Posts Tagged ‘pliny the younger’

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!

second annual IPA festival at naja’s place

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

naja’s place just had their second annual IPA festival, and it was pretty epic.

  • I was impressed not only by the beer selection, but also by the organization of the event and the friendliness of everyone involved.
  • AP and I rolled up early (4:15ish) to find a line to the door about 15 people long.  I think we hit the wait apex, however, since the line dissolved in about five minutes (thank god) and never reappeared from what I could see.
  • in general, the whole LA beer scene feels pretty relaxed when compared to the capacity crowd events happening in SF these days.  case in point – my buddy ML stopped by a few hours into the event and was still able to snag a pour of coveted pliny the younger.  in fact, I don’t think any keg kicked before I left at around 7.
  • this keg longevity was facilitated by the fact that festival glasses held only a few ounces.  this turned out to be a great idea, as it allowed for tastings of a wide variety of beers, instead of getting burned out on a full pour of some 10% hop bomb.
  • between AP, AP, ML, and myself, we managed to try a pretty wide variety of beers: avery’s maharaja ’08, ballast point’s tongue buckler and dry-hopped sculpin cask, bootlegger’s knuckle sandwich, firestone walker’s double jack, flying dog’s double dog and raging bitch, marin’s brass knuckle, russian river’s pliny the younger, tustin’s death by hops, and strand brewing’s double dry hopped 24th st. pale.  phew!
  • standouts for me were the cask sculpin, which had a great aroma and finish, even after half a dozen pours; and marin’s brass knuckle, which had a unique finish that I can only compare to instant iced tea.  weird, but good.  bootlegger’s knuckle sandwich was pretty intense, with a strong malt back that was refreshingly different.
  • yeah, younger was good too, and was well-balanced, but I expected a little less alcohol heat on the finish.  maybe a fresher sample would have enough hop aroma to tackle that.
  • overall, this was one of the best beer events I have been to.  I don’t think I waited longer than a minute to get any of my pours, there was plenty of water available, and the bathroom line was nonexistent.  we got a table with zero effort, and had pretzels and other snacks on constant refill.  I felt like I had won the beer lottery.

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!