Trade, Florida edition

August 15th, 2017 by Matt Schreiner

I think I may make these a regular thing, because:

  1. I regularly make trades and get stuff from lots of other states
  2. It seems to make Scot happy, and maybe that means he’ll keep inviting me to Thursday night shares

Tonight’s beer is one called Last Days of Summer from Tampa Bay Brewing Company, and I think you can figure out where they are located. This was sent to me by a gentleman named Jeff, and what’s strange to me about this beer is that is was canned at the beginning of May. Why would a beer named Last Days of Summer be brewed in the spring?

It’s labeled a fruited sour ale, and that’s a pretty good description. It’s definitely a sour, and there is a bit of fruit flavor to it.

It pours a hazy golden straw color with a creamy head that quickly dissipated but has a slight amount of lacing. The smell has a funky kind of farmhouse quality to it, and there’s mild fruit scent underneath. I can’t quite identify what fruit it is, but there’s a crispness and tartness to it. The taste, I believe, would best be described as a mildly sour fruit punch. It’s a full mouth filling feel with an almost acidic underneath. I sometimes have difficulties drinking sours, but this one is mild enough and has enough fruit presence that it’s pretty easy to drink and worth killing off one 16 ounce can.

 

Trade, Wisconsin edition

August 14th, 2017 by Matt Schreiner

I still have two more of these entries for the moment, probably will do the other one tomorrow, but for now, here’s an entry for a beer from Ben, a Wisconsinite who is my source for big bottles of Toppling Goliath beers. He recently sent me Fire, Skulls, and Money (a beer I want to try mostly because of the Warren Zevon song “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”) and Sosus, a beer I have wanted to try for a long time, and yes, it was worth it. However, this blog post will be about a collaboration between a Wisconsin brewery and one only about an hour from me in Illinois.

It’s Creamsicle Ale by Untitled Art of Waunakee, WI and Mikerphone in Elk Grove Village. When I opened the box, the first thing I saw on the top label of the bottle was the Mikerphone insignia, and I thought “Why is somebody from Wisconsin sending me a beer I could get if I was motivated enough to make the drive north?” Then I saw Untitled Art on the big label and realized that it was a collaboration, and I always enjoy seeing what two breweries can do together.

To the beer!

It looks like orange juice in terms of color, that’s for sure, and I can’t see through it with all the cloudiness. There’s very little foam to it, but a slight amount of lacing. Smell is a straight up slap of citrus (mostly orange) with a very slight bit of bitter hoppiness underneath. Taste is really fun – citrus and orange is the first thing I notice, but there’s a definite presence of cream and a slight bitter tangy hop under that. It’s very easy to sip and real mild for a 7% abv. It’s a very flavorful, very well balanced beer, and it more than lives up to the name. I’d recommend it, and I have to find some stuff to send to the friendly cheesehead who sent it to me!

Trade, North Carolina edition

July 28th, 2017 by Matt Schreiner

Thanks to another beer site that I won’t mention here, I have made a number of Internet friends over the last two years who I will regularly trade beers with. Scot constantly tells me that I do that blog on this site enough. And since he is right, I got inspiration for a couple of blogs to do with my latest trades, thus serving two masters, I guess.

The first one will be of a beer sent to me this week in a box from Ryan, a guy who lives in the Atlanta area. He and I first started trading because he was offering Creature Comfort’s Tropicalia in exchange for Three Floyd’s Zombiedust, and I was the first one to jump on it. He and I have been trading for a couple of months, as I t get him Floyd’s and other Chicago area beers for anything he can get me Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas (he got me my first Burial beer, which was amazing).

Anyway, to the beer!

El Paraiso by Wicked Weed out of Asheville North Carolina is a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Coffee Stout with caocao nibs and coffee beans. It’s a terrific barrel aged flavored stout. As way of comparison, I had a Southern Tier Creme Brûlée last night, and that’s an example of a beer that’s too sweet. This one is a good example of how to balance flavors, but maybe the barrel helps.

It was bottled 2/17/17, and I drank it in a spiegelau.

Poured a lot of foam, still has a good amount of lacing after a while. One of the better looking stouts I’ve had in a while.

Smell is strongly sweet with plenty of chocolate and a slight presence of coffee and barrel.

The taste is the best part of this beer. I’d imagine there might have been a bit more barrel heat when it was fresher, but I think if the chocolate has faded by now, it may have been too sweet then. It’s got nice roastiness with plenty of chocolate and a mild barrel burn. Only weakness is a lack of coffee flavor, especially for a coffee stout. There’s a slight bitterness on the back end from the coffee, but if it was stronger, this beer would have been extremely well balanced instead of just well balanced.

Feeling on this is great. It’s not too heavy, maybe slightly too thin, but there’s very little oiliness to it. There’s a definite alcohol presence, but it’s not too strong. It’s very sippable, really flavorful, and quite enjoyable.

