Posts Tagged ‘Craft Beer’

The brew: American IPA part II.

The last IPA turned out well, or at least, it would have turned out well. Thanks to work and life (yet again!) I was not able to get the batch into the keg until almost 4 weeks into the primary! Fortunately, the yeast were healthy enough to not give way to autolysis and those wonderful flavors that come with. In fact, it was still a very drinkable batch. My only issue was that it seemed that a majority of the hops dropped out, leaving me with an overly bitter and unbalanced ale. Perhaps it was a process/fermentation issue. Or perhaps it was something else. I suppose the only way to get an answer is to try to brew it again. Oh darn!

Photo courtesy: bjcp.org

BJCP Guideline 21A – American IPA (2015):

Overall Impression: A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American or New World hop varieties. The balance is hopforward, with a clean fermentation profile, dryish finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.

Commercial Examples: Alpine Duet, Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack, Lagunitas IPA, Russian River Blind Pig IPA, Stone IPA

Here’s what was supposed to happen:

American IPA Recipe – 5.00 gal Batch (Based on Brewing Classic Styles Recipe)

– 12 lbs, 12 oz. US 2 Row
– 12 oz. Munich
– 1lbs. Crystal 20°L
– 4 oz. Crystal 40°L
– 1 oz. Magnum at 60 mins
– 1 oz. Centennial at 10 mins
– 1 oz. Simcoe at 5 mins
– 1 oz. Mosaic at 0 mins
– Fermentis SafAle US-05
– Single Infusion Mash at 152 F for 60 mins

According to BeerSmith (for my equipment profile):

– OG: 1.069
– FG: 1.015
– ABV: 7.18%
– 62.8 IBUs

Here’s what really happened:

Imagine a beautiful, sunny, California morning. The was a very slight breeze. The sun was out just enough to keep the temperature under the shade to a perfect 68-70 F. Three friends gathered all their brewing equipment at one friend’s home brewery (his garage), and set up for the morning. Conditions were in place for a perfect brew day. So perfect, in fact, that if it wasn’t 0700 am at the start of our brew day, I would have started the day with a breakfast stout… I didn’t. But I seriously considered it.

So I heated up my water as usual. Time for dough in…DOH! I only got up the high 140s F (146-148 F). But I remembered my last batch only hit 144 F, and it still turned out okay. I think the low temperatures may be due to the very thick mash caused by some equipment limitations (see the above grain bill and insert into my 5 gal. cylindrical cooler). It’s okay though! Moving on…

I sparge approximately 1.34 million times to work my way up to 6.5 gal. pre-boil volume in the kettle, turn the fire on, and sit and wait. Since I’m going full boil on a turkey fryer, getting the wort to boil can take awhile. During these downtimes, the 3 of us usually help the other with their brew day where needed. After there’s nothing else to help with, I get my kettle additions laid out and ready to go (hops, whirlfloc, and the like).

I don’t really have the luxury of video or audio to allow for the awkward dead air, but that’s basically the feeling I had while I waited for the boil. And finally! I see some rolling wort action! First addition of Magnum here we…

Photo courtesy: Hopunion.com

Oh crap. I saw the M on the hops and threw them in there. But it wasn’t Magnum… it was Mosaic! Well, there goes my aroma addition, and really my whole hop schedule. I wasn’t then going to add Magnum and the rest of the hops. So instead, I slightly improvised and used the hop schedule below (based on what I had available):

– .8 oz. Mosaic at 60 mins
– 1 oz. Simcoe at 5 mins
– .5 oz. Amarillo at 0 mins
– 1 oz. Citra at 0 mins

As you can see, it’s a much different schedule than what I planned. But what’s that old saying? Oh yeah.. Don’t worry. Relax, and have a homebrew! (Or something like that..) Here’s to another 5 gal. of mystery beer! Cheers!
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Here I am starting to write this minutes away from the Brewers Showcase in Sacramento, California – the grand finale of the awesomeness that is the California Craft Beer Summit. By the time I finish this, I will likely be plenty inebriated and cooked well-done thanks to this lovely Sacramento heat. The overall experience was amazing to say the least.

The first year of California’s Beer Summit included a host of talks and classes by some of the most recognized names in the brewing industry. The guest list consisted of the past, present, and future of the California and U.S. craft beer scenes. Greg Koch, Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, Tony Magee, Matt Brynildson, Dr. Charlie Bamforth, Ken Grossman, David Walker, and several others addressed craft beer industry professionals and fans alike. Many of the key points were highlighted on the California Craft Brewers twitter feed, but I will highlight a few of my own takeaways.
The main entrance to the Expo Hall

The main entrance to the Expo Hall.

Well… that lasted a whole two paragraphs… The whirlwind of a weekend didn’t stop at the end of the Summit, but instead continued through the Brewers Showcase with an outstanding showing by some of California’s finest. The hundreds of beers available and numerous cornhole games kept me preoccupied and away from the digital devices (with the exception of UnTappd checkins in the rare case you didn’t see them). But don’t worry, I’m now well rested and fully recovered!
The turnout for the Brewers' showcase.

The turnout for the Brewers’ showcase.

There was a lot going on at any given time during the summit. There were “Educational Sessions,” which took the form of a typical lecture with a powerpoint and Q&A at the end. There were also “Tap Talks” and Food & Beer demos that took place on small stages at different corners of the main expo hall – these talks gave the speaker a stool and mic with a smaller audience. I believe there was just enough information given to create a craft beer encyclopedia, so I will not do it injustice by providing summaries with potential for misinformation. Instead I will highlight each of the talk that I went to with one main idea or sentence. But enough with the talk! Beer time…
One of the entrances to the Educational Session rooms.

One of the entrances to the Educational Session rooms.

September 11th, 2015 

Moment of Silence – This was not a part of the Summit, and by the time you’re reading this it will no longer be September 11th. But in case you missed it, please share with me a moment of silence for those lives taken over 14 years ago. 

State of the Industry: Current Trends & Statistics Where the Industry is Heading – Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewers Association.
  • Main takeaway:  While there are currently over 500 breweries in existence and in planning, there is still room for growth for another 200+ breweries! (I knew these crowded cities were good for something! California beer is awesome!)
  • Also, the next “IPA” will likely be…. an IPA.

Craft Beer “The New Top Shelf” How craft beer can increase your overall bottom line – David Macon, VP Sales & Marketing, Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  • Main takeaway (although tailored for beer retailers): Be objective in beer selection; use proper glassware; utilize Brewers Association standards for draft & refrigeration systems; try beers often; and have fun!

Value of a Cicerone – Virginia Thomas, Cicerone Certificate Program
  • Main takeaway: Knowing how to taste, describe, and experience beers will allow you to help others do the same! Cicerone Certification helps this process.

From left to right: Dave Gull (New Helvetia Brewing Co.); Ryan Graham (Track 7 Brewing Co.); Glynn Philips (Rubicon Brewing Co.)

From left to right: Dave Gull (New Helvetia Brewing Co.); Ryan Graham (Track 7 Brewing Co.); Glynn Philips (Rubicon Brewing Co.)

