Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'Tis the Season! Oatmeal Christmas Cookie Ale and Graeters BRC Stout

Before getting into the beer talk Blake and I wanted to wish a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season to anyone stumbling across our little blog. There are a lot of really great traditions that all of our families share with one another over these festive times; decorations, lights, presents, and family dinners are just a few that our family takes part in every year. For me, the excitement of all these things can be a distraction when thinking about the true meaning of the season - taking a step back to appreciate all of the opportunity and support we have been blessed with by our great family and friends. With that being said, Blake and I would like to thank everyone that has supported us through 2011 in not only our brewing happenings, but also life.

Brewing with Friends Roll Call:
Blake, Kristin, Bo, Tina, Joey, Whit

Beer Talk:
Winter just seems to be so much more conducive to brewing than the summer season - there's just something about standing around a boiling kettle in 30 degree weather with friends and family enjoying the outdoors! We had two brewing sessions back to back in December and the brewmaster and I agreed that we wanted to help get into the spirit of Winter and Christmas...and what better way to do it than brewing beers that are fit for the season??

Oatmeal Christmas Cookie Ale -
When the brewmaster and I started discussing the two beers for this brew-sesh we immediately agreed that our experimental beer needed to fit the winter season (generally we brew one of our "staple" or "mainstay" beers along with an experimental recipe). We haven't had much experience brewing beers with special ingredients such as pumpkin, spices, fruit, etc - but with this sesh we fully intended on plunging into this head first...we agreed on a recipe that would mimic a delicious Oatmeal Christmas Cookie! The brewmaster authored the malt bill heavy on the oats for a creamy and smooth mouthfeel similar to the experience you would have whilst sinking your teeth into a freshly baked oatmeal Christmas cookie. We used some crystal malts to give it some color and also a bit of sweet carmel finish. After the malt bill was authored Blake put together a very inoffensive hop schedule keeping the IBU's (international bitterness unit) very low as to accentuate the complex and sweet malt bill. I don't know about you, but the last thing I would think about when eating a christmas cookie is bitterness, right? No thanks on the bitterness! So after that we started putting together our strategy for the fun additions to the beer and agreed on three separate ingredients to try and mimic the taste of the cookie. We used vanilla extract, cinnamon, and a healthy serving of brown sugar.


Blake calculated the proportions of each of the three special ingredients and we went to work! Shortly after finishing our mash/lauter we moved the beer to the kettle for the boil. The first 40 minutes of the boil were like every other boil, but those last 20 minutes were a doozy adding our special ingredients. The brown sugar and vanilla additions went over without any trouble at all...but that cinnamon sure through a wrench in the equation! The second we added the cinnamon it smelled like someone had dropped a cinnamon bomb on 801 Miami Avenue. Words cannot express how pungent the cinnamon was...I was immediately convinced the beer was ruined and that we had successfully created the largest boiling cauldron of cinnamon wort in brewing history! Despite my visible anguish and profane audible concern that the beer had been ruined right in front of my eyes, the brewmaster was as cool as the other side of the pillow. He calmly placed his hand on my shoulder and said 'relax brah, it will be fine'. The brewmaster rarely drops the word 'brah' in his everyday rhetoric, so as soon as those words were uttered I knew he meant business and we were in good shape. Shwuuu, close one.

It sure doesn't look like much...but boy it packed a cinnamony punch! 

When everything was said and done we moved the beer the primary fermentation vessel and shortly thereafter to the conditioning vessel. It has now been roughly three weeks since it was brewed and let me tell you - this beer turned out great for a first time brew! The beer is still pretty young, but the tastes are melding together nicely and the cinnamon/vanilla characteristics are both very subtle yet noticeable. The beer is still cloudy - so time will tell whether or not this beer will clear up or not, but the aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and carbonation are all turning out well. We will be offering a bit of this to some close friends tonight...so keep your fingers crossed that they will like it! And as always....feel free to stop by the house if you want to give the ole' Oatmeal Christmas Cookie Ale a try (that is, if, Bojangles doesn't drink it all first). 

