Monday, August 8, 2011

Daily Beer Digest -- 08.08.2011

The Brewers Association reports that U.S. craft beer growth is up 15% in terms of dollars and 14% in terms of volume over last year. The number of breweries in planning has also increased nearly two-fold from the same point last year.

The Chicago Tribune has an article about gypsy brewing, focusing on Stillwater.

Three Floyds got approval for its Zombie Dust label. The label confirms that the brew will be available in 12-ounce bottles. Thanks to Beernews for the image.

Alan Sprints of Hair of the Dog gave an update to the Brewing Network on his barrel-aged collaboration with Deschutes. A transcript of that portion of his talk is available via Beernews.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Daily Beer Digest -- 08.04.2011

Today is International IPA Day.

Stillwater is releasing an oak wine barrel-aged version of Cellar Door. This is part of its barrel-aged series; the brewery previously got label approval for a bourbon barrel-aged version of Existent.

Miller Lite has a problem with sales. Vortex bottle and triple hops brewed no longer effective selling points? That's too bad. Granted, this is from an advertising periodical, but I love how the article points out that the solution isn't making a better beer, but "to find marketing solutions" to the problem. Miller is on top of the problem, though, assuming "record rainfall" doesn't "limit beer occasions" in future quarters.

The Bruery has been active on Twitter lately, posting a photo of their raspberry sour blending session, as well as a photo of the groundbreaking for their new warehouse, which will hold a whole bunch of new barrels. The barrel-room expansion was discussed previously here.

Hair of the Dog's Adam from the Wood debuts on the Beer Advocate Top 100 at #94 with 21 reviews and a 4.63 average.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Daily Beer Digest -- 08.03.2011

Embrace The Funk has a short interview with Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River. In it, Vinnie states that Framboise for a Cure should be released again this October.

The ninth installment of Avery's barrel-aged sour series, Immitis, will be a dark sour in Zinfandel barrels.

New Belgium will make its official launch in DC on August 22, 2011. Bombers to start with kegs to follow.

DRAFT Magazine has an article on the "white IPA" from Boulevard and Deschutes. Is this the next IPA iteration? Aside from the standard, we already have black, red, and brown.

SweetWater is expanding its capacity to 500,000 barrels.

Stone is finally debuting its Quingenti Millilitre series, which consists of 500mL bottles of limited beers. The first installment is a barrel-aged version of the Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee Macadamia Coconut Porter.

Seattle Mariners pitcher Chris Ray teamed up with Femont Brewing to put together an IPA that was partially aged with baseball bats.

White Labs' "San Diego Super Yeast" (WLP090) is starting to make the rounds. This is a strain that is fairly similar to the standard California Ale (WLP001; Wyeast 1056) yeast, but features faster fermentation times and higher attenuation.

As of April of this year, it looks like Surly still had at least one keg of Darkness '07 around.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Amy and I are headed to Belgium one month from today, which I'm quite excited about. There's nothing like looking forward to a week of spending nearly every morning at either Cantillon or Drie Fonteinen, then proceeding to go visit Trappist breweries and other beer-related goodies.

Daily Beer Digest -- 08.02.2011

Anchorage Brewing will be releasing two more Brett beers through the Shelton Brothers soon. The first is a Belgian Double IPA that is aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brett. The second is a saison with hibiscus and other goodies, then aged in Pinot Noir barrels with Brett.

Charlie Papzian explains the history of adjunct lagers in the United States and why our mass-produced lagers don't replicate the original European styles.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Daily Beer Digest -- 08.01.2011

Bloomberg has a video with a profile of Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione.

It looks like The Bruery did some sour barrel blending today.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Beer Digest -- 07.29.2011

Keeping with the pattern of thinking that daily is once or twice a month:

Good day for beer. Received my order from Blackwell's complete with Almanac Summer 2010 Vintage - Blackberry, Russian River Consecration, and Marin White Knuckle Double IPA. Also stopped by Whole Foods to pick up bottles of Anchorage Whiteout Wit and Stillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante.

Anheuser-Busch will take over some of the responsibility for brewing Goose Island's 312, which isn't a bad thing at all as far as I'm concerned. Why? This means that Goose Island is going to bring back Nut Brown and Christmas Ale, and will also have more room for barrel-aged beers and sours.

This article from the Chicago Tribune provides a bit more info, including John Hall's hope to build a large brewery in Chicago in a few years, bringing all of Goose Island's production back to the Windy City. Additionally, the article reveals that Anheuser has already put $3 million into Goose Island's existing Fulton Street brewery.

Cigar City and Mikkeller are collaborating on a quadrupel aged with all sorts of tropical fruits (label). And that's the most-normal thing about it. The official description (from Beernews): "The Quad is a Belgian-Style Ale made in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing. It was brewed with Citra and Simcoe hops and aged in Grand Marnier barrels with papaya, mango and Brettanomyces claussenii. It will be released in 500 ML bottles.” The beer was brewed at Amager Bryghus in Denmark."

Cigar City bottled rum-barrel Hunahpu's.

Ithaca is releasing Brute today with a case-per-person limit.

An interesting article with thoughts on the subjects of beer terroir and Belgian beer (primarily on innovators such as Struise and Alvinne) over at the Thirsty Pilgrim. The blog entry links to an in-depth article over at Draft Magazine.

Alexandria's own Port City has the keg label ready for its first seasonal, an Port City Oktoberfest.

In other local news, Virginia may have charged ahead in the hunt to become the destination for Sierra Nevada's East Coast brewery.

De Struise to open a shop in Bruges.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blue Point ESB

Blue Point finally, finally, finally re-releases their highly-acclaimed Extra Special Bitter. It's currently on draft at the Bronx Ale House in New York, and will hopefully be making the rounds. If anyone can get a growler, please help out.

As background, Blue Point's ESB is the #1-ranked ESB on Beer Advocate. I have long argued that it is retired, given that it has not been reviewed on either Beer Advocate or Rate Beer for over two years. If I can get a growler, I'll surely change that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Daily Beer Digest -- 06.29.2011

Flying Dog now has a partial victory in its battle with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. Yesterday, the Commission reversed its earlier decision banning Flying Dog's signature Raging Bitch Belgian IPA because of the name and supposedly graphic artwork. Flying Dog previously filed a lawsuit in federal court in Michigan, alleging violation of its First Amendment rights. The brewery's blog indicates that the lawsuit will still go forward as the brewery seeks to vindicate the rights of breweries to engage in free speech, and also seeks damages for lost sales during the period in which the beer was banned.

Top 100 News: Funky Buddha's "No Crust" debuts on Beer Advocate's Top 100 list at #97 with a 4.79 average (14 reviews).

The Wall Street Journal has an article on session beer, recommending Troegs Sunshine Pils, Full Sail Session Black Lager, Great Divide Samurai, Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale, and Sixpoint Sweet Action.

Short's and Dogfish Head have a new collaboration coming out -- a Baltic Porter base that includes Delaware beach plums, horehound from Michigan, and some red popcorn sent in by Nick Floyd at Three Floyds.

The Bruery makes beer geeks everywhere salivate with a photo of their barrel room.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daily Beer Digest -- 05.19.2011

Back at it, yet again with a big day for news.

The Bruery announced its Project Quercus Maximus. The highlight is that the brewery has leased a new warehouse that will hold THOUSANDS of barrels for an expanded barrel series. With this, The Bruery will be cutting Orchard White from production and making Rugbrod available only in the fall and winter. Hottenroth will be available in the spring and summer.

New Belgium -- following in the footsteps of Sierra Nevada's recent announcement -- also plans to open an East Coast brewery. This will increase production and reduce the environmental impact of sending beer to the East Coast. This falls on the hells of the brewery's announcement that it will expand its distribution to Virginia, DC, and Maryland by the end of 2011.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 05.05.2011

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) announced that its shipments were up 10% in the first quarter of 2011.

Founders line of 750mL releases -- the "Backstage Series" -- will start up this summer with the return of Blushing Monk, a Belgian-style beer with raspberries. Future beers will include some of the "one-off" beers from Founders' taproom, though there was no mention of any beers in particular. While CBS and Black Biscuit are not taproom-only, we can all hope those will be part of the series at some point.

Cigar City bottled Batch 4 of 110k+OT today. The beer will be a hoppy imperial amber.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 04.26.2011

Miller plans on releasing a version of the already-atrocious MGD 64 with a "nice" twist--"natural lemon flavor" and sucralose aka Splenda. Wow. Really, I mean, REALLY?!?! (Hulu SNL Video).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daily Beer Digest -- 04.21.2011

Growth updates: Stone grew 42% in Q1 2011, while Dogfish grew 25% in the same quarter. Dogfish hopes to level out at a "lower" level like this for a smoother growing process.

John Trogner, one of the "Troegs" brothers, is helping Stone brew a Cherry Chocolate Stout with the winners of Stone's recent AHA contest.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 04.14.2011

Late on quite a few updates.

Bell's announced that they'll begin having bottled on dates on their labels in addition to the batch number. For expiration dates, they'll have an A,B,C system for beers that will expire in 6 months, 12 months, or never, respectively. They've started experimenting with this and expect all bottles to have this labeling starting in late April.

The Brewers Association released the top 50 craft breweries for 2010 based on volume.

Three Floyds posted "A Few Tips for a Successful Dark Lord Day."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 04.07.2011

Today is National Beer Day, celebrating the 77th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.

Tammy Tuck has a great piece on what's helping DC's beer scene thrive--the fact that any beer a retailer can obtain, there is a legal way for it to be sold in the District.

Surly's expansion plans moved a step forward yesterday as the relevant Minnesota Senate Committee voted to move the bill forward.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 04.06.2011

Dark Lord Day tickets have shipped. I received my e-mail this morning and they were already in Virginia, so it looks like they went out at least a day or two ago.

Oskar Blues posted growth around 50% in the first quarter of this year. Not too shabby.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 04.05.2011

Sierra Nevada hops on the session trend with A New Shade of Pale, which will apparently make an appearance during Philly Beer Week.

The man who has given up all by doppelbock and water for Lent says things are going well, but he's pretty sick of his brew of choice.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 04.04.2011

Big news from Founders today: the brewery will begin releasing limited edition beers in 750mL bottles starting this summer. No word on exactly which beers as of yet.

Cigar City bottled its most-recent collaboration with Mikkeller today: Nielsbohrium. indicates that this is a blend of Dirac and Bohr imperial sweet stouts with raisins, aged in rum barrels.

Tammy Tuck over at Young & Hungry has an initial primer on some of the events that will be happening during the week preceding SAVOR.

Allagash will soon be releasing a batch of spontaneously-fermented beers. They're also filling their koelschip today.

Captain Lawrence will be releasing Rosso Marrone Batch 3 on Saturday April 16. The new Barrel Select beers -- Series #2, Raspberry, and Cherry -- should hopefully be ready by July.

Firestone Abacus is soon to be known simply as Firestone Barley Wine.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 04.01.2011

Sierra Nevada will be releasing a mixed 12-pack with four of its "Beer Camp" beers, including Weizenbock, Juniper Black Ale, California Common, and the very well-regarded Ghidorah Double IPA.

Goose Island's new brewmaster--Brett Porter--discusses his new position on WGN radio.

Fritz Maytag and Ken Grossman give the keynote address at Craft Brewers Conference 2011.

Jean Van Roy, Cantillon's master blender, speaks at CBC 2011.

It looks like Captain Lawrence has some new sour offerings in the works, as it has received label approvals for a raspberry and a cherry blend. The labels appear to be part of the brewery's Barrel Select series, something which I've hoped would become an East Coast Veritas, though they haven't released any bottles in the series since Barrel Select Batch 1.

Russian River is turning 7, and is celebrating the month of April with free shipping on all online orders.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.31.2011

Some more big canning news, as Bell's announced that it will begin canning in Spring 2012. Bell's has not decided which brands it will can or whether it will be using 12-ounce or 16-ounce cans. Bottles will still be the brewery's primary packaging method.