Sacramento Brewers Panel – Glynn Philips (Rubicon Brewing Co.); Ryan Graham (Track 7 Brewing Co.); Dave Gull (New Helvetia Brewing Co.)
  • Main takeaway: Sacramento beer is awesome, and the beer scene is rapidly becoming one of the premier California beer scenes! “Drink local, go with the home team!” – Dave Gull
  • Also… Glory, glory Sacramento!
September 12th, 2015

Beer Styles: the Advanced Course – Mike “Big Mike” Moore, Beer Judge, Beer Educator & Food Specialist
  • Main takeaway: History and origin is very important to beer style and beer overall! Remember the history of what’s in your glass!

Homebrewing – Gary Glass, American Homebrewers Association
  • Main takeaway: Homebrewing is easy, fun, and better with friends…. Join the AHA!

The hop wall and  the history on hops.

The hop wall and the history on hops.

Reverence for Beer – Dr. Charlie Bamforth, UC Davis
  • Main takeaway:Use the proper glass, and treat the beer with the respect and reverence it deserves!
  • On “yellow, fizzy” beer: “Its up to you – what you like, and have reverence for it.” – Dr. Charlie Bamforth

Beers You Can Age & How to Store Them at Home – Matt Brynildson (Firestone Walker Brewing)
  • Main takeaway: 97% of the beers produced are not made to age – if the brewers wanted it aged, they would age it themselves. The 3% produced that can be aged should be stored properly and in a controlled environment.

Keynote – Greg Koch (Stone Brewing Co.)
  • Main takeaway: The craft beer industry is booming in the U.S., and there is potential for growth on the international level.
  • Stone Brewing will remain strong and independent in its own brand! “My answer is no or hell no” – Greg Koch
During the Keynote with Greg Koch. "My answer is no or hell no" - Greg Koch on Stone Brewing being sold.

During the Keynote with Greg Koch. “My answer is no or hell no” – Greg Koch on Stone Brewing being sold.

 

If you couldn’t tell, the first ever California Craft Beer Summit was worth every penny, and I enjoyed every second of it. The education alone was worth the cost.. not to mention the special releases and tastings available all weekend!

The one that got away...

The one that got away…

 

As I’ve said before, California’s Craft Beer Summit included some of the most iconic figures in today’s American craft brewing scene. While being within arms reach of many of these guys and girls, it’s easy to see that they are all still just regular people whose passion and drive led them to great success in the craft beer world. I mean, after the Summit Greg Koch threw on his backpack and sunglasses and walked a few blocks over to the brewers’ showcase! If I saw him in passing in Downtown Sacramento, I would have never looked twice. The same was the case with the Cilurzos, with Mitch Steele, and the rest of craft beer community. Unfortunately, I turned into a 13 year-old boy around Taylor Swift anytime one of these people sat or stood around me, which is why I have no pictures with them. Nevertheless, being in the same room with some of the same interests as these folks was truly an amazing experience. Time to start the countdown to next years’ summit!

