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CDBC Meeting Tonight!

21 May

We have our monthly meeting tonight (Wednesday, May 23rd) at Chuck’s CD. Meeting starts at 7:30pm so show up a little early and grab a beer.


Also, thanks to everyone who showed up for our first Homebrew Demo. Special thanks to Sound Homebrew Supply for sponsoring the brew!

CDBC Crew Demo Brew

The CDBC Crew hard at work doing the Homebrew Demo at Chuck’s CD


Eisbock: A journey

29 Mar

Last year we decided to try a couple of big beers as a group because, why not? So we embarked on a barrel aged Barleywine project, a Belgian Quad project, and the grand-daddy of them all, an Eisbock. If you don’t know what an Eisbock is, you probably also don’t know that Gummi Bears should really be pronounced more like “goomi bars” and you should probably go back to drinking your PBR out of your paper bag. OK, just kidding, I’m forgetting the second rule of the CDBC (“Don’t be a d*ck”), and only Germans call them goomi bars. An Eisbock is a super-concentrated, freeze distilled version of a Doppelbock (sometimes people use a Weizenbock as a base) that is super malty and super alcoholic. You can read more about Eisbocks from the Germans themselves (and more about the origins of Gummi bears too, if you insist).

Last December we brewed 20 gallons of Doppelbock (See recipe post here), and then lagered it until March at 37 degrees. Although we brewed the two ~11 gallon batches on the same day, and both hit 1.080 OG, for some reason (two different brew systems?), we got very different attenuation on the systems, and one batch finished at 1.016 (8.6% ABV), while the other barely cracked 1.030 FG (6.9% ABV). So, we decided after lagering to blend the two beers into four new corny kegs for the ice distilling process, making a new Doppelbock with a blended ABV estimated at 7.9%.

After doing this on 3/23, we were ready to freeze distill.

I found an awesome guide for how to do this here, at Lug Wrench Brewing. It was exactly what I needed to help me figure out the process.

We lowered the temp controller target in the chest freezer to 0 (although with the high wood collar it could only manager around 13 F), and let the beer sit overnight. Sure enough, in the morning, we had a beer slushy in the kegs. Two pics are attached (we had four kegs, and one froze a little less than the others.

Following the instructions I got online, I pushed the beer from the slushy kegs using CO2 into a clean and sanitized keg, one at a time. This worked pretty well, although once I had to knock the keg to sake ice off of the dip tube. Other than that, it was pretty smooth sailing.

In all, I extracted a total of around 3.5 gallons of ice from the beer, about a half gallon from the least slushy keg and about a gallon from the others.

Now, there’s a bunch of assumptions here, but I think if it’s pure ice (it’s probably not), and if we started with around 4.5 gallons per keg (we probably didn’t), we probably have 1 keg that’s at around 8.89% ABV, and three other kegs that are at around 10.15% ABV.

CDBC Event Report: Tasting Beer: February 17, 2013

10 Mar

On a chilly Sunday afternoon (not to be confused with a chili Sunday afternoon, to be held one week later), the CDBC gathered to work on developing our beer palates. One way to do this is to do what we called a “referenced tasting,” where you taste a beer, then taste some of the flavors that are supposed to be “in” the beer (such as chocolate, coffee, malt, or caramel), and then taste the beer again to see whether or how your perception of the beer has changed. We intended to do this as a way to develop our beer tasting palates, to help us learn how to identify specific flavors in beer and to describe beer better, and to help us learn how to taste beer in a more refined way.

Kevin developed and led the tasting, beginning with a presentation on tasting beer. Kevin’s presentation covered the psychological and biological aspects of how we sense and perceive tastes and smells, and the procedures of tasting beer. He relied heavily on two excellent sources, Randy Mosher’s book Tasting Beer, and The Powerpoint can be downloaded in .PDF form in this post here: Tasting Beer.

Then we all moved to the tasting. We tasted four beers, three times each. Each time we tasted a beer, we wrote down our impressions of the beer using the BJCP scoring sheet (more to describe the beer rather than to calibrate a score), which can be found here.

We also shared this great resource: Words to Describe the Beer You Are Tasting

The first time we tasted each beer, we tasted them blind, and wrote down our impressions on the BJCP rating sheet. Then, we tasted several reference flavors, listed below, and adjusted our ratings and impressions, paying attention to what may have changed as we tasted the reference flavors.

