Friday, October 18, 2013

Water Quality Report

This post is mostly for my own reference.  This is a copy of the drink water quality report provided for my water district.  This is the water I'm filtering, which eventually ends up in my beer :-)


Sunday, September 8, 2013

#17 Belgian White Ale

Saturday, March 16, 2013

#11 Smoked Amber

I was looking for a strong tasting beer -- something that fill the enormous gap that my Scotch Ale left.

And I have not been let down by this Creamy Smoked Amber.  Powerful, flavor first beer.  If you, like me, love peated scotch whisky, then this may be a beer for you :-)  The malted barley was in fact smoked, much like peated whisky from Islay or Jura.

I brewed this beer by myself, at home, on one absolutely gorgeous Austin day.  75F and sunny with a lovely breeze floating down the canyon.  Okay, so I'm never entirely alone when I brew...

I kegged my Saison, and actually put the remainder of my Scotch Ale into a real oak cask for some aging.

All in all, this was a nice, drama-free brew.  This was my first full water boil.  As an aside, I enjoyed a very nice bowl of gumbo mid boil :-)

The original gravity came in at 1.045 (target 1.052), and final at 1.012 (target 1.014).  The color (distorted by the indoor lighting) definitely checked in as a lovely, red/amber.

Recipes follow.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

#10 Saison

I think this is my first beer that "might have been"...

Saison ales are brilliant beers.  Bright, light, more than a small hint of fruit.  Perfect for drinking on a warm or hot spring or summer day.  Amazingly, Saison yeasts love ferment at very hot temperatures.

Unfortunately, this particular brew fermented in my closet during an unseasonably cold couple of weeks in Austin.  The result certainly wasn't bad, per se, but I just can't help but wonder what might have been, had this beer fermented at 80F or so (on the left below).

This was the first beer I brewed on a week night.  I worked from home that day, which enabled me to be home and ready to brew by 5:30pm.  I typically allow 5 hours for a brew night, so this would ensure that I finish by 10:30pm.

Now, remarkably, we were hosting Josh and Steph, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, for their first trip back to Austin since moving to New Orleans.  Brewing is a family event around here.

It was beautiful, wonderful night :-)

The original gravity checked in at 1.059 (target: 1.057).  The final gravity was right at 1.010 (target 1.015).  The color has a classic Saison cloud, with plenty of coriander and lemon on the nose, and even more on the palate.

In retrospect, I've named this beer the "Saucy Saison" in honor of Ubuntu's new 13.10 mascot, the Saucy Salamander, and donated a growler to some good friends in the Ubuntu world a bit earlier tonight :-)


Saturday, February 2, 2013

#9 White IPA

Hands down, this has been my highest quality brew to date!  I say that as I'm finishing one of my very last pints of it now (April 25, 2013).

I brewed this beer at my buddy Casey's house.  This was his second brew, and we spent a lovely afternoon making beer outdoors.

The original gravity was measured at 1.052 (target was 1.057).  The gravity was 1.019 when racking from primary to secondary, and checked in with a final gravity of 1.010 (target was 1.014).
Really, really interesting, complex beer.  The flaked wheat grains add a bit of thickness and mouth feel to a crisp, west-coast brew (Columbus, Cluster, Centennial, Cascade).

After brewing at Casey's house, I had to drive the results home.  It's technically not an open container since I hadn't yet pitched the yeast :-)

The color and clarity were near perfection.  Golden pale with a classic beer clearness.

The translucence of this beer is really visible in this shot.  The color of this beer in the carboy was ruby red, or amber.  But once decanted, the true color comes through.

Unfortunately, my non-beer-nerd friends have no idea what they're getting into when they taste this beer.  I'll pour them two tasters -- this White IPA and my Irish Stout.  Without fail, they reach for the clear, light colored one, and are met with a hop bomb (dry hopped with Cascade and Centennial).  If you're not a big beer drinker, IPAs are usually not from you.  Don't get me wrong -- I love this beer.  But this beer has taught more than a few members of my friends and family what a great beer the Irish Stout is, after getting the bitterness bomb and giving that motor-oil-black stout a shot :-)

All that said, I truly loved this beer!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sorry to see you go bro

Unfortunately, one of my best friends and my primary home brewing partner is moving from away Austin to New Orleans in a couple of weeks.  Much of what I've learned about beer I've learned from Josh.

With practicality in mind, they're downsizing a bit before packing up and heading off.  So Josh invited a small gathering of beer nerds to his places for sausage and beer yesterday.

On the menu was this spectacular arrangement (in order):

  1.  Jester King Mikkeller
  2. Maui Brewing Liquid Breadfruit
  3. Lazy Magnolia Deep South Pale Ale
  4. Lagunitas Brown Shugga
  5. Russian River Pliny the Elder
  6. Firestone Double Jack IPA
  7. Hebrew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA
  8. Avery Brewing Maharaja Imprerial IPA (aged)
  9. Avery Brewing Maharaja Imperial IPA (new)
  10. Russian River Pliny the Elder
  11. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Awesome evening.  Sorry to see you go, bro.  At least we're doing it with style.  And good beer.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

#8 Irish Stout

I brewed this Irish Stout in the interest of drinking a real Irish beer for St. Patrick's Day.

And I can't say I was disappointed at all.  The timing worked out very well, with my brew day on January 13th, 2013.

It was a cool day in Austin, Texas, topping out around 60F.  If you're reading this in some other locale, you may be thinking, "60F in January -- that's a cool day?"  If so, I'm sorry.  Come visit :-)

Brew day was nice and social.  Three old high school friends, from Baton Rouge, LA, who are also re-lo's to Austin, TX (Casey, Carrie, and Taylor) all dropped by for the afternoon and joined me for a bit of NFL playoffs and brewing.

I'm delighted to say that both Casey and Taylor have each bought their own brewing equipment and have since dived into their own brewing.  Both are on their 3rd or 4th brew by this point.

I had a bit of trouble during my boil.  I had recently bought a Bayou Classic banjo burner.   Unfortunately, it crapped out mid boil.  I had to run to Lowes during my boil.  The temperature of my wart dropped to about 150F over about a half hour before we got back and replaced the burner.  Since then, it's been solid.

I also used my brand new wort chiller, which is awesome, by the way :-)

Most interestingly with this brew, I actually collected and re-pitched some of the Edinburgh yeast I used in my Scotch Ale.

I only used a single stage carboy for this beer.  The fermentation was vigorous, though the chub was very easy to cull.

This beer was brewed on January 13, 2013, and kegged on February 2, 2013.  The original gravity was 1.041 (at 60F), while the target was a bit higher, at 1.050.  The final gravity was 1.013, which was dead on target.

What a delightful beer!  While the beer is of course jet black, dark in color, the flavor, specific gravity and the ABV is incredibly light.

Here, you can see a set of tasters, with the Stout in the middle.  To the left is my Extra IPA, and to the right, my Scotch Ale.