One of the best barrel aged I’ve had in a while (to note, the best recently was Three Floyds French Vanilla Militia 2017, but that’s on a whole other level).

Trade, Virginia edition

July 28th, 2017 by Matt Schreiner

Next on today’s list of beers from people I have traded with is Dreamless from The Veil Brewing Company out of Richmond VA. It was sent to me in the first trade I have done with a gentleman named Mike, a nice guy who lives in Richmond and is one of the biggest Springsteen fans I have ever encountered.

It was canned 7/7, and, since it’s a witbier, I drank it from my witbier glass. It’s pretty straightforward for the style, so  I won’t be writing as much about it as the El Paraiso BA stout from earlier.

It pours hazy with an almost cloudy darker straw color. Smell has strong lemon and orange peel notes with a slight funk. Taste is just what I want from this style – it’s got some breadiness, some funk, and a good amount of citrus, with plenty of lemony and orange peel zestiness. For a low ABV, it’s got a mildly strong body. Very full mouth filling, although slightly dry. Very easy to drink, and really enjoyable for a warm day.

Brewed: Schlapp!

May 26th, 2017 by scot

What did the five fingers say to the face? Schlapp!

It is amazing how funny something can become when you spend a ton of time driving to and from basketball practices and games. My eldest and I found it hysterical a few years ago while driving on Schlapp Road while threatening each other that our five fingers would slap them. It is easy to see how others wouldn’t find this amusing but, in the moment and, even today, this is still funny to my daughter and I. We still drive past the road, bringing up the saying, still bringing a smile to my face, thinking back to those days gone by and all the good times, no matter how corny.

My daughter recently told me that I should name a home brew Schlapp! How could I refuse.

Formulating the recipe for Schlapp!

I ran through some 30 bottles of home brew at a recent party, depleting any IPAs that I had laying around. I needed hops. Determining a good blend of hops seemed to be the toughest decision for this recipe.

The 10 or so pounds of hops in the basement freezer provided a cornucopia of possibilities. I decided that I wanted to use what I had left of Hallterau Blank and Mandarina Bavaria with the touch of Belma. I have brewed with Hallertau Blanc and Mandarina Bavaria, with Mandarina providing a profile that I really like. I used the Belma to understand what the hop can add, making it the largest portion of the hopping schedule. Enjoy!

Recipe for Schlapp!

General Information:
Brew Date: Friday, May 26, 2017
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.065
Finishing Gravity: 1.008
IBU: 68.9
Color: 6.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Alcohol by Volume: 7.48%
Primary Fermentation: 8 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
13.00 pounds 2-row
1.00 pounds Oats
1.00 pounds Melanoiden

Mash:
Saccharification @148.3*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces 2016 Belma @20 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Belma @15 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Belma @10 minutes
1.00 ounces 2016 Belma @5 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Belma @whirlpool for 25 minutes
1.00 ounces 2016 Mandarina Bavaria @whirlpool for 25 minutes
1.00 ounces 2016 Hallertau Blanc @whirlpool for 25 minutes
3.00 ounces 2016 Mandarina Bavaria @4 day dry hop
3.00 ounces 2016 Hallertau Blanc @4 day dry hop

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
0.5 pounds table sugar @15 minutes
3.0 quarts of rice hulls
~5.25 gallons of reverse osmosis water used

Updates:

  • 2017-06-04: Bottled with 3.50 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 25, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: Sch.

Useless Fact: Walt Disney created multiple fake companies (like M.T. Lott Real Estate) to buy Florida land in the 1960s. This let him acquire what is now Disney World while avoiding suspicion and keeping prices low. The stores on Main Street shop windows are the names of those original companies.

Tasted: She Doesn’t Sweat Much For A Fat Girl

May 11th, 2017 by scot

Looking “fat” in the glass.

She Doesn’t Sweat Much For A Fat Girl is the latest stab at a North East India Pale Ale (NEIPA). Since I missed the original gravity but such a large amount, I was worried how the bitterness would be perceived. I was also worried about the potential for booziness. That one is a bit more difficult to explain; how would missing gravity on the low side create alcoholic flavors/aromas. I have used the hops in this beer in the past, even when they had different names, but never in this quantity or together. Therefore the aroma and flavor will be a new and, hopefully, welcomed experience.

Look: Typical NEIPA that I have been brewing over the past year: brilliant, light gold color. Slight haze, less than normal since I took the beer down to 37*F for 24+ hours. An inch of white foam. Slightly rocky as it begins to recede. Great retention and sticky lace.

Aroma: Huge banana. It jumps out before the glass comes to the nose. Mango, apricot, orange, and papaya. Hints of resin, floral and lime. Completely hop forward, minimal malt sweetness.

Taste: Banana is once again the star. Lots of mango, orange and papaya. As it has aged a taste of berries has began. Light malt for balance. Minimal to no bitterness.

Body: Light body. Medium carbonation. Dry and crisp.

Overall: Probably the best nose of any beer I have ever brewed. The banana mixed with other tropical fruits are over the top, making for an enticing aroma. In spite of the huge hop aroma and taste, bitterness is subdued. Easy to drink. Aroma is the star.

My worries were split: one came true, one could be ignored. The bitterness wasn’t an issue at all. The beer was hop forward without a hint of bitterness, still the beer was balanced. I did feel that there was a late bite of alcohol in the taste. Hypersensitivity, real perception or I wanted to find alcohol. Something to continue to think about. The banana hop aroma and flavor was quite surprising based on the profiles of the individual hops. The surprise was appreciated. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Astronauts aboard the ISS change clothes near a filter that sucks up the skin particles that would otherwise float around.

Tasted: Black Doug

May 4th, 2017 by scot

This is the first beer I have ever dedicated to a movie. I might have to come up with one for each of the main characters in the Hangover series. It gives me more reason to have to watch one, two or all three of the movies again. Nothing for me to balk at.

Look: Pitch black. Opaque. Heaped helping of thick, tan foam covers. Froths as it recedes gently, leaving traces of past glory.

Aroma: A pleasant balance of maltiness and hops. Sweet caramel with traces of chocolate and rye. Orange, grapefruit, and pineapple aromas from the hops. Not overly hopped but pleasant and easy on the nose.

Taste: Like the nose, there is a good balance to the malt and hops. Generic base malt sweetness, chocolate and rye coexist. Orange and pineapple hops start in the middle, adding great balance and fullness to the beer. Minimal to no bitterness, possibly some from the touch of chocolate rye.

Body: Medium body. Tending towards the high end of carbonation. Clean but not crisp. Dries.

Overall: The most well balanced beer I brewed in a while, especially with the amount of hops used. Would brew this again without any changes. Solid beer.

Cascadian dark ale or black ale, which ever you prefer to call it, seems to have been a fad. I brewed one, since I hadn’t had one in a long time to see if I could revive the dying breed. As I mentioned, I would brew it again, but when? Friends don’t want to take it so having to hit up five gallons on my own in a timely manner is almost impossible. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: The poorest 5% of people in the U.S. are still richer than 68% of the world’s inhabitants.

Tasted: MaMoo

April 25th, 2017 by scot

MaMoo India pale ale was brewed with Vic Secret to not only try out the hop but because it is supposedly a replacement for Galaxy, which is hard to get and ridiculously expensive when it is available. I don’t want to lead you down the wrong path as Vic Secret is not cheap either. Damn southern hemisphere hops are ridiculously good but at a cost.

I have noticed that I am buying at least a pound of hops per month. At first I thought it was crazy to pick up that much hops but looking at recipes like MaMoo, I am tearing through a pound of hops, give or take, per brew day. Eventually I will have to buy multiple pounds as I will run out.

Look:Gold. Hazy, dirty cloudy. Beautiful inch of white foam covers. Above average retention while lacing is minimal.

Aroma: Hops jump from the bottle on opening, prior to the pour. Once poured, papaya, lime, orange, berry, traces of pine, and earthy. Minimal malt backbone.

Taste: Light malts up front: sweetness. Earthiness is probably the backbone of the hops, while tastes of orange, lime and pine mingle to create a pleasant flavor.

Body: Light-end of medium body. Light/Medium carbonation. Late bitterness but not sharp. Dries.

Overall: Another good beer, just not great. I need a bit more maltiness to my hoppy beers. Might have to up it a notch in the next few batches. Too bland.

Beer is really easy to drink. I was just expecting more from Vic Secret. After rereading the specs for Vic Secret seems like I would have been better off with earlier hop additions. Still the aroma, especially a couple weeks ago, was phenomenal. Beginning to think that north eastern ipas need a bit more malt to make them sexier. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: A single cigarette contains about 4,000 chemicals.

Brewed: She Doesn’t Sweat Much For A Fat Girl

April 15th, 2017 by scot

I have a get together with friends most Thursday nights (I have mentioned this before – I even brewed TNBC One for the group). We call it the Thursday Night Beer Club (TNBC). During TNBC, especially when there is a full group and after a few beers, our conversations may cover a wide range of topics. What do you expect from a bunch of buzzed guys winding down the week. Somehow, someway the conversation went to the dark side. Rich was on a roll with part of a sentence ending in “she doesn’t sweat much for a fat girl.”

Of course we all laughed. I immediately stated that I had to make a beer with that name: She Doesn’t Sweat Much For A Fat Girl. I even created a place holder in beersmith so I wouldn’t lose the name.