I recently decided to take on the challenge of becoming a BJCP certified judge. There were a few reasons for this, which are common among most BJCP judges:
  1. I’d like to be a better homebrewer. Knowing the styles and how to identify flaws will help take my brewing to the next level. I’d also like to eventually enter competitions myself.
  2. I want to be a better beer drinker. I want to be able to describe a beer, and what I like and/or don’t like about it. If someone asks why I don’t like a beer, I don’t want to say, “Because it tastes bad.” Or, “I don’t know, I guess it’s just not my thing.” I suppose both are valid, but I would rather be able to answer, “Well, I’m just not a fan of the yeast character or phenolics in the beer.” Or, “I’m not a fan of the malt-forward IPAs. I’d prefer them to be drier with more American Hop at the forefront.” Maybe even, “I should probably rename this one Jolly Green Giant IPA.”
  3. I think it’s a good way I can give back to homebrew community. I will probably never be a professional brewer or brewing scientist or the next Gordon Strong, BUT I can still use what I know to help those just coming into the hobby or those wanting to learn more.
With that being said, I’ve compiled a list of commercial examples for each of the styles listed in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. All credit for the list goes to the BJCP, as the examples are listed within each style. I’m only bringing them all to one location for an easier reference for everyone. Of course, if I’ve made a mistake or typo somewhere, please let me know so I can fix ASAP!
More information @ http://www.bjcp.org
STYLE: EXAMPLES:
1 A AMERICAN LIGHT LAGER Bud Light, Coors Light, Keystone Light, Michelob Light, Miller Lite, Old Milwaukee Light
B AMERICAN LAGER Budweiser, Coors Original, Grain Belt Premium Lager, Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Special Export
C CREAM ALE Genesee Cream Ale, Liebotschaner Cream Ale, Little Kings Cream Ale, New Glarus Spotted Cow, Old Style, Sleeman Cream Ale
D AMERICAN WHEAT BEER Bell’s Oberon, Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Widmer Hefeweizen
2 A INTERNATIONAL PALE LAGER Asahi Super Dry, Birra Moretti, Corona Extra, Devils Backbone Gold Leaf Lager, Full Sail Session Premium Lager, Heineken, Red Stripe, Singha
B INTERNATIONAL AMBER LAGER Brooklyn Lager, Capital Winter Skål, Dos Equis Amber, Schell’s Oktoberfest, Yuengling Lager
C INTERNATIONAL DARK LAGER Baltika #4 Original, Devils Backbone Old Virginia Dark, Dixie Blackened Voodoo, Saint Pauli Girl Dark, San Miguel Dark, Session Black Dark Lager, Shiner Bock
3 A CZECH PALE LAGER Březňák Světlé výčepní pivo, Notch Session Pils, Pivovar Kout na Šumavě Koutská 10°, Únětické pivo 10°
B CZECH PREMIUM PALE LAGER Bernard Sváteční ležák, Gambrinus Premium, Kout na Šumavě Koutská 12°, Pilsner Urquell, Pivovar Jihlava Ježek 11°, Primátor Premium, Únětická 12°
C CZECH AMBER LAGER Bernard Jantarový ležák, Pivovar Vysoký Chlumec Démon, Primátor polotmavý 13°, Strakonický Dudák Klostermann polotmavý ležák 13°
D CZECH DARK LAGER Bohemian Brewery Cherny Bock 4%, Budweiser Budvar B:Dark tmavý ležák, Devils Backbone Morana, Kout na Šumavě Koutský tmavý speciál 14°, Notch Černé Pivo, Pivovar Březnice Herold, U Fleků Flekovský tmavý 13° ležák
4 A MUNICH HELLES Augustiner Lagerbier Hell, Bürgerbräu Wolznacher Hell Naturtrüb, Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Gold, Löwenbraü Original, Paulaner Premium Lager, Spaten Premium Lager, Weihenstephaner Original
B FEST BIER Augustiner Oktoberfest, Hacker-Pschorr Superior Festbier, Hofbräu Festbier, Löwenbräu Oktoberfestbier, Paulaner Wiesn, Schönramer Gold, Weihenstephaner Festbier
C HELLES BOCK Altenmünster Maibock, Ayinger Maibock, Capital Maibock, Blind Tiger Maibock, Einbecker Mai-Urbock, Hacker-Pschorr Hubertus Bock, Mahr’s Bock
5 A GERMAN LEICHTBIER Beck’s Light, Bitburger Light, Mahr’s Leicht, Paulaner Münchner Hell Leicht, Paulaner Premium Leicht
B KOLSCH Früh Kölsch, Gaffel Kölsch, Mühlen Kölsch, Reissdorf Kölsch, Sion Kölsch, Sünner Kölsch
C GERMAN HELLES EXPORTBIER DAB Original, Dortmunder Kronen, Dortmunder Union Export, Flensburger Gold, Gordon Biersch Golden Export, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
D GERMAN PILS König Pilsener, Left Hand Polestar Pils, Paulaner Premium Pils, Schönramer Pils, Stoudt Pils, Tröegs Sunshine Pils, Trumer Pils
6 A MARZEN Buergerliches Ur-Saalfelder, Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Weltenburg Kloster Anno 1050
B RAUCHBIER Eisenbahn Rauchbier, Kaiserdom Rauchbier, Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen, Spezial Rauchbier Märzen Victory Scarlet Fire Rauchbier
C DUNKLES BOCK Aass Bock, Einbecker Ur-Bock Dunkel, Great Lakes Rockefeller Bock, Kneitinger Bock, New Glarus Uff-da Bock, Penn Brewery St. Nikolaus Bock
7 A VIENNA LAGER Cuauhtémoc Noche Buena, Chuckanut Vienna Lager, Devils Backbone Vienna Lager, Figueroa Mountain Danish-style Red Lager, Heavy Seas Cutlass Amber Lager, Schell’s Firebrick
B ALTBIER Bolten Alt, Diebels Alt, Füchschen Alt, Original Schlüssel Alt, Schlösser Alt, Schumacher Alt, Uerige Altbier
C KELLERBIER PALE Paulaner, Paulaner Brauhaus, Hofbrau, Tegernseer Tal. (bottled) Ayinger Kellerbier, Hacker-Pschorr Munchner Kellerbier Anno 1417, Hofbrau Munchner Sommer Naturtrub, Wolnzacher Hell Naturtrüb
KELLERBIER AMBER Greif, Eichhorn, Nederkeller, Hebendanz (bottled) Buttenheimer Kaiserdom Kellerbier, Kulmbacher Monchshof Kellerbier, Leikeim Kellerbier, Löwenbräu Kellerbier, Mahr’s Kellerbier, St. Georgen Kellerbier, Tucher Kellerbier Naturtrub
8 A MUNICH DUNKEL Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel, Chuckanut Dunkel Lager, Ettaler Kloster Dunkel, Hacker-Pschorr Alt Munich Dark, Weltenburger Kloster Barock-Dunkel
B SCHWARZBIER Devils Backbone Schwartz Bier, Einbecker Schwarzbier, Eisenbahn Dunkel, Köstritzer Schwarzbier, Mönchshof Schwarzbier, Nuezeller Original Badebier
9 A DOPPELBOCK Dark Versions –Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel, Ayinger Celebrator, Paulaner Salvator, Spaten Optimator, Tröegs Troegenator, Weihenstephaner Korbinian,; Pale Versions – Eggenberg Urbock 23º, EKU 28, Plank Bavarian Heller Doppelbock
B EISBOCK Kulmbacher Eisbock
C BALTIC PORTER Aldaris Porteris, Baltika #6 Porter, Devils Backbone Danzig, Okocim Porter, Sinebrychoff Porter, Zywiec Porter
10 A WEISSBIER Ayinger Bräu Weisse, Hacker-Pschorr Weisse, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Naturtrüb, Schneider Weisse Unser Original, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
B DUNKLES WEISSBIER Ayinger Ur-Weisse, Ettaler Weissbier Dunkel, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel, Hacker-Pschorr Weisse Dark, Tucher Dunkles Hefe Weizen, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel
C WEIZENBOCK Dark –Eisenbahn Weizenbock, Plank Bavarian Dunkler Weizenbock, Penn Weizenbock, Schneider Unser Aventinus; Pale –Plank Bavarian Heller Weizenbock, Weihenstephaner Vitus
11 A ORINARY BITTER Adnams Southwold Bitter, Brains Bitter, Fuller’s Chiswick Bitter, Greene King IPA, Tetley’s Original Bitter, Young’s Bitter
B BEST BITTER Adnams SSB, Coniston Bluebird Bitter, Fuller’s London Pride, Harvey’s Sussex Best Bitter, Shepherd Neame Master Brew Kentish Ale, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Young’s Special
C STRONG BITTER Bass Ale, Highland Orkney Blast, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale, Shepherd Neame Bishop’s Finger, Shepherd Neame Spitfire, West Berkshire Dr. Hexter’s Healer, Whitbread Pale Ale, Young’s Ram Rod
12 A BRITISH GOLDEN ALE Crouch Vale Brewers Gold, Fuller’s Discovery, Golden Hill Exmoor Gold, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Kelham Island Pale Rider, Morland Old Golden Hen, Oakham JHB
B AUSTRALIAN SPARKLING ALE Coopers Original Pale Ale, Coopers Sparkling Ale
C ENGLISH IPA Freeminer Trafalgar IPA, Fuller’s Bengal Lancer IPA, Meantime India Pale Ale, Ridgeway IPA, Summit True Brit IPA, Thornbridge Jaipur, Worthington White Shield
13 A DARK MILD Banks’s Mild, Cain’s Dark Mild, Highgate Dark Mild, Brain’s Dark, Moorhouse Black Cat, Rudgate Ruby Mild, Theakston Traditional Mild
B BRITISH BROWN ALE Maxim Double Maxim, Newcastle Brown Ale, Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale, Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, Wychwood Hobgoblin
C ENGLISH PORTER Burton Bridge Burton Porter, Fuller’s London Porter, Nethergate Old Growler Porter, RCH Old Slug Porter, Samuel Smith Taddy Porter
14 A SCOTTISH LIGHT McEwan’s 60
B SCOTTISH HEAVY Broughton Greenmantle Ale, Caledonia Smooth, McEwan’s 70, Orkney Raven Ale, Tennent’s Special Ale
C SCOTTISH EXPORT Belhaven Scottish Ale, Broughton Exciseman’s Ale, Orkney Dark Island, Pelican MacPelican’s Scottish Style Ale, Weasel Boy Plaid Ferret Scottish Ale
15 A IRISH RED ALE Caffrey’s Irish Ale, Franciscan Well Rebel Red, Kilkenny Irish Beer, O’Hara’s Irish Red Ale, Porterhouse Red Ale, Samuel Adams Irish Red, Smithwick’s Irish Ale
B IRISH STOUT Beamish Irish Stout, Guinness Draught, Harpoon Boston Irish Stout, Murphy’s Irish Stout, O’Hara’s Irish Stout, Porterhouse Wrasslers 4X
C IRISH EXTRA STOUT Guinness Extra Stout (US version), O’Hara’s Leann Folláin, Sheaf Stout
16 A SWEET STOUT Bristol Beer Factory Milk Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout, Lancaster Milk Stout, Mackeson’s XXX Stout, Marston’s Oyster Stout, Samuel Adams Cream Stout
B OATMEAL STOUT Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, Broughton Scottish Oatmeal Stout, Figueroa Mountain Stagecoach Stout, St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Young’s Oatmeal Stout
C TROPICAL STOUT ABC Extra Stout, Dragon Stout, Jamaica Stout, Lion Stout, Royal Extra Stout
D FOREIGN EXTRA STOUT Coopers Best Extra Stout, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, The Kernel Export Stout, Ridgeway Foreign Export Stout, Southwark Old Stout
17 A BRITISH STRONG ALE Fuller’s 1845, Harvey’s Elizabethan Ale, J.W. Lees Manchester Star, Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome, Young’s Winter Warmer
