Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fermenter is going crazy

We can say I got bubbles. I walked into the house today and I heard a major rattle and was wondering what it was. So I followed the sounds and it was the airlock rattling away. This means that fermentation is taking place and all the yeast are getting there fill of all the fermentable sugars in the wort. In a few days probably Saturday or Sunday I am going to try something I have never tried before secondary fermentation and dry hopping. This involves transferring the fermented wort to another carboy where the beer will sit for another 2 weeks to clear up and chill. I don't forsee this being a big deal. I have racked the beer into the bottling bucket last time and it is the same process. I can't wait to try this it smells so good already.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Friday Night - Skating Show

Hi All,

I probably shouldn't tell this story but oh well I am secure enough with my man hood. Well on Friday after work I had a few people over for dinner and for the first real drinking of my home brew. It turned out really well and everyone really liked both the food and the beer. Its always good when people go for seconds. Then we went to the Smucker's Stars on Ice Show at the Rabobank. It was fun when the music was fast and upbeat but the slow stuff was really boring. It was something to do but it's not what i would do very often. My friend always used to say its not what you do its who your with. I would have to say thats true.


Second Beer Batch

Hi All,

I brewed my second batch of beer today and I am right back to where I started last time. I hope I did it right. I am hoping after a few batches I won't worry so much but I really want this to work. I started off by trying to make a yeast starter using liquid yeast and I think I killed the yeast so I didn't even try to use it as there was no foam and all the yeast looked like the dead yeast at the bottom of a bottle of home brew. Don't worry I had dry yeast as a backup so I think it will be all good. So this morning I wake up and start the cleaning and sanitation process. I am trying to use I/O star (an Iodine based sanitzer) and it stained my plastic equipment light brown/orange but I read that it won't have any issue on this beer or any future brews its just discolored. So thats cool and it is a lot easier to use then bleach and it doesn't smell. So as long as I don't taste any off flavors in the the beer and I don't get any infection in the beer i will keep using it. Other then that everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. I will know after a few days if I get bubbles in the airlock.

That's all for today!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sacramento Trip - BrewPub 3

What's up all,

Well the 3rd and final BrewPub I went to was the Hoppy Brewing Company. Of the three Brew Pubs I went to this was right in the middle in terms of the beer. I liked most of them but there were only a few i really liked. I also had a really good Jerk Chicken Sandwich on Ciabatta bread.

My favorite beers here are:

1. Hoppy Face Amber Ale - This was a really good amber ale with a great hoppy flavor. There was also a good balance between malt and hops but the hops were definitely what made this beer.

2. Stony Face Red Ale - This is normally not what I like in a beer and it basically the exact opposite of the Hoppy Face. It had a great malt flavor but there was also very good balance between the hops and the malt. I feel the malt maded this beer really good. It used both a dark roast malt and a chocolate flavored malt.

3. Heff-a's-weizen - There wasn't anything special about this beer but it was a very nice classic hefeweizen beer.

4. Hoppy Face/Stony Face mix - The bartender mixed these 2 at a 50/50 split and told me to try it. Let me tell you it worked. It was the perfect balance between malt and hops.

I highly recommend that you try this place if you are ever in Sac. It has a great atmosphere, good food and good beer.

As you can see I had a pretty good trip to Cali's capitol. Always remember if you are ever in a new place try the local Brew Pub scene you won't be sorry.

Peace Out!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sacramento Trip - BrewPub 2

Hi All,

The second Brew Pub I went to was called Rubicon Brewing Company. I will have to say this was my least favorite of the 3 places I attended (in terms of beer) but it did have the best food of the three and it had by far my favorite beer of the trip the Winter Wheat Wine. The reason that I called it my least favorite was there were only 2 others that I really liked and there were 2 that I didn't like at all. I will never say don't go try some place because everybody palate is different and things I dislike you may love. I would recommend this place on the 3 beers and the food I liked.

The 3 beers I really liked were the:

1. Winter Wheat Wine - This beer was my favorite of the trip. It was very smooth and had good balance between the hops and malt. It provided a nice warmth as you sip it. This is definitely a sipping beer. Think of a cold winter day sitting by the fire and this is what you should be drinking in your dreams. If you read the description this brew was a mistake by the brewer. I sure hope I can messup like this someday.

2. Irish Red - It has a nice red color with a nice balance between hops and malt. This would be a good drinking beer.

3. IPA - This is what I call a beer. It has a golden orange color with nice and smooth hop flavor throughout. It finishes with an extra bite of hoppiness at the finish.


Peace out!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sacramento Trip

Hi All,

I had to go out of town for work this week to a attend a conference and give a presentation. I had been to Sac once before but it was before my big interest in the craftbrew/brewpub industry. So since I went by myself and didn't really know anyone what better place to go an hang out over the evening but to hit the local brewpubs get some dinner and have a few good brew samplers. Well I got there on Tuesday evening around 7 so I decided to go the the closest one one to my hotel which was the Sacramento Brewing Company. This actually ended up being the favorite of the 3 I visited. I actually liked most of the beer I tasted.

Sacramento Brewing Company Favorites:
1. Sprockets Pilsner - This was actually the lightest of the bunch and over the past year or so I have been shying away from the really light colored beers. I guess what I have been shying away from is the mass produced light colored beers like bud, coors and miller. This was a well balanced flavorful pilsner. It even tasted pretty good after it warmed slightly.

2. Celtic Amber Ale - Nice balanced flavor with a nice red color. I think this tasted like a classic amber.

3. Red Otter British Pale Ale - This was my favorite or second favorite of the bunch it had a great hop flavor that wasn't overpowering. It had a really nice amber color and it kept a nice head. I would highly recommend this beer.

4. Red Horse Ale - This was the other beer that i couldn't decide if it was my favorite or not. This beer a perfect reddish brown color a strong hop finish. This is what I call a beer

5. IPA - This was a classic IPA with great hop flavor from start to finish. This is another beer that I can call a real beer.

There were a few others that I tried and most we pretty good even the porter and the stout were rather tasty. Also the food at this place is good. So if you are in the area look up this place I think you will be pretty happy you did.

Check back later today or tomorrow for Rubicon Brewing and Hoppy Brewing Company.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fresno Trip

Hi all,

Well this has turned out to be a really good weekend. It started out on Friday where I took a half day and my wife and I went to Fresno to see a the George Strait concert. I had gotten the tickets for my wife for Christmas. That started out kind of rocky but turn out to be a "Good Times". We got to Fresno and had dinner at DiCicco's a family own italian resteraunt where we had a nice meal. Then we figured that we would have a little time to head over to the BevMo to pick up some unique beers for me to try. I picked up some pretty cool beers that I heard about. I will try and let you know how they were in coming posts. We we get there and have about 30 minutes to get the arena which was supposed to be about 10 minutes away. It ended up taking almost and hour and 45 minutes and there was not reason for this. My favorite part of this was there were about 10 cops directing traffic in the parking lot and none on the street. I have worked events from a security standpoints at arenas and stadium 3 times the size of the savemart center and there were less traffic issues. I think that the city of Fresno needs to teach the police how and where to direct traffic. I could give them a lesson if need be. Sorry enough about that. So I let my wife out of the car about a half mile from the stadium we missed the opening act (didn't really care never heard of her) and I missed part of the second act (Josh Turner and from what i did get ot see I wished I had heard the rest. He was awesome). George Strait was awesome but his singing style didn't work very well with the acoustics of the savemart center but it still worked. So then we leave the concert and it take about an hour to get out of the parking lot because there was no one directing traffic. Oh well we got back to the hotel and went to bed.

On Saturday we got up and walked around the tower district and checked out some of the stores there. Its not a bad area but it wasn't what I expected. Its still a little run down and old looking but it was still pretty cool. For lunch we went to the Sequoia Brewing Company for some beer tasting and some good food. For an appitizer we had the fried dill pickles. Let me tell you they were awesome. They were crisp, salty, dilly and had this great mustard ranch sauce to dip in. I highly recommend them. For the meal we split a club sandwich nothing special but good. Now on to the important stuff the beer. I as usually ordered the sampler and tasted 8 beers. I am not going to go into detail about each beer if you would like to read the official description please read there site. http://www.sequoiabrewing.com/beers.htm. I am just going to tell you what I like and don't like about each beer.

1. Del Oro - Mexican Style Light Ale - Surprisingly it was pretty good for a light ale. It was kind of like a corona but it had some flavor and it was missing some of the skunky flavor that I feel most corona's have.

2. Sequoia Gold - German Kolsch - This was a really nice drinking beer it was light and refreshing but again it had the flavor of hops and didn't taste like water as I feel most light colored pilsners do.

3. Blossom Trail Ale - Honey Wheat Beer - At first I thought it was a little wheaty and fruity but as it warmed and got some air it melloed out and ended up being a nice beer. I would compare it to a light Hefeweizen.

4. Moto Brew - American Pale Ale - This was my wife's favorite but I thought it had a little too much dark malt. This causes a little to much smoke which I felt over powered the hops. It wasn't bad but it wasn't my favorite.

5. Mineral King IPA - India Pale Ale - This as you would expect from my current taste in beer was my favorite. It had a great bitter hoppy flavor that I could drink all day. MMM... IPA

6. Thunderhead - American Amber Ale - This was my second favorite of the bunch. It had a really full balanced flavor with a nice light hop finish. I think this would be a good table beer. In other words if it was available in bottles I would keep this around if I just wanted to grab a beer.

7. Black Oak Porter - English Porter - I don't explain these very well because they are not my preference. As far as porters go it was fine for me.

8. Seasonal Stout - See number 7!

After lunch we headed home and I chilled one of my homebrews and gave it a try. It was good but I think it will be even better next week.

Peace Out!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Beer Brewing Update!!

Hi all,

I got beer!! I tried it today after only a week. I was supposed to wait 2 but I couldn't . It tasted good with some hoppiness in the swallow where I was expecting more on the front end but its all good. I am thinking it may taste a little different after letting it mello out for another few weeks but if this is how it ends up I will be very happy with my first batch. I am already looking forward to starting my next batch in a few weeks.

Piece out!!