Friday, December 18, 2009

U can't shake a stick at this deal...

Yesterday, was my birthday and I spent part of it at one of the best places to enjoy local San Diego brews, Luigis at the beach.

On Thursday's they have anything local $2.50/pint, say what? Yes, $2.50! This is remarkable when you look at the tap list: Stone Double Bastard, 09-09-09, Alesmith horny devil, Karl strauss belgian brown, Lightning Pilsner, the list goes on and on. A good time was had by all, I recommend 09' x 3.

The food is good and service is great. And, your a block from the Pacific Ocean.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jim + Anchor Brewing = Labels

We all know what goes into Anchor's beers, but what about the labels? Meet Jim and purchase his art. I gotta go get me an Anchor Steam!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chillin @ QUAFF

Last night was the infamous QUAFF holiday party. So much beer on hand both homebrew and commercial. It was good to recognize so many beer fanatics. AGAIN, I forgot to bring my camera, I need to remedy that. All the major players of the brew scene were there, Alesmith, SD Brewco and Sean @ Chillindamos. He is doing fantastic things recently like brewing 40 gallons of homebrew (40 gallons!) and making fantastic brews with agave. Word on the street is he has sourced an american oak barrel, I can't wait to see what he does with that. Maybe a blog-o-collaboration brew in the future with Chillindamos...?

The beers that stood out last night were, Goose Island Bourbon Stout, Deschutes Black Butte, Alesmith 2010 Decadence (more on that another time), and SD BrewCo.'s collaboration IPA. The best homebrew a Pilsner.

On Deck:
Driving trip back to NM

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Saturday is almost here!!!

Saturday evening is the QUAFF homebrew club holiday party. Last year was a blast! They had 15 kegs on tap and had 2 stations where they opened commercial bottles. These bottles were rare examples, one off's, not imported into the U.S., you get the idea.

I can't wait. I will report back w/photos hopefully.

P.S. Our winter storm here in San Diego was massive winds w/rain, all of one day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Always good to go home... drink the local brew! During the most recent trip I discovered a slew of good brews and breweries! Home is Albuquerque, NM and Marble Brewery is the place. I had a Bavarian Pale Lager (prob. top 3 best pre-prohibition pilsners I've had) , Marble Red (solid american red), and Wildflower wheat. They have a great pub vibe and only serve beer.

On my way home I had a stop over in Flagstaff and what do you know a brewpub across the street from my hotel. The place is Beaver St. Brewery, I recommend their Big Rapid Red...mmm GOOD!

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a Bevmo where I found my old favorite, Hazed & Infused from Boulder Beer in CO. and Nimbus brewing's Old Monkeyshine.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

San Diego Beer Week in full effect...

Visit here to find out the happening on the second half of the week!

SD Beer Week

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Rock Art brewery has won their legal battle!

The Vermonster is now saved, read all about it.

Wish I could drink all about it.

Thanks for the heads up Chipper Dave.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rock Art Brewery and their Vermonster

Support, Rock Art Brewery! I have an affinity to Kokopelli's so they already have my sympathy. Good luck guys!

Rock Art Brewery

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I love autumn

When football games are on the tube and cross country season starts, then you know that the days will be getting shorter, the leaves will be changing and autumn beers are on top!

One of my favorite beers from The Bruery is now on tap. It's made with yams, Autumn Maple. They also make a delicious Berliner Weisse.

If your in the area they are worth a drink or two, as they have an awesome tasting room.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What is happening...

I have completely lost track of posting...

I hope to get back to brewing and posting on a regular basis.

School is kicking my butt!!!!

and, not leaving me time for anything.

Oh well, at least I'm getting in regular exercise...?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Session Ale festival

Today there is a session ale festival at Pizza Port San Clemente. I wish I were there right now! There will be 30+ beers on tap, all under 5% alcohol, various different styles.$25 admission gets you comemorative logo pilsner glass and six 6 ounce tasters. $1 per additional taster. While maybe a great deal I think this is a great idea and a long time coming.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


What happened? I can't believe I have not posted in well over a month. To tell you the truth homebrewing has been non-existent and nothing to write home about. I have been busy with summer school, oh dear god. Anyway, it's over now and I would like to brew sometime soon. In fact, I am collaborating with a friend to brew a batch in the near future. I'm not sure what it will be, probably a kolsch or a lager of some sort.

