Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Name is Mud

3 drunk babbles
On our last brew day get-together I decided to change up my previously successful double IPA. I wanted to do an extract brew for time's sake and hauling my equipment around. This time I wanted to push the envelope with abv and hops. Well maybe I should have stuck with my original recipe, I haven't decided yet. I wound up with 2 kegs that have over 4 gallons and Mr. and Mrs. Worthog wound up with 3 or so gallons and fermented with US-04 yeast whereas I fermented with US-05. Nice experiment.
As you can see this brew looks incredibly similar to mud water. "Muddy Mo" if you will. I thought about that for a name, but we'll get to that soon. The merkiness came from tons of pellet hops and scorching the extract some. Now the floaties are because I am kegging 3 oz of hops in each keg which I decided not to filter out the dust. I went with an 80 minute boil here. I figured, the typical homebrew boil is 60 minute and sometimes 90 minutes, why not go with something else. I yielded an 8.1% abv with this guy and some ridiculous amount of IBU's. You can do the math if you'd like. Yes those are Chinese lanterns below, no I did not pick them out.
13 gallons of water
steeped 2 lb of Crystal 60L for 30 or 40 minutes at 150-160 F
16.3 lbs Briess Light LME
3 lbs Briess Light DME
All pellet hops:
2 oz Warrior 90 min
2 oz Simcoe 70 min
4 oz Cascade continuously between 60 and 30 min because they were handed to me!
4 oz Centennial 25 min
whirfloc at 15 min, oops!
2 oz Willamette 10 min
2 oz Simcoe in keg
4 oz Tomahawk in keg

I was talking about how much hops I put in this brew with someone and I told them it was a stupid amount. Suddenly I realized that maybe that's how Lagunitas came up with the name Hop Stoopid for their brew. And it dawned on me that I can make fun of their beer without copyright infringements because, well, it will only be consumed at my home for free! Hence the name, Hop Retarded. Now I know it's not politically correct but it's the only thing that came to mind when I have went beyond stupid and put too many hop pellets in. I hope you enjoy my new logo that will not be printed or distributed :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Boulevard Harvest Dance = Awesomeness!

3 drunk babbles
I didn't get enough to fully review, but it is some good malty liquid!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Up in da Club

1 drunk babbles
What a great Tuesday I had yesterday. I shot down to Lake Lotawana right after work to Cullun's place. Normally if I am going to Lotawana it's for a fancy dinner at Marina Grog and Galley (highly recommended), but this time it was for beer. We jumped on Cullun's boat and headed out to sea, well KC sea. We joked that instead of seagulls they have lakegulls.

No I didn't just go there for some lake action, it was the 3rd Tuesday of the month which means one of KC's homebrew clubs, ZZ Hops, was to meet. I figured I'd mosey on down and check out a meeting and it was very convenient because it was on the same lake. Neither of us had been to an official homebrew club and I wanted to see what it was all about.

Everyone at the meeting was incredibly nice and I liked the low-key atmosphere they provided. It could have been a little more organized, but overall a good meeting. Apparently they rate homebrew brought in so first thing was they slapped a number on my Tripel Hose I brought. I think there were around 7 or 8 homebrews and about 6 different meads which was fun. Some of those guys even kept their own bees. The brews were really good and I think everyone appreciated my Tripel which was nice to hear.

While I have no ties to a homebrew club yet, I do enjoy learning about them and what they represent. I think they are a good idea to get a little more serious about your hobby.

Monday, October 19, 2009

KC BeerFest '09

3 drunk babbles
I wasn't going to do a write up on the beerfest because everyone already has, but I need to state my opinions in hopes that they get heard. I had a feeling this festival was going to be not my type of beer event, but I had to go see what it was all about for myself. This event was held at the top of the parking garage at Legends. Not a bad idea in case the ground was wet. We were greeted with a KC BeerFest snifter glass that was pretty cool and a band that was, eh, good enough. I turned the corner and walked right up to Sam Adams area that had their Imperial Series. I am a big fan of that stuff and figured an Imperial Stout was a great way to start off the day! I made my way over to Free State which had a great booth. I tried the Eccentricity which was explained as a barrel aged ale that was blended to perfection. Then I asked what style they were going for and they just said it's a style of it's own. Hm...

From there I found tons and tons of crappy beer you can buy in any liquor store and then all of a sudden I realized that every booth except for Boulevard's Nuttsack Ale and Free State booth everything there was something you could just go to the liquor store and get. But it was kind of cool to see almost 250 different beers in one spot.

None of the volunteers knew about the beer. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that these volunteers were pouring, but I just feel like having some conversation about it. Instead I felt like I was to move out of the way so this other guy can get his drink on. Then it became very crowded. Hundreds of people swarming BMC booths and taking down the Corona, the Smirnoff Ice and the Bud American Ale. Dude, buddy, homey!

The beerfest was to last from 1-5. At 4 most tables were being cleared off and the lines became very long for the people who actually brought kegs. A big thanks to Boulevard, Schlafly and Free State for holding down the fort. The only spots besides High Noon that actually had their own staff pouring.

Closer to 5 people started swarming to the edge of the parking garage to gawk at some white-trashiness fight. We saw two bloody fights ensue and people getting arrested. The whole time I was thinking about Parkville's Microfest and how awesome and laid back it is.

- picture taken from pitch.com

Later that night the Mizzou game was on and what better time to keep drinking. Okay maybe that was a bad idea. Bryan came over and he brought back his collection from Florida: 13th Anniv. Stone, Cigar City Bolita Brown, Terrapin Rye squared, Smuttynose IPA, and a couple others. As a night cap I popped my Southern Tier Cuvee. WOW, what a day of drinking! Time to take a long break from drinking that much.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recycle Kansas City

3 drunk babbles
As I resident of Kansas City, MO, I know garbage day sucks. Two bag minimum outside of garbage cans so the animals are free to rip into them. Then these recycle bins that blow down your street on a windy day only to never find them again. At least it's free (taxes) I suppose. I remember when they started with these recycle bins and the first trash day I had put a glass bottle in the recycle bins and they didn't pick it up. This means that my two bags of trash, that can only be 50 lbs, are heavy as hell because I have to put all my glass bottles into them.

Well not anymore. The good people at Ripple Glass (pretty much the Boulevard guys) are making it possible to take your glass to man convenient locations and should be opening up within the next month or so.

Of course you could always just donate your rare bottles to my 700+ collection.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tripel Hose

1 drunk babbles
One of the brews in my ever-changing Top 5 list has been Schlafly's Tripel. While my tongue hasn't been calibrated as a BJCP judge or a brewing QC personnel I do know what I like. I view the Schlafly Tripel as Americanized Chinese food, meaning that the style has been tainted by American characteristics (and I like it!). I feel that this version is a bit more sugary, slightly higher in IBU's and a hint more chewy than, let's say, a La Fin Du Monde. Let's just say it's damn good and in my opinion under-rated.

As a beginner home brewer I hadn't felt I was ready to break off and do my own variables in brews so I wanted to semi-clone the Schlafly brew. I got a hold of Stephen Hale at Schlafly who guided me through the beer. I won't be posting my ingredients on here for the integrity of Schlafly, but I will say that the key was in the yeast. And boy did this yeast work. The name "Tripel Hose" came about because I roasted my garden hose on my burner when I was about to chill the wort. One of the many things you can do wrong when drinking while home brewing.

I listened to a show on the brewing network with Jamil about Tripels and the candy sugars. It was suggested that you let the yeast work on the more complicated sugars from the malts first then once attenuation starts to slow down, dump in the candy sugars. He equated to filling up too fast on the junk food and not having any of the healthy food because you're too full. The yeast sure did it's job finishing out with a Specific Gravity of 1.009 meaning I had 91% apparent attenuation which is crazy. I have heard of a lot of tripels getting around 95% attenuation and mine almost got there. I am very sad to say that I did not get an original gravity so I can only roughly estimate the abv. However with a 70% brewhouse efficiency I would estimate a range from 11.5-12% abv whereas Schlafly's is about 10%. This is far too high to be judged properly in the Tripel category where BJCP looks for 7.5-9%, but you know what, I don't care. This beer is mighty tasty. It is a bit dry, but the heavier malt backbone gives a good balance as long as their is high carbonation. Leave it to us Americans to bastardize recipes and double up on ingredients.