Graeters Black Raspberry Chip Stout:
So, the brewmaster and I were sitting in the thinking room putting the finishing touches on our journal validating our design and concept for renewable energy that was to be submitted to M.I.T. for review prior to being sent to the Nobel Peace Prize committee. Just as we were about to hit send and basically solve all the worlds energy problems...Blake took a bite of Graeters BRC just as I took a sip of some amazing Left Hand Milk Stout and there was an immaculate epiphany! Mixing probably the worlds two best things...Graeters BRC and beer. At that point we realized we had stumbled on, scrapped our renewable energy concept and started sculpting our recipe for the one and only Graeters Black Raspberry Chip Stout. A big beer - lots of roasted malts, lactose sugar, dark chocolate, and of course raspberries. Following in the footsteps of our last beer (Oatmeal Christmas Cookie Ale) that used special ingredients this beer alike had several fun ingredients that we used in an effort to cross-breed two of our favorite things.

Blake, Bo, and Joseph preparing the mash for the Graeters BRC Stout!

Shortly after the mash was completed we moved the stout to the kettle to begin the boil. During the boil we added lactose sugar, dark chocolate, and OF COURSE a scoop of the famous and delicious Black Raspberry Chip Ice Cream.

After the boil finished we moved it to the primary fermentation vessel where we ran into some issues. We aren't exactly sure why the yeast didn't take off on an eating frenzy with all of the fermentable sugars, but it didn't. So we had to improvise - we re-pitched a yeast that was generally used for baking bread. We didn't have a lot of options at this point and rather than scrapping the whole batch we opted for plan B which was the bread yeast. Sure enough, within a couple of hours the yeast took off and was eating the sugars like crazy. Shortly after the fermentation was complete we made the raspberry additions!

We used red raspberries! 

Raspberries successfully added immediately after primary fermentation

We then let the raspberries condition in the beer for a week and moved to the final conditioning vessel where we added more dark chocolate! The beer is not ready yet - but we are anxious to get this moved into a keg so we can give it a taste test. There were a lot of variables that went into this beer - the biggest one obviously being the bread yeast we had to pitch with so it would ferment out. We hope that this will serve as a good first brew to understand the impact of both the chocolate and raspberry additions for future beers.

We are looking forward to our next brewing with friends on January 7th. Put it on the calendar if you have any interest in coming by...we are open to suggestions on brewing special beers and we will brew just about anything. We will probably start mid-afternoon 'ish and will finish up around 8-9PM. We are looking forward to it and hope you are too!

-Assistant Brewmaster

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Thanksgiving Yeast Feast & Pale Ale/Brown Ale/IPA

Brewing With Friends Roll Call 11/18/11:
Jack, Carson, John, Lewis, Andy, Shannon, Brandy, Kristin, Emily, Bo, Tina, Blake, Whit, Drew, Kelsey, Hester, Anthony, Bill and of course all the Brew Dogs Zeta, Jersey, Porter, and Bosely

Beer Talk:
Pale Ale -
Roughly a month ago Blake, Carter, and I got all of our equipment cleaned up in preparation for the winter brewing season. After giving everything a good clean, we went back to one of our staple brews - the Pale Ale. We have brewed the Pale Ale several times in the past and have made very subtle recipe changes and are finally happy after sampling this last batch. A great malty/hoppy balance demonstrating the true style of an American Pale Ale along with a fantastic dry hopped aroma of the American Citra Hop. We sampled the beer all over Cincinnati and received great feedback on the light bodied, well balanced, and sessionable ale. 

Carter, Blake, Bo, and Brewdog Bosely with the Pale Ale and German Brown boiling in the Kettles!

German Brown Ale - 
The German Brown Ale was a new recipe that Brewmaster Blake put together. We had brewed several varieties of the American Brown Ale (generally more hop forward) but this time we wanted to try to do something a little different. We used a hybrid Lager/Ale strain of yeast to give the ale a smoother finish along with a very subtle and low IBU hop schedule to accent the malty sweetness and chocolate flavors from the malt we picked. This is the first time in a while we had used a lager strain of yeast - so we had to continue to remind ourselves that the conditioning period was going to be quite a bit longer than any of the standard ale yeasts we had brewed with recently. It has now been about 6-7 weeks since it was brewed and the beer has turned out great. Quite a few of the friends that were brewing last night made sure to sample plenty of the German Brown Ale and gave us some great feedback. This recipe may be a keeper! 

