Tuesday, September 29, 2009


It's a sad day when one of these hit's the trash, and to twist the knife a little deaper, I had left it at work while I was at the Saucer during Saturday evening.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thinking of "Growing your Own"?

Here are some rough notes I have taken over the last year while putting our garden together...

Growing Hops

Cascade grow great everywhere

Plant with early spring Peas
Can withstand a little frost
If planted early, then throw a bit of mulch, leaves, or ground cover to protect from frost

Plant rhizomes immediately after arrival

Up to 6 rhizomes (actually this count is for the nodes) in one hole to make sure one yields
Mound in hills

Roots grow 12’ deep (yes, FEET) and can be very difficult to get rid of if desired. They die back every winter under the ground and then returns in the spring.

Never have standing water at the base

YES to compost

Won’t produce cones under if growth is 5’

Vertical Growth is the best, but Horizontal is ok.

Don’t overcomplicate

Bines (not vines) can climb up string even wire (twine is great) but not a wall.

They grow clockwise

Wrap them 2 times at base and it should continue

MAX Sunlight

15-18 hours is great

some varieties are less tolerable to heat

high bittering = more tolerable
less bittering = less tolerable

2-3 bines per string
6 best bines per plant

cut back the bush @ the soil which will grow @ the base to prevent fungul diseases
prune 2-3’ from the base up the bine

Bines can grow to 1” diam. Thick

We set up a 1000 gallon rain barrel at the base of the barn and would fill it with a descent amount of rainfall in a single day! A sump pump was placed inside and would run constantly with a drip line that carried the rain water to the garden. We spent a day trenching the line and have an automated watering system at a rate of less than? must confirm with literature.

Heavy watering the first year but not to the point of damp soil
No sprinkler (wet foliage)
Use watering can/bucket
Can water hops with spent chiller water

Fungal Disease / Pests
Powdery mildew kills hops (looks like powdered sugar) Can be pruned piece by piece but remove it from the growth site entirely

Aphids (lady bugs will kill the aphids)

Harvest Time
Too early = really grassy (Green)
Too late = skunky (brown)
Very mature on the top
New Growth on the bottom
2 week window period for picking duration
look for the yellow glands = prime = very pungent , cone drys out and becomes papery drys out a bit. Don’t pick them all…pick some and leave some during the first year to get a feel for what is prime growth. Experiment the first year and be prepared to make mistakes.

“go to your friends garden and squeeze their cones” learn the right feel/touch

Don’t under-dry
Don’t over-dry (yellow glands should still hold together)

At dying season, cut back (they will appear dead at this point) after being cut they will suck back in to the ground and return in the spring.

100-140^ f > below 10% moisture to prevent mildew
weigh before and after (try to over dry vs under-dry)
maybe try a few and find a crumbling point.
dry in dark to prevent oxidization (out of sunlight)
about 24 hours at approx. summer weather day with circulating air (garage, with screened frame, and fans)

plant horizontal (it’s the way they were growing naturally)

Don't even think about taking our hops....we have a big Guard Dog!

Before you know it...Hops you will be a baggn!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hops in the Mail!!!

Ordered 9/24/09 Thursday

1Centennial 1lb *One Week Sale*

1 Tomahawk (Columbus) 1lb *One Week Sale*

1Simcoe 1lb (2007 crop) *One Week Sale*

1 Willamette 1lb *One Week Sale*

1Warrior 1lb *One Week Sale*

Now it's time to figure out some recipes!

Update: Hops Arrived 9/28/2009 Monday - Fast Shipping! (Over the Weekend)

Wee Heavy Recipe

I think this will be my first Wee Heavy recipe. I love this club and have had great experience with the 2 recipes I have borrowed thus far.

Thanks Maltose Falcons!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2 days after bottling and ...

Swamp Bog Porter : 6th Batch

cap slightly fizzed
turned flat but with extremely mildly carbonated touch
coffee characters (maybe more like coffee grinds, we will have to wait and taste again later)
maybe a bit of caramel and maple

Monday, September 14, 2009

The beer just keeps coming...

Not fun when you are bottling your homebrew though.

Batch 6: Porter FG 1.020
added 2.75 oz by weight to 2 cups water for bottling 5 gallons
added 2.75 oz by weight to 2 cups water for bottling 4 gallons

Batch 5: Oaked DIPA
added .75 oz by weight to 1/4 cup water for bottling 1.5 gallons (what was left after a few samples)
- there are still 5 gallons of the DIPA (un-oaked) waiting to be bottled; was considering the keg route but who am I kidding, that was over a month ago.

Sampling British & Belgium pale malt. I prefer the belgium hands do wn.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Delirium Tremens Glass Night!

It was a comfortable summer evening at the saucer when Gina, an old highschool friend, came in to town to celebrate here 30th Birthday and introduced me to Delirium Tremens while at the Saucer. It was during the start of my beer snobbery and I loved (as I do often now) new beer to explore. I loved the beer, and my wife took special notice to the glass. As a fan of elephants she loved the glass and wanted one right away. When we inquired to the availability, there were none to spare. It was recommended that we come to glass night to get our hands on one (or three in our case, sorry Show-Me-Beer I would have ordered you one if I had known).