Because I did not get an original gravity reading, the good people at Boulevard took a sample to get an Ethanol spike using their chromatography machine (GC). While I actually never got a reading for my ABV, I did get a ton more and I was very happy with my results. While some were marked as high, sometimes they are acceptable for a Belgian-Styled brew. It was also ran through a 7 person tasting panel and received a 6.8 rating which is right in line with many commercial brews.
  • Acetaldehyde (ppm) - 25.80177
  • Diacetyl (ppb) - 12.38845
  • DMS (ppb) - 136.67268
  • Ethyl Acetate (ppm) - 40.55405
  • Ethyl Butyrate (ppb) - 1527.58567
  • Isoamyl Acetate (ppb) - 3002.76315
  • Isoamyl Alcohol (ppm) - 256.3184
  • Ethyl Hexanoate (ppb) - 186.61994

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who invited the 14 yr old?

1 drunk babbles
14 yr old whiskey that is. Long night last night. The picture says 1000 words.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Missing Link - A Pilsner Story

8 drunk babbles
Many Kansas Citians know of the recently released Boulevard Pilsner. Some of those beer drinkers know that it pays homage to the late Kansas City's Muehlebach Pilsner, but most probably were not ready for the old school label. What most do not know is that in between the two there was another Pilsner that was created based on the Muehlebach brand. This is the story of those beers.
George Muehlebach came to U.S. from Switzerland in 1859. He was a very well known Kansas Citian like Harry S. Truman or Walt Disney. George had business on the mind and he ran a large Hotel in KC as well as a brewery. In 1879 there were 67 breweries, but only 2 in KC. George had to sustain a business that dealt with alcohol through the prohibition and like Anhueser-Busch selling Bevo through drought, George sold Mulo, a non-alcoholic beverage, or near-beer, to get through rough times. Muehlebach Brewing Company lasted though prohibition and became a very strong contender during World War II. While there were many different styles of bottles that Muehlebach produced I was able to obtain the rare green bottles that have the U.S. Victory Bonds label at the top.

What sparked my interest in this whole story was when I was shopping for some interesting beer at a Berbiglia store. While I do not have any loyalty to a particular beer store I rarely make it to a Berbiglia. As I was purchasing some Rochefort 6 and 10, I noticed behind the register what I thought was a recently released Boulevard Pilsner bottle. As I took a closer look I noticed that it looked very aged. It said "Berbiglia Pilsner" and I thought to myself that Boulevard must have copied off Berbiglia. The next day I talked to Boulevard's marketing and Jeremy Ragonese reminded me of Muehelbach. I took a look online and sure enough both bottles look extremely similar to the much older brew. When I spoke to the beer clerk he said that the manager there had been working there since the 70's and that she saved back a bottle when it was brewed. That made me think it was brewed in the 70's. I contacted Marcia Butterbaugh of BCCA Magazine and she informed me that the Berbiglia Pilsner label by Dick Brothers in Quincy, IL and by Huber Brewing in Monroe, WI date to between 1946 and 1951 and that both breweries are closed. Now what is interesting is that I found this label from the Fischbach Brewing Co in St. Charles, MO. Where was Berbiglia brewed at what times I still do not know.
Boulevard Brewing released the Boulevard Pilsner in the summer of 2009. It created a lot of buzz with the vintage logo. The price of these beers at $6 per 6 pack are lower than typical craft 6 pack that Boulevard makes. This makes it a convenient contender for the Budweiser or the Millers on the shelves. I am often asked how many calories are in a Boulevard Pilsner. While calorie information is not yet obligated by the breweries I was informed that the calories would be more equivalent to a Budweiser as opposed to a Bud Light. While this brew is nice, light and refreshing this was not Boulevard's way to compete with the lightest of light beers. Another interesting fact about Boulevard was that when they opened in 1989 they were the first brewery to open in Kansas City since Muehlebach reopened after prohibition in 1938.

I hope you have enjoyed the first blog article of many to come.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Very Black Tuesday

4 drunk babbles
I'm not speaking of yesterday. I'm speaking of the future. October 27th at 5:30 pm Pacific time to be exact. That is when The Bruery will be releasing their famed Black Tuesday Imperial Stout. Why am I mentioning this on my Kansas City blog? Because I can and because I am a huge beer geek. If you or anyone you know is in Los Angeles area and could swing by to get one for me then I'll put you in KC Hop Head's Hall of Fame which doesn't exist yet.

This beer became popular because of the crazy rating system on beeradvocate. These guys claim that the calculation is that way so that very good beers that have few highly ranked tastings would get noticed as they come out but the more tasters the further it moves down the list and lands where it should. For Black Tuesday 28 reviews and is top 5 in the world currently. It's caused a lot of controversy about the rating system and whether this beer is really that good at close to 20% abv.

So here's the calculation and you can tell me your thoughts.
You must have 10 reviews, but I think it should be 100.

weighted rank (WR) = (v ÷ (v+m)) × R + (m ÷ (v+m)) × C

R = review average for the beer
v = number of reviews for the beer
m = minimum reviews required to be listed (currently 10)
C = the mean across the list (currently 3.64)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another Brew Day in the Books

0 drunk babbles
Our 4th successful brew day! Next one is at my place!! KCWortHog hosted our 4th brew day as an Oktoberfest style event. She and Mr. Wort Hog made tons of excellent German food to soak up the beer. Three of us decided to brew. Hop Frog went with a tangerine IPA, while the Wort Hogs decided to go with a Roggenbier. Below is the roggenbier moving from the chilled pot to the carboy. Mmmm...

I decided to brew up an altered version of my double IPA proclaimed as Hop Explosion. This time I will not be having the explosion part of it. I have more than a pound of hops that are going into this 10 gallon batch. I actually wound up making about 12 gallons and letting the worthogs do their worst to the left overs. I went with an extract brew just because it is easier when traveling with equipment; however, with what time I saved I made up for boiling 13 gallons of water. I'll post the recipe at some point.
Probably the highlight was all of the good brews that Jeremy D, from Blvd, brought along. An Imperial Stout aged to perfection, an aged Saison-Brett that the funk turned to sour and reminded me of the recently drank Goose Island Sophie and then the Nutsack Ale. Now if you remember, I was at Blvd helping with the hop bags. These hop "sacks" from the Nutcracker Ale are then drained and kegged. Well Jeremy decided to bring some of the extremely hoppy brew along for our drinking pleasure. It was like a very hoppy Nutcracker however this one hadn't been carbonated, but I can look past that.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Canadian Breakfast Stout

1 drunk babbles
Oh Canada, aye? Not exactly. Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) comes from Founders Brewing out of Grand Rapids Michigan. This is a beeradvocate world's top 10 beer as it currently stands.Here is the description of the beer:
Founders Breakfast Stout aged in Kentucky whiskey barrels that were also used by a small maple syrup maker. The beer is then aged underground in the town’s local mine. Maple & whiskey soaked wood, Sumatra and Kona coffee beans breakfast stout.
I've heard different stories on how many kegs Missouri got, but as I understand it there was some at the Stable in St. Louis and then at Flying Saucer last night in KC. Beeradvocate had some interesting outrages over the beer and I knew all the beer geeks were going to come out of the wood-works for this. I know people were coming in from Columbia, Wichita, Omaha, all over. I specifically tried not to draw much attention to such an event because I knew it would be a cluster. I was happy on how the Saucer handled the situation by selling tickets very early on in order for everyone to get a sample. At first I thought 4 oz samples were going to be too small but I had 8 oz of this and it was worth all 800 pennies.

I got there promptly at 5:00 when tickets started selling like any beer geek should. I ordered a Goose Island Sophie and found it to be slightly sour which was enough for me to pour half to a friend. I was hanging out with a couple friends when I noticed a familiar face, but it was someone I'd never met. Then I realized it was Chimpolte. Good to see another beer blogger made it out. I then ordered a Trappist AchelBrune which I found to be quite amazing. Day one of October and I was able to drink two amazing brews that will probably make it onto this months top 5 list.
5 till 7 and the line of geeks began to form. I got my pours, sat down and dove right into it. Now I've had regular bkfst stout (too much coffee) and Kentucky bkfst stout (too much bourbon) and was worried this would be like Sam Adams Triple Bock and be too much syrup, but no. It was quite well balanced. This beer was very very good. My only complaint is it needed a touch more carbonation. I realize for the style you don't need much if any, but Dark Lord left a special place in my liver... I mean heart and it had plenty of carbonation for an Imperial Stout. I'd say CBS is in my top 5 for the style and would toy with my constantly changing, all time top 5 list. I'll think about it...