B OLD ALE Burton Bridge Olde Expensive, Gale’s Prize Old Ale, Greene King Strong Suffolk Ale, Marston Owd Roger, Theakston Old Peculier
C WEE HEAVY Belhaven Wee Heavy, Gordon Highland Scotch Ale, Inveralmond Blackfriar, McEwan’s Scotch Ale, Orkney Skull Splitter, Traquair House Ale
D ENGLISH BARLEYWINE Adnams Tally-Ho, Burton Bridge Thomas Sykes Old Ale, Coniston No. 9 Barley Wine, Fuller’s Golden Pride, J.W. Lee’s Vintage Harvest Ale, Robinson’s Old Tom
18 A BLONDE ALE Kona Big Wave Golden Ale, Pelican Kiwanda Cream Ale, Russian River Aud Blonde, Victory Summer Love, Widmer Citra Summer Blonde Brew
B AMERICAN PALE ALE Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale, Firestone Walker Pale 31, Great Lakes Burning River, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Tröegs Pale Ale
19 A AMERICAN AMBER ALE Deschutes Cinder Cone Red, Full Sail Amber, Kona Lavaman Red Ale, North Coast Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale, Rogue American Amber Ale, Tröegs HopBack Amber Ale
B CALIFORNIA COMMON Anchor Steam, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager, Schlafly Pi Common, Steamworks Steam Engine Lager
C AMERICAN BROWN ALE Anchor Brekle’s Brown, Big Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale, Brooklyn Brown Ale, Bell’s Best Brown, Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale, Telluride Face Down Brown
20 A AMERICAN PORTER Anchor Porter, Boulevard Bully! Porter, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Founders Porter, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Smuttynose Robust Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter
B AMERICAN STOUT Avery Out of Bounds Stout, Deschutes Obsidian Stout, North Coast Old No. 38, Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Sierra Nevada Stout
C IMPERIAL STOUT American –Bell’s Expedition Stout, Cigar City Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout, Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout; English – Courage Imperial Russian Stout, Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout, Samuel Smith Imperial Stout
21 AMERICAN IPA Alpine Duet, Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack, Lagunitas IPA, Russian River Blind Pig IPA, Stone IPA
SPECIALTY IPAS BELGIAN IPA Brewery Vivant Triomphe, Houblon Chouffe, Epic Brainless IPA, Green Flash Le Freak, Stone Cali-Belgique, Urthel Hop It
BLACK IPA 21st Amendment Back in Black (standard), Deschutes Hop in the Dark CDA (standard), Rogue Dad’s Little Helper (standard), Southern Tier Iniquity (double), Widmer Pitch Black IPA (standard)
BROWN IPA Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, Grand Teton Bitch Creek, Harpoon Brown IPA, Russian River Janet’s Brown Ale
RED IPA Green Flash Hop Head Red Double Red IPA (double), Midnight Sun Sockeye Red, Sierra Nevada Flipside Red IPA, Summit Horizon Red IPA, Odell Runoff Red IPA
RYE IPA Arcadia Sky High Rye, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Founders Reds Rye, Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye
WHITE IPA Blue Point White IPA, Deschutes Chainbreaker IPA, Harpoon The Long Thaw, New Belgium Accumulation
22 A DOUBLE IPA Avery Maharaja, Fat Heads Hop Juju, Firestone Walker Double Jack, Port Brewing Hop 15, Russian River Pliny the Elder, Stone Ruination IPA, Three Floyds Dreadnaught
B AMERICAN STRONG ALE Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale, Great Lakes Nosferatu, Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster, Port Brewing Shark Attack Double Red, Stone Arrogant Bastard,
C AMERICAN BARLEYWINE Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine, Anchor Old Foghorn, Great Divide Old Ruffian, Rogue Old Crustacean, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Victory Old Horizontal
D WHEATWINE Rubicon Winter Wheat Wine, Two Brothers Bare Trees Weiss Wine, Smuttynose Wheat Wine, Portsmouth Wheat Wine
23 A BERLINER WEISSE Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Style Weisse, Berliner Kindl Weisse, Nodding Head Berliner Weisse, The Bruery Hottenroth
B FLANDERS RED ALE Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Rodenbach Klassiek, Vichtenaar Flemish Ale
C OUD BRUIN Ichtegem Oud Bruin, Liefmans Goudenband, Liefmans Liefmans Oud Bruin, Petrus Oud Bruin, Riva Vondel, Vanderghinste Bellegems Bruin
D LAMBIC The only bottled version readily available is Cantillon Grand Cru Bruocsella of whatever single batch vintage the brewer deems worthy to bottle. De Cam sometimes bottles their very old (5 years) lambic. In and around Brussels there are specialty cafes that often have draught lambics from traditional brewers or blenders such as Boon, De Cam, Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Lindemans, Timmermans and Girardin.
E GUEZE Boon Oude Gueuze, Boon Oude Gueuze Mariage Parfait, Cantillon Gueuze, De Cam Gueuze, De Cam/Drei Fonteinen Millennium Gueuze, Drie Fonteinen Oud Gueuze, Girardin Gueuze (Black Label), Hanssens Oude Gueuze, Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René, Mort Subite (Unfiltered) Gueuze, Oud Beersel Oude Gueuze
F FRUIT LAMBIC Boon Framboise Marriage Parfait, Boon Kriek Mariage Parfait, Boon Oude Kriek, Cantillon Fou’ Foune, Cantillon Kriek, Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek, Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise, Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, Cantillon St. Lamvinus, Cantillon Vigneronne, De Cam Oude Kriek, Drie Fonteinen Kriek, Girardin Kriek, Hanssens Oude Kriek, Oud Beersel Kriek, Mort Subite Kriek
24 A WITBIER Allagash White, Blanche de Bruxelles, Celis White, Hoegaarden Wit, Ommegang Witte, St. Bernardus Witbier, Wittekerke
B BELGIAN PALE ALE De Koninck, De Ryck Special, Palm Dobble, Palm Speciale
C BIERE DE GARDE Ch’Ti (brown and blond), Jenlain (amber and blond), La Choulette (all 3 versions), St. Amand (brown), Saint Sylvestre 3 Monts (blond), Russian River Perdition
25 A BELGIAN BLOND ALE Affligem Blond, Grimbergen Blond, La Trappe Blond, Leffe Blond, Val-Dieu Blond
B SAISON Ellezelloise Saison, Fantôme Saison, Lefebvre Saison 1900, Saison Dupont Vieille Provision, Saison de Pipaix, Saison Regal, Saison Voisin, Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
C BELGIAN GOLDEN STRONG ALE Brigand, Delirium Tremens, Dulle Teve, Duvel, Judas, Lucifer, Piraat, Russian River Damnation
26 A TRAPPIST SINGLE Achel 5° Blond, St. Bernardus Extra 4, Westmalle Extra, Westvleteren Blond
B BELGIAN DUBBEL Affligem Dubbel, Chimay Première, Corsendonk Pater, Grimbergen Double, La Trappe Dubbel, St. Bernardus Pater 6, Trappistes Rochefort 6, Westmalle Dubbel
C BELGIAN TRIPEL Affligem Tripel, Chimay Cinq Cents, La Rulles Tripel, La Trappe Tripel, St. Bernardus Tripel, Unibroue La Fin Du Monde, Val-Dieu Triple, Watou Tripel, Westmalle Tripel
D BELGIAN DARK STRONG ALE Achel Extra Brune, Boulevard The Sixth Glass, Chimay Grande Réserve, Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor, Rochefort 8 & 10, St. Bernardus Abt 12, Westvleteren 12
27 HISTORICAL GOSE Anderson Valley Gose, Bayerisch Bahnhof Leipziger Gose, Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose
BEERS KENTUCKY COMMON Apocalypse Brew Works Ortel’s 1912
LICHTENHAINER – NONE LISTED –
LONDON BROWN ALE Harveys Bloomsbury Brown Ale, Mann’s Brown Ale
PIWO GRODZISKIE – NONE LISTED –
PRE-PROHIBITION LAGER Anchor California Lager, Coors Batch 19, Little Harpeth Chicken Scratch
PRE-PROHIBITION PORTER Stegmaier Porter, Yuengling Porter
ROGGENBIER Thurn und Taxis Roggen
SAHTI Now made year-round by several breweries in Finland.
28 A BRETT BEER Boulevard Saison Brett, Hill Farmstead Arthur, Logsdon Seizoen Bretta, Russian River Sanctification, The Bruery Saison Rue, Victory Helios
B MIXED FERMENTATION SOUR BEER Boulevard Love Child, Cascade Vlad the Imp Aler, Jester King Le Petit Prince, Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca, Russian River Temptation, The Bruery Rueuze, The Bruery Tart of Darkness
C WILD SPECIALTY BEER Cascade Bourbonic Plague, Jester King Atrial Rubicite, New Belgium Eric’s Ale, New Glarus Belgian Red, Russian River Supplication, The Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme
29 A FRUIT BEER Bell’s Cherry Stout, Dogfish Head Aprihop, Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale, Founders Rübæus
B FRUIT AND SPICE BEER – NONE LISTED –
C SPECIALTY FRUIT BEER New Planet Raspberry Ale
30 A SPICE, HERB, OR VEGETABLE BEER Alesmith Speedway Stout, Bell’s Java Stout, Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA, Founders Breakfast Stout, Rogue Chipotle Ale, Traquair Jacobite Ale, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout,
B AUTUMN SEASONAL BEER Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Southampton Pumpkin Ale
C WINTER SEASONAL BEER Anchor Our Special Ale, Goose Island Christmas Ale, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Harpoon Winter Warmer, Lakefront Holiday Spice Lager Beer, Weyerbacher Winter Ale
31 A ALTERNATIVE GRAIN BEER Green’s Indian Pale Ale, Lakefront New Grist, New Planet Pale Ale
B ALTERNATIVE SUGAR BEER Bell’s Hopslam, Fullers Honey Dew, Lagunitas Brown Shugga’
32 A CLASSIC STYLE SMOKED BEER Alaskan Smoked Porter, Schlenkerla Weizen Rauchbier and Ur-Bock Rauchbier, Spezial Lagerbier, Weissbier and Bockbier, Stone Smoked Porter
B SPECIALTY SMOKED BEER – NONE LISTED –
33 A WOOD-AGED BEER Bush Prestige, Cigar City Humidor India Pale Ale, Faust Holzfassgereifter Eisbock, Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale, Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Petrus Aged Pale, Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo
B SPECIALTY WOOD-AGED BEER Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, J.W. Lees Harvest Ale in Port, Sherry, Lagavulin Whisky or Calvados Casks, The Lost Abbey Angel’s Share Ale; many microbreweries have specialty beers served only on premises often directly from the cask.
34 A CLONE BEER – NONE LISTED –
B MIXED-STYLE BEER – NONE LISTED –
C EXPERIMENTAL BEER – NONE LISTED –
[This post is in response to the August 2015 topic: The Landscape of Beer. You can find more information about The Session on host Allen H.’s website, or at the Brookston Beer Bulletin. ]

