It boils like you wouldn’t believe.
It boils like you wouldn’t believe.
Brewing a test batch for a friends wedding today. Beer from IPAnema is an IPA but I’ve added a little Belgian biscuit to give it a little sweeter bread and candy flavor. It is a celebration after all, and ideally, this beer will be tall and tan and young and bitter. Think Astrud Gilberto.
It turns out Laurelwood’s owner Mike DeKalb has been keeping a blog on Laurelwood’s activities titled Laurelwood Live. Some interesting news, and a cool interview with new head brewer Chad Kennedy.
The Oregonian has a piece on the growing pains of a couple local brewers, including Bridgeport, Lucky Lab, New Old Lompoc and Laurelwood. Not a bad piece, and interesting to find out that Laurelwood will be opening a new brewery.
I decided to try out dry yeast since it seems to have come a long way even since I started brewing. I picked up a package of Fermentis Ale us-56, a typical American Ale strain, and a 1 liter Erlenmeyer flask. I figured the cost savings ($1.80 a pack) from using dry yeast twice would cover the cost of a pyrex starter vessel. Plus, I could use the flask to boil, cool, and pitch in – reducing steps and vectors for infection. Win, win!
I pitched the yeast around midnight last night and when I woke up, the little buggers are already hard at work, so it looks like I’ll be brewing this evening.
It looks like Google know’s what an imperial pint is. Not bad.
Nearly 3 years ago, I found an empty 7.75 gallon keg in the scrap metal bin at my local recycler. Someone had evidently found it in their garage and didn’t know, or didn’t want to bother with getting a deposit back, so they pitched it. I saw possibility, and absconded with it. My intention was to make a brew kettle with it – one that could hold a full wort. Before I could make one though, Michelle got me a 10 gallon kettle.
So it’s sat around for 3 years, and yesterday we finally decided to repurpose it as a planter. We took it over to my parents and used my dad’s hammer drill to break in to it (after bleeding off any nasty trapped air), then used a reciprocating saw to cut the top off. It worked very quickly to our surprise, and was still spotless inside. A few drain-holes later, and we had a planter.
Michelle and I were struggling with what to put in it until we walked by a series of pots with ornamental hops in a variety of, uh, varietals. Most had been abandoned by hop farmers here, (Mt. Hood, Liberty, Kent Golding) but they also had a few active varietals. I picked Nugget over Willamette because I like the way the cones look, and these would probably be more for aesthetic than for brewing. So the hops are now planted and will be starting to climb soon. Kind of a cool effect – assuming that 7.75 gallons is enough root space.
Beer Advocate.com has just released their latest list, The Top 50 Places to Have a Beer in America in celebration of American Craft Brew Week. If you glance quickly at the list, you’ll be surprised to only see Portland listed once. When you scan again, you’ll realize that it is actually Portland, Maine. So Portland, Oregon does not have one of the top 50 places to have a beer.
Don’t storm off yet. Washington and Oregon have a tremendously low Beer Advocate membership population density, so the math used in calculating these locations often omits some of the best places to get beer if there are not enough reviews. Complicating this calculation is the fact that there is an abundance of places to get good beer. For Example:
Brewpubs in the State of Maine: 16
Brewpubs in the State of New York: 30
Brewpubs in the City of Portland: 27
So, the 18 million residents of New York state have only 30 brewpubs to haunt, while the 550,000 residents of Portland have 27. And that doesn’t even consider how much more craft beer we drink here in Oregon. We’d need our own Top 50 list.
I’ve now seen 3 separate references to Lagunitas new Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, and I feel that I must give it a try.
One of the best brewers in the NW has left his old post at Laurelwood and will be opening a brewpub that caters to bikes, scooters and motorcycles. I don’t think it should surprise anyone that bikes and beer go together (Fat Tire, Radler, DUIs, etc), but this is just cool.