Avery may soon be experimenting with absinthe barrels.

Lots of news from Stone coming from Beer News today. It looks like they're considering building a separate facility for doing wild ales. They are also conducting diligence on a site in Germany, and seem likely to have a Citra beer out later this year.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.30.2011

Click here to vote in Round 4 of the Washington Post's 2011 Beer Madness.

Great Divide is pulling out of a large number of states, including Michigan, DC, and much of Virginia. Luckily, it looks like Northern Virginia customers will still have access to Great Divide through Hop & Wine, so DC is mostly in the clear as well. Musings Over a Pint has a post on Great Divide's back-and-forth history in Virginia.

In other distribution news, Shelton Brothers is pulling out of Indiana, meaning the Hoosier state will no longer receive beer from Cantillon, Mikkeller, Struise, and others. See the report from Hoosier Beer Geek. This is yet another setback for Indiana, which also recently lost Dogfish Head.

De Struise released a small number of bottles of Double Black, a massive 26% iced version of Cuvee Delphine, early this morning, around 5:00 AM EDT. The bottles sold out in a little over an hour, even with a hefty price tag. Here's the Beer Advocate discussion on the topic. Thankfully, rumor has it that the next batch will be out soon and released in 33cl bottles as opposed to this release, which was in 750ml bottles.

The tax relief bill for small brewers has been introduced in the House and Senate.

Based on a tweet from FiftyFifty (Twitter), it looks like this year's Eclipse versions will be aged in the following barrels: Buffalo Trace (new), Elijah Craig (was previously done in 2009), Four Roses (previously done in 2010), and Rittenhouse Rye (new). The brewery also put up a separate webpage devoted to Eclipse, which announces that Futures for this year's batch will be available on April 15.

New information on the status of Discovery's Brewmasters TV show came to light today, as Anthony Bourdain tweeted that Big Beer had nixed the program by threatening to pull their advertising. The revelation sparked quite a bit of discussion on Beer Advocate.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.29.2011

It looks like the proposed Maryland legislation to allow some alcohol shipping is moving forward; however, the bad news is that the language still only includes wine. Thanks to Beer in Baltimore for the tip.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.28.2011

Unbelievable news came today, as it was reported that Anheuser-Busch is purchasing Goose Island. Current brewmaster Greg Hall will be stepping down. The special announcement letter from Goose Island's founder John Hall is available here. Further information is available in the press release, which indicates that the two Goose Island brewpubs are not part of the deal. It also indicates that John Hall will remain in his current role. It will be interesting to see how all of this shakes out, though it's possible that things could remain relatively the same for GI.

An interview with Greg Hall is available here. In it, he indicates that he plans to leave the beer industry, and that this was the perfect time to do it. Given his connection to the food community, I wonder whether he involves himself more on the food side, still interacting quite a bit with the brewing community?

Flying Dog has sued the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, alleging violating of its freedom of speech for Michigan's rejection of its "Raging Bitch" label.

The Bruery posted a photo of Sean Lawson of Lawson's Finest helping out at the brewery, saying that they're working on a collaboration that will, of course, involve maple syrup.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.25.2011

Big collaboration news today, as Sierra Nevada and Russian River announced today that they will be releasing a Belgian Pale Ale with Brett in bottles nationwide in 2012.

Surly announced today that the bill that will allow it to build its "Destination Brewery" will get a hearing with the Minnesota Senate Commerce Committee on April 5, 2011.

The Wine Enthusiast has an article on the collaboration between Dogfish and Sam Adams, which will be making its debut at SAVOR.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.24.2011

Flossmoor Station details what's "on the horizon." Get ready for the 2011 DLD Pre-party.

Lew Bryson examines the positives and negatives of increased beer choice.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout won't be out until early May this year. Thanks to Beer News for the tip.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Todd Ashman of FiftyFifty offers his thoughts on one of the segments of this year's Craft Brewers Conference.

Bell's posted an official press release regarding its cease and desist letter to Northern Brewer, which was referenced here yesterday.

