Posts Tagged ‘lost abbey’

pacific gravity, lost abbey swag

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

one of my new year’s resolutions was to be more socially active in the homebrew community.

  • even though I frequently peruse (and occasionally post at) homebrewtalk and BBB, most of my homebrewing posse is up north, so the vast majority of my wort boiling is now conducted solo.
  • furthermore, with 12+ gallon batches being the norm these days, even with four beers on tap in the basement, some kegs of “non-standard” (hoppy, sour, strong, etc.) brews take many months to kick.  getting significant feedback on my brews is also difficult, with many tasters providing a binary “like/dislike” response when asked for their opinion.
  • after getting a taste of competition at the OC fair, and reading positive reactions from fellow blogger club members like BT, I decided to join pacific gravity, a well-established local club with a strong membership.  in fact, PG just won homebrew club of the year for the fourth time in nine years.
  • I attended their first monthly meeting of the year, and was thoroughly impressed with its organization and execution.  over the course of a few hours kegs were tapped, bottles were circulated, minutes were read, and a club competition was conducted, with a raffle topping off the night.  everyone was friendly and approachable, and my keg of rye saison was warmly received.  I’m definitely looking forward to many more club meetings, as well as festivals and competitions.

in other news, my spoils from the lost abbey comp arrived, and included a set of stemware and a lost abbey hoody.  thanks guys!


bottle reuse, lost abbey comp

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

first off, I’m sure most, if not all, overcarbed visitors know about the SOPA/PIPA issue – if not, please read up a little and formulate your own opinion.

I always cringe a little when I cruise past the thousands of empty bottles packaged and stacked for sale at my local homebrew store – not only are they expensive, but I feel they go against the DIY lifestyle that homebrewing embodies.

  • don’t get me wrong, clean, ready-to-go bottles can be a huge time saver when bottling a large amount of brew, and I occasionally purchase a box or two of bombers for purposes of uniformity when I forgo kegging to bottle a portion of my specialty beers, but with used bottles available in great supply and at low cost (read: free), it seems a shame not to engage in eco-friendly bottle reuse.
  • when saving bottles, I like to rinse the bottle immediately after it has been emptied, and maybe shake some hot water in the bottle to release any caked-on dregs.  no beer bottle in my household touches human lips, but I do get bottle donations from neighbors and friends (CB and others have also had good luck talking to bottle shop owners for cases of empties).  in that scenario, after rinsing I hold the base of the bottles up to a light and peer through the mouth to look for any mold/bacteria growth.  if any is present, I toss the bottle into the recycle bin, as in my experience it’s not worth the time and effort to clean an infected bottle.
  • after the bottles have been rinsed and inspected, they are sent to the basement soaking station, where one by one they are soaked in a plastic pitcher overnight.  individual soaking avoids the monotony of a group soak/clean as well as the use of a large soaking bucket.  some people add cleaners like PBW and oxyclean to their soaking water, but I have found that plain water works fine and is cheaper in the long run.
  • after the overnight soak, I peel the label off with my fingernails and rub any leftover residue off with a scrubber sponge.  in the case of hard to remove, multi-layered plastic-type labels (such as those from lost abbey and russian river), I stick a single bottle in the microwave for sixty seconds and peel the label off with my fingers or a razor blade while holding the neck with an oven mitt.  any annoying leftover residue can be removed with a little olive oil and a paper towel.
  • after a quick final internal and external rinse, the bottle is ready to be toweled off and stored.  I store my bottles on their side on a rack, but if you store yours upright I recommend placing a piece of paper, foil, or saran wrap over the tops of the bottles to avoid dust settling inside over the long term.
  • with traditional bombers running over a buck each and belgian bottles trading hands for over three dollars a piece, and with bottle shipping being prohibitively expensive, reusing bottles can save you significant cash while offering a solution much greener than even recycling.

on a completely different note, in a fortuitous turn of events, yours truly won a contest over at port/lost abbey.  go figure.  well, technically I got second place, but my idea is going to be turned into a commercial and there is a high likelihood that I will be able to participate in/be part of the filming some time in february, so I’ll be sure to post updates as they come.  stoked!


cuvee de cabrillo

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

I have definitely been on a funky/sour brewing kick lately.

  • now that my lambic and funky saison are quietly chugging away in the basement, I figured one more sour in the pipeline couldn’t hurt.
  • after debating a multitude of beers ranging from sour golden strongs to funky sessionable wild ales, I came across a general guideline in wild brews for a sour strong/quadrupel inspired by lost abbey’s cuvee de tomme, one of my favorite sour strongs.
  • after tweaking the recipe for my setup and changing a few variables, here’s what I came up with:
    • cuvee de cabrillo
    • 22.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 66.07 %
      2.00 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 6.01 %
      2.00 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 6.01 %
      2.00 lb Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.01 %
      2.00 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 6.01 %
      0.65 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.95 %
      0.65 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.95 %
      2.00 oz Northern Brewer, .3 oz Tradition (120 min) Hops ? IBU
      1.00 oz US Fuggle (2 min) Hops ? IBU
      2.00 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 6.01 %
  • I ended up with 11 gallons with an OG of 21 brix = 1.085.  I then split the batch into two 5 gallon corny kegs, fermented one with sour mix 1 and cascade apricot dregs, and hit the other with the roselare blend and ’09 drie fonteinen kriek dregs.
  • I am planning on racking on top of sour cherries in about six months and then blending and bottling after six more.  first things first though – the yeast needs to get going!  it has been almost three days and I have yet to see activity in the blowoff tubes.  I know these yeast blends take their time though, so I guess it’s time to RDWHAHB…

weekend in review 04/16-04/18

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

this past weekend I got back into brewing shape and got around to picking up some interesting bottles.

