Friday, January 16, 2015

MB2015.1 - Sweaty Bretty Petite Redux

My Brother is getting married in a few months and I am providing a few beers for the big event. I brewed a saison (and a couple other beers) for a wedding a few years ago, so it seemed fitting to resurrect that recipe.The goal of this recipe is to be a table beer -- approachable and light for quaffing in quantity, yet flavorful and interesting for pairing with food.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The 2014-2015 Newness: Home Brewery System Updates, Monarch Bear...

2014 (the year of the Yang Wood Horse, no less) was an amazing year, but I didn't spend a lot of time in the homebrewery, only clocking 5 brews for all of 2014. In the time since I last updated this blog (February 2014), I have:

 - Moved across the country from Albany, NY to amazing Oakland, CA.
 - Traveled back across the country on a 5-week national tour as a stage assistant for Brett Dennen.
 - Completed a draft of my entire doctoral dissertation. (I'll be a doctor by May!)
 - Landed a job as a Production Assistant at The Rare Barrel, an all-sour brewery in Berkeley, CA.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sweaty Bretty Rye - Brett Rye Saison

I was a bit disappointed in my last saison experiment (in December, no associated blog entry). I believe the carafa II that I used threw some "nutty" notes into the beer, and it turned out an ugly brown. Not what I was going for. (The brett C portion tastes promising though.)

Recent failure in mind, I thought I'd brew up a replacement batch that was more in line with successful past batches. I wanted to make it peppery, but with a soft mouthfeel (I'm targeting something similar to one of my favorite saisons, Logsdon's Seizoen Bretta). For the pepper and mouthfeel I used 15% each of wheat and rye in the grainbill.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Requested Recipe: Little Heater Brett Stout

I've had a few requests for this recipe, so I thought I'd publish it here. It took first in the Belgian Specialty Ale category at Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews in November, and is a great winter beer. Funny thing is this was a "clean out my grain stash" beer, where I tossed a bunch of random stuff together...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Turbid Mash Lambic 2014

If I was to drown in a vat (or hogshead) of beer that I'd prefer it to be Lambic (or Gueuze). For my palate, Lambic's complex combination of funk and tart is heaven in a glass, and I can imagine no better style-driven drinking session than one exploring these beers. They can be a bit pricey, but it is a special treat to sit down with a few friends and drink around a few bottles.

Despite my affection for the style, I have never brewed one before. These beers require not only prowess in the brewhouse (as I will detail shortly), but also patience after brewday. There is no hard-and-fast rule regarding how long you should allow Lambic to sit in secondary (most brewers would say at least a year), but I had previously shunned tying up one of my vessels for such a long time. With a recent purchase of more kegs, I decided the timing was right to try my hand at brewing a Lambic.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tasting Notes - Haskell's "BOD 09 XX"

Here are some tasting notes on a second bottle of Haskell's beer. (I posted my notes on what I believed was his Flander's Red a few months back.) This one was labeled "BOD 09 XX" on the cap. Judging only from what I poured into my glass, I believe this one is a bourbon-oak-aged imperial stout. I take the "BOD" on the cap to mean "bourbon-oaked d___"; the "09" to be the year (making this beer around 5 years old!); and the "XX" as a warning to the consumer regarding its alcohol strength.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Brewery Resolutions for 2014...(If its on the internet I have to do it, right?)

2013 was a great year of beer. (From Hill Farmstead's Zwanze Day).

It being the time to make resolutions and all that, I thought I'd post a couple of my personal goals for the upcoming year in beer. I'll just rattle these off: