Posts Tagged ‘naja’s’

hop crown transplant, naja’s, beer delivery

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

on friday AP and I spearheaded a thirsty mission to naja’s in redondo.

during the weekend I managed to transplant some of my hop crowns from their pots to the side yard.

  • I chose my cascade and zeus plants to transplant since I use derivations of those varieties (columbus and amarillo) most often in my hoppier beers.  they were also the best performers given my growing conditions.
  • the cascade crown was huge after only a year’s growth, and had a root ball the size of a basketball, which should help with any transplant shock.
  • the zeus crown was two years old and was even bigger.  I found a good separation point in the crown and split it into two pieces, each of which I planted individually.
  • I got all three in the ground right before a heavy downpour hit for days, so hopefully the crowns are set and ready to take off.

I also got a surprise in the mail from EW and JW out of florida, who enjoyed many a brew with AP, myself, and the rest of the crew in new orleans.

  • the package was basically a cigar city gift basket, including a snifter, their IPA, and a bunch of their funky, sour saisons.  I can’t wait to pop some of these bottles and add their dregs to my own saison.  thanks again you two!

white whales and wild yeast

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

on thursday the two APs and I headed over to meet up with ML at naja’s for russian river night.

over the weekend I also managed to keg my cider.

  • I blended the half-gallon batch from december (dry and somewhat vinous) with 2 gallons fermented in january (slightly sweet and tangy with great apple aroma).  it should be perfect for the greek easter picnic in about a month.
  • on the topic of cider, I also managed to score some bottles of isastegi sagardo, so expect a tasting update on that soon…

and finally, after reading pages of notes, experiments, and results, I finally decided to try my hand at wild yeast capturing.

  • I made a small starter, lightly hopped it, and let it cool in three small jars on my outside balcony overnight (mid 40F temps).  I covered the jars with paint straining material and took the jars in during the day.
  • after a couple of days with no results, I poured the samples into my erlenmeyer flask and let it sit out during part of a cold morning (mid 50F temps) under my orange tree near some flowers.  I took it back inside and when I checked on it this morning (24 hrs later), I finally spotted some yeast activity.
  • I’m planning on giving it another week in its current solution, then stepping it up and washing it.  with any luck, a truly local brew will be in the works soon!

LA beer week kickoff at naja’s

Monday, October 18th, 2010

LA beer week has officially come to a close, and I’m sure many unique and tasty brews were poured and enjoyed.

  • the only event I was able to make was the stone kickoff party at naja’s place.  even though I saw ads for this event in celebrator and other beer publications, I thought that the event would be similar in size to their IPA festival.
  • my hopes for short lines was dashed, however, when AP and turned the corner on the pier and saw a line of people snaking out the door.  ML called from inside and confirmed the worst case scenario: the line was not for entry, but for getting a beer at the bar!
  • overwhelmed with enochlophobia, I staggered away, looking for an alternative.  KEGS, an oft overlooked bar a stone’s throw away, seemed like a decent choice.
  • KEGS would probably thrive in an average commercial environment – they have a solid tap selection and great service, although the place is a little cramped.  the only oversight the KEGS founders made was to set up a small space with a decent tap lineup and live music literally one hundred yards from one of the best beer bars with live music in the world.
  • this spot turned out to be a great place to wait out the crowd at naja’s, with favorites like racer 5 and gordon being poured.  after a couple hours, it was time to head home, but our group made the mistake of walking past naja’s, which was now at half capacity, on the way out.  AP saw the look of longing on my face and crumbled, so we stopped in for a quick peek.
  • darren, jay, and martin were all still in shock from the huge turnout, but luckily they were still pouring some rarities.  after sampling ’07 barrel-aged old guardian (or was it 07.07.07?) and their 9th anniversary ale, I cemented next morning’s headache and took off.
  • note to self – the beer scene has arrived in full in LA.  it was awesome to see so much socal support for a beer bar great.

the new brew setup, yearly reflections

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

tomorrow marks the year anniversary of overcarbed.  to mark the occasion, I wanted to divulge the newly renovated home brewery at overcarbed HQ.

