Pumpkin Ale

I added my recipe for my pumpkin ale to this site. I have brewed this twice with the same recipe and am really pleased with how it has turned out. It has a really nice balance of pumpkin and spices (not to spicy) and makes a good seasonal beer.

Give it a try and let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions.

Three Star Brand Hops

My In-laws have an antique shop, and travel around quite a bit shopping for stuff to re-sell. Because of this, my father-in-law has quite a collection of beer and hop related antiques. One such item is an old box of Three Star Brand hops. Its a small package of maybe 1-2 oz of hops, roughly 60 years old. The most interesting item though is the recipes on the side of the box. I’m almost tempted to try these:

TO START YEAST – Boil one-half pound Three Star Brand Hops in one gallon water, half an hour; strain, and stir in one-half pint fine malt flour, strain again through a course cloth, and boil for ten minutes; when lukewarm, stir in one-half pound brown sugar, place in a jug and keep in a warm place until it works over, then cork tight and keep in a cool place for use.

HOP YEAST – Boil one ounce of Three Star Brand Hops in three points of water, twenty minutes. Strain into a jar, and stir in one teacupful flour, one tablespoonful brown sugar, a one teaspounfull salt. When cooled to blood heat, add one gill yeast. After standing four or five hours, put away for use in jugs, with cork securely tied.

Neither really sounds any good, and the thought of pitching yeast and securing the bottle with a cork seems like asking for disaster. I guess they were simple times.

Amarillo Red tapped!

Last night I tapped the keg of Amarillo Red – a nicely hoped red/amber style ale. Its quite amber in color, slightly hazy, and depending on when you pour, you either get an excessive head, or a nice, appropriate amount. I’ll have to work the carbonation down.

The aroma is telling of Amarillo hops – spicey, baudy, and floral. Wonderful, in short. The taste is pleasantly balanced between sweet malts and the various affects that the hops add; both spicey and bright.

I’ve only bottled 4, and 2 are already spoken for. The remaining two are both duvel stubbies. If you’d like to try it, better just come have it on tap.

Carbs & Beer

I’m sure there are plenty of people who could give a damn about carbs in their beer. The absurd fad seems to unavoidable, but the readers of Realbeer.com don’t seem to be suckers like the rest of the country.

A recent poll shows that 70% of readers are dumbfounded by the trend. The other 30%? Well, its the <10% who always worry about the carbs in their beer that have me worried. If you’re concerned, drink water.

PDX Beer Night

Last night fellow BeerAdvocate weefisheads invited other Portland drunks enjoyers of beer over for a tasting. It was a lot of fun, and David (weefishheads) was incredibly generous with his beers.

Though there wasn’t a bad beer among them (I liked the precipice, but I thought it was a brown, not a pale), a couple really were stunningly good. The first beer, and my favorite of the evening, was Three Floyd’s Dreadnaught IPA. It was an incredible lesson in balance, gentleness, flavor.

AleSmith Horny Devil, Storm King Stout, and Moonglow Weizenbock (surprised me too) stood out the most, but they were all excellent.

Thanks to David for his generous sharing and it was great to finally meet some other Portland beeradvocates.

Foamy Mustache Cream Stout

Today I’m brewing a cream stout. Its kind of an experiment to try out two new techniques.

  1. Using lactose at bottling to give it that wonderful sour taste common among great Irish stouts.
  2. I’m reusing the yeast from a previous batch. I read about it in Brew Your Own, and the thought of saving $3 and getting a virulent fermentation sounded cool. We’ll see how luck fares.

I’ve added the recipe already, but not included many details yet. I’ll update them once I get qbrew rebuilt.

Amarillo Red Ale

I’ve just racked an Irish red ale to secondary. It tasted wonderful, and it was the first batch I’ve brewed using Amarillo hops. The recipe is my own, and its available in the recipe section.

Since its so cool in the house the fermentation has gone slowly. Its currently at 1.020, and I’d like to drop another 6 points, so I got out the old lizard heater. Lets hope that does the trick.

Cooper Carbonation Drops

I purchased a bag of Cooper Carbonation Drops with the intention of bottling a couple of beers from each batch that I brew. Unfortunately, the use instructions fail to mention how to sanitize them.

I’d hate to go to all this trouble just to have a carbonating tab spoil a beer that I’d sent to a family member, friend, or even a competition.

The only method I can think of is steaming the item. Not fail safe by any means, but it may be a start. What about baking them? Seems extraneous.

Brewing a Lambic

I’m not planning on doing a lambic just yet, but I stumbled upon this site and decided to link to it for later use.

The lambic style is defined by its locational ties (Payottenland), and its spontaneous fermentation by wild yeast and bacteria. It uses aged hops ( 2-5 years), and there are now places to get yeast starters that don’t require you to culture all the necessary bacteria & yeast. Whew!

It should be noted that if you were to brew a lambic, it would be called a lambic-style, or plambic (pseudo-lambic).