Maryland may soon join Virginia and DC in allowing the direct shipment of some alcohol. Now, let's just hope this includes beer and not just wine. Thanks to Beer in Baltimore for the tip.

The Atlantic recently interviewed Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head.

There were 6,000 tickets sold to Dark Lord Day. Also, the Munster police plan on keeping tighter control on the festivities this year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.22.2011

Click here to test your beer geography knowledge--10 minutes to name which of the 49 listed beers correspond to which state. Note that North Dakota does not currently have any production breweries, though that is set to change later this year.

The Indy Star has an article detailing some concerns that Three Floyds, Upland, and Sun King have regarding the state's taxation. As these three breweries approach annual production volumes of 20,000 barrels, they'll be subject to higher taxes and lose other benefits unless Indiana changes its 1993 law.

Make sure to vote in Round 2 of the Washington Post's Beer Madness 2011.

After you head over to WaPo's brackets, vote here in Round 3 of DRAFT Magazine's bracket.

DRAFT Magazine drops the scoop that Anchor is to re-release the coveted Our Barrel Ale.

Beer Pulse has information on this year's Samuel Adams Longshot six packs, which will contain two bottles each of the following: Friar Hop Ale (Belgian IPA), Blackened Hops (American Black Ale), and Honey B’s Lavender Wheat (American Pale Wheat Ale).

Northern Brewer received a cease and desist letter from Bell's, which does not want Northern Brewer to refer to its Bell's Two Hearted Ale clone as Three Hearted Ale. See the Beer Advocate community's thoughts on the subject here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.21.2011

Hill Farmstead announced on its Facebook page that it may soon be expanding capacity, as Shaun has decided to place the new brewhouse in what could have been a taproom/pub. It seems like he still has his eye on a taproom in the future, however.

Deschutes began expansion on its brewpub.

Sierra Nevada posted a video about its new line of Ovila beers.

The Brewers Association released findings detailing that "[s]mall and independent craft brewers saw volume increase 11 percent and retail sales dollars increase 12 percent over 2009, representing a growth of over 1 million barrels (31 gallons per U.S. barrel), equal to more than 14 million new craft cases."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.18.2011

Mike over at themadfermentationist recently posted an extraordinarily-informative post entitled "Maintaining Brett and Lacto Cultures."

The Bruery received over 100 new bourbon barrels today. Who wouldn't be excited about that?

Modern Cow (aka alfrantzell of Beer Advocate) has a gut-wrenchingly-hilarious series of comics regarding Tomme Arthur of The Lost Abbey.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Daily Beer Digest - 03.17.2011

It's St. Patrick's day and there seems to be plenty of debate over green beer and whether it's necessary to have Irish styles today. I plan on taking a middle-of-the-road approach with some GREEN Flash West Coast IPA.

On the heels of several announcements about Dark Lord Day, Three Floyds issued a "State of the Brewery" letter last night.

There continue to be an absolutely ridiculous number of threads on Beer Advocate about Founders KBS. For example, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I think you get the point.

The BEER Act of 2011, which would reduce the taxes paid by small breweries and raise the production cap to be considered a small brewer, continues to pick up co-sponsors in the Senate.

cmstaten posted some very interesting links on cellaring conditions and evolving flavor profiles on Beer Advocate. The linked information comes from Stone's own Mitch Steele and Dr. Bill.

Dark Lord Day tickets will go on sale Saturday March 19 at 1 PM (see #4). I assume this is Central.

You can now vote in Round 2 of the Washington Post's Beer Madness 2011 bracket. Commentary on Round 1 can be found here.

DC Brau (@dcbrau) got its certificate of operation today, meaning that DC is even closer to finally having a production brewery.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daily Beer Digest

Here is the first installment of Daily Beer Digest, which I hope will be a recurring event.

I had a few extra minutes this morning, so I added the dry hops to my Bitter Beer Face American Bitter, which I brewed on March 6. Thanks to all those on the Beer Advocate Homebrewing forum for helping out with this one. This was my first time adding dry hops in the carboy--rather than in the keg--with unwaxed dental floss used to hold the hop bag in suspension. The procedure was easy enough, and hopefully it yields good results.