**As a side note, the only difference between a "lager" and an "ale" is the style of yeast that the beer was fermented with. A standard lager yeast strain will  will ferment at the bottom of the beer and will take 6-8 weeks of cold conditioning before it's matured, while an ale strain is top fermenting and generally only takes 2-3 weeks of warmer conditioning before it's ready to be consumed. A lager is typically associated as a "smoother" style of beer such as the light American Lagers like Bud, Coors, Miller, or Sam Adams, or the brand new beer on the scene here in Cincy, Yuengling. An ale on the other hand generally has fruitier notes and is used in popular beers such as Sierra Nevada, Stone, or Dogfish Head.

Brewdog Bosely and Porter with his Green Eye Laser Eye

We had quite a showing last night for the first brewing with friends of the season. With the brewdogs included I think there was about 20-25 that showed up! We had both brewing systems fired up for the night and one of those was devoted to a completely re-designed IPA recipe. We have played around with several IPA recipes, but have yet to find one that's a keeper. Brewmaster Blake did his research on some of our favorite IPA's and decided to put together a new recipe based off of one of his mentor's, BC, at Jackie O's brewing in Athens Ohio. There was 13.5 pounds of malt (in the 5 gallon batch) which means we are going to extract a lot of sugar for the fermentation process. Generally, the more sugar there is, the higher the alcohol content will be which is advantageous for our brewing friends who are looking to catch a buzz quick! There was also a very heavy hop schedule which will help this beer get "to-style". The IPA style is a very hop forward, bitter, and generally big beer - and after seeing all the hop additions last night, I have reason to believe that this recipe will not let us down! 

Carson, John, Kristin, and Shannon enjoying Brewing with Friends, girls like Brewing too!

The IPA chilling down after the boil, look at all the hop residue on the side of the kettle! 

Blonde Ale-
The last beer we brewed was an extremely simple blonde ale...boring right?

Wrong! We brewed this ale with one purpose, to test the tastes and flavors associated with 5 different strains of yeast. That's right, we had an early Thanksgiving Yeast Feast! The yeast is a very important ingredient in the beer that we have not played around with too much outside of electing the proper yeast for the style of beer we are brewing. The purpose of this yeast test was to brew 5 gallons of a simple balanced beer and ferment with 5 separate yeast strains to try and identify specific tastes for each of the respective yeast strains. This was very exciting for us and we are really pumped to taste the beers when they are finished fermenting to help try and identify a specific strain that we like more than the rest for our house ale's going forward. It was very interesting to see how different all of these yeast strains acted right from the beginning. Each of the five strains all settled differently in the wort as soon as we pitched. It was pretty funny this morning walking down into our fermentation area and seeing five separate 1-gallon jugs bubbling away during primary fermentation. This is a big step for us and will give us another tool to help us brew even better beers with our friends down the road. 

The Brewmaster filling the first 1-gallon jugs for our Yeast Feast!

Our test-jugs with the 5 different yeast strains, look at the different ways they settled! 

Lastly, Blake and I wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for and want to thank everyone that has taken part in our brewing happenings over the past year. We both hope everyone has a safe and blessed holiday with your families. 

-Assistant Brewmaster

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Summer's Gone...Let's get our Brew On!

The summer's finally crawling to a close and boy has it been a great one. Over the last couple of months we have mixed in some marrying, some phishing, some traveling, and most importantly some brewing! I'll start off with some of the random thoughts of these happenings and somehow try to relate them back to beer...seeing that this IS a beer blog after all. Time to get on with the summer recap in true Brewing With Friends style!

Brewmaster Blake and Kristin finally tied the knot up on beautiful Mackinac Island. The wedding was pretty outrageous and to those of you who were out on the porch for the cocktail reception - did you try that fantastic Bell's Big Porch Ale? A classic Amber Ale, malty, sweet, and well balanced. Pretty cool to see that they were serving the beer that was named after the very porch we were enjoying them on. Some serious style points for Brewmaster Blake - especially seeing that Bell's is one of Blake and my favorite breweries.
The label from Bell's depicting the exact porch I was standing on while drinking it...cool right?

