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.