Archive for March, 2010

Idlewild Creek Bottled

Sunday, March 14th, 2010
home brew idlewild creek robust porter

Idlewild creek home brew with one gallon with vanilla bean, another gallon with oak burboun chips, and the rest all natural.

The Robust Porter, Idlewild Creek, that I brewed on February 20th, is now in the bottle after a few hours of work this morning. The beer was in primary for two weeks as I wanted to harvest the yeast to brew this again soon. Idlewild Creek then sat in the secondary for a week, mainly for the two specials to age.

The two specials are one gallon with vanilla bean (about a quarter of a bean) and another gallon with oak and bourbon. Based on the aroma and flavor, I would add more vanilla bean to the one gallon carboy in the future and/or let it age more than a week.

The oak, bourbon batch was pretty close to what I wanted. The oak wasn’t over powering but I did add an extra ounce of Makers to the bottling bucket to up the ante on bourbon. I had soaked about .2 ounces of oak chips in two ounces of bourbon for a week before the original racking to the one gallon carboy.

The last three gallons, which was straight forward, had a really nice roast flavor and, even flat, was damn tasty. I am looking forward to trying all three of these beers in the next three to four weeks. free run 6 v2 femmes My basement is about 56 degrees this time of year and bottling conditioning seems to be a little slower.

By the time it is ready, I should be close to bottling Double Bogey, a Russian Imperial Stout that was brewed last Saturday. Also, a two weeks from today, I should be back to brewing an IPA and, my wife likes the wheat beer I brewed and is half done with that already. Maybe it is time for ten gallon batches. 😀

The only thing I can say about home brewing: if you get the itch, it will keep scratching. Enjoy!

Lil’ Davey Totes From Half Acre

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Half Acre is releasing a short run beer for the Irish in you named Lil’ Davey Totes. The beer will only be available in growlers at the brewery with the short run dry Irish stout probably not lasing long based on small production.

From their blog:

Barreling through the fog came Lil’ Davey Totes.

Lil’ Davey Totes is a 4% dry irish stout ideal for the festivities at hand.
This is a draft only beer available for growler pours at the brewery. It was a small batch that should only last through St. Patrick’s day.

I wonder how tired my wife gets of me talking about beer all the time. Enjoy!

Stone Bash At Bavarian Lodge

Friday, March 12th, 2010

stone brewing vertical epic '08 label

There have been rumors for quite sometime that Stone Brewing Company would be distributing its’ wears to good old Illinois. The release date was pushed back a few times but now it seems to be for certain and set in stone. In order to kick off the event, the Bavarian Lodge is throwing a launch party on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 from 12:00 – 5:00 PM. match supreme prem The party will include a meet and greet with Greg Koch around 3:00 PM.

More from their newsletter:

We’re incredibly excited to help welcome Stone Brewing to Chicago. We’ll be hosting a special Stone Release Party with no less than EIGHT of Stone’s finest brews on tap, including a few from deep within the brewery’s cellars. The bash will culminate in a Meet & Greet with Stone Brewing Co. CEO and Co-Founder, Greg Koch! We’ll be opening early to celebrate the release of Stone’s fine line of beers in Chicagoland.

Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.08
Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
Stone Smoked Vanilla Porter
Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale
Arrogant Bastard Ale
Stone Ruination IPA
Stone Levitation Ale
Plus Rare Stone Brewing Co. Selections in Bottles!

Now this is more like it. An awesome launch party in my own backyard. Enjoy!

Upland Brewing to Release Infinite Wisdom Tripel

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Upland Brewing Company Infinite Wisom Tripel label artwork

Upland Brewing Company has announced that they will be releasing Infinite Wisdom Tripel on Saturday, March 27th at Jake’s Nightclub in Bloomington, IN. The email I received didn’t say anything about bottled release but since they had artwork created, I have to believe they will be doing some type of bottled release besides.

Information from the email:

We’re celebrating the release of our Infinite Wisdom Tripel with the progressive bluegrass sounds of Cornmeal and the dynamic, esoteric art of Norton Wisdom at Jake’s Nightclub in Bloomington on Saturday, match supreme txt femmes March 27th. Doors open at 5:30pm, and music kicks off at 7 with Zion Crossroads, followed by Cornmeal at 9.