The view off the Big Porch. The ceremony was down below by the fountain in the garden...what a beautiful day!  

Amazing sunset off the dock of the cottage the night before the wedding...good vibes! 

After the wedding I went out to Denver to see my favorite band play and visit some great friends. Phish was awesome, Boulder was awesome, and of course - the beer was awesome. In between the Phish concerts, climbing mountains, bike riding,  and meeting up with all the cool people in Boulder I managed to squeak in a couple of brewery visits. The first brewery we visited was Boulder Beer Company. Not sure words can describe how delicious my cask style Hazed and Infused was after a long day of hiking the Flat Irons with Stewart, Katie, and friends. After Boulder Beer, we headed over to Avery Brewing Company and had a couple delicious pints of beer that is only sold in their tap-room. I had a special variety IPA and also a fantastic bourbon barrel aged Amber. The beer at both breweries were so good - no wonder they are both so successful.

The sun setting over the Rockies? What better way to prepare for a 3 hour Phish shred fest?

Pre Boulder Brewery visits...working up the thirst with Katie and Sarah!

Without sounding too cliche - all good things must come to an end and unfortunately my trip to Boulder fell victim to this tried and true saying. After Colorado, Santa Monica was next on the list for the summer travels. I wasn't really expecting any kind of fantastic brewery visits, beer happenings, or brewing stories but alas, when you least expect it life grabs you by the hops and dips them in the kettle! While roaming the streets of Santa Monica, Lauren mentioned a cool craft beer store we could stop by to grab some crafties to go along with our fabulous dinner. I spent about 10-15 minutes peering into the never-ending freezer boxes searching for the dankest beer possible at which point I had a flashback..suddenly I felt like I was an 8 year old boy peering through the front window of Toys-R-Us 3 days before Christmas and catching a glimpse of the brand new, shiny, blue, 4-wheel, dual battery, 1/2 horsepower V-0 monster truck...I had to have it! Flashback to real life - blink...blink...rub the eyes...rub them again...is that....no it couldn't be....is that.....PLINY??!! And sure enough the coyly hidden green bottles of Pliny the Elder by Russian River Brewing were delicately placed in the bottom right corner of the freezer batting their eyelashes at me begging to be taken home and enjoyed. Pliny is the highest rated IPA on sites such as ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com Not only does it score perfect 10's by all who drink it but it is also one of the most sought after IPA's in the United States. Russian River intentionally caps production on this beer to keep demand exorbitantly high making this score even more epic!

...and they are as delicious as advertised! 

Santa Monica Sunset - beautiful.

Okay enough with the pretty pictures, stories, and somewhat unrelated beer stories from the summer...I mean this blog is about Brewing with Friends after all...however, I have run out of time to go into our most recent and definitely most radical brewing happenings. Stay tuned for our next entry...some really great developments for Blake and I regarding our ultimate goal of teaching and educating people about brewing really great ales and lagers!

-Assistant Brewmaster

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summertime, the living's easy.

Got a few things in the line up right now. On tap we have: Golden Knights Brown Ale- an english brown ale that is tasting mighty fine. Whit's Wit- a witbier brewed with coriander and fresh, organic orange peel that my lovely fiancée helped to zest. This beer has a creamy mouthfeel due to the oats and is a great summer brew. Also on tap is the Hesserweizen- a traditional german wheat beer that has a great light body, and banana/clove aroma that is very thirst quenching.

