Archive | August, 2011

Tragically Hopped Amber Ale: Brew Day Report

30 Aug

Well, folks, it’s a little late in coming, but here’s the brew day report for Saturday, 8/27/2011.

We brewed the “Tragically Hopped Amber Ale”, and as you’ll see, apparently there is tragedy aplenty when this beer is brewed. This recipe is courtesy of user prosper, and it was by far the hit of the Pork n’ Pietacular. (recipe here:

Brew day started around 5pm and ended around 10pm (although the drinking lasted much later with a dramatic battle between Scott, Becker, Zach and Kylene about whether (Scott, Zach and Becker) or not (Kylene) they were going to go to Ozzies…I believe the good Kylene won the battle there, if not the war).

We have a new burner, a CampChef 60,000 BTU burner, which is great because it allows us to heat the strike/sparge water on the turkey fryer and get the boil going on the CampChef, using the pump to transfer wort and water from the hot liquor tank (the keggle) to the mashtun and from the tun to the boil kettle. Trust me, it’s awesome.

The brew went pretty well. We mashed for an hour at 155, and boiled for 90 minutes. We started with 13 gallons pre-boil, and were aiming for 10 gallons post-boil at 1.062, and we got around 9 gallons at 1.066. I’m pretty happy with those numbers. We’re keeping our efficiency (i.e. the amount of sugars we extract from the grains) around 70%, which is pretty good.

There was only one major screwup…we forgot to add the flameout hops. Just plain forgot (everyone was drinking except me, and I was doing too much). I did add them briefly to the cooled wort, but then realized that hop oils can coat the outside of yeast cells and screw with fermentation, so I actually fished the hop bags out and just dumped them.

The good news is that many amber ales don’t even have a late hop addition, so worst case scenario is that we just have a nice amber ale. My current plan is to both dry hop this beer as scheduled, and to try to boost hop aroma by making a weak “hop tea”. Essentially I’m going to make a quart or so of a weak wort with dry malt extract (like 1.040 or so), bring it to around 180, add the hops we didn’t add before, cool it, and add it to the fermenter right before we bottle/keg. I think I’ll do that with one batch and not the other; it’ll be interesting to see if it makes a difference.

We also discovered that Indy is not only an awesome brew-dog, but he’s alsoan ace cornhole player. Here he is the day after with his new trophies:

He owned those bags. OWNED them.

Next brew day: September 18th. We’ll be brewing an American Pale Ale (a version of our CDBC pale) for the Count’s Halloween party. Given our system, we COULD try a double brew day, to try a pumpkin beer if someone is up for leading that.

I might also try to brew before the Sounders game next Saturday (9/10) if anyone is game.



Post Sounders FC Match Brew on Sat. August 27

23 Aug

Fredy Montero rejoicing after drinking a pint of our Amber Homebrew

We’ve planned to brew after the Sounders game this Saturday. Remember that keg of amber we powered through at Pork ‘n Pie? That’s what we are brewing. It was so delicious we want to recreate the magic.

Summer Lull, Let’s drink some beer!

10 Aug

Last of the Icicle Bootstrap IPA

Since we’ve got a little lull in brewing for the next couple weeks (but we will need to brew some beer for fall soon), I thought I would do just a random beer update.

There is a new brewery out in Leavenworth, Icicle Brewing Company. I finished off a growler of their Bootstrap IPA the other day (no, not all at once) and was pleasantly surprised. It’s hoppy, with notes of citrus.


Deschutes/Boulevard White IPA

I also recently tried a White IPA, from Deschutes Conflux Series. They brewed it in conjunction with Boulevard Brewing from Kansas City, MO. It’s an odd monster, this white IPA. Smells like a yeasty Belgian beer. The flavor is familiar at first as a Belgian Wit but then some crazy hop notes and other spices/herbs hit the palate. I admit I did not know what to think at first. It was certainly not bad, very drinkable…but at the same time so insanely different than anything I have had before, I couldn’t place it, and then I started to like it.

Close-up of the label

Pliny Clone: Taste Report

3 Aug

My little brother is visiting from Maryland with his family, and he has homebrewed in the past. I was showing off the CDBC beers, and I thought I’d break out a little something special. So I broke out the Pliny.

This beer…this beer is still amazing. I think this is a Pliny from our first all-grain attempt at Pliny, since we kegged the second batch from Jen Galland. Whatever it is, it’s still 6 kinds of awesome. This beer is old. And, surprisingly, it still pretty much rocks. It’s got a great nose right out of the bottle, but it does fade more quickly. A lot of that Simcoe goodness in the aroma and initial taste. Almost a little booziness now too, now that the hops seem to have faded a little. It also has a really nice lingering bitterness. Man, I can’t wait to buy 2 pounds  of Simcoe for brewing next year, when they come in season!

Simcoe beauty!

The dregs of the Pliny

Things that make you go… Mmmmmm

1 Aug

Greetings and transgressions!

Coming to you from beautiful Crested Butte Colorado. I am currently sitting on the deck of our rental, and I am enjoying a Breckenridge Avalanche Amber. While not overwhelming, it is most definitely in the style (with a nice caramel/peppery taste and a light hop profile). I probably wouldn’t order it, but I don’t mind drinking it…

Here are a couple of pics so far:

Mmmm beer…


Mmmm scenery…


Mmmmm another beer…

Now I am enjoying a 5 Barrel Pale from Odell Brewing. Much better than the Amber… Both dry hopped and hop backed… Tasty stuff! Although the nose is better than the taste. Would taste great out of the tap…


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