Belgian Strong Pale Ale _ 8.5%
A: A nice clear golden color with soft white foamy head that laces nicely as you drink it.
S: Smells of sour dough bread, tart green apples, and a hint of mild spice.
T: There is a bit of bite from the carbonation in the front with a nice tranforming flavor. It would travel to the middle of your tongue with the tart apple fruitiness and then finish by reaching the back corners of your tongue with a cherry lace.
B: Light in body, but that changed with the temperature. As it warmed it grew bigger and more enjoyable.
D: You can have a few of these but I would recommend taking your time as Belgian Beers are meant to be sipped; this wasn't tapped from the rockies.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Swamp Bog Porter

Session 6 was long but successful (thus far), now it's time for the all important fermentation.

Ferment Temp Log
Day 0_dropped ice cubes all over the demijon to drop temperature
Day 1_12:00 - 68F
Day 1_13:30 - no activity, shook demijon; no sign of yeast, flat black porter
Day 1_14:10 - fermentation is taking place (withing 20 min of shaking)
Day 1_16:24 - activity within every 10 sec; layer of yeast on top going to work!
Day 1 _17:10 - 70F, good activity, shook again just because.
Day 1 _20:12 - 72F, added water in zip lock bags to drop temp. I will freeze them over night to create reusible ice cubes to drop temp as needed.
Day 1_22:57 - 72F, relocated cold water bag, moving along nicely, I wasn't ever aware of the constant little gas stream flowing out of the keeper until now.
Day 2_12:00 - 74F, Temp is beyond threshold but still active
Day 2_16:00 - 74F, outside temp = 78F, low activity, new icebag
Day 2_16:02 - 72F, bag dropped temp I guess
Day 3_06:20 - 76F, what threshold? crossing fingers and hoping for strong yeasties
Day 3_23:00 - 77F, Climbed to 78F at the least during today, I am very concerned about the alcohols (fusals?) with this batch. I do however think it will be a good study with me being concerned enough to log the progress. I think there will come a time that this house will be able to ferment a beer successfuly during the fall and spring months, and best results with a warming belt during the winter months (but that will make for one heck of a cold brew day).
Day 4_06:21 -77F, shook, foamed up but I am afraid that the yeast my have died by now.
Day 5_ AM - 76F, no activity

Day 5_19:15 - 76F, FG at this point is 1.020, I recall hitting a 1.078 for the OG but can't find my notes (not good, I thought I noted them online). ABV would be 7.7% with this records (I also made this as an 8 gallon batch and carried 11? gallons over to the boil kettle but bottled 9...we have always ballparked this it seams, or at least I have).
I see a sight glass is in my future...

Friday, September 4, 2009

If you haven't tried the pairing, I totally recommend it!

Planning Session 7


Our other club winner of the month is relatively new member, Stephen Linsley and his all Summit hop IPA. Summit is a new "dwarf" high alpha acid (17%AA) variety hop that is reputed to have strong citrus notes particularly Tangerine.
Style: IPA
Brewed by: Stephen Linsley
Batch Size: 5.5 Gallons
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Estimated OG 1.058
Actual OG 1.056
Est. IBU 58.4 IBUs
Efficency 74%
Est. Color 7.2 SRM
Recipe Index | Promash File
Grains, Extracts, Sugars
Malt Name Maltser AmountPercentage
2 Row Ale MaltDomestic 10.25 lbs87.2%
Crystal 60L 0.5 lbs4.3%
Crystal 10L 0.5 lbs4.3%
Wheat Malt 0.5 lbs4.3%
NameForm AlphaAmount Time
Summit Pellet17.0% 0.75 oz60
SummitPellet 17.0%0.25 oz 20
Summit Pellet17.0% 1.0 oz1
SummitPellet 17.0%2.00 oz Dry Hop
Man. CodeName TypeAmount (Starter)
Wyeast1272 American Ale IILiquid
Mash Schedule
Step Rest TempRest Time HeatWater

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Grand Teton Brewing Co. E.S.B.

I think of a Super PALE too bitter, then again, my pallette is shot
after working with my DIPA from keg to keg, co2 testing (never really
played with the kegging system before)

and the 10% is tough to work
through anything after a bit of "tasting". Some pours were too much
(all pours were too much, who am I kidding, this is room temp beer -

Ok, I think I should move to the DIPA for a minute since it is on my
mind. I am having people over for brewday #6 Saturday and thought it
would only be right to have something to serve. I decided on the Oaked
Double IPA.

It seems to be a bit over oaked and thought I could bottle
a few for storage and serve the rest. The other 5 gallons of non-oaked
DIPA can be bottled at a later time because the stuff is wicked and I
can't drink it within a months time. I tried filtering from one keg to
the next and it worked but not as well as I would have hoped. This is
a 1.0 micron filter that left hop residue in the next glass from the
filtered keg. However, it did filter the beer considering the gunk left on
the filter as you can see.