For example, as we tasted lemons and Saaz hops, we noticed that Bitburger really has a lemony flavor with Saaz overtones that was highlighted once we tasted those flavors. Or, tasting black licorice really accentuated the hints of licorice in the Old Viscosity. However, caramel really helped us notice the flavor in Black Butte Porter but we noticed none of it in the Torpedo IPA.

Finally, we read several descriptive reviews of each beer (and this is when each beer was revealed to the tasters) that Kevin had found online, re-tasted the beers, and noticed whether our impressions were similar or different than those from the online raters. Sometimes they matched really well, and other times they did not match.

Overall, it was a great way to develop our beer tasting palates!

Tasting order (A link to one of the reviews we used is included in the title of each)

  1. Bitburger
    1. Pair with: Pilsner malt, Saaz hops, lemon peel and cracked peppers
  1. Black Butte Porter
    1. Pair with: Semi-sweet chocolate, ground coffee, caramels, oatmeal, and cascade hops
  1. Torpedo Extra IPA
    1. Pair with:    Two row malt, grapefruit, pine needles, toffee
  1. Old Viscosity Stout
    1. Pair with: ground coffee, dark chocolate, black licorice, dried plums

CDBC Newsletter: May

25 Apr

Hello all,

April has come and almost gone, and we’ve gotten plenty of brewing done.

Beer Updates:

The Zythos IPA, Tragically Hopped Amber and one of our Ciders have all been bottled.

The Oak Aged Yeti Clone (4.3) is aging, bourbon soaked oak cubes have been added to the keg.

The Orange Zest IPA (4.15) is finishing primary fermentation and should be ready to bottle soon. We brewed this with Citra Hops and orange zest at flameout

The Belgian Golden (4.21) is in the middle of a strong fermentation. This is a classic Belgian Golden recipe, half of which will be used in our wine-barrel aging project.

Brewery Updates:

The yard is done! We’ve already had an inaugural brew on the new patio, and we’re looking forward to having a great summer of beer and cornhole on the new lawn. Pics are attached.

Our next Brew Meeting/Beer Tasting will be held on Wednesday, 5/16, at 7:30pm.

If you have a suggestion for either a theme or a field trip to a brewpub or bottle shop, speak up!

Brew Calendar:

5/5/12: Big Brew Day! (Brewery Closed for Double Header Day; brew on your own!)

5/19/12: Brew Day (volunteers? we probably should do NHC beer!)

6/2/12: Brew Day (volunteer?)

IPA Brew Sat Feb. 4th 2012

1 Feb

Per Jason: Kevin got some Falconer’s Flight hops a while back, and we want to test this sucker out – by brewing a simple IPA. Anyone interested in joining us and lending a hand? Starts ~ 10 and ends when Kevin starts to make uncomfortably long eye contact with people…so around 11 🙂 (all kidding aside – 4ish).

I’m sure there will be some sports thing on the TV, and good times will be had by most.

Ninkasi + 21st Amendement = Nirvana in a can

8 Nov
Headline News!

Headline News!

Look at the box!

The whole package

Ninkasi and 21st Amendement have teamed up to create one of the most delicious ales I have ever had. It’s just an ale, nothing special, except the dates…but they compliment the flavor, not provide it. Normally I am skeptical of 21st Amendment, I want to like their beer but it is never as good as I think it should be. On the other hand, Ninkasi has yet to make a beer I don’t like.

“Allies Win The War” is their collaboration. And it is quite simply one of the best ales I’ve ever had. I can’t even explain it. The flavors are perfectly balanced. If this beer wasn’t over 8% ABV I could drink a few more….nevermind, I can drink a few more. And the packaging…GOOD LORD the packaging is just as good as the beer inside it.

I highly recommend you get your hands on some of this. If the CDBC is lucky I’ll have a can left to bring to brew day in a couple weeks….or I may have to buy more just to share. I am hoping this is not a one off, never to be seen again creation.

In the glass

Brewery Updates

5 Nov

Yes, it’s been a while since I rapped at ya. And we’ve been pretty active in the interim. We’ve brewed a porter (10 gallons), a pale ale (10 gallons), and got some cider going (15 gallons).  Today we’re brewing a Pliny the Younger Clone, courtesy of Jason. This monster uses over 2 lbs of hops and almost 40 lbs of grain for a 10 gallon batch. That meant upgrading to a new mashtun and saying goodbye to our trusty 48 quart cooler. And with the PTY, we still almost filled up the mashtun!

