Posts Tagged ‘ipa’

may PG meeting, cider, belgian small beer, temptation notes

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

the third thursday of may was last week, which meant that I was headed to culver city for PG’s monthly meeting.

  • the monthly style was IPAs, which drew a ton of kegs (12+) and commercial bottles as well as a great crowd (the raffle was especially entertaining).  after resting my blown-out palate, I pulled the cork from a bottle of my cider, which had just turned the corner after being sick with pedio for several months (a good thing!).  I was pleased with the results and held a more detailed (and lupulin-free) tasting last night.
    • basque cider
    • appearance – pale gold, great clarity, very slight carbonation
    • aroma – earthy funk, sweet cooked apple, spice
    • taste – clean, light funk up front with a lingering apple finish, mellow acidity
    • notes – although not as funky as I would have hoped (aroma was stronger than actual taste), this is a great alternative to a standard cider and a good intro to the wild side for the uninitiated
  • I also had a chance to try out a small beer I had made in the parti-gyle method while sparging vizcaino II.  I collected around six gallons of wort at around 6 brix and pitched a starter of WLP500 that I decided to leave out of my main batch.  after adding about 1/3 gal of leftover sour cherry juice from cabrillo II, the beer finished at 2.8 brix for an abv of around 2.6%.
    • pinky (belgian small beer)
    • appearance – golden apricot color, fine effervescence, fluffy white head
    • aroma – light floral belgian yeast, clove spice, slight belgian phenols
    • taste – light and crisp with a dry, slightly bitter finish, palate scrubbing carbonation
    • notes – good budweiser sessionable alternative, lawnmower beer, could use during a tasting as a palate refresher
  • I also managed to choke down a three-year-old, delightfully bretty bottle of temptation (004X1) and pitch the dregs into vizcaino II.  it had been a while since I had tried that beer and I was somewhat surprised to find very little lacto or pedio sourness in the flavor profile – just a very assertive brett character reminiscent of orval that provided a fluffy, long lasting head and great carbonation.  hopefully some of that brett character comes through in vizcaino!

              

              

lambic prep and some housekeeping

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

last friday I finally took some time to develop a lambic mash schedule.

  • lambics/lambic-based beers rate as some of my all-time favorites.  ever since AP and I visited jean van roy over at cantillon, I have been fascinated by these traditional beers and their methods of production.
  • creating these beers at home seemed daunting however, and I put the idea on the back burner until I was better equipped to handle such a task.  with the advent of my new brew setup and the completion of some successful brew sessions, I feel that I am ready to tackle my first (p)lambic.
  • after reviewing wild brews and some great lambic resources, and checking the mad fermentationist’s site to double-check some figures, I came up with this schedule based on a scaled-down version of mike sharp’s description of cantillon’s turbid mash:
    • LAMBIC TURBID MASH SCHEDULE (12-13 gal)
    • 15lb belgian pils (60%)
    • 10lb unmalted white wheat (40%)
    • 1. 12lb/gal = (25lb total grist)/(2.1 gal. @143F) = 113F mash
    • 2. hold 113F mash for 10 min
    • 3. add boiling water to get to 136.4F
    • 4. remove 0.57 gal. to kettle 2, heat to 176F at most
    • 5. add boiling water to get to 149F, hold for 15 min
    • 6. remove 2.27 gal. to kettle 2, keep at 176F at most
    • 7. add boiling water to get to 161.6F, hold for 20 min
    • 8. first runnings (2.83 gal) to boil kettle
    • 9. kettle 2 back into mash tun @ 176F = mash @~167F
    • 10. hold mash @167F for 20 min
    • 11. vorlauf and sparge with 185F water
    • 12. ~end up with 18.5 gal wort~
    • 13. divide wort into keggle (13.5 gal) and turkey fryer (5 gal)
    • 14. add 5.17 oz old/low AA hops to keggle @ start of boil
    • 15. boil down to ~12-13 gals*
    • 16. blend keggle and fryer and cool overnight
    • *take reading @ ~15 gals, see if near desired 1.05 OG (shouldn’t be), then boil down to 12-13 (should be around 1.05).  originally had 12,8lbs of grain, but would have to boil off 8 gallons to get near desired OG (not factoring in lower efficiency here either).
  • I plan on aging the beer for a year, then kegging 5 gallons and bottling the rest.  if all goes well, after doing this for 3 years I will have a 3 year flight of bottles and enough 1, 2, and 3 year lambic in kegs to blend up a tasty geuze.