  • I swung by my new (and surprisingly well-stocked) bevmo in torrance for some goodies and walked out with more than I had anticipated.
  • they had all the new goose island brews, a good lost abbey selection (including angel’s share ’09), and even had the ever-elusive aloha plenty for a pretty decent price (6 or 7 bucks).  to think that i was kicking myself for passing up a bottle at some bootleg redondo liquor store for $12…
  • I brought the goose island sofie and a bomber of lagunitas’ wilco tango foxtrot to PR’s byob bday. I immediately fell for sofie – it had a great complexity, finish, and effervescence.  WTF was great too, it reminded me of stone 13, one of my all time favorites.
  • on sunday I decided to dust off the homebrew gear and whip up a quick batch of kolsch for some upcoming BBQs/get-togethers.
  • I stuck with my usual extract recipe but did my first full-wort boil in a turkey fryer outside.  getting to a boil was a piece of cake but cooling a full 5 gallons with my immersion chiller was an exercise in patience to say the least, especially after seeing CB’s therminator in action.
  • I gave it a minute of O2 at 75F and tossed my starter in, and the airlock was chugging away by the end of the night.

  • oh, and AP and I adopted a new brew assistant – meet the captain, supervising the brew premises:

pizza port bottle shop carlsbad

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

port bottle shop outside

my folks are fortunate enough to live a stone’s throw from pizza port in carlsbad, and whenever I am down for a visit I can’t resist the temptation to stop by.  when the pizza port bottle shop opened next door it just sweetened the deal.

  • the spot is very reminiscent of city beer store, although no food is served (not surprisingly) and there is a back patio to chill out at, although there aren’t any seats inside.
  • there is also no corkage fee here, whereas city beer charges $1 a pop (last time I checked).
  • the place is packed with great beers, and most all are chilled (for better or worse).  they seem to be mostly organized by region, so moving from cooler to cooler is like doing a little beverage globetrotting.
  • as I had hoped, a cooler by the register had plenty of port/lost abbey goodies, including 2 sizes of cuvee de tomme and angel’s share – too bad I didn’t have a wad of cash on me!
  • to top it off, I was shooting it with the cashier and found out he worked at the bruery.  I love how connected the beer scene is in CA (not to mention the rest of the US).
  • all in all, the pizza port bottle shop is not to be missed – it has plenty of bottles that are not available or hard to find up in SF, as well as friendly staff and locals.  I’m actually glad I don’t live nearby, or temptation would attack my wallet with a vengeance.

tables at port bottle shop

some of the booty at port bottle shop

the coolers at port bottle shop

port/lost abbey 3rd anniversary party recap

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

in the barrel room

mother’s day 2009 happened to coincide with port brewing/lost abbey‘s third anniversary party at the brewing/aging facility they acquired from stone brewing in san marcos.  since my parents live in north county san diego, they agreed to head over to see what all the fuss was about.

  • the place was PACKED, as expected, so it took a little while to get a pour (although parking was not a problem, since the brewery is located in a business park).  also, a band was banging it out in the middle of the brew space.  the setup was definitely not for the faint of heart.
  • however, once you sided up to the bar, the selection was worth the wait.  I started off with a round of cuvee de tomme, an oak-aged sour quad that I had heard a lot about.  this beer was GREAT, as it combined two of my favorite beer genres (quads and sour beers) into a highly drinkable combination.  I was in love at first pour, but the keg kicked soon thereafter, so I was left to explore other options.
  • the next round was angel’s share brandy barrel, another great barrel-aged strong.  one word of advice to those with recent carbonation issues with bottles of this beer – place it in a warmer environment for a while and agitate the bottle occasionally.  hey, it works for homebrewers who do in-bottle secondary fermentations…
  • we also snagged a round of angel’s share broubon barrel.  see where this is going? all of port/lost abbey’s greats were available, and  sample sizes were generous.  since others like phunky duck were kicked, a few more angel’s shares got tossed around in their awesome barrel room before we called it a day and got out of there.
  • on a side note, pizza port pizza was being served as well, and although there was a considerable wait for that as well, it too was worth it.
  • note to self for future anniversary parties: 1) bring earplugs, 2) get there earlier and set up shop, 3) take a deep breath before entering and know what you are in store for.
  • also, check out the comment on this blog post for some enlightening information about the details of port brewing.

the whole gang

not a bad place to be