Saturday, June 30, 2007

Next On Tap....

It's real warm here lately - in the 90's. So it has been somewhat difficult to keep my fermentation temp low without a real thermostat control. I have the carboy in a plastic tub of water right now which is just barely keeping the temp around 75F. I deally I'd like it to be around 70, but this will have to do for now until I convert the old refrigerator. And then I can make some lagers!

Right now in the secondary fermenter I have my own version for an Irish Red Ale. I guess I'll call it an Irish/American Reddish Ale, because so far in the secondary fermentor it looks very much like a Brown Ale. And I used Northern Brewer hops and some darker malts to try to get it a little darker than a Kilkenny Ale. We'll see how this works:

1.50 lb Dark Dry Extract (17.5 SRM) Dry Extract
6.00 lb Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain
0.02 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain
2.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50%] (30 min) Hops
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (15 min) Hops
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (5 min) Hops
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Irish Ale (White Labs #WLP004) Yeast-Ale

From this batch I have tried harvesting the yeast in order to try to culture it for a couple more batches. Hopefully that works. I can save $5-6 per batch if it does.

And next on tap after the Irish ales, is a "wife beer". I found someone who posted a recipe for a "Lemon Lingerie". It's basically a hefeweizen, but he adds lemon zest to the secondary fermentor to give it the lemon zing. Sounds real good for a summer beer that Erika can drink.

I forgot to tell you how this one ended up!!! I think this is my best beer to date. I'm calling it "Trabuco Brownish Ale" I looked up the style guidelines and technically it does fall within the style of an "American Brown Ale" mostly due to the higher hop content. But since I used Irish Yeast, I'll call it a Brownish (Brown-Irish) ale. It tastes similar to but hoppier than a Newcastle I think. But I'm not a great taster.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stone Brewing World Bistro

This Saturday Erika and I drove down to Escondido after visiting the Carlsbad Outlet Mall. There is nothing much in Escondido I would ever go there for, except for the new Stone Brewing World Bistro. Stone Brewery just recently opened a new restaurant/brewery, and it was very impressive.

The building architecture is a modern/industrial with lots of stone, iron, and rebar. The restaurant area has floor to cieling windows on one side that let you see the brewery operations. The other side is open out to the outdoors beer garden. You can lounge around outside in the garden and have a beer - very relaxing.

Dinner was excellent. I had the Super-Septuple Garlic Bomb Chicken with Stone IPA garlicky mashed potatoes which was awesome. Only bad thing was that it also came with Brussels sprouts which though they looked tasty, are my absolute most hated vegetable in the world. Erika had a Spicy Lime Almond Crusted Tilapia with toasted barley & quinoa tabouleh. Also was excellent, and the quinoa was especially good since we have been on a quinoa kick lately.

So now for the real important part - the beer! For starters I had the Stone Ruination IPA. Lately I've been a little tired of all the West Coast breweries and their IPA's and pale ale's. Everyone seems to be just hopping up like crazy and losing the taste of the beer. I'm no different - my recent pale is nice and hoppy but not alot of malt character. This Ruination IPA is very different though. Although highly hopped of course, and 7.7% alcohol, the taste is still very good and you can still taste the underlying characteristics of a very good beer. I think it was a perfect pairing with the garlic infused chicken.

Next I had the Stone Smoked Porter w/Chipotle Peppers. Now I am always a sucker for anything Chipotle so I couldn't pass this one up. At first taste you get the smoky porter you would expect and nice and dry. I didn't really notice the chipotle until after swallowing. Unfortunately that aftertaste wasn't very appealing to me. The chipotle bite at the back of my tongue didn't really leave me wanting more. Unfortunately I think it's one of the few beers I couldn't even finish. I don't think it's a bad tasting beer - just something about it wasn't quite right for me.

So I will definitely go back and do the tour one of these days, and also try some of the other Stone beers. I've always enjoyed their Arrogant Bastard Ale, and am looking forward to some of their others. Cheers!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Miss American Update

So the Miss American Pale has been bottled now for about three weeks. I'm a little unsure about this one. Definitely has the hop characteristics of a Sierra Nevada, though may be just a little too dry and/or astringent and lacking a bit of malt character. Perhaps this will smooth out with a little more age and be perfect by around July 4.

And there is a terrible chill haze, which I am attributing to my use of the dried seaweed instead of the Irish Moss. Theoretically it should work, but I think it didn't pull out the proteins that cause the chill haze. When warm, the beer is incredibly clear. So Back to Irish Moss for the next batch.

Speaking of the next batch! I started a yeast starter yesterday of Whitelabs Irish Ale yeast. Today the starter is very active and I should be brewing tomorrow. This batch will be my own recipe, which I will post later. It should be a darker version of an Irish red.