OBF part 2

OBF 2006

Went back to the brewers festival again on Saturday with Joe, Lindsay, Chris, John and Curtis and sampled many more beers. We had a decent time though failed to get any more Pliny. There were plenty of great beers and I think my favorite from day 2 were as follows.

Laurelwood Organic Green Mammoth – Hugely hoppy and malty IPA. Not nearly as sweet as the other doubles so the hops really stood out.

Rock Bottom Ned Flanders – Deep red, complex aromas and delightfully tart. One of the most unique at the even.

Widmer Hooligan – A sorghum, corn and honey ale with a peculiarly light golden body, fresh flower aroma and sweet honey taste. Again – very unique.

Elysian Bit Frost. Christmas in July with this auburn spicy warmer.

Boundary Bay Double Dry Hopped Pale – fresh hop aroma and flavors without too much bitterness. Balanced body and clean finish.

OBF part 1

Stopped by the brewers festival for a few hours yesterday and sampled some lovely beers.

  • Standing Stone Double IPA
  • Deep amber, sweet and citrus aroma, but the large malty and sweet body hides the 95IBUs so there’s just a mild, managble bitter.
  • Water Street Big Phatty Imperial Red
    • Dark copper with lots of small bubbles. Strong aged malt aroma with burst of floral. Carmel sweetness with dry woody finish.
  • Russian River Pliny the Elder
    • pitchy golden body with great clarity and active carbonation. Intense hop aroma – sharp resin, pine, and citrus. Taste bursts with citrus and packs a full body with ample malt goodness and suggestions of alcohol. Amazing!
  • Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury … Ale
    • Dark syrup with brown foam. Smokey peated aroma. Thick chocolate knot of flavor with orange crisp finish.

    Liquid Diet

    Last winter my dad and I were walking along a beach north of Roads End, Oregon talking about the legend of some Bavarian city that was under siege that converted all it’s grain to beer instead of bread because it had more calories. We figured it was mostly BS but a great story none the less. We also discussed what that much alcohol would do to your body. From his experience as an ER physician, he said it was entirely possible to last long periods of time on just calories from alcohol. The human body is an amazing thing.

    The discussion left us with some amount of uncertainty as to how long the feudal village could actually last under siege. Thank god for the Internet, because some crazy Atlantan is actually going on a Liquid Diet consisting of beer and water.

    My only suggestions – watch your blood pressure too. And keep the posts coming. In the name of Science!

    Michella IPA

    Here’s a slight variation on Ipanema that I’m brewing for Michelle’s postnatal enjoyment. She gave up beer and coffee without too much fuss or complaint when she found out she was pregnant, and I even gave it up for a while. Soon she’ll be able to have a little herself, so I’d better get this one brewed.

    Grain bill:

    • 7 lbs LME
    • 1.5 lbs domestic 2-row
    • 1 lbs domestic Munich
    • 0.5 lbs Belgian biscuit


    • 1.25 oz Palisades @ 60 min. (9.7% aa)
    • 1.50 oz Palisades @ 10 min.
    • 1.0 oz Palisades @ 5 min.
    • 1.0 oz Palisades @ 2 min.
    • 1.0 oz Palisades @ secondary


    • Fermentis us-58 dry yeast (with 1 liter starter)
    • Irish Moss

    This one will have to be fermented in the basement since it cools down to 80F in the house overnight.

    Ambiorix tapped

    I tapped Ambiorix a few nights ago and have been quite pleased with the results. When poured, it’s not as dark as the beer in the fermenter, so it could pass as a golden if you were in a dark room. The taste is rather clean, sweet and slightly fruity; not as complex as I’d hoped, but still nice enough, especially on a hot evening.

    IPAnema tapped

    I tapped IPAnema tonight to make sure I wasn’t serving ham-beer at my friend’s wedding tomorrow. I’m pleased to announce that it rocks. I’m glad I dropped the Simcoe hops into the keg – it gave it back a little of the floral, but not as much as I’d hoped for. Still – it’s good. Hopefully the 6% beverage doesn’t cause trouble.

    Anheuser-Busch tries organic

    It looks like the big AB is trying an organic brew. It’s currently just a pilot in California, but it could mean good things for organic brewers. I suppose it could also mean bad things for organic beers and farms. The corporatization of organic foods has basically undone much of the benefit of organic farming by creating “organic” factory farms and dairies. Let’s see what happens with the pilot.

    Ambiorix moved to secondary

    I moved Ambiorix to secondary this morning. The original gravity was disappointingly low at 1.058 (should have been 1.070) and I’m worried that it may not have been an accurate reading. The gravity this morning was already at 1.018, which is a decent place to be. This could be a darker, sweeter beer than I anticipated. The taste at this point was pleasant though – the yeast gives it some good fruity flavors and I’m hoping that secondary will allow some more settling and lightening.

    This is my first time using a Belgian yeast strain and I have an unfounded fear that it would infect my other batches, so I cleaned the fermenter very thoroughly after racking to secondary. My fear comes from a cask stout I had at the Lucky Lab last year that was hot & estery and tasted like the machine hadn’t been cleaned well enough. I don’t want any residual yeast in my next batch since it’s for Michelle. She’s getting a custom IPA.

    Ambiorix Golden Strong Ale

    Since Michelle can’t drink beer right now, I thought it would be fun to brew something that I would not ordinarily try. Yesterday I brewed my first Belgian-style beer; a golden strong ale. Since it is a partial mash recipe, the wort was a little darker than I anticipated even though I used 1/2 pale and 1/2 pilsner liquid extract. Live and learn, I guess.

    • 4 lbs light LME
    • 4 lbs extra-light LME
    • 1 lbs Carapils (steeped)
    • 1 lbs Cane Sugar
    • 1 oz Santiam (6.5% aa) @ 60 min
    • 1 oz Santiam (6.5% aa) @ 10 min
    • 1 oz Crystal (3.9% aa) @ 8 min
    • 1.5 oz Crystal (3.9% aa) @ 2 min
    • Fermentis T-58 dry ale yeast

    I pitched a starter for the yeast on Friday and the stuff wasted no time turