Monday, June 29, 2009


A quick update on how the brews have been coming along.

The Good
Four Shepherds Stout - This beer is amazing. We bottled a 12 pack so we can enter it in competitions this summer. People who love stouts love it. People who don't like stouts love it. Epic Win. Too bad it wasn't ready for the Longshot contest.

Watermelon Blonde - This beer not only tasted great, with a big whiff of watermelon on the nose and a nice melon aftertaste after the clean finish, but it looked great too. A nice deep red with a bright white head. Nice. I would have pictures of it, but we drank it too fast.

Designated Hitter Pilsner - With another batch heading towards kegs soon, we cracked a bottle that we saved from the last batch to revisit our first lager. Clean, flavorful, and a crisp dry finish. A very good beer.

The Munich Helles - I'm drinking the first glass right now and it is good. Not perfect yet however. We will continue to work on this beer until it can bring a tear to a Bavarian's eye.

The Bad
Cream Ale (AKA Ice Cream Ale, AKA Flava No Flav) - I screwed this brew day up six ways to Sunday. With no flavor to speak of and a low alcohol content, I can't give it away. I'm praying Shawn can, or we're going to have to have a Beer Pong party.

That Bottle of Batch #3 I found in the Fridge - Holy god was that beer bad. What was I doing...?

The Ugly
Strawberry Blonde - Not a bad beer, but very cloudy and a bit too much strawberry tangy-ness. Not an attractive color either, as it came out kind of pinkish orange.

Pear Ale - We didn't add enough fruit to this, so its really just a very boring blonde. Don't worry, we'll drink it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And a Longshot it Was

We entered Sam Adam's Longshot Homebrewing contest this year. We're not real big on contests, but the chance to have SA brew a batch of your beer (and, yes, you get to help) was just too great a prize to pass up.

We entered three beers - two Pilsners and one Belgian White.

Did we win?


I found posts online talking about the four finalists and none of them were our style of entry. Apparently, the four finalists beers were a Maibock, an Old Ale, an American-style Barley Wine, and a Lambic.

Sigh. I'll hold my tounge for now, but do you see a pattern there?

We should receive our score sheets back from SA by September so we can see how we did.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Batch #32 - Bloody I.P.A.

Since Aric was visiting, we wanted to do an all grain batch. He chose a British style I.P.A. and we brewed it up on Friday.

With an O.G. of 1.069 and nearly an ounce of high AAU hops per gallon, this beer would surely have weathered the trip from Britain to India on a tall ship.

In addition, we will secondary on to oak chips for that authentic "shipped to the colonies" flavor.

I need to check my records, but I think this is, by happy coincidence, basically an all-grain version of Uncle Tyler's Reddy's I.P.A. which we made last year and was delicious.

We named it "Bloody" for several reasons (British slang word, colonial violence, etc), but mainly because during the brew session we spilled a glass of Bloody Mary all over the hop bags. Jess likes to inquire about the status of the "Bloody I.P.A." in her over-the-top British accent which always cracks me up.

Monday, June 1, 2009

One Year of Homebrewing

What a fun year it has been for us! Homebrew aside, just the journey of learning about and sampling all the different styles of beer in the world has been an incredible one. Our taste buds will never be the same.

Jess has recently taken to exploring American Pale Ales, which is quite a leap from her 8 IBU Coors Light days.

Shawn, our good friend and brewing partner has gone from being rather indifferent to beer in general to a borderline obsession with Irish Stouts.

All of us have become enamored with the German Helles and Pils styles which, in my opinion, are the pinnacle result of thousands of years of accumulated brewing knowledge. (If all the breweries in the world were going to close and it was my choice to save just one, I would choose Spaten-Franziskaner and everyone would thank me for it as they quaffed glass boots of liquid Munich gold.)

If you're reading this, you already know this, but drinking bud/miller/coors everyday is the same as eating McDonald's for every meal. Stop it. You're depriving yourself of one of life's pleasures.

The homebrewing itself has been another incredibly fun adventure which really took off when Shawn joined us as a brewing partner and we went to all grain. We've churned out a bunch of good brew, and a few great ones as well - over 250 gallons so far. The satisfaction of draining a pint of excellent beer that you made in your basement is second to none. I think that this adventure will continue for some time...

Thanks goes out to our friends and family for helping us drink good (and occasionaly not-so-good) homebrew and for putting up with my endless talk of brewing related issues.

Thanks to Shawn for joining us and for your unending supply of enthusiasm.

Thanks to Rod, Ty, and Aric for your help and advice over the last year, especially in the early days (Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew).

Thanks to Dad and Mary for my first set of buckets and all the support.

Thanks especially to Jess - this wouldn't be any fun with out you!