Upland Lambics went on sale at 12:00 PM EDT this afternoon. This round Upland offered the Blackberry and Cherry Lambics with a limit of 1 per style per person at $20 per bottle. Amy and I were each lucky enough to grab an allocation of each style. Looking forward to it as the Blackberry is the only variety I haven't been able to try yet.

Deschutes has finalized expansion plans that will eventually result in a capacity increase of 105,000 barrels, responding to an increase in demand for their products. Good news has been coming from Deschutes lately, as they also recently announced that they'll be pasteurizing their beer that comes out of barrels after having infection issues with 2009 Abyss and 2009 Mirror Mirror. Amy and I were luckily spared with The Abyss, as none of our 6 bottles were infected. We're hoping for the same for the 3 bottles of Mirror Mirror I gave Amy for Christmas, as this it's one of her favorite beers. We opened one that was infection-free just after Christmas, so we're hoping that the rest are the same and have the refrigerated just to be safe.

The beer menu for SAVOR was announced. Overall, some very good things to try, though some breweries are a bit disappointing. I'd especially like to see Cigar City be a little bit more adventurous. I wasn't particularly pleased with them offering off-the-shelf bottled beers at this year's Night of the Funk, especially with the knowledge that I had passed on this year's Hunahpu's release and its crazy draft lineup in favor of the Night of the Funk / Extreme Beer Fest combo.

Hoosier Beer Geek put up an interview with Barnaby from Three Floyds, detailing some information about this year's Dark Lord Day. Judging by the picture in the post, this year's wax color with be yellow.

In other absolutely fantastic Three Floyds news, Zombie Dust (formerly Cenotaph) will apparently be released in six packs.

Founders' new bottling line is up and running.

Brew Your Own posted on article on reading malt specification sheets.

Alaskan Brewing will be headed to Minnesota starting in May. Great news for me, as now I should be able to order their beers when I make my online Surly purchases at France 44.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Batch III - Kukulcan Imperial Mayan Stout Redux

01.11.2011 - Trying again--hopefully without a massive blowoff experience this time. Made a starter of 3 quarts of tap water along with 10 ounces of DME. Boiled for 15 minutes with 1/8 tsp Wyeast yeast nutrient. Split the volume into two growlers and pitch a room-temperature vial of WLP001 into each. Covered with aluminum foil.

01.15.2011 - Brewday activity and recipe:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Batch II -- Kukulcan Imperial Mayan Stout

01.05.2011 - Made a starter for the imperial stout. boiled 7 ounces of DME with approximately 64oz of water to replicate Zamil Zainafheff's formulation in "Yeast." Also added 1/4 tsp. of Wyeast yeast nutrient. Boiled all of this for 15 minutes. Had to deal with a few early boil-overs, but it settled shortly after. Split the mixture into two growlers. Placed outside to cool and pitched one Activator of Wyeast 1056 into each growler. The packets: (1) MFG 30NOV10 (1534327) and (2) MFG 14DEC10 (1104347). Not thinking squarely--though it ends up not mattering--shook the growler with the older packet added right after adding the yeast. Placed sanitized aluminum foil over the top and left out overnight on the kitchen countertop.

01.06.2011 - After approximately 21 hours, the kraeusen has fallen quite a bit after being fairly high on both this morning around 8 hours in. The growler with the yeast that is approximately 15 days older appears to have finished quite a bit quicker. The kraeusen on that one never got quite as high. This morning, yeast was swirled and shaken at approximately the 7-hour mark and the 9-hour mark. This evening, yeast swirled again at the 21-hour mark.

01.07.2011 - After approximately 30 hours, the kraeusen has fallen to to a thin layer of foam on top of the beer. There is a layer of slurry on each one about half-and-inch thick. Interestingly, the older smack pack currently has a larger cake at the bottom. Whether this is due to the initial shaking or just because the yeast flocculated out quicker, we'll have to see. Placing both in fridge to flocculate out all the yeast so the wort can be decanted the morning of brewday.