 

More information at: brookstonbeerbulletin.com/the-sessions/

 

Many of us have read about the history of beer in America. We can read article after article, book after book about the rise of the beer, wine, and spirits in the pre- and post- prohibition days of the United States. We know of the conglomerates that have grown from regional breweries into the massive, large-scale industrial operations they are today. More recently, we as a [craft] beer community have cherished and idolized the histories of those community brewers turned national icons – Boston Beer, Stone Brewing, Russian River, Bells Beer, and Dogfish Head are just a few that come to mind. We know the stories, and if we don’t, we can depend on the great story tellers of our time to allow us to catch up on the history of our craft beer forefathers. There are websites, blogs, and books dedicated to these topics. While this post will not explore these histories in depth, I do encourage you to take a gander at your favorite brewery’s story on how they got to where they are. This might just open your eyes to the greatness beyond the local pint glass, and knowing where beer has been can help one understanding where beer might be headed.

 

In one of my previous posts, I noted a few numbers concerning the growth of the craft beer industry.  You can find that post here. I also encourage you to visit the Brewers Association website to view more information and statistics on the craft beer industry in America. There is a multitude of information available on the current landscape of beer in America. There are also a great number of industry experts and economists providing their take on what the future holds for craft beer.

 

It was once said that there will never be competition for the “big” breweries. Yet, here we are in 2015 with over 3,000 breweries and more opening each day. The market share for “craft” beer has jumped to over 10%, which was previously looked upon as next to impossible. And the mere fact that we can blog about a “landscape” of beer is testament to the types of growth we are seeing develop in the United States.

 Photo from: Allaboutbeer.com

 

As for my take on the future landscape of beer in America, I believe the answer is not in the stories of the beers created, but instead within the stories of the creators behind the beers themselves. The landscape of beer in America will not only showcase the many accounts of professional brewers’ across the nation, but will also consist of the stories and experiences by those who enjoy it. Beer is no longer just the ice-cold, refreshing television commercial pushing product at the grocery store. Beer isn’t just the inexpensive alcohol that takes the buzz off of a busy Monday, or gets the party started on a long-awaited Friday.

 

[Craft] beer is now the story of Tom along with his family and friends sacrificing long, excruciating days to start and operate your community brewery. It’s about Greg’s ability to create a quality product and combine it with a great business acumen that allows a regional brewery to become a national icon. Beer is about the experiences shared, the conversations started, and the relationships created over a glass of fresh, local IPA or porter. People are the landscape of beer in America.