Next brew day is in a couple weeks; we’re brewing a chocolate espresso stout, and an all grain amber for the Pork n’ Pie winners Tiara and KP.

25 gallons from 12 gallons.

Porter Brew Day. We almost filled the tun!

What should we brew next?

22 Sep

Updates from the Brewmaster

14 Sep

Every once in a while (especially when I’m trying to put off other work), I’ll try to update you all on what I’ve been doing with the brewery when you’re not around.

Adventures in Dry Hopping with Simcoe: Tragically Hopped Amber Ale

We’re lucky enough to live in a part of the country that is really close to where the majority of hops are produced. That means that when the hops are harvested, we often get first dibs on the hops, and can make “fresh hop” beers more easily than almost anywhere else.

So I ordered a pound of fresh Simcoe hops (because they are a CDBC favorite). You’re supposed to use them within a few days of when you get them. Unfortunately for me, Mountain Homebrew emailed me to say that my hops would be arriving on Friday, 9/5, the exact day I was leaving for a trip to Winthrop. Luckily for us, you can dry-hop with fresh hops, and we’d just brewed round #2 of the Tragically Hopped Amber Ale the week before. So, BLAMMO, those hops got pwned right into the Amber:
One half pound of fresh Simcoe awesomeness. Apparently the water content of fresh hops makes them equivalent to about 20% the same weight of dried whole or pellet hops, so this was like adding around 2 ounces of dried Simcoe.

Kegging Update

I spent some time cleaning the whole kegerator system and the kegs themselves.

I also kegged the amber ales (coming in at 7% ABV)  last night so we can bottle them off of the BeerGun, and added a half gallon of “hop tea” to one keg. I did this by making a light wort with 6 ounces of DME and a half gallon of water, boiling it, and then adding 1 ounce each of Amarillo, Warrior and Centennial to the “tea” in a hop bag after I turned the flame off. I let it steep for about 10 minutes, then cooled the wort and added it to the bottom of the keg before filling the keg up. This may add some nice hop aroma to the beer, or it may completely kill the beer. We’ll see!

Right now we have 4 kegs of beer in the kegerator, almost all of which are scheduled for bottling: the Brown Ale and IPA from the Pork n Pie (ready to bottle this Saturday), and the 2 kegs of Amber Ale.

The Count’s Red Ale

Finally, we’ve been commissioned by The Count vonAbbittstein himself to brew a beer for his annual Halloween Spooktacular (or something). Scott and I met last Wednesday to conduct this mission, trying out a new Red Ale Recipe (adapted from

The brew went well, with no major hiccups. We achieved an efficiency in the low 70s, and hit most of our targets spot on. It’s fermented quite nicely already, and is in the final week or so of conditioning before it’ll be ready to be kegged.

Recipe: The Count’s Red Ale (Mojave Red)

Brewer: Central District Brewer's Collective
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Amber Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0) 

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Size: 8.24 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated Color: 18.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 39.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU
11 lbs 5.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        83.54 %
11.0 oz       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)     Grain        5.06 %
11.0 oz       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)     Grain        5.06 %
5.5 oz        Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                     Grain        2.53 %
5.5 oz        Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)                Grain        2.53 %
2.7 oz        Carafa II (412.0 SRM)                     Grain        1.27 %
0.53 oz       Warrior [18.20 %]  (60 min)               Hops         28.6 IBU
0.53 oz       Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.00 %]  (10 min)   Hops         6.7 IBU
0.53 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (10 min)          Hops         4.4 IBU
0.60 oz       Citra [12.00 %]  (0 min)                  Hops          -
0.60 oz       Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.00 %]  (0 min)    Hops          -
0.60 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (0 min)           Hops          -
2.68 gm       Salt (Mash 60.0 min)                      Misc
8.05 gm       Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 min)        Misc
13.41 gm      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 min)  Misc
10.73 gal     Randy Mosher Adjustment to Seattle Water  Water
1 Pkgs        American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056)          Yeast-Ale                  

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 13.54 lb
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp
60 min        Mash In            Add 16.93 qt of water at 165.9 F    154.0 F
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