01.08.2011 - Brewday. Mashed at 156F for ~70 minutes. Mashed in a 1.25 quarts/pound. Added 6 gallons and 42 ounces of 173F water. Mash a bit too high at 160. Added 32oz. of 45F water to bring to 156-57F. After 60 minutes, added 3 gallons sparge to bring to 170F. Volume dropped too low during boil, so added 1 gallon filtered water toward end of boil. Original gravity of 1.097. Got a little less than 5 gallons into the fermenter (6-gallon better bottle). Pitched yeast at approximately 6PM. The grain bill was altered as Northern Brewer delivered 10 pounds of Rahr 2-Row instead of Maris Otter. Recipe:

01.09.2011 - Disaster strikes. Blowoff tube into growler was a bad idea. Ended up losing quite a bit of beer. Cleaned up around 2AM when it was discovered. Unfortunately, left temperature probe outside of freezer so temperature dipped down to near freezing. Luckily, nothing froze and this served batch i quite well, as it dropped everything out and made kegging easier. Later in the idea, on the advice from Humbard, I siphoned what remained to a 3-gallon better bottle. Plenty of yeast in suspension came with, so no need to repitch. This was done at approximately 4PM. Ended up with approximately 2 gallons of 1.090 beer. By 11PM, a nice kraeusen has developed and the blowoff bucket is showing plenty of signs of activity. Temperature is sitting between 62 and 65F.

I will be brewing this again next weekend and will hopefully have better results. I am excited that I'll actually get to use all Maris Otter instead of the Rahr 2-Row this time, and after tasting the samples from Saturday's batch, I'll definitely be scaling the Columbus 60-minute addition down to .75 ounces or maybe a bit more.

01.11.2010 - Took a sample this evening while switching over from the blowoff assembly to an airlock. Gravity is down to 1.028. A quick taste brings some malt but mostly a strong alcohol bite. Hopefully this subsides and isn't related to stress caused during the overflow fiasco.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Batch I -- Apollo India Pale Ale

I brewed my first batch of homebrew on Sunday January 2, 2011 after getting all the gear I needed from Amy for Christmas. Brew was done with the assistance of the Matts--Humbard and Geist. Here is the recipe and notes on the process:

01.02.2011 - Brewday. Mashed in at 1.25 quarts/pound of water to reach a mash temperature of 149F. Held there for 90 minutes. Collected a bit under 5 gallons, chilled to 69F, and pitched two vials of WLP001. Placed in chest freezer at 65F. Initial gravity reading is 1.046.

01.04.2011 - Couldn't help myself and took a gravity reading after the blowoff tube hadn't shown much activity. Down to 1.022. Still fairly sweet, but quite bitter with plenty of tropical notes.

01.07.2011 - Took a final gravity reading after no change in activity for over a day and the kraeusen had fallen. Gravity now at 1.010. Beer is significantly less sweet and quite bitter.

01.09.2011 - Early AM temperature was dropped down to 35F to settle sediment. Added 2 ounces each of Citra and Amarillo to the bottom of a sanitized keg purged with CO2. Transferred approximately 4.5 gallons to the keg. Started carbonating at 10psi at 36F to get approximately 2-2.5 volumes of CO2. Smell is pretty strong, though not nearly what I would like it to be--hopefully the dry hops help there. The 100+ theoretical IBUs are very noticeable; it's going to be one extremely-bitter session beer.

01.10.2011 - Went to check on the keg and realized the CO2 tank had kicked at some point during the first 24 hours of carbonation. Switched to a new tank at 8-10psi. Pulled a sample of the beer and it was quite cloudy. Apparently, this is not from the yeast as I chilled a sample for quite some time without any of the haze falling out. I don't think this is chill haze as it was not present earlier. The nose is great--stronger hop aroma than yesterday. The taste, however, is a bit chalky and seems to have changed during the day in the keg. I'm investigating the cause of this but hope it's a normal part of the process and/or will fall out in a few days during carbonation.