 

So what does the future of the landscape of beer in America look like? The stories and experiences will continue. Growth in the craft beer industry will be stimulated by the stories of the professionals and the consumers, alike. How will craft beer increase to 20+ percent of market share? People will continue to share their stories and experiences through social media. Newcomers will learn more about their favorite alcoholic beverage. They will experiment, sample, taste-test, converse, and name favorites among several different styles and brands of beer. In turn, demand will increase and brewers will continue to seek growth in their production to match these demands.

Photo from: Craftbeer.com

 

Will the craft beer bubble burst? I don’t believe it will. I believe that the craft beer market will continue to grow – maybe not as fast, but there is still plenty of opportunity for brewers across the nation. After all, not every state is as populated as the California beer scene appears to be.

 

I do believe that those not making a high-quality product will cease to exist. Those breweries and brewpubs that began as a money-making operation without passion for its product or its people will not last long in a very competitive craft beer market. Those breweries will lack the passion that also drives the innovation behind their beers, and by the looks of the current beer shelves, variety and innovation seem to be prominent factors in the marketplace.

 

I believe the other sets of breweries and brewpubs that may be affected by a changing beer landscape will be those passionate home brewers recently turned professional brewers/owner-operators. Perhaps they looked to pro brewing for a career change. Maybe they were told they made great homebrew, so they looked to the pro world for an opportunity. Regardless of the reason, I sincerely hope they succeed; however, it is reasonable to believe that if they are serving beer with a lot of flaws, or if they are serving unspectacular beer, then they may not see long-term success. Aside from the beer, if they lack the business acumen to keep their organization afloat and successful, then these too may not live to be the next craft beer success story.

 

I would love to say the Landscape of Beer in America will be positive with limitless opportunity and growth for all breweries and brewpubs. Do I believe the growth will continue? Absolutely! But with the significant growth will come growing pains. The Landscape of Beer in America will continue to provide an amazing variety of beer in every region in the U.S. The quality will continue to improve, and the average consumers knowledge will also improve. There will be some breweries and brewpubs that may not make it to the future. But until that future comes, you can find me basking in the thousands of beers and breweries in today’s American landscape. Go us! Go America!

 

Photo from: usasocialcondition.com

The brew: American Wheat part II. The last wheat I brewed was about 2 months ago, and the last beer I brewed was almost 1 1/2 months ago. Work and life have been so busy – I ended up having to squeeze in a brew day last minute.

 

Photo courtesy: Bellsbeer.com

 

The absence of Bells Oberon in California has me craving a crisp and clean wheat that I can have a few pints of in this triple digit heat, no water having, California summer. The last wheat brewed unfortunately fell to my friend, Acetaldehyde. It might’ve been high fermentation temperatures, bacterial infection, an underpitched amount of yeast, or any combination of a few other post boil factors. I’m sure there were at least a few other things going on in that batch, but the green apple and fruity esters overpowered just about everything else. So I decided to keep going with the same recipe.

 

 

Here’s what was supposed to happen:

 

 

American Wheat Recipe (Based on Jamil Z. Recipe)

 

  • 5 lbs. 8 oz. US 2 Row (50%)
  • 5 lbs. 8 oz. White Wheat (50%)
  • 1 oz. Williamette at 60 mins
  • .3 oz. Williamette at 0 mins
  • .3 oz. Centennial at 0 mins
  • American Hefe Strain (WLP 320 or Wyeast 1010)
  • Single Infusion Mash at 152 F for 60 mins

 

 

According to BeerSmith (for my equipment profile):

 

  • OG: 1.054
  • FG: 1.014
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • 19.3 IBUs

 

Here’s what really happened: 

The brew day setup.

The brew day setup.

 

Everything went according to plan. I entered it into a few competitions, and it took gold in each one… Okay, not really. I actually haven’t even tasted it yet. I will be transferring from primary to keg tomorrow, so it should be ready in about a week.

 

But the brew day really did go as well as I hoped. I used a nylon mesh BIAB bag as my false bottom, which was used in combination with the bazooka screen. The 11 lbs. grain bill with 50% wheat in my 5 gal. mash tun worked out just fine – No stuck sparge  like last American Wheat brew day!

 

I did mash a little higher than I expected – 155 F. I was trying to make up previous experience with my mash tun losing several degrees over the duration of the saccharification rest. Fortunately or unfortunately, the 155 F was consistent throughout the entire mash. For my purposes (drinking at home), the 3 degree difference will not be a major issue. I did pitch warmer than I wanted. I was aiming for around 70 F, but pitched around 80 F due to time constraints on the brew day.

 

Other than that, the day was fairly uneventful. I put the glass carboy in the fermentation chamber set for about 65F (the temp controller probe was taped to the carboy surrounded by some cloth to try to get a closer read). Here’s to a successful batch of American Wheat!

This post roughly marks this blog’s 1 year anniversary! Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to also find me at Sommbeer.com!
Not too long ago, I saw a “web coupon deal” for a tour with tastings for two at a local brewery for a fairly reasonable price. I told my wife and friends about the deal in an attempt to get a small group to go with – new beer with friends is always a better experience. Local brewery tour and tastings? Check. Reasonable price? Got it. Friends to drink with? Done. It was only natural that I purchase this coupon.

Photo courtesy: Smosh.com

So my friends and I make the trip, and upon entry to the tasting room I was quite impressed. Great looking decor, friendly and knowledgeable staff, great beer selection, and board games along with the giant Jenga set that seems to be a must have in every brewery around town.

We took the tour of the 7 bbl. brewery,  shared laughs and kettle-envy, then sat down to enjoy our double-digit tastings. We started with the lighter, cleaner ales and made our way through to the stouts and porters. We talked about the ones we like, and the ones we didn’t. The words “buttery,” “astringent,” and “apple flavors” may or may not have been said at our table. In the end, many of the 5 oz tasters were still over halfway filled, and my friends and I opted to go to our typical go-to taphouse.

Now, this is not a criticism of the brewers or the brewery. Are my friends and I Master BJCP judges or even award winning home brewers? No. But we can tell you what we like, and what doesn’t taste right to us in a given beer. Perhaps these were off flavors. Or, perhaps some of these flavors were on purpose as part of the brewery’s style. I believe it’s up to us as the consumer to determine that.

The unpopular opinion here may be that it is acceptable for a brewery patron to not like a brewery’s beer. It is also okay to not see through a beer’s flaws simply because it was made locally. I don’t necessarily think there is a craft beer bubble in front of us, but I do believe the breweries that are making flawed or less than stellar beer may not survive as a business.

Photo courtesy: ETFTrends

According to the Brewers Association, a little more than 20 years ago there were less than 600 breweries in the United States. In 2014, the number of total U.S. “craft” breweries topped 3,418 with the number growing every day. The number is sky rocketing with little sign of slowing down. With this tremendous growth, occasionally a beer with “flaws” may be produced and sold to you.

I have listed some of these “flaws” or off-flavors (from BJCP.org) that you may find in a beer, commercial or homebrew. If you find them in a beer from a local brewery, should you throw the taster in their face and write a 2 page, 1/2 star review on every craft beer platform and forum?  I would venture to say that it would be more beneficial if you didn’t, and instead, you should probably have a discussion with someone at the brewery. Maybe they will thank you for the feedback. Or maybe you will learn something about the beers produced or the beer styles.