  • as veteran readers remember, a year ago, space constraints limited production means to a 4 gallon stove-top pot that had trouble getting a 3.5 gallon batch of extract/partial mash rolling.  gravity readings were nonexistent, and cooling took place in the bathroom tub using an immersion chiller.  recipes came and went, and friends lamented lost recipes resulting in tasty batches.
  • fast forward a few months, where a 6 gallon aluminum turkey fryer and propane banjo burner replaced the stove and pot, and a 5 gallon cooler conversion provided mash duties for the all-grain evolution.  a refractometer provided easy gravity readings, and beersmith enabled not only recipe formulation but storage as well.
  • and now, on the eve of overcarbed’s first birthday, the new brew setup is finally complete after months of planning and fabrication.  its components include a 2-tier brewstand from pinup brewery, three keggles converted using components from bobby_m and bargainfittings, and a custom sparge head compliments of yours truly.  it is fired with natural gas jet burners (no more tanks!), and a custom pump/cooling rig takes care of the manual fly sparge and instantaneous plate chilling.

in addition to tying up some loose ends with the new brew setup these last few weeks, I also managed to get some beer-related events in, including:

  • two trips to naja’s with the MLs, HL, DP, and of course AP to sample some great brews from craftsman brewing, including favorites like their cabernale (vinous and complex, but infinitely drinkable) and an apparent one-off infected braggot that was tart, smooth, dry, and the best beer naja’s had on tap (which really got my gears turning).  oh yeah, some fantome and consecration got popped too, amongst others.  craftsman’s mark jilg reminds me of moonlight’s brian hunt – they both whip up some amazing one-off beers from a nondescript location and deliver in their own truck.
  • a stroll by hudson house for a couple pours of craftsman 1903 and some quick eats (good food, quick service, OK beer selection – a decent place that humors the beer geek, but their “house ale” is really budweiser?  you’re really gonna pull that shit?)
  • a pilgrimage to stein fillers in long beach for some sacks of grain and vials of yeast (awesome store, better selection than anything in the immediate bay area with great service to match)
  • a trip to the backyard to view the (relative) bounty of hops that is almost ready for harvest.

the past year flew by but saw many great beer events, brew sessions, and beer trips.  I can only hope that another year will bring more of the same!

good beers and ambitious projects (WIR 05/29-06/01)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

this memorial day weekend I managed to sample a great variety of beers and start on some lofty projects that have been in the planning stage for quite some time.

  • on saturday I was lucky enough to find a local paintball store that filled CO2 tanks.  this made for a relatively simple fill-up, as opposed to my experience in SF.
  • I also dropped by bevmo to see if they had any eric’s ale bombers in stock.  I talked to one of their buyers and it seems they aren’t ever gonna get it in, which is unfortunate, since I was all set to pick up a case of the stuff.
  • I was treated to a tour of the bevmo coolers, however, and walked out with a bottle of parabola, a sixer of lagunitas undercover shutdown ’10, and a bottle of mikkeller’s it’s alright!
  • I cracked the it’s alright!, remembering that a tasting of it a few years ago left me a little disappointed.  I definitely liked it more the second time around – it had a ton of barnyard funk and was very refreshing.  add a little tartness to the mix and it could be a great summer beer.
  • on sunday I went with AP and the rest of the posse to naja’s for a quick beer.  the place was packed, but I managed to get a pour of dogfish’s burton baton, which was killer on a hot beach day.  it made me want to place an online order for a quick dogfish fix…
  • the rest of the weekend was spent BBQing and hacking away at one of my 2 consecutive projects, a basic 4-tap keezer.  I will post a more detailed writeup when the build is finished (hopefully by the end of the week), but for now a teaser pic will have to do.
  • as for the other project, let’s just say it has to do with doubling my brewing capacity and halving my brew time, and was inspired by CB’s sick setup.  more to come on that front as pieces to the puzzle fall into place.

weekend in review 04/09 – 04/11

Monday, April 12th, 2010

after a long week of desk jockeying, the weekend couldn’t come up fast enough.

  • after getting a little more settled in our new spot, AP and I rolled over to naja’s to meet up with AP, PP, and DP.
  • I can’t overemphasize the great atmosphere at naja’s – no pretention and a laid back attitude, right on the water!
  • not to mention great selection – I grabbed  a pour of goose island’s matilda, which was very earthy and refreshing.  AP grabbed her staple – eric’s ale.
  • once everyone showed up, the really good stuff got cracked.  first, we pulled a great bottle of fantome saison for everyone to try.
  • I also ordered up a fantastic saison that (if I remember correctly) was from brasserie d’achouffe (the tap handle was complicated and it was listed as “saison” on the board – I’ll have to get back with the name since it was pretty great).
  • there was also a north/south tasting debate going on (if only in my head) as both carlsbad’s green flash west coast IPA and healdsburg’s bear republic racer 5 were poured.  such a tough call between those two…
  • later during the weekend I tended to my fresh hop plants – in addition to last years’ vojvodina and zeus, I picked up some chinook, cascade, mt hood, and sterling varieties.
  • I got the rhizomes from freshops, and couldn’t be happier – they came fast, had noticeable buds on arrival and sprouted within a week.  however, CB had different results, however, as state agricultural problems and questionable customer service almost ruined his (sizable) order.
  • also, it will be interesting to see the yield of my second-year established plants.  I kept all my hops potted due to limited time, but if the yield is low I might reconsider next year.  fingers crossed…