Wisdom is a good friend of the brewery and creator of the artwork on our Infinite Wisdom Tripel label – along with our Dantalion Dark Wild Ale and Double Dragonfly, yet to be released.

I have to figure out a way to get down there. I am hearing good things about their beers. Enjoy!

American Craft Beer Increases Again

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

According to the Brewers Association American craft breweries sales were up over 7% from 2008. Another solid performance in spite of a downturn for U.S. beer sales overall.

In a year when other brewers saw a slowdown in sales, small and independent craft brewers saw sales dollars increase 10.3 percent and volume increase 7.2 percent2 over 2008, representing a growth of 613,992 barrels equal to roughly 8.5 million cases.

Overall, U.S. beer sales were down approximately 5 million barrels (31 gallons per U.S. barrel) in 2009.

One questions lingers in my mind: How much will this affect the true craft beer geeks ability to get short craft beer speciality runs? Enjoy!

New Glarus Trio Reviewed

Monday, March 8th, 2010

New Glarus Brewing Company is far enough away, yet close enough that I can make a half day trip there and back. I find all their beers are intriguing and definitely look forward to trying each beer of the Unplugged series. On a recent trip I picked up their two newest seasonal offerings: Road Slush Stout and Cabin Fever. I also found a bottle of Old English Porter from the Unplugged series that I never had before.

I have to say I enjoyed the Old English Porter the most as it was a good porter with the complexities of sour added to it. new jordan The “normal” and the sour each had their place and made for a fun beer. Road Slush would be a close second. It is a straight in your face stout: roasted and smoked flavors/aromas fill the senses. Nothing here is out of the ordinary, just well done to the nth degree. Cabin Fever brings up the rear in this tough fought beer review competition. I think this beer gets some bad reputation points on the internet because it is a light beer while a lot of us are still drinking big winter beers. Well, understand what you are drinking before you strap it on. This is very crisp and clean. I would definitely have all three beers again and will soon as I have more in the cellar. 🙂

New Glarus’s beers are always easy to drink and darn tasty. I am still waiting for their first bourbon beer but I will be back up there in about two months to get the next version of Unplugged and some Moon Man, there newest year round beer. Enjoy!

Double Bogey Russian Imperial Stout Brewed

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Ingredients used for Double Bogey, a Russian Imperial Stout

Let me start off by confirming that I am a noob when it comes to home brewing as this is only my sixth batch of beer. I used DME (dried malt extract) for all of my beers, but I do plan on switching to all grain come 2011. I just want to make sure I am making good beer with the extract and understand the process before making the switch over.

This beer marked the first time that I made a yeast starter. nike cortez I actually built it up twice over the course of a five day period. The process was fairly easy – easier than I thought. Just boil up 16 ounces of water and a cup of DME to make a 1.040 gravity wort. Cool. Add to your fermentation vessel, pitch the yeast, ready to go. This will increase the amount of viable yeast.

Yeast starter for the beer. This had been built up twice and I didn't use a stir plate.

Why did I create the starter? Double Bogey has an OG (original gravity) of 1.110 and yeast that you purchase for home brewing is only good to an OG of 1.060. If you pitch the yeast without the starter there is a good chance the yeast won’t be able to handle all the sugars, making this situation actually detrimental to their health.

The brew day, as usual, took four hours. The best purchase for this batch: a half-pound of whole leaf Fuggle hops. I didn’t need it all but Fred, the owner of the local shop, offered the eight ounces for $7.00. Yes, you read that right – seven bucks. I usually pay $3.00/ounce of hops there. How could I pass it up?

Since the recipe for Double Bogey only called for two ounces of Fuggle hops, I now have six ounces left in which to make some new recipes. The idea that popped into my head was to make an IPA with Fuggles in each part of the hop profile: bitter, flavor, aroma – adding to both the boil and dry hop along with some Amarilla. I have to pound out the idea a little more in my head and of course roll the idea around on message boards for some more input.