The brews in process include: Amber (fail- had to be dumped due to Brewing Under the Influence or a BUI but I thought everyone should know that beer needs careful attention to come out as intended.) Centennial IPA- Our second rendition. We were very happy with the results of the first one and it was a hit. So, no changes were made to the recipe. We look forward to bottling this beer. Huge citrus flavor and aroma from the American west coast hops. Schwarzamberbier- This originally started as a Schwarzbier but due to the BUI got some Amber ale wort mixed in. Not exactly what was intended but tasted great going into the keg. Schwarz is German for 'black' so that's how it gets it name. It is dark like a porter but clean, crisp and light bodied like most lagers. This will lager for a few weeks/months as it was fermented with lager yeast. The lagering process will help clean up the beer leaving a crisp and refreshing dark lager beer. Also coming up is another amber brewed successfully under the supervision of brewmeisters Carson Morey and Whit Hesser. This beer will be fantastic. And lastly, thank you to asst. asst. brewmeister Bo Hesser and asst. to the asst. to the asst. (lost track of who's who) brewmistress Tina Hesser for their help in bottling all the said beers and our (hopefully) finalized Pale Ale recipe. This pale ale is complex but mild. Bitterness we kept low and the malt bill is sufficient to provide a sweet, light bodied, and sessionable pale ale. We dry hopped with Citra hops meaning we threw in even more hops after the fermentation process to provide a orange/grapefruit in-yo-face hop aroma experience. Very nice.

Thanks to all the help, brewing friends.


Brewers Blake and Carson hoppin up the Centennial.

Thanks Joey from Nashville and Drew for your assistance.

Assistant brewmaster Whit with a mouthfull.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hefeweizen, Pale Ale, Chicago, and Investments!

Brewing With Friends Roll Call 5.15.11:
Blake, Whit, Drew, and Brew Dog Bosely

Beer Talk:
This is the second time that we have brewed the Hefeweizen. The first time we brewed it the entire keg was consumed within about a week of it being carbonated. Needless to say it turned out really well, we enjoyed it so much we did not change anything in the recipe this time around. At this point with this beer we are looking for repeatability. We hit our marks on the brewing vitals for this beer so we don't think that it should be too different from the last time. We mashed in at about 152 degrees, hit our volume, and the boil went off without a hitch. We pitched our yeast, and sure enough first thing this morning it's bubbling like crazy...stinking the whole place up like bananas. The yeast strain we used for this beer has very strong banana and clove aromas in the finished product and also during fermentation. As the weather warms up Blake and I are a bit concerned about keeping the fermentation right around 68 degrees, so we elected to stash the primary fermentation vessel down in the basement. We look forward to sharing this brew with our friends!
Pale Ale on the left, Hefeweizen on the Right

Pale Ale
We have brewed two or three pale ales over the last couple of months but still have not found the taste that we are looking for. This time we went in an entirely different direction loosely basing it off one of our favorite pale ales...the Yazoo Pale Ale from Nashville. The Yazoo Pale is a beer that is very well balanced and non-offensive. It has all the traits and personality of a traditional American Pale Ale including the coppery color, medium-light body, citrusy taste, and well balanced caramel malty flavor. We did not use any of the same ingredients that the Yazoo Pale uses, but instead focused on the vitals of the beer including the IBU (bitterness), color, and ABV (alcohol content). When Blake and I first started ramping up our interests in brewing we had the opportunity to sit down for three hours with Linus Hall who is the owner and Head Brewmaster at Yazoo Brewing Company. Our talk with Linus was a major inspiration for us, and to this day we constantly refer back to our discussion with him...cheers Linus!

Brewed by Linus Hall and Yazoo Brewing Co, Nashville TN.

Blake and I spent quite a bit of time discussing the recipe with respect to the hop addition because we were concerned with this beer coming out too hoppy and losing the well balanced flavor a traditional American Pale Ale should have. We hit our mash-in temp of 149 degrees which lends itself well to a light bodied summery pale ale, our efficiency was good at 76.5% which correlates to how well we extracted the sugars from our grains in the mash, however our pre-boil gravity came in a bit lower than we anticipated which will ultimately lead to a lower ABV beer. An American Pale Ale traditionally is supposed to be a 4.6% - 6% ABV beer, and we will be coming in slightly under at 4.2% - 4.4% We will taste when it's ready, and if need be we can up our grain bill a bit to extract more sugars from the mash. We put together a very unique hop addition that should yield range of 37-40 IBU's which is on the lower side of a traditional pale ale's bitterness scale. Yesterday Blake made a recommendation for the recipe that was a first for me - we made a whole leaf hop addition at flame out of the Citra Hop...it smelled delicious. We are looking forward to tasting this beer in hopes that we have found a foundation to build off of for our Pale Ale of the future.
Dueling Brew Systems and Our Head-Brewdog; Bosely