I also managed to tie up some loose ends around the home brewery.

brewing a pilsner and kegging the IPA

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

on sunday I managed to squeeze in some time for a last-minute brewday.

  • this wasn’t any ordinary brew, though – it was my first pilsner!  I was inspired by my recent keezer build to brew a beer that needed some colder fermentation temps and long-term lagering, and a pilsner fit the bill perfectly.
  • I was also inspired by my trip with AP to the czech republic, and I therefore decided on a bohemian style pilsner, or “bo pils.”
  • after a little internet scan I came across jamil zainasheff’s bo pils recipe, which I then slightly modified as follows:
    • 10.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 93.02 %
      11 oz. Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.98 %
      1.50 oz Saaz [3.50 %] (60 min) Hops 18.5 IBU
      1.80 oz Saaz [3.50 %] (30 min) Hops 17.0 IBU
      1.00 oz Saaz [3.50 %] (10 min) Hops 4.5 IBU
      1.00 oz Saaz [3.50 %] (0 min) Hops –
      1 Pkgs Budvar Lager (Wyeast Labs #2000) Yeast-Lager
  • I also made a pretty hefty (for me) 1L starter a couple days before and gave it a shot of O2 to get it going.  I pitched at 70F and let it sit for about an hour before tossing my fermentation bucket into the keezer at 55 +/- 5F.
  • the next morning, I knocked the keezer temp down to 50 +/- 2F, which seemed to be right for the yeast.  last I checked, the airlock was bubbling away, so everything seems to be on the up and up.  keep your fingers crossed…
  • I also managed to keg the IPA during the brew.  as usual, I forgot to grab a gravity reading, but the aroma was pretty awesome, so I’m hoping for the best.
  • on monday I also cruised over to san pedro brew co. to meet up with JW to try out his new lineup.  he has a belgian wit, amber, and brown on tap, all of which were tasty.  I especially liked the brown, which was clean and very sessionable, a perfect summer beer for the brown ale lover.
  • JW also showed me his fermenter cleaning procedure and, as usual, fielded a barrage of questions with patience and enthusiasm.  thanks again JW!
  • also, on the hop front all the plants are doing well, but the cascade vines are definitely larger than any first year growth I have ever seen.  there are tons of developing cones and which will hopefully result in a significant harvest.


alpine village, great BBQ, and sweat equity

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

last thursday night, AP and I went over to alpine village for some legit german food and brews.

  • ever since I dropped by AV a little while back, I was eagerly anticipating our return.  I knew it was going to be a great night right when we walked in the door, and were seated immediately and given a healthy serving of liverwurst and rye.
  • thursday was swing night, and there was a full band in attendance along with an impressive singer.  we were definitely the youngest in the crowd by a few decades, but it didn’t keep us from cutting a rug in between courses and beers.
  • ah, the beers – AP got one of her staples, hangar 24’s altbier, and I had weihenstephaner’s kristall weissbier.  well, I ordered it, and ended up with an unfiltered wheat instead, so who knows what I put down.  later AP chatted up the bartender and tried the kristall weiss after the fact, which was definitely tasty and probably the variety of the style that I would pursue ifwhen I brew another wheat.
  • on sunday AP and I rang in the 4th with some heavy BBQ and great beers.  I’m talking a 10lb pork shoulder, 8lb brisket and two dozen brats in the smoker with all the fixins – it was definitely a good time.
  • unfortunately, I was out of homebrew for the occasion, but the food was very well complemented with some firestone walker variety packs and a sixer of stone’s IPA, which was better than I remembered.
  • I also snuck down to the basement for some bottles, including stone’s 14th anniversary empirial IPA (uncomfortably bitter with not enough aroma to balance it out, probably due to the hop selection), lagunitas’ hairy eyeball (killer as always, malty and delicious), and new belgium’s eric’s ale (definitely one of my favorites, the most drinkable sour I have come across).
  • on saturday and sunday JF helped me out with some “brewery expansion construction”: using an angle grinder and some bootleg jig I threw together based off a modification of this idea from homebrewtalk, we cut the tops off of a couple of kegs that will soon enjoy long lives as an HLT and mash tun.  we also installed some weldless ball valves, thermometers, and sightglasses.  once the third keg makes an appearance and all my quick disconnects and other fittings come in, the setup will be revealed, but until then the project will remain shrouded in mystery.

