chicago. Here is a small bit of what I can remember right now of who I met and what happened.

I was able to meet many "rockstars" in the industry, both professional and homebrew. People like John Palmer, the More Beer guys, the Brewing Netowork crew, and many other QUAFF members in my club who have won many prestigous awards. In the professional ranks I was able to meet Tomme Arthur from Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, Peter Broukart from New Belgium, Jeff Bagby from Pizza Port, Nico, Mark, & Bill from Turtle Mt. brewing (my hometown), Jeff Jinnett from Chama River brewing & Marble brewery (from my hometown & won two medals). I also got to talk to and meet a few brewers from the east coast JT at Smuttynose Brewering, Jason Perkins headbrewer - Allagash.
You must visit there website as they are brewing up a spontaneous beer, which they have documented on there website. I also have a beer called "Innoculator" that I scored at the WBC, which was never sold, it was an experimental. I can't wait to try it.

This is what stands out for now. Thank you to everyone whom I met at the WBC and I can't wait to hang with you guys again at the 08' GABF. Everyone came here for the beer, but in the end it was the human interaction that made the event and experience. Thanks for making it so fun and memorable!

Below is a list of my new favorite breweries to check out!
Bull & Bush brewery
Upland brewery
Midnight Sun brewery
Allagash brewery (already liked those guys, but have a renewed interest due to their recent experimentation)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beer #4

Aroma: Roasty, chocolate sweet maple aromas with no hop aroma
Appearance: Opaque black with thick tan head that persist
Flavor: Roasty/chocolate flavors upfront followed by creaminess from the oatmeal and possibly some maple syrup/vanilla flavors.
Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy.
Overall: A sipper beer that is full of flavor and attitude! The bottle states "a big beer done the Green Flash way", it certainly is!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beer #3

Beer #3
(from World Beer Cup)
Fernie Brewing Co.
First Trax Brown Ale

(English Brown Ale)
British Colombia, CA

Aroma: Fruity, caramel malt aroma
Appearance: Very clear brown color with a lasting small white head
Flavor: Malty caramel/chocolaty balanced with bitterness
Mouthfeel: Light to medium mouthfeel and carbonation
Overall Impression: Very drinkable and an absolute english ale. There are some chocolate tones with balanced bitterness, very smooth but on the sweet side. This ale may be too light in flavor and body and marketed towards the mainstream guy and not the craft beer geek.