Recent Trips & Investment:
Blake and I recently took a trip up to Chicago to visit Revolution Brewing Company. Our trip was amazing - the amount of success they are having at the brewpub should serve as an inspiration to anyone who is interested in getting into the business. Their location, decor, food, and most importantly beer were all top notch. They had a 10BBL system along with 6-7 fermentation vessels, and several more serving tanks. They must have had at least 10 original beers on tap including a couple on cask. We opted to try them all - and needless to say, we left their pub feeling pretty loose. Isn't it funny how craft beers can sneak up on you, especially when you stand up after sitting at a table for a couple hours?? Anyway, I highly suggest anyone/everyone to visit this awesome brewery if they have the time in Chicago. I would also like to say thanks to Gregg for letting us crash at his place, and to Wes and Chris Swaine for swinging by and hanging out with us! It was a great time, and we can't wait for our next trip back.
A cool shot Blake took as we were leaving Chicago, IL

Lastly, Blake and I have been discussing how we "step up our brewing game" and the brewmaster has made his recommendation - temperature controlling capabilities during primary, secondary, and in our serving tanks. As of this morning, we have purchased digital thermostats to help better control and stabilize our temperatures during the beer making process. This will also allow us to begin brewing lagers which we have not yet had the opportunity to do. A mass-production facility uses a very sophisticated Glycol chilling system to keep their beers at near perfect temperatures, and by going to these devices we will be able to somewhat replicate the glycol system. It is very exciting (and expensive) to make an upgrade like this - but ultimately we will be taking several variables out of the equation in regards to the brewing process...which is a good thing and will allow us to make a more repeatable beer once we nail down our recipes.

- Assistant Brewmaster

*Sorry for the lack of updates the past 3 weeks, Blake and Kristin have been moving in to their new house so we not had time to brew. Going forward we should be on a fairly regular schedule of brewing and posting here!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Centennial IPA, Belgian Witbier, and our 1st Brewing Fail

Brewing with Friends Roll Call 4.16.11:
Brewmaster Blake, Whit, Carson, Jack, Brandon, David, Andrew, Bojangles, Tina, Kristin, Katie, Alexa and Bruno

Beer Talk:
Belgian Witbier
As summer is just about to begin we have really been gearing up our brewing on delicious, citrusy, and easy drinking brews. What better choice than the Belgian Witbier (think Bluemoon style)! Not only did it have a very oaty/wheaty grain bill - but in this particular recipe we added a couple of special ingredients that are trademark for the Witbier style. Kristin zested the rhine off of three oranges and Jackson took the duty of crushing up coriander. Both of these ingredients were added with about 5-10 minutes left in the boil...and boy did it smell amazing! The Witbier is healthily fermenting as we speak and we are expecting this one to turn out really well.
The coriander being prepared for the boil

Centennial IPA
Keeping in the theme of great summer beers Brewmaster Blake wanted to try his hand at a Centennial IPA. This is going to be a big beer - both alcohol content and also hop flavor/aroma. The reason we call this a Centennial IPA is because it is a single hop variety IPA. Generally there are 2-3 separate hop varieties that are added throughout the boil to offer the beer some complexity in its hoppy flavor and aroma however the single hop variety IPA's are all the rage right now...you heard it here first. A popular beer that is also a single hop variety is Bell's Two-Hearted. I highly suggest saving up $8 bucks to buy a six pack of this beer, its very well done and if you're into pale ales or IPA's you wont regret this purchase.
All the boys around the dueling kettles

Doubly Explosive IPA
Generally there isn't too much to talk about after the brewing process is done, but I wanted to make sure I dropped an update on the doubly explosive IPA. As you remember we had quite a difficult time keeping the primary fermentation vessel sealed due to the explosive nature of this monster beer. But yesterday we decided to transfer and we dry hopped it! This will go into secondary for a week or two, can't wait to carbonate this bad boy and pour a cold one.
Dry Hopping the Doubly Explosive IPA

Party Talk and Ramblings:
The three new guys getting down on some brewing action
So overall it was a great night of brewing, we had a strong turnout of 13-14 people including 3 people for their first brewing experience, and another one for only his second brewing experience. Brandon, Andrew, and Biff helped out throughout the brewing process including Andrew/Fisher mashing in, David doing some hop additions, and Fisher doing some hop additions during the boil. It's always great to have some people come by for their first brewing experience, hopefully they learned something about brewing.