$7.00 for a half-pound of leaf Fuggle hops - less than a buck and ounce

The beer also had one ounce of Norther Brewer at 60 minutes and two ounces of Kent Goldings at 10 minutes. The Fuggle was added with one minute left in the boil.

The Norther Brewer was an experience though. From the steeping of the grains, the addition of 64 ounces of water pre-boil and seven pounds of DME, the brew pot was quite full of liquid. I added the one ounce of hops shortly after the boil began. In the time that I turned to place the wrapper on the counter and come back to the beer…BOOOM…the word almost exploded out of the pot. Luckily none got on me. Just the stove top and sides and the floor.

What to do? I was worried that the boil sugars landing on the stove top would ruin the paint enamel, thus upsetting the wife. That was really the only major concern I had. I put the pot on the other side of the stove. Let the wort cool on the other side and cleaned the stove before my wife woke from her nap. How you like that?! Yes, I did tell her about the incident.

Four pounds of grains were held steady at 154 degrees for 30 minutes during the steep.

The rest of the brew day went off without a hitch.

I do have a concern about the boil over. I did lose a lot of hops from the Northern Brewer addition as they had yet to fully get bogged down into the wort. The sides of the kettle and the stove seemed to be covered in a lot of hop material. This lends me to think that the bitterness will be no where close to were it needs to be. This beer has a ton of sugars from the DME and steeped grains that need to be offset by a large hop profile otherwise the beer could be too sweet.

Unfortunately this beer will take a could three to five months for it to develop into its prime. A long time to wait to see if the boil over created a really bad balance towards the sweet side in the beer. No matter, I think this is a good recipe and if it isn’t what I expected, I will brew it again in another year or two and compare.

Next Up: an IPA with or without the Fuggle. The wheat beer I made for my wife, per her request, is coming around nicely. I don’t think that will last too long, so that might be after the IPA. Sometime soon I want to sneak in a Hefe. Enjoy!

Six Beers Reviewed From Terrapin

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Last night we tasted six American craft beers from Terrapin. It was a good array of beers from their regular series (SunRay Wheat Beer 6/10, Hopsecutioner 8/10, and India Brown Ale 7/10), their "Monster Beer Tour" series (Big Hoppy Monster 8/10 and Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout 8/10), and their "Side Project" series (Volume 9 – Dark Side 7/10).

I not going to go over each beer seperately as you can read nike cortez femmes the reviews but I would have to say that Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout was both Rich’s and my favorite beer out of the group. The monster beer tour series beers seemed to have more flavor, more aroma, and more complexity than the regular beers. I don’t know if it is a long winter of drinking big beers that made the regulars not live up to expectations.

Still all the beers were above average and had their good points. I will be looking forward to more time spent with a Terrapin. Enjoy!

Terrapin Brewery Horizontal Tonight

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Thursday is the usual night that Rich and I get together to work on the site in an official capacity; of course that capacity is in American craft beer. Tonight we will be doing a Terrapin Brewing horizontal. I have five different flavors up for grabs, four of which are centered on hops. If we finish those in a timely fashion, I believe I have a side project that could be brought into the fray or a home brew. More on the beers tomorrow. Enjoy!

Flossmoor To Release High-Fi Rye Wine

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Flossmoor Station announced that it will be releasing High-Fi Rye Wine on February 20th at 12:00pm at their brewery. It is one of those when it is out it is out type of releases. From Bryan Shimkos, the brewer, on the blog:

Hi-Fi is an 11% ABV beer similar to a barleywine, only most nike kobe 9 of this beer’s grain bill was rye. 58% rye in fact. We added a very minute touch of caraway seed for a little more of the “rye bread” flavor. Hopped to balance the huge malt character with pacific northwest hops, this beer has been aging in stainless for the last three months to allow this beer to mellow and mature. This will be a limited release, so we will have a bottle limit set after the total number of cases are counted.

They have also tapped a new stout: Bourbon McElroy — Bourbon Imperial Stout (10.5%). They only use the best bourbon, so I am sure this one will be delicious. Enjoy!