Off-Flavors and Brief Description
  • Acetaldehyde – Green apples, grassy (not from hops), vinegar or cider-like
  • Astringent – Tannic or tart, unpleasant
  • Diacetyl – Buttery, nutty, reminiscent of butterscotch, oily
  • DMS (Dimethyl Sulfide) – Cooked corn, vegetables
  • Lightstruck – Skunky, mercaptan
  • Oxidation – Cardboard, wet-paper, stale, sherry or leathery; musty or earthy
  • Phenolic – Band-aid, cloves, bananas, smoky, plastic, medicinal
  • Solvent – Pungent, harsh, acetone or turpentine
  • Sulfury – Rotten eggs, meaty, struck match, burn rubber

Photo courtesy: AskMen.com

This list is obviously a brief summary and is not all inclusive; it is only intended to serve as another quick reference. There is at least 2000 lbs of information out there on these off-flavors, their causes, and how to troubleshoot them if you run into issues in your own brewing. You can also check out the Beer Judge Certification Program or the How To Brew websites, which also have a ton of information on beer styles and/or off-flavors.

Did I make a mistake somewhere? Do you disagree with anything written? I’d love to learn and have a respectful conversation with you! Feel free to reach out to me on the Twitter, or you can email me at inbituinthebrew@gmail.com.
Don’t forget to find me on Sommbeer.com!

 

Let me start off by saying this is The Internets – everyone has an opinion. And I am no different. The beautiful thing about these United States is that everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s the freedom that we all enjoy as Americans. With different experiences and perspectives comes different opinions on various topics.

Sometimes groups as a whole can have an opinion about certain topics that many people can relate to. For example, one popular opinion may be that beer is a great water substitute. While many reading this may agree (even if only half-heartedly), there are still those who would like to say otherwise.

That’s likely where my next series of posts will land – in the “unpopular opinion” category, thus the birth of the “UnPop Op” series. My next few posts may contain some elements of devils advocate thinking, but most of the time the posts will be of my own thoughts and beliefs based on the information I’ve found. Some ideas may not be on the extreme side of unpopular, and some others you might even agree with. Still, with the articles, interviews, and conversations that I’ve found, the next few posts will be contrary to popular opinion.

Photo courtesy: dreamcast-talk.com

My first example(s) are my opinions on those money hungry craft brewers and brewery owners/founders selling out to Big Beer. It seems like we see a new “acquisition” of a craft brewery every day – Goose Island Beer Co, 10 Barrel Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Meantime, and the list can go on and on. What happened to bringing down “The Man?” Craft breweries should be sticking it to him (or her), and they should be wildly successful in stealing market share from the Big Three, or two, or however many there are now. These craft breweries should be the shining example of quality beer that’s not mass produced on the global scale, and they should be owned by their original owners/founders. I mean, that’s what makes them true craft and not sellouts, right?

Okay, so here comes the unpopular to the opinion – selling the brewery to the larger beer corporations is okay. I know, crazy right? [Enter controversy, online arguments, and web trolls.]

So why do I say it’s perfectly fine to “sellout” to the big beer companies? Let’s take a look at a few different elements in play: the dream, the business, and the product.

Now I am no professional brewer, nor do I own a brewery, but I do have some type of general business know-how. And I know that most entrepreneurs (in this case the brewers or brewery owners) start with an idea or dream they would like to see through to success. In today’s world, the stories are few and far between of a person entering the workforce as a business owner. In case you didn’t know, most owners of breweries, brewpubs, and other craft beer establishments are real people. These real people had a real job to pay their real bills to support their real families, and yet they still had the dream to leave that job behind to start their own brewery. See what didn’t change? Their idea or concept came to fruition, but that did not change the fact that they still had real bills and real families.

Which leads me to the business element in play. If you remove the ogre-like layers of your favorite nano, micro, or macro brewery, there remains a business.People still purchase that brewery’s product and experience that brewery’s service. A quick Google of “define: business” provides many definitions of the word, two of which are included below:

  1. a person’s regular occupation, profession, or trade.
  1. the practice of making one’s living by engaging in commerce.

Behind the passion, the art, and the science of your favorite beer destination, there is a well-developed, carefully calculated, highly detailed business plan. The brewery’s business plan has everything from the company’s (yes, company) marketing plan, financial and investment plan, production plan, and risk management plan. And at the very bottom of all their financial reports? Yep, that’s their net profit.

So where does all this business stuff come from, and how does it add any weight to the argument that selling a brewery to big beer does not mean being a sellout? For that we will go to the product: Craft Beer.

Yes, there is passion. Yes, there is innovation. There is both art and science in brewing. From creating the recipe, to ensuring all the measurements are where they are supposed to be. For many, it truly is a dream come true. The difference is that this dream gets turned into a tangible, inventoried product that has to be sold to consumers and other businesses. It costs to make the beer and it costs to sell the beer. There are fees, taxes, municipalities, distributors, retailers, bottling and canning companies, and many other organizations taking a bite out of that $12 – 22 oz. bottle you purchased at your local bottle shop. That means that although there is a rush of breweries opening every day, the profit following those openings is a mere trickle. Speaking of money hungry brewers, the Huffington Post attributes just 8% of the final cost to “Brewers Margin” (more information can be found in their article here).

Photo courtesy: Huffingtonpost.com

Remember when you worked at that job where you worked significantly harder than what you were being paid to work? Remember when it was celebrated that a person who started from nothing worked their way up to something? What about those times when small companies were celebrated for their tremendous growth thanks to their strong leadership and quality product? Does that sound familiar? Maybe it’s time we celebrate those brewers and brewery owners that are tasting success and seeing their hard work pay off. If you still consider them a sellout, it’s not too late to vote with your wallet and support another hard-working brewer and brewery owner in your town. And don’t forget to thank them for that amazing experience in the glass in front of you.

Today’s brew: Everyone’s favorite, THE American IPA. Like much of the world, my mainstay is the American IPA. I love most styles, but I tend to favor the Fresh Squeezed (Deschutes), Deep Ellum IPA (Deep Ellum Brewing), and million other IPAs on the market. I figured most of my non-American Lager fans do too, so why not get a decent and consistent recipe down.
My working layout (My morning IPA not pictured).

My working layout (My morning IPA not pictured). New school on the left (Beersmith.com), old school on the right (Notebook)

Here’s what was supposed to happen:

American IPA Recipe – 5.00 gal Batch (Based on Brewing Classic Styles Recipe)

  • 12 lbs, 12 oz. US 2 Row
  • 12 oz. Munich
  • 1lbs. Crystal 20°L
  • 4 oz.Crystal 40°L
  • 1 oz. Magnum at 60 mins
  • 1 oz. Centennial at 10 mins
  • 1 oz. Simcoe at 5 mins
  • 1 oz. Amarillo at 0 mins
  • Fermentis SafAle US-05
  • Single Infusion Mash at 152 F for 60 mins

According to BeerSmith (for my equipment profile):

  • OG: 1.069
  • FG: 1.015
  • ABV: 7.18%
  • 62.8 IBUs
Here’s what really happened: 

The brew day actually went fairly smoothly. I stayed on course with my intended recipe. My issues with the brew day took place pre-boil. The grain bill of almost 15 lbs. made my poor little 5-gallon mash tun work far harder than it should’ve. The mash was extremely thick, but I used a BIAB mesh bag as a false bottom over my bazooka screen. Multiple sparges were needed, but no stuck mash here! Since I can’t measure the exact volume of my wort, I can’t determine an accurate efficiency %. But that is one thing to plan for as I nail down my processes.