house IPA revisited; homebrew developments

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

last saturday I decided to brew an all-grain version of my partial mash IPA, which is currently in the process of being tweaked to become my house IPA.

  • I loved the partial mash recipe above since it produced a strong citrusy/floral hop aroma and remained well-balanced even after the hop nose faded a bit over time.
  • ideally, however, this beer should be consumed early.  I plan on a week for primary fermentation, a week of dry hopping, and a week for secondary fermentation in the keg before lagering and serving.
  • the malt bill was very similar to my partial mash recipe, and the hop additions were identical:
    • 5.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 44.05 %
      4.75 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 41.85 %
      0.50 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 4.41 %
      0.50 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.41 %
      0.30 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2.64 %
      0.30 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2.64 %
      1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (75 min) Hops 49.5 IBU
      1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (55 min) Hops 46.3 IBU
      1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (20 min) Hops 28.7 IBU
      1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 10.4 IBU
      1.50 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (0 min) Hops –
      1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale
  • I struggled a little with my mash temps (I still have to iron out some kinks), but I ended up with an OG of 1.067, which was in line with my beersmith profile.
  • I mimicked the impromptu 75 minute boil I ended up with last time, which will hopefully give me similar results.  the profile suggests 135 IBUs, which sounds a little fishy to me, but this brew will definitely pack a punch.
  • luckily, my starter was ready to kick some ass when I pitched it with a shot of O2, and fermentation got off to a vigorous start.
  • in other brew news, most of the hops are doing well, but my cascades are going nuts. the vine has bolted up past the second story of the house, and cones are popping up everywhere.  I am looking forward to some great fresh hop beers in the near future…
  • I also got lucky and scored some 15 gal. plastic barrels from a guy on ebay for $12.50 a pop.  these guys just squeeze into my old kegerator-turned-fermentation fridge, and will be perfect for 10-12 gal. batches (soon to come – stay tuned).

weekend in review – baker beach

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

the coming of spring called for some celebration, so this last weekend AP and I rallied the troops for a homebrew-based cookout down at baker beach.

  • aside from some soda and water, all beverages present were homebrewed.  I brought down kegs of my IPA, kolsch, steam beer, and quad, as well as some bottles of my imperial espresso stout, belgian date barleywine, and a couple bombers of cider i threw together a while back.
  • I also grabbed a bomber of TB’s kolsch as well as his saison (which turned out to be one of the crowd favorites), and CB’s ’09 xmas ale and belgian strong.  JVG also brought out a growler of his red.  12 styles of homebrew in one location? it was definitely quite the lineup.
  • to top it off, AP and CB threw together some awesome eats.  AP manned the BBQ and CB fired up a great low-country boil in his turkey fryer.
  • it was a great event with a great turnout.  hopefully we can organize another one soon!

weekend in review 02/20-02/21

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

after noticing that many of my weekend brew activities were too brief to merit an entire post, I decided to start a series of “weekends in review” where I comprise a rehash of last weekend’s beer events.