Stay tuned to Brewing with Friends, next week we will have a post that you will not believe; an NFL celebrity drinking beer that was Brewed with Friends... photo's will be included!

-Assistant Brewmaster

And without further ado, I give you our first brewing fail...enjoy!

Brewing Fail:

That Muskrat is a dirty dirty man....if you have a queasy stomach do not go further....you've been warned......


You may be trying to convince yourself at this point that this is pea-flavored baby food. Well I can assure you it's not. You may try to convince yourself that this is some delicious pistachio flavored ice cream....once again I can assure you it's not. The Muskrat has elected to take a heaping spoon full of inoculated yeast. Now in the interest of the casual reader I wanted to make sure everyone is aware of the definition of inoculate further solidifying belief that some men should not have the privilege of making decisions on their own. I leave you with what the Muskrat willingly, knowingly, and quite hilariously ingested.


[ih-nok-yuh-leyt] Show IPAverb, -lat·ed, -lat·ing.
–verb (used with object)
to implant (a disease agent or antigen) in a person, animal,or plant to produce a disease for study or to stimulatedisease resistance.
to affect or treat (a person, animal, or plant) in this manner.
to introduce (microorganisms) into surroundings suited totheir growth, as a culture medium.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Funday

Whit and I will be having some fun brewing adventures today. This includes kegging the yet-to-be-named pale ale and transferring of the brown ales. Our amber is carbonating as we speak and should be effervescent later this week!

We also got our name for the 90 minute clone: Doubly Explosive IPA. Named because the lid to the fermentor blew off twice! Whit was even afraid to sleep in the same room. Brewing beer can be a dangerous thing, friends. Please brew responsibly.

Please let us know what beers you'd like to be drinking. Since the weather is warming up, we're thinking a Kölsch, a witbier, and some IPAs in the near future.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

90 Minute IPA & Blonde Ale V2.0

Brewing With Friends Role Call 4/8/11:
Whit, Bo, Carson, Andrew, Katie, Emily, Bruno, and Katie's dog...can't remember the name

Beer Talk:
90 Minute IPA
Carson joined me at the Listermann's homebrew shop yesterday afternoon to help decide what to brew (Initially Andrew wanted to brew something similar to the Souther Tier IPA, but they didn't have the right ingredients). We thought about doing all kinds of different beers but decided to do a 90 minute ipa..and boy what a journey it was. 18 pounds of grain, 5 oz of hops, and 90 minutes of boiling later and we have quite the beer. As I sit here writing this, the lid of the fermentation bucket has exploded off the bucket twice now forcing me to come up with an alternative method to let the CO2 escape. I think I came up with the solution, but homage must be paid to Andrew and Carson on this brew, it is a HAPPY beer...fermenting like crazy. Got a good pic, and a good video, check 'em out below:

Andrew doing some extreme brewing...


The explosive 90 Minute IPA

Blonde Ale
Nothing too crazy happened with the Blonde Ale - a little less volume than we wanted due to the wort not wanting to hit it's hot break...annoying. It's upstairs fermenting like a normal beer should, and not like that insane IPA that has no forced me to clean the walls several times due to spontaneous yeast combustion. We didn't make any changes to the recipe from the first time we brewed it, hopefully it comes out similar! 

Random thoughts:
Special thanks to Emily Colston Clark for coming over, if I were a woman, and pregnant, I think hanging out with a bunch of guys drinking and brewing beer would be the last thing I would want to do..but it was awesome, and she was awesome. Other than that - a pretty tame night...we needed it after the brown ale bonanza last week. I think Bo, Carson, and Andrew all made great strides on their brewing knowledge...they basically did everything themselves. The Southern Tier IPA that Drew brought over was a great IPA...I would highly suggest to anyone who is looking for a balanced IPA that doesn't rot your tongue off!

Till next week, 
- Assistant Brewmaster