Archive for April, 2015

Beers: Great Divide Brewing Co Yeti Imperial Stout vs. Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout

Yes, another stout vs stout tasting. The main reason is that my “variable” beer this year is currently the stout, and I am still trying to figure out if I want to stick with that or to try to brew a different darker style. I acknowledge the beers are different; yet, this will allow to point out similarities and differences in the two beers. This is my first second with written notes. Specs of each beer below:

Great Divide Brewing Co. Yeti Imperial Stout
Pkgd: 10/29/2014
ABV: 9.5%
75 IBUs
Temp: Unknown – Warmer than typical refrigerator temps.

Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout
Pkgd: Unknown
ABV: 8.3%
60 IBUs
Temp: Unknown – Slightly warmer than typical refrigerator temps.

Great Divide:
Sweet aroma (Maybe this is the roast/toffee character?). Tan-to-brown head with high SRM (Dark brown to black) body. Medium body and carbonation. Almost low carbonation, very fine bubbles. Sweet caramel toffee, with the roast and bitterness creeping up in the back.

Much more chocolate and coffee to the nose. Light tan head with dark, opaque body. Medium to low carbonation. Light mouthfeel. Less chocolate and more coffee as the tasting progresses. Perceived bitterness is much lower.


The Breakfast Stout seems much lighter bodied and much less bitter than the Yeti – though, this was expected given the different styles. Still, it was unexpected for these two to be 15 IBUs and a little over 1% ABV in difference, but to taste quite different.  The Breakfast Stout (Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Stout) is the style that personally comes to mind when I think of the “stout” style. The Yeti surprisingly drinks like a lower ABV/IBU stout – very smooth, and on the right night I might have 2 to 3 in a session. I would like to see how this compares with the likes of a Old Rasputin’s RIS.


As always, feel free to reach out to discuss the tastings, or if you have tips on tasting please let me know! Cheers!


As with most other minutes of the day, I find myself thinking about all things beer. Recipes, mash temps, hop schedules, beer styles, homebrew competitions, working in a brewery, working in the industry, the state of the industry… the list can go on and on. Then I begin to ponder about WHY I love this stuff so much, and why I would even consider working in an industry that revolves around an alcoholic beverage (disclaimer: I am merely an amateur homebrewer that also has a minor interest in business).

Then it dawned on me… it’s not about the beer at all! Do I enjoy the artful science that is the brewing process? Absolutely! Does the beer quench my thirst on every occasion? But of course! Will my wife ever go back to drinking American Lite Lagers? NEVER!

All these things are fine and dandy, but it’s the people that keep me thirsty for more (see what I did there?). Its the experiences shared. The time in community with the like minded, or in some cases the opposite minded with similar tastes, brings about a plethora of thoughts and feelings that create lasting memories. Some of my deepest conversations started over a shared pint. Relationships have been created AND strengthened at local pubs. Those things that last much longer than the beer itself make for the perfect pour everytime. As Billy Currington put it, “God is Great, beer is good, and people are crazy.”

In other news, my recent research into first wort hopping has shown that it has only a minimal effect on the homebrew level compared to typical boil additions in regard to IBUs, but has a greater effect on perceived bitterness. So there’s that. Thank goodness for BeerSmith.

Yes, it IS April already… but we still have 8 months left of this year! Why do I bring this up? As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have been traveling for work since December. I am definitely ready to get back home and start on the year’s first batches.

So far, I have about 10 batches planned for this year, but only about 5 different recipes – I am hoping to alter them and make the batches as consistent as possible. The base recipes are from the book Brewing Classic Styles, but as I progress I will be swapping various hops and yeasts to tailor to my own tastes. The recipes will be posted on my recipe page here. Here’s the plan for 2015 (all 5.5 gallon batches or less):

May – American Wheat Batch 1, American IPA Batch 1
June – American Wheat Batch 2
July – American IPA Batch 2
August – Belgian Tripel Batch 1, American Brown Batch 1
September – American IPA Batch 3
October – American Brown Batch 2
November – American Stout (Style TBD) Batch 1
December – American IPA Batch 4

Wheat – 2
IPA – 4
Brown – 2
Tripel – 1
Stout – 1

In other good beer news, I finally convinced the Mrs. to allow me to move forward with transitioning from bottling to kegging. The plan is to convert a chest freezer into a 4-tap keezer. I will definitely keep this blog updated with photos and my process once I get home. In the meantime, if you are looking for some info on converting your own, Northern Brewer created a great video on YouTube here. Here’s to a great 2015! Cheers!