  • saturday AP and I headed over to CB’s to check out his latest brew session (and new brew gadgets).
  • CB was whipping up an all-grain IPA inspired by none other than my latest IPA.  I had bottled one flip-top of the batch and after getting a whiff of the intense aroma and great balance CB was inspired 😉
  • CB also got to show off his new therminator, as alluded to during his last batch I checked out.  last time I checked, he got 10 gallons from a rolling boil to pitching temps in 10 minutes.
  • sunday AP and I followed a hot tip to toronado, where DH and AF had scored pours of pliny the younger a day earlier.
  • unfortunately, they were out of that grail beer (AP was told they should be tapping another keg of it today).  my consolation prize was a pour of critical hit, a leftover festival barleywine from ninkasi that had a great balance and an intense bitter finish.
  • after running some more errands, we stopped by handy deli, where I hooked up a couple bombers of sculpin IPA for $4.99 each.  I told you this place was good!
  • afterwards, AP and I scooped up CB and rolled over to the bevmo on geary, where we discovered a full stash of ninkasi beers (talk about coincidence).
  • finally, tricerahops in CA!  we grabbed that as well as oatis, their imperial stout, total domination, their IPA, and believer, their double red.  I did a double take when the bombers rang up for $3.99-4.50!

lagunitas brewers’ tapas dinner

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

jeremy pouring one up

ahh, lagunitas.

  • for my birthday, AP and I managed to score some tickets to the inaugural brewer’s tapas dinner at lagunitas brewing.
  • I had been to the beer sanctuary and taproom a little while back, but it was AP’s maiden voyage.  after a lunch full of cask ales and british fare at magnolia, we headed out to petaluma for some more debauchery.
  • as anyone who knows me is well aware, I am definitely biased towards lagunitas.  I love their beers, packaging, and overall mentality, and I got a healthy dose of all three at their dinner.
  • their five-course tapas/small plate style dinner was tasty and well-prepared, and was accompanied by lagunitas’ deep lineup, including their IPA, imperial stout, hop stoopid, pils, and hairy eyeball.
  • during the dinner, brewmaster Jeremy Marshal fielded questions from the crowd, while the rest of the brew staff worked the tables and topped off everyone’s glasses.
  • after dinner, everyone headed over to their skybox-style bar overlooking the brewery for some aged brews and beer talk.
  • the highlight of the night for me was talking to one of the owners and the brewers while they doled out generous pours of ’06 gnarlywine, ’06 hairy eyeball, ’08 brown shugga, and many others.
  • topics of conversation ranged from yeast strains to hop extract to the story behind a little sumpin’ sumpin’, and everyone at the brewery was friendly, well-spoken, and informative.
  • I was definitely bummed out when I realized it was time for us to take off, but I was grateful to be a part of this awesome event and was already anticipating my next trip over to the beer sanctuary.  thanks for the great time guys!

aged bottles getting cracked

another pour from one of the brewers

havin a good time

kicking us out

quick glance at the floor

ballast point sculpin

Monday, January 25th, 2010

sculpin IPA

during one of CB’s past brew sessions, he whipped out a bottle of ballast point‘s sculpin to sample during the sparge.

  • sculpin is a limited-release IPA with a reputation for great drinkability and balance.
  • after having it on draft and in the bottle, I would have to agree – the beer is a great example of an IPA, with a great citrusy hop aroma and bitter finish that is strong but not overwhelming.
  • I’m not sure why this is a limited release, but if ballast point made this a mainstay (and charged a little less for a bomber), it could be their pliny the elder.  I don’t know why a kickass IPA has to be a “limited release” (unless there’s some fresh hop action going on that I am unaware of).
  • FYI – check out the info on the sculpin namesake.

sculpin IPA

de proefbrouwerij/bell’s van twee

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

the van twee pour

back when I was grinding out my partial mash IPA, I decided to crack open a bottle of van twee gifted to me by PB and NB.

  • van twee was brewed as a collaboration between de proefbrouwerij in east flanders and bell’s brewery in kalamazoo, michigan (van twee means “from two” in flemish).
  • for more info on the collaboration, check out this great blog post.
  • CB was over and feigned excitement when this bottle was popped.  at first I was confused – I mean how could a de proef collab (that had previously resulted in brews like les deux brasseurs) be anything less than excellent?
  • however, when I tasted my pour I discovered what CB had been thinking.  the beer was a little thin, and although it had a great cherry aroma, it left me wanting a little more.
  • in a perfect world, I would drink another bottle at a warmer temperature and tuck away yet another for a couple years to develop some of the funkiness promised and hinted at on beeradvocate.  however, these bottles are likely far too expensive to hoard and experiment with.

twee in the glass

bottle of twee