11 May 2009

American Craft Beer Week

Today marks the start of American Craft Beer Week. It's truly an exciting time and the giant middle finger to those that (still) insist that craft beer is "just a fad". For anyone who's been paying attention, for over 15 years it's been much more than that; even the big brewers are taking note and marketing their products consequently (can you say "triple hopped"?)

Some linkage for ya:



So grab a pint (or three) of your favorite craft brew and raise a glass to the craft brewers and homebrewers that have made it possible.


24 April 2009

More hops!

Speaking of hops, I've decided to delve into the world of growing hops! After seeing pictures of fellow homebrewers with buckets full of fresh hop cones, I began to dream of trellises wrapped with hop vines and the aroma of a wet hop ale.

My friend Jason got me started by generously donating a Nugget rhizome, which has broken through the soil in its flower pot and is steadily inching skyward.

The excitement prompted me to buy a few more from Freshops: Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial. I had ordered them UPS Ground but got an email from Dave at Freshops saying that UPS Ground was too slow to Pennsylvania and that he'd send it Airmail with a refund (was cheaper too!). Less than a week later I had hop rhizomes in my mailbox with a few dollars tucked in. Now THAT'S service!

So thank you to Dave for the excellent service and thank you to Jason for pushing me in the right direction. I now have the construction of 12-foot 4"x4" posts joined by wire and twine sticking out of my yard to look forward to!


06 April 2009

Hop p0rn

Just found this.

The folks over at Hops Direct maintain a blog, complete with pictures. If these don't make you drool or you don't get a goose egg on your forehead from trying to sniff the pictures, something's seriously wrong with you.


09 March 2009


OK, it's been a month and this page has gotten more stale then yesterday's doughnuts. What's going on?

Saturday I took advantage of the nice 70° weather and a yeast cake of WLP833 from my Maibock and brewed 10 gallons of Dopplebock. It was a little bit of a logistical concern, since my mash tun and kettle are both 15.5 gallon kegs. 25 pounds of grain at average grain/water ratio is pretty much the max for the mash tun. Each 5 gallon batch called for 20 pounds of grain. I could've double mashed, using wort from both batches to fill the kettle, but the preboil volume was 14.5 gallons---a little too close to the maximum for comfort and feasibility. So I boiled the first while mashing the second. In all, it took about 6 hours and I hit my target OG and volumes with no problems. I had 40 pounds (dry) of spent grain when done.

Prior to that, I brewed 10 gallons of Centennial IPA with a fellow local brewer. He brought the Centennial whole leaf hops and his computer and the brew session was broadcasted on his Mogulus channel. If I can ever get a notebook and a wireless internet connection here, I'll be doing more of that!

Lastly, I have a German Pilsner and a Maibock that are lagering and awaiting the day when we can be acquainted! Late April/early May will be the date.

Oh, and one more thing...I apologize to those who've linked my blog; if you previously noticed that the favor wasn't returned, it wasn't intentional. Once this blog was upgraded to the new Blogger interface, I lost a little info. If you don't see yours on there, please let me know!!


17 February 2009

How Many Brewers could You Take in a Fight?

A new post at Draft Magazine wants to know.


24 brewers, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?

Interesting questions. I'll confess, I fight dirty: there's no such thing as a fair fight. But those instances are rare and extreme. I'd rather have a beer.


27 January 2009

Best East Coast Brewery?

Best East Coast Craft Brewery? | thefullpint.com - Craft Beer News, Reviews and Event Coverage.

A poll at TheFullPint.com wants to know who you think the best East Coast brewery is. Quite a tough choice in my opinion, and it's nice to see good breweries on the list. At the posting of this blog entry, Dogfish Head leads with Victory Brewing Co. a close second. With all due respect to Sam Calagione and while I agree that Dogfish Head is stellar in terms of innovation, creativity and is an industry leader, could they produce a well-made Helles? A clean, malty Dopplebock? Where would they be without megadoses of alpha acids (Raison d'Etre notwithstanding)? In their own defense, their name does include the phrase "Craft Brewed Ales".

My money is on Victory. Equally adept at hoppy ales like HopDevil and Hop Wallop, malty lagers like St. Victorious, and estery Belgians like V-Twelve and Golden Monkey. There's a reason why they have a German-born 50 barrel Rolec brewhouse and yes folks, they do decoction. But that's just my opinion.

EDIT: TheFullPint just added Flying Dog, presumably excluded initially because Flying Dog Brewery is still "new" to the area. That'd be a close call for my vote as I do like Flying Dog!

So get over there and cast your vote!


26 January 2009

We Have the Technology

This morning I did a little browsing add-ons for FireFox and grabbed a few that made reading RSS feeds

First off, if you don't already know that FireFox is---in beer terms---like Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine to the Coors Light that is Microsoft Internet Explorer: lots of people like the latter because of mass-marketing and cheap production, but the former is light years better. And I'm only speaking in terms of functionality at this point, nevermind security.

What motivated my search was the need to incorporate my RSS feeds into FireFox to make single-platform viewing easier. Fortunately, there is an add-on called Brief that handles that task well. I have quite a few feeds (many beer-related of course), seen in a screen shot here.

(And if you can recommend any beer RSS feeds you don't see there, please let me know!!)

Also, you'll see TwitterFox in the lower right corner. Another great add-on that posts to Twitter and receives feeds from people you're following.

Finally, I've just started using the ScribeFire add-on to compose and publish my blog. Pretty neat!

Tonight I'll raise a pint to the Mozilla and FireFox add-on developers. Keep up the good work!