Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Is Done!

Well, not really. Done being brewed, at least. The RIS. All went well, I bumped up my efficiency from 67% on my last batch to 73%. Stoked? You bet. Also, I discovered brewing nap time. I was tired, so I sat down next to the boiling pot, arguably not the best place, and dozed for a few seconds. Now I know as a professional brewer(someday...) I'll be able to take naps all over the place. Sweet.

Also, I was thinking about a real name for the beer. I consider it more of an American interpretation of a Russian Imperial Stout, so why not something American, something imperial, or royal? Rockefeller Imperial Stout, anybody? They are said to be "American royalty", or at least the closest thing we had. Let me know what you think.

And, on a completely unrelated side note, Anderson Valley's 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA is amazing. Well balanced, not overwhelmingly bitter in the taste, and a great citrusy hop aroma.

Cheers, brothers, and cheers to AVBC.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ready, set, Barrel!

That's right, I'm gonna buy a barrel. American white oak, brand spankin new. And guess what's gonna go in it? A Russian Imperial Stout. Yep. Gonna brew the hell out of some RIS this weekend, and when it's mostly done, I'm gonna throw a few gallons in the barrel. Haven't decided whether I should get the 2.5 gallon or 3 gallon. Big dilemma, I know. I pieced the recipe together from a few different sources, and modified a bit to fit my current inventory. Here it is:

15 lbs Pale 2-row
1 lb C60
1 lb Roasted Barley
.75 lb Black Patent
.75 lb Chocolate Malt

1 oz Warrior @ 90 min
.25 oz Perle @ 60 min
.75 oz Perle @ 20 min
1 oz Glacier @ 10 min

WLP-004 Irish Ale Yeast

Scheduled single temp infusion mash for 1 hour @ 154 F.
Second, smaller, single temp infusion, 15 min @ 170 F.

90 min boil

<1000 mL starter

Any homebrewers have questions, comments, or anyone else qualified to comment, feel free.

Cheers, brothers!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Delivered the coffee porter to my manager the other night. He was stoked. Later on that night, when he handed me the money, I couldn't help but feel just a bit like a real brewer. Before you jump to any conclusions, he only paid for the ingredients, so it's legal...I think. I've got to be legit about this thing, and from what I've heard it's okay to brew for people as long as you don't turn a profit. Long story short, I gave him a prorated price since I kept a few bottles to see how it ages.

Also thinking about trying to get a contract brewing license, or just a small brewery license. Mostly just for kicks, but also so I could theoretically brew for someone and legally charge a profit. Anyone out there well versed in California and US brewing regulations? Wonder if I could pass the health inspection...

Cheers brothers, and happy brewing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Just a quick note

Many recent tastings of my California UNcommon have been, well, semi-lackluster. Yesterday I discovered that I left the kegerator open all night. Great. CO2, welcome to your new home, i.e. the head space in the keg, not in the beer where you once resided. So today, I jumped up the pressure for a few little while, and now I'm gonna let it sit until later tonight, when I'll taste it again. The only actual problem so far is that it pours with a nice, creamy head, but no residual carbonation. It's been like drinking cold, flat beer.

On a more taste related note, here's what I scribbled down earlier:
  • crisp, but not dry
  • definite hop bitterness right away, followed by a light caramel, almost honey sweetness
  • slightly grassy hop aroma and taste in the finish
  • could be a little drier or, for the style, i think a little less hoppy
  • definite hint of "lager" but a highly bearable amount.
  • deep golden, but not amber colored, and very clear
  • white, creamy, head that last
Overall, I'm actually pretty satisfied. Is it good? I'd say so. Is it a good session beer (something I've been looking for recently)? Not so much. If I remember correctly, it's clocking in at or around 6% abw.

Cheers, brothers, and happy brewing, drinking, or whatever it is you do for fun.

P.S. I'll be brewing a maibock next, I think. Still working on the recipe though.