Posts Tagged ‘barleywine’

experimental black lager

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

a couple weeks ago, JW of san pedro brew co. fame and his dad swung by, along with ML, to conduct an experiment.

  • inspired by full sail’s session black lager, JW was looking to try out a new recipe, but wanted a brew a small batch to minimize risk.  it was a perfect scenario for the new brew setup, which was designed specifically for one-off, experimental batches!
  • the following 10 gal. recipe for the black lager was based on JW’s award winning standard lager, with a dark element:
    • 19.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 93.98 %
      1.25 lb Carafa I (337.0 SRM) Grain 6.02 %
      1.00 oz Tradition [6.00 %] (90 min) Hops 11.4 IBU
      0.50 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker [4.00 %] (30 min) Hops 2.7 IBU
      1.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (15 min) Hops 3.5 IBU
  • while we were brewing, a magnum of JW’s barleywine was cracked.  it had a great backing bitterness and was dry without getting boozy.  it was a great example of the style and I am looking forward to seeing it on draft in the next month or so.
  • the brew day went well, and at the end we had 10 gallons of 1.049 wort, ready to hit the fermenters.  I split the batch – half with a saflager starter @50F, and half with a white labs english ale yeast starter at ~72F.
  • the ale finished at 1.01 (4.91% abv), while the lager finished at 1.014 (4.5% abv).  based on the small sample I took while kegging these, I think they will be worth the risk…

completing the keezer and going pro for a day: WIR 06/04-06/07

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

last weekend was full of brew related accomplishments and surprises.

  • on thursday night I finished up the keezer collar, and AP and I lugged the thing down to the basement, where I fitted the taps and ran the beer lines.
  • after wiring up the ranco temperature controller with some help online, I ran the temp probe and the gas lines and fired everything up.
  • the thing works like a charm, and it’s great to have so much fridge space for storing kegs and other bulky items.  I can even lager in my brew bucket if I want to, but I will probably lager in kegs the old kegerator.
  • on friday DH drove down and we skipped over to naja’s for an afternoon brew.  I got to try a taster of ‘dark side imperial stout’ or something like that from sierra nevada, but ended up with an ’08 alaskan barleywine, which was nice and malty but still relatively drinkable.  we finished up in style with a bottle of fantome saison, which had a great fruity aroma and finish.
  • I am always amazed at the number of homebrewers that roll by naja’s for a pour – they are always friendly and can talk beer all night long.  friday was no exception – we ran into bob, a member of pacific gravity with a sick all-grain gravity system and a vast brew knowledge.  hopefully we’ll meet up again bob, maybe at a pacific gravity meeting!
  • friday night the smoker was fired up, and by saturday afternoon 20 lbs of pulled pork was ready to rock, in addition to 3 beer can chickens and a couple dozen smoked brats.  that along with a the kegs of alt and kolsch kept friends and family busy for hours.
  • both kegs were a hit and got kicked before the sun went down.  they were very drinkable and great session beers, but my only complaint was the clarity (both had a little haze from only being lagered for a week or so).  unfortunately, no pictures were taken (again) due to entertaining duties.  next time, I swear…
  • just when I thought my beer weekend was coming to a close, I got a call sunday from james of san pedro brew co. he had tried my brews on saturday and wanted to know if I was interested in swinging by the brewery this week to check out a brew session.  I jumped at the chance and told him I would be by monday.
  • monday morning I met up with jason, the award-winning brewer at san pedro brew co.  he had already started mashing an experimental amber ale and patiently explained the entire process on their 5 bbl. system.  he let me help out with the mash, explained their lauter and sparge process, and let me participate with some hop additions.  I was flipping switches, pulling levers, and loving every minute of it.
  • when it came time to empty the mash tun, he must have though I was an idiot since I practically begged him to do it.  he let me stick around for the entirety of the boil all the way to racking the wort into their conical and let me help out with the crush and line sanitation for the next day’s brew.  it was an awesome experience, and I was like a kid in a candy store, ogling all the equipment and trying out jason’s killer brews.  thanks again jason, and good luck with your latest comp results!

weekend in review 03/06 – 03/07

Monday, March 8th, 2010

sorry for the lack of updates folks, been getting slammed at work these days.  will be getting back in the saddle soon.

  • on saturday AP and I dropped by amsterdam cafe for a status update.  the place definitely has a good beer selection, but I found myself struggling to find anything I was excited about.  I ended up grabbing another pour of oaked arrogant bastard, poured ice cold, the exact same thing I picked up many months ago.
  • for a change of pace, we then rolled over to tommy’s joynt, one of my favorite places for comfort food in the city.  we ordered up a ton of grub and got some great beers to match.  AP had a trumer pils on draft fresh from berkeley, and I had the petrus oud bruin from bavik, which wasn’t as tart as I had hoped (not at all actually) but was dangerously sessionable.
  • on sunday I stopped by CB’s where he and TB were whipping up a barleywine.  CB brewed a pale, then a double IPA, and then a barleywine and each got pitched on the yeast cake of the former.  some airlocks definitely got blown out on this one.
  • instantaneous cooling with in-line oxygenation via the therminator is the shit.  period.  I can’t believe I have been using an immersion cooler for this long without realizing how much time can be saved.
  • after finishing up the brew a bottle of jubel 2010 got cracked open and passed around.  although the jubelale series is definitely not one of my favorite beers, this ramped-up version is great, with plenty of complexity that should increase with age.

weekend in review 02/27-02/28

Monday, March 1st, 2010

this last weekend was full of destinations, both old and new.