Question of the week? If you created a beer recipe do you own it or does your employer? (Assuming you didn't sign a contract stating so.)

I'm back baby!

Friday, June 12, 2009

2nd saturday again?

It's time again for second saturday at one of my favorite San Diego bars, Hamilton's Tavern. Every 2nd saturday they celebrate a brewery by serving up many of their beers on tap including specialties. They also include free food, and its delicious too!

Last month there was 24 Rogue beers with 18 of them never leaving Oregon before. I only had a few pints, but they were delicious.

This month is Green Flash brewing served with New Mexican food. Hailing from New Mexico and knowing the guys at Green Flash I am looking forward to this one. Two beers I am looking forward to tasting are their Double Stout on cask and Super Freak (Le Freak but soured in a oak barrel). I can't wait!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Free $0.99...

Recently, many have been writing about the cost of homebrew prices. Which got me thinking of how I can reduce my homebrew cost. Sure, some of us already grow your own (hops/malt), purchase in bulk, reuse yeast, make our own homebrew equipment. Is that all we can do?

I think an overlooked aspect to homebrewing (if you can) is to use one of the best resources possible...commercial brewers. Ok, I know some of you already do this, but are you taking full advantage? Did you know that many commercial breweries simply dump thier excess yeast down the drain? Their yeast are very healthy, viable and better than what you would find in a vial/package.

With a friend (he works in a local brewery as a cellarmen), I recently did a small experiment where we used the same wort and 2 different yeast. The result: his healthy commercial yeast (taken straight from a 90-barrel fermentor) attenuated 8 points lower than mine.

Sure the yeast were some differences and slightly different pitching rates, but my point is you can get FREE HEALTHY YEAST! Zilch, Nada, Zero, for FREE $0.99. All you have to do is ask and more times than not they will give you some. It helps if you bring a steril container. This will save you $8. Well, at least in my case.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hop plants

My hop plants are starting to come back after the white fly devastation. They are still not gone, but their population have been reduced in number. Note: An organic herbacide I bought does not do well with hop plants. It seems that the heat of the sun will burn the herbacide and the hop leaf. I have switched to spraying pure water and soapy water to get rid of the white flies.

The chile plants have had the same effect, from the herbacide, but they too are now bouncing back. In fact, some of them are now blooming. Pics to come soon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Big Brew Day...

This year the big brew day event was being hosted by award winning Alesmith, so I had to participate. Plus they are located down the street from where I live. Alesmith was great and provided us with some beer and food. Thanks guys! We used my friend's set up (he has a fancy pump system) and I decided to make the big mile recipe:

English Dark Mild 10gallon batch
O.G.: 1.037
F.G.: 1.012
IBU: 15
70% efficiency

11 lb (2.5 kg) 2-Row Pale Malt
22 oz (312 g) English Crystal 55° L
12 oz (170 g) Crystal 120° L
6 oz (85 g) British Chocolate Malt
6 oz (85 g) Dark Carastan

0.75 oz (21 g) East Kent Golding, 5.8% Alpha Acid, for 60 minutes

White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast

Force carbonate at approximately 1.75 to 2.0 volumes of CO2
wort cooling
fancy pump system

pump in action
Alesmith, a few months old
(small container in front is their hopback)

Friday, May 01, 2009

1,2,3,4 I declare a war...

...on whiteflies!!!

Hops plants were growing well until recently when they were attacked by whiteflies. Anybody ever had this experience? My chile plants were also attacked so I bought some organocide and so far it seemed to have worked. I hope it stays that way... How do you know if you have any whiteflies? They are super small, white and like to hang out on the back side of the leaf. They suck out all of the juice from the leaf and in the process leave their saliva behind which is toxic to the plant. Eventually, the leaves wither and the plant dies. They can double in population in less than a week and 1 whitefly can reproduce ~9 times. I don't like them.