Not only was my mash thick, but I also had issues with my mash temperature. The plan was to dough in around 165°F, but by the time the entire grain bill was stirred in, I was mashing at the low end of the Beta-Amylase range of around 140°F. I hope the beer doesn’t turn out as dry and light as the numbers make it out to be.

 

******************************************

Photo courtesy: BJCP.org
BJCP Guideline 21A – American IPA (2015):

Overall Impression: A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American or New World hop varieties. The balance is hopforward, with a clean fermentation profile, dryish finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.

Commercial Examples: Alpine Duet, Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack, Lagunitas IPA, Russian River Blind Pig IPA, Stone IPA

On a separate note, you can now find me as a contributor on SommBeer.com. Check out my posts along with a variety of others written by an awesome SommBeer.com team!
If you don’t have a calendar, this weekend will be the cause of celebration for some and remembrance for others. This Memorial Day weekend will likely be similar to many others you may have had before. Perhaps BBQs and beer will be the main event of your weekend. Maybe you’re more of a shopping and beer type. Or if you’re a home-body like I am, your weekend will be filled with relaxation… and beer. Regardless of your celebration style, it is always a good thing to remember those who have died for the greater good, and for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia.org

After spending a few moments in remembrance, your celebration will continue and you will enjoy your craft beers. Hopefully you will enjoy this time with friends and family, who may also enjoy craft beers. But… there is always that one. The one who forgoes your keg of homebrew or craft beer. The one who dodges the hop-friendly IPAs and oak-aged Stouts you so selflessly opened to anyone in attendance. They’ve even managed to offload that pilsner or other craft lager you personally purchased for them since they only drink “light” beers. But fear not! There is hope for this friend, spouse, and/or family member!
The other day my wife and I made a trip to our friendly neighborhood bottle shop (Beverages and More), and sifted through the generous selection they always have available to us VIPs – its called the Craft Beer Aisle. I searched up and down the aisle monitoring my moods and emotions as I scanned their inventory. I selected a few that were recommended, and a few that I read about. All for me, of course. I then encouraged my wife to make a selection or two for her own enjoyment.

Photo courtesy: Bevmo.com

My wife is a Texan through and through. She loves the entire state (I’m not sure how that’s possible). She misses the rolling thunderstorms, and the crazy Texan courtesies. She loves her Dallas Mavericks, her Dallas Stars, and worst of all, her Dallas Cowboys. Now, I’m not a fan of the Cowboys by any stretch of the imagination; but Texas has given her and her family something far worse in my opinion – the taste for the American Lite Lager, especially Coors Lite. The first time we went out she offered a Coors Lite to me. I was still trying to impress her, so I drank it. Once the courtship became official, those went out the window.
Now that you know her history, back to the Beverages and More story. She scanned the few aisles that she was interested in and gently put her selection into the cart. I looked down only to see Boulder Beer Company’s Shake Chocolate Porter. It doesn’t matter what you think of the porter, but I think we can all agree that’s quite the step from Coors Lite. The good news is, her transformation is ALL my doing. And I’ve shared my secrets to getting someone to drink craft beer below:
  1. If they don’t drink beer, make them drink one anyway. They’ll enjoy it… eventually.
  2. While you’re drinking one of your favorites, make sure you force them to have a sip too! It’s a great beer!
  3. Even when trying different, and often weird, styles of beers throughout the day or week, repeat # 2.
  4. You can also try the force method with that 3 hop, 5 malt, 2 yeast experiment you home-brewed a few weeks ago. You’re a good brewer right?
  5. Start with the “best” beer you can find. You know, those Double IPAs, the Imperial Stouts, and the all-Brett Sours. People need to get with the times! Bigger is better!
  6. Don’t start them with something similar to what they already like. If they like sweet, don’t give them a cider, mead, or any other malt forward beer. Try Stone’s Arrogant Bastard or Ruination. Everyone likes Stone, right?
  7. Good beer has no seasons. Founders’ KBS and Rasputin’s RIS drink just as easy in the middle of a Texas summer as Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale or Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale.
  8. Make them stand in line with you for those private releases, and convince them how amazing it is to wait hours for the opportunity to potentially purchase one.
  9. Or for the average days, allow them to enjoy looking at your local bottle shop’s new inventory for the hour or more that you’re there.
  10. If all else fails, “trick” them by pouring it in a red solo cup and writing their name and “Coors Lite” on the cup.
Hope these work for you as “well” as they’ve worked for my wife and I.

Thanks to traveling, work, and having only one arm, I finally got to brew today. I have to admit, I’m a little rusty on my processes. I haven’t brewed since before the holidays! This year, though, I’m ramping up the grain mill to eventually start entering a few competitions.

Today’s brew: American Wheat. I didn’t want anything special (that’s later in the year) – just a cool, crisp, clean sessionable something or another that also allows my tastebuds to live another day. The original, original recipe was supposed to be an Ode to Oberon (Bell’s Oberon). I saw it everywhere as I was traveling, but of course, it’s not in California. As the brew day came closer, I decided to keep it simple and go with a classic American Wheat.

Here’s what was supposed to happen:

American Wheat Recipe (Jamil Z. Recipe):
6 lbs. US 2 Row (50%)
6 lbs. White Wheat (50%)
1 oz. Williamette at 60 mins
.3 oz. Williamette at 0 mins
.3 oz. Centennial at 0 mins
White Labs WLP 320 – American Hefe
Single Infusion Mash at 150 F for 60 mins

According to BeerSmith (for my equipment profile):
OG: 1.066
FG: 1.017
ABV: 6.43%
17.6 IBUs

Here’s what really happened:

Brew Day 16 May 2015

Brew Day 16 May 2015

I stuck to the recipe intended, with the exception of the yeast used. I procrastinated and didn’t think that WLP320 would be as uncommon as it was. I made the last minute decision to use what was on hand – US-05. Dry yeast (when hydrated properly) is actually a lot better than people give it credit for!

And now for the downer of the day… My 60-minute mash then sparge turned into a 60-minute STUCK mash and another 60 minutes of “kind of sparge.” Turns out the mill made the grains a little too fine/pulverized, and the wheat decided to make my day twice as long. How was it solved you ask? With morning tasters of home-brewed IIPA, Pliny the Elder, and Monk’s Blood (21st Amendment Brewing). Yes it was 0900am, but we limited ourselves to tasters. I mean C’mon, we’re not lushes… Next time I will definitely use a 1/2 pound of rice hulls.

On a separate note, you can now find me as a contributor on SommBeer.com. Check out my posts along with a variety of others written by an awesome SommBeer.com team!