Coming up with a home brew recipe for a beer with that name seemed easy: make a big, juicy north east IPA. The recipe below was inspired by the vision of a bunch of morons.

Home Brewing For She Doesn’t Sweat Much For A Fat Girl

There was a major mistake while brewing this beer: missing my gravity by 20 points. I figure this will come out in bitterness. When I start tasting, I will find out for sure.

While writing this blog entry, thinking through my process and rereading my notes, I realized there was another issue: raising fermentation temperatures from ~61*F t ~66*F in less than 12 hours. I think that puts a lot of stress on the yeast. I use a heat blanket made for heating plant roots. The lowest temperature is 68*F on the blanket. It might be time to look into and invest in heating options that starts in the high 50s/low 60s. allowing me to bump up it up a degree at a time. Enjoy!

Recipe for For She Doesn’t Sweat Much For A Fat Girl

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.070
Finishing Gravity: 1.008
IBU: 87.0
Color: 5.2 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 8.14%
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
7.00 pounds Pilsner
7.00 pounds Maris Otter
1.00 pounds Oats
1.00 pounds Red Wheat

Mash:
Saccharification @150.4*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces 2015 Azacca @ first wort
1.00 ounces 2016 Mandarina Bavaria @ first wort
1.00 ounces 2015 Azacca @20 minutes
1.00 ounces 2016 Mandarina Bavaria @15 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Azacca @10 minutes
1.00 ounces 2016 Mandarina Bavaria @5 minutes
3.00 ounces 2016 Rakau @whirlpool for 25 minutes
2.00 ounces 2015 Azacca @whirlpool for 25 minutes
4.00 ounces 2016 Wakatu @4 day dry hop
1.00 ounces 2016 Rakau @4 day dry hop
1.00 ounces 2016 Mandarina Bavaria @4 day dry hop

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
1.0 pounds table sugar @15 minutes
3.0 quarts of rice hulls
~6.0 gallons of reverse osmosis water used

Updates:

  • 2017-04-16 (morning): @62.3*F, added S-04 yeast.
  • 2017-04-16 (evening): @62.3*F, fermentation slowly starting.
  • 2017-04-17 (morning): @61.1*F, slow fermentation, added heat blanket @68*F.
  • 2017-04-17 (evening): @66.6*F, great fermentation.
  • 2017-04-18: @66.0*F, great fermentation continues.
  • 2017-04-19: slowing fermentation, added dry hops.
  • 2017-04-22: added to freezer set @37.0*F.
  • 2017-04-23: Bottled with 3.50 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 25, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: FAT.
  • 2017-05-11: Tasted.

Useless Fact: Dolphins and whales squeal to express delight.

Tasted: For the Little Woman

April 14th, 2017 by scot

Home brewed For the Little Woman enjoyed on the patio.

Tasting day for For the Little Woman. Home brewed almost two months ago, this beer is ready for an official write-up.

Each time I taste a home brew it gives me a chance to reminisce about the process of the brew day, handling, and packaging. For the Little Woman comes across as a easy home brew all the way around:

  • The brew day was rather simple as there was a smallish grain bill and minimal hop additions. There were no special steps. All-in-all nothing to worry about.
  • Handling of the beer was simple as well. Chill, add yeast, temperature control, and let he yeast feast. No extra additions of any kind.
  • Bottling was straight forward as also. No hop trub to cloud the beer or back up bottling gear. Just add to a sanitized bucket on top of the priming sugar liquid.

After I put my brain through the paces, I turn to the cost of brewing this beer to purchasing a similar craft beer. In this case, since it is inspired by Spotted Cow, it is an easy comparison. Spotted Cos is ~$9.00 a six pack, $36.00 a case, which amounts to $72.00+ for the amount of beer I brewed for this batch at retail cost. This beer cost me just under $20 in material cost to brew. Yes, my time is worth money, but it is a hobby. Therefore, if this thing tastes good, it is always the easier winner.

Let’s get started before I rant some more…

Look:Light gold, leaning towards straw. Hazy. Minimal white foam that is quick to leave doubt it ever existed. No lacing as expected from the initaial foam.

Aroma: Straight corn sweetness. Brings back distant memories of creamed corn that was highlighted the dinner table so often as a child. Light grains.

Taste: Follows the nose. Predominately corn sweetness. No sign of hops.

Body: Light body. Light/Medium carbonation. Surprisingly dry. Crisp.

Overall: A nice, light beer. Simple, one noted. Easy to drink. Somewhat lager like. See why so many people find this a cross over beer.

This beer did remind me of Spotted Cow but is definitely not a clone. Very similar with the inspiration coming through. I think there is a need for a few (3 – 5) IBUs to be added for more balance in the finish. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Astronauts on the International Space Station exercise about 2 hours per day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...