Next time I will make an attempt with a .05 micron
filter and see how that processes through.

Thanks for making me take the time to write this out KCHOPHEAD, I am
aware that I am actually being followed now, I'm sure that I can get better at this; even if this attempt does suck.

The wife is out of town for the holiday weekend in Florida leaving me home
alone with kids and a great Saturday to BREW!

Back to the ESB

...and I am a complete rookie if you haven't noticed. My pallet is crap
but I am known for cooking my ass off (although there is always more to learn).

A: a bit hazy, dark and malty
S: Too high in the alpha hops if you ask me, I understand "extra" but
too much for me.
T: Acidic, very bitter, unbalanced hop content I think
F: At a cooler temp (and probably sober too) there was a metallic,
coppery after taste that I don't notice now at room temp
D: I don't think I will be buying anymore. I would prefer (from a
commercial brewery) a better balanced brew. If I had brewed it, I
probably would have let it age and tasted it a year later. With that
in mind, I grabbed one for a mixer sixer and it will be the last that
I buy.

note: Don't tell my wife there was some Bitch's Creek leakin' in the
kitchen while she was gone.

Who likes discounts?

= 10% disount

Niko's Brew

- brew
=$5 off purchase of $50 or more

Session 6 is approaching

Weather permitting, I will be brewing my Imperial Porter again that I failed miserably somehow at hitting my OG the first time around (also my first batch ever). My OG limped to 1.055 instead of breaking through to it's planned 1.099 destination. I have 40 gallons under my belt and my last beer (DIPA) is by far my favorite yet. I was able to hit a 1.086 OG and I'm sure it had nothing to do with the 3lbs of sugar added to the boil. 8) I must add though, I do have a few of the porters stashed away and it has aged very nicely over time and look forward to cracking a bottle open during brew day.

I plan on having a bit of the DIPA available for those that join me during the session, as well as a few other respectable beers. I will need to quickly carbonate some DIPA before the weekend hits and that will be an experiment of it's own. I figure the Oaked version will be had since the dryhops fell to the bottom of the keg when I attempted to recover them last weekend (fishing line was cut at the keg seal). I also noticed that 1 oz of hops in the strainer becomes greatly under utilized and saturated to the point that they become wet and expand so tightly that there is no wort contact with the hops in the center of the screened ball (2" stainless ball strainer).

I believe I could have gotten a much healthier dosage of hop aroma from the amarillo than resulted. Note to self, try a mesh bag next time.

The most I have fit in to the 10 gallon mashtun at this point is 28.49 lbs of grain for a 10 gallon batch of the DIPA. I don't think I can fit much more considering I have to add water to that as well. I think a limit of 30lbs is completely maxed out and I love taking things to an extreme so that might be what I have to do. This should yield an 8.5 gallons of the Imperial Porter and we can hope for the best by not overflowing. I hope to resolve this issues by converting one of the keggles to a Mashtun and set up a RIMS or HERMS system. I have exhausted my budget for supplies this year and will have to wait until 2010 for this upgrade; as well as a Mill Grain. If anyone out there has any experience with PIDS or Heatstick construction drop me a line, I may need some assistance.

So for now, put your shoes back on and stop dancing for rain this weekend, I need to brew.

in lbs
2 row 23.3
Carapils 0.8
Black Patent 0.4
Crystal 60 1.7
Munich 1.7
Pale Chocolate 1.3
Honey Malt 0.8
Total 29.988

refer to label IMPERIAL PORTER for related posts

Random Facts

Moderate drinking by women may decrease chances of osteoporosis. -Spanish scientists per BBC
Survey says: The average video game players (World of Warcraft) are middle-aged, over-weight, and depressed. -MSNBC

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Boulevard Brewery

VIP Tour by

Hosted by:

-Brewmaster Steven Pauwels and Restauraterur

Three Course Lunch

Brewmasters Luncheon - Bluestem

Souvenir Pint Glass

Tickets $35 ea.


Over 2 Pounds of hops have just been shipped and I can't wait to smell those pellets this weekend during the first brewday at home!

NOTE: Niko's brew discount code: bnamry

Re: Stone Arrogant Bastard Clone


On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 10:26 AM, J <j@sway.org> wrote:



Stone Arrogant Bastard Clone

Stone Arrogant Bastard Clone

It was a miss, but I would imagine it to be a good beer considering who brewed it (Tasty).

An Angle on Recipe Building

Grab 100 grains of Malt broken down by a percentage of the grain bill and gind in a coffee grinder (or malt grinder) and make a TEA to sample your wort. You will end up with a rough idea of your future beer. You can even throw in a few hops if you have some laying around (I would recommend flowers vs. pellets).

I imagine you will pick up a some tannins but why the hell not give it a try.

I think I might have to start trying this at work! That will definately start a conversation or two!

courtesy of Jamil Zainasheff