  • AP and I met up with NB and PB over at anchor and hope down in SOMA.  I remember beer and nosh reviewing this place a while back.
  • the food was good, and the beers were even better.  the jug shop developed the beer list, which was pretty deep and had some good choices.  the staff was friendly and pretty knowledgeable about their brews, especially one dude who was sent over after we picked up a bottle of allagash‘s curieux for the table.
  • we hit up a wide variety of beers – I started with drake’s 1500 on the hand pump and finished with a (very generous) pour of valley brewing’s old inventory barleywine.
  • the next day AP and I trekked up to santa rosa, where we made an obligatory stop at russian river brewing for overflowing pours of temptation, consecration, and supplication.
  • another mandatory destination was the bottle barn, where we scored more than a few good brews at great prices.  why pay $25 for a russian river bomber at the brewpub when you can get em here for $18.99?  I love that place.
  • after checking out a lackluster chinese new year parade in chinatown with AF, we all rolled over to rogue for a nightcap – I chose a pint of john john, which was pretty great and will be reviewed in the future once I crack open a bomber of it for a second opinion.

strong beer session #1: barleywine

Monday, December 14th, 2009

the lineup

work and the holidays has been cramping my blogging style as of late, so my apologies for the less-than-daily postings.  hopefully this week we’ll get back on track!

last friday the team (me and AP) hosted our first strong beer session, inspired by the holiday season.

  • we focused on barleywine, one of my personal favorite styles and a great way to warm up during these cold months.
  • after procuring barleywine-centric foods such as stilton cheese, savory sausages, and some sweet desserts, bottles began to get cracked and the taps started pouring.
  • the lineup was pretty varied, with many states (and a few countries) being represented.  the brews included:
  • the session peaked with a three year flight (2007-2009) of lagunitas’ brown shugga, and was followed by a bomber of my own 2006 homebrew barleywine and CB’s 2008 homebrew barleywine.
  • I also had my 8-month belgian date barleywine on draft for people to sip between tastings.
  • crowd favorites included the doggie claws, the ’07 brown shugga, and my ’06 homebrew (yes!).  an honorable mention went out to the 120 minute, which drank like a liqueur and had everybody talking (at 20% abv it was easy to see why).  I wish I had another one to put down for about 5 years…
  • overall, there was great company, beers, and food.  look for individual reviews of standout brews from the above list in the future.

the belgian date barleywine keg

the brown shugga flight

the aftermath, part 1

the aftermath, part 2

john barleycorn barleywine 2008

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

john barleycorn in the glass

feeling the cold weather rolling in lately, I dug deep into the beer fridge and pulled out a john barleycorn barleywine from mad river brewing.

  • named after the english folksong personifying barley (and performed in one of the greatest albums ever), this brew is a barleywine, one of my favorite styles.
  • this bottle was from 2008 and had been aging in my fridge for over a year since a kind soul graciously dropped it off last winter, so I was excited to see if some age had mellowed out the alcohol these beers are known for.
  • once the beer warmed up a little, I detected a slight alcohol nose, but it was pretty well hidden in the sweet malt.
  • however, the beer was a little thin and had a tangy coating aftertaste which didn’t go down well.  I’m thinking malt extract or oxidation is the culprit.
  • with all the great barleywines/strong beers out there, this one was a bit of a disappointment.  however, it was a good kickoff into strong beer season.
  • check out these sites for more reviews.

john barleycorn

john barleycorn bottle

lagunitas lumpy gravy

Friday, October 16th, 2009

lumpy gravy in the bottle

last night I cracked open a bottle of lumpy gravy, a beer brewed by lagunitas to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the album of the same name.

  • lumpy gravy is classified on as a 7.2% brown ale.
  • however, the beer has a dark ruby color, with a malt nose and molasses and raisin flavors.  it also has a thick, coating mouthfeel and a hint of alcohol warmth.
  • I’m no BJCP judge, but if it had a little stronger malt backbone I would call it a belgian-inspired barleywine.
  • as it stands, however, the beer is pretty much outside any classic beer style (not unlinke other lagunitas offerings) – I love the creativity!
  • for me, this was definitely a departure from lagunitas’ traditional offerings, and anyone that complains that “all lagunitas beers taste the same” (it’s the yeast!) should definitely try this out.  I should have grabbed a few more bottles of this before it disappeared.
  • as for the zappa series, tony magee was quoted as saying: “We will be doing a label every nine months or so as the other (Zappa album) anniversaries come up.  Next, Absolutely Free next summer, then Lumpy Gravy and We’re Only In It For The Money, Uncle Meat, Hot Rats and so on and so on and so on. … Fun, it is!”
  • however, I thought I read somewhere that they were calling it quits on the tribute series, but I can’t find the source…

lumpy gravy label

glass of lumpy gravy

aerial lumpy gravy shot