On the brighter side. Tomorrow I will be participating in big brew day, which will be held at Alesmith Brewing co. (they recently won small brewery of the year at GABF). I will be slitting a 10g batch with a friend. It will be an English Dark Mild and the recipe can be found at We had to change it a bit due to a lack of ingredients being available (chose dark carastan for brown malt). Also, we will split the 10g batch and ferment one with WLP-001 & one with WLP-002.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chile/Hop plants update:

1 1/2 week old hop plants Perle (far), Sterling (near)

Below: poblano (L), Serrano (R)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

1930 German brewing film

Here is a film showing you how to brew the 1930 German way...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tis' the season...

Yesterday, I planted 2 hop rhizomes and 3 different types of chili's. If you look closely you will see shoots (white roots) starting to already appear. These rhizomes seem to be healthy, we shall see if I can manage to destroy them. I was told that these do not grow well in San Diego, but these are perfect for cal commons and kolsch style beers.

Hop rhizomes, Perle (L) Sterling (R)

Perle rhizome
Sterling rhizome

Also, I planted a variety of green chili's (mostlyNew Mexico variety). They are similar to Big Jim's, but are much tastier.

There about 60 of these

Friday, March 27, 2009

Update: finally...

There has been a lot happening this month with work and of'course beer! Let's just move on to beer. In the next few days I will be talking about:

  • The guest brew @ Turtle Mt. Brewing Co.
  • Homebrew & commercial brew @ my friends wedding
  • Stone brewing & a homebrewing collaboration
  • Stone brewing @ our homebrew club meeting
  • Planting hop rhizomes & chilies

Tonight will be the first posting as I hope to catch up on all my news.

Fermentation Friday-March

“How will you grow or change as a homebrewer this Spring? How will you embrace your Spring fever and channel it toward your homebrewing endeavors?”

Planting hop rhizomes, kegging and brewing with the season. I jsut planted some hop rhizomes, which I hope translates to a couple fresh hop beers. I can now keg my beers, which I look forwarde to, I so HATE bottling! I will try and brew with the season Example: A true marzen brewed now and lagered until october, lighter beers in the summer, heavy high alcohol beers in the winter.

Also, with the nicer weather & longer days I hope to have a few outside brews this spring/summer that are conjoined with bar-b-q's with friends.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Traveling and guest brewing

This weekend I will be traveling back home to visit the family, which always means stopping in my favorite brewery back home, Turtle Mt. brewing. On monday I will be helping them brew two brews, an Irish stout and a black IPA! Helping meaning doing the grunt work (milling 50lb grain sacks, graining out, but I do get free beer!!! Sweet...

Pics and brew day will come soon after.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Old Fashioned Donnybrook Recipe

Awhile ago I made an oatmeal stout that tasted great, but not so well during bottling. After some thought I will try that recipe one again with some minor changes. I'm looking for the grains to showcase this beer and have the hops support it. The yeast (WLP-002) should leave some sweetness to the beer, as it has a 70% attenuation in ideal conditions. And, of'course there may be a 1 gallon experiment, now I just need to secure the "special" ingredient.

Old Fashioned Donnybrook
(aka. Oatmeal Stout II
Mash:154 IBU's:36 OG:1.055 FG:1.014

9.5# Pale ale malt
1 Flaked (old fashioned) Oats (toasted)
3/4 Chocolate malt
3/4 Victory
1/2 Crystal 80L
1/2 Roasted barley

Galena 60'

WLP-002 English Ale

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Steam Beer update:

The Great Steam beer experiment is still going strong. After almost 3 full weeks in the bottle the beers now have sufficient carbonation, BUT (a BIG BUT) is that during the bottle conditioning period there may have some diacetyl accumulation. With lagers this is somewhat normal, but with mine it seems to be on the excessive side. To minimize this character the beers must now be cold lagered for 3-4 weeks. I'm beginning to learn that I might not have the patience to make lagers. The wheatwine update coming soon.

For the next brew; It will be an ode to my motherland so I will be making an Irish Oatmeal Stout
I am researching and formulating an appropriate recipe and interestingly have found that above 10% oatmeal would lead to gooyness. I'll keep that in mind...

I'll post the recipe in the next few days.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Home brewers heaven!

You must spend some time at Brewhalla (aka. homebrewers heaven) whether you are looking to design your own brewery or not. There are homemade to store bought and simple to elaborate designs. So grab a beer and view 180+ pics.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Easy mash tun set-up

Mash tun pieces:
wire mesh
(catches all small pieces)

(placed on top of mesh)

mesh connected to spigot
This setup works really well and produces very clear wort from the beginning and I have yet to get a stuck sparge. All parts were purchased at Home Depot or Target.

Not beer related...

but music related and worth checking out.

They are called, the McLovins (as in the movie Suberbad) ", seen here covering Phish "Harry Hood", Greatful Dead "Shakedown Street" and a McLovin original "Purple Trees".

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fermentation Friday - Janurary

This months topic is "brew year’s resolutions’ for 2009". For this year I decided to keep it simple and only choose 5 resolutions. They are:

1) Brew every 4-6 weeks (didn't do this last year)

2) Brew/learn more about lagers, brewing water & master balanced styles (I now have a lagering system)

3) Update/organize my blog more frequently (w/text & pics) (I went in spurts last year)

4) Enter (a few) competitions (never got the timing right last year)

5) Purchase grain/hops in bulk (& find a place to store them) (make it cheaper)


Monday, January 26, 2009


(l) WLP-810, (r) Saflager S-23
Today, I bottled the 2 Steam Beers. One w/WLP 810 San Fran. Lager and the other Saflager S-23 dry lager yeast. Every variable was the same except for: #1) different yeast (White Labs 810 vs Saflager S-23), #2) amount of yeast pitched into the wort (1 WLP-810 vial into 4gallons vs Saflager (1) packet into 1 gallon). The WLP fermented to FG 1.015, while the Saflager FG was 1.012.

How did they taste @ bottling?

Color: same. Aroma: both were bready, w/hints of hop aroma/bitterness. I think WLP-810 has a slight fruitiness, which is what the yeast is famous for; a lager taste w/a slight ale character. WLP-810= Clean lager taste w/bready character and clean bitterness followed by a dry aftertaste. Saflager= clean lager taste and a noticable subdued malty/bitterness and hop flavor, it finishes with a dry aftertaste.
Saflager S-23: OG: 1.012

Overall: The beers seemed to look, smell, taste similar until they were tasted side by side. The Saflager seems to have more of a "lager" feel, a subdued malty/hop character, while the WLP-810 definetly had the characteristics of an ale and lager. I guess no surprises here. They are both highly drinkable and compliment the spring weather we currently have here in San Diego!!! I can't wait to taste the final product and compare these beers to my friends steam beer, whom used the same recipe, but used different (n. brewer) hops. When I make this beer again I will use the WLP-810 and I think I would use the Saflager S-23 for an altbier or any other lager for that matter.
WLP-810: F.G. 1.015

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A day late and a dollar short...

For the past 6 months my homebrew club has been trying to gather everyone to start a second study group for the BJCP test that will occur in mid march. I missed the first study group and test when I missed a club meeting and sign up. There were 40 people who took the class and test, apparently, the biggest ever to do so. Now it seems I have missed the second group as the first meeting occured this past thursday, which I learned of friday morning...damn it.

I have decided that although I can not make the study group I will try to study on my own and take the test, which I heard is not easy. I want to take the test mainly to learn more about beer (history, making, production etc.) than wanting it for judging beer. I find the judging portion to be very opinionated, anyway, wish me luck.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lee Chase, pizza and beer...

A new fine restaurant to visit in Normal Heights, San Diego...yeah! The Blind Lady Ale house is partly owned/operated by Lee Chase. Lee in the past was the original head brewer at Stone Brewing Co.. The restaurant is set to open at the end of this month and will focus on pizza's and has 21 taps on hand, mmm. There is a secret party that my homebrew club has been invited to, but I am not sure that I can attend. If I do I will post pics.

You can read all about it at the Blind Lady Alehouse blog!

Oh, btw he will be serving a batch of organic belgian single that he brewed at Mission Brewery.

Friday, January 02, 2009

My Top 5

2009 = keeping it simple
In the spirit of resolutions and an all-time Top 5 movie of mine, High Fidelity, I will give you my top 5 brewing goals of this coming year.

1) Brew every 4-6 weeks
2) Brew/learn more about lagers, brewing water & master balanced styles
3) Update/organize my blog more frequently (w/text & pics)
4) Enter (a few) competitions
5) Purchase grain/hops in bulk (& find a place to store them)