Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sour Beers: The Bane of an Imapatient Brewer

Less than a week after bottling 14.89 I wanted to open a bottle, but I know better. I was worried that the tucked away corner where this beer resides is way too cold. I grabbed a bottle, and held it up to the light. I watched for a while as the beer fermented in front of my eyes. Watching beer carbonate could probably be compared to watching grass grow or watching paint dry. I just have to let them do their job. Damn this waiting game!

(I tried to take pictures of the bottle, but I have a shitty camera. All the pictures were blurry, and it seemed pointless)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Out and About

So instead of going home and checking specific gravities, racking to and fro, bottling, kegging, or cleaning. I decided to take the night off. The + the was my mission. Ever since I first read about this elusive "Oyster Stout" I've wanted to taste one. "The Murky Pearl" is one that seems out of reach, but here in PDX I have a good feeling I'll taste it soon. Upright's was easy with their well advertised release party. This was my first visit to their tasting room, and though the venue is small the brewery itself is larger than life. The elusive search for the right hallway/doorway to the brewhouse is half the fun. I followed the sweet smell of mashed grain, fermentation, and the raucous from the basement. The wait in line was well worth it. Pouring the beer was none other than Ezra. I got one glass of the stout, and a bottle to age of course. I've "tasted" this beer a hundred thousand times in my head over the last couple of weeks. The one that I actually held in my hand, and imbibed was more than I had imagined. Smooth and malty, but more bitter than I had expected. A clean aromatic nose was all I found. The oyster aroma was not there. The oyster flavor was hidden, far off in the distance like a memory you had almost forgotten about. The most amazing quality(to me) was the mineral background that I had never tasted before. I spoke briefly with the very busy, Alex Ganum about my own oyster stout and promised him a bottle. I met a few new people, and caught up with some regulars from the store as well. Next on the agenda was the opening night of Fanno Creek's Winter Beerfest. I only sampled a few beers, but I'm pouring on Sunday so I know I'll have plenty of time to taste 'em all. One of the brewers from Mt. Tabor Brewing was kind enough to talk to me about the Rocket Dog Blonde. An absolutely outstanding beer that gets me all worked up over a fucking delicious 7.5% abv. "light beer". Very clean and WAY too easy too drink! I saw more people, especially women(no offense), lean toward this beer after a few too many big burly winter warmers. Jason Webb, as always, was the most gracious host, and to see so many people I know all at one place enjoying a passion for beer makes me happy. I also want to thank Jeff Alworth for giving me an honorable mention on his blog. All in all I'd have to say this was another awesome fucking day. Thank you everybody!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oyster Stout Update #1

This beer started out at 1.071 9 days ago, and it's only down to 1.032. I'm expecting 1.o15ish for my T.G. but I'm hoping for >1.010. I want this beer to beer very dry. Damn those last 5-7 gravity points. Might consider using some sort of wine yeast later on , but I really don't think that's going to be necessary. When I tasted it there was a definite sweetness, but I know that will fade as it continues to ferment(Mmmmm...taste the progress!). The hops were overpowered by the yeast for now, but the blend I used tastes inviting and complex. The oyster flavor? I couldn't taste much of it. Will it be more present later on once the beer has aged/settled down? Not quite sure yet. I can't wait to add the shells!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I had to bottle, but it's way to nice too be inside all day. This was a small batch I made the first day of 2010 using 3711FrSaison, Montrachet, and Brett. Lambicus yeasts. It's more of an experiment to see if I can make a "house" strain of yeast that will ferment well together, make consistently good beer, and do so under many different conditions. I pitched all the yeasts together in primary hoping that they would form some sort of symbiotic relationship. It was a team-building exercise if you will. I wasn't very happy with the results when I checked it about a month ago. Today during the bottling process there was a whole lot of tasting. "They" made a really clean beer, but I can't taste much from the brett. It's still really young, and now comes the hard part...waiting.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fuckin' Beautiful

Cold, crisp, and pretty hoppy. The pacific gem hops came through just as spicy/peppery as I had hoped for. About 2-3 weeks ago I decided not to add chiles to it because it was just too clean, and smooth to fuck with. Now that the gravity has dropped, and it's a little drier, I think the spicy flavor will compliment this beer perfectly.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Pearls Before Brine" Oyster Stout

I first read about it on Upright's blog. Then I started hearing about it more and more through the grapevine. I'd wanted to do a seafood related beer for a while, but just wasn't sure how to incorporate it. I'm disappointed in myself for not thinking of it earlier. I'm not the biggest fan of oysters, but they were fucking delicious boiled in the wort! The oysters were dirt cheap at 69 cents a piece, and the 3726farmhouse yeast was harvested from another beer I had made the previous day. Everyone I've told about it makes the same disgusted face. Next up is a honey lobster lager.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Love Coffee

I kegged the "chocolate coffee toasted oatmeal cream stout"(which I decided to just call T.C.O.B), and added 100 grams of coffee beans. I didn't grind the beans I just put them in a bag and punched 'em. Coffee is the dominant aroma, but surprisingly not the most dominant flavor in the beer. The toasted oats, burnt grains, and big malty body blend really really well. Now there's a fucking breakfast beer!


O.G. 1.102
White Labs French Ale Yeast
Juniper Berries
Brewed on X-Mas, drank on the following X-Mas. I'm not going to be able to wait a whole year. X-Mas in July anyone?

(I've always been one bottle short of a case)

If an Angel Came to See You...

Update: I racked her to secondary, taking a liter or two of trub with us just to make sure we don't lose volume. She went from 1.065ish to 1.011 in just a few days! This farmhouse yeast is a fucking monster! I've been fighting high final gravities due to cold fermentation temps for a few months now, and this yeast just might be the solution. Clear and bright as a fresh ray of springtime sunshine! Fucking tasty too!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


...I made an I.P.A. that I would consider dark enough to call black. No more of this dark brown bullshit. Success!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

Huzzah! We have a winner! The cascade hops are the first out of the ground! Who's next? Magnum, sterling, or brewer's gold?

Making Dreams a Reality

The pub is open! Everyone dreams of having beer on tap in their own house, and I was no different. With a relatively small amount of work, a bit o' money, and lots of beer the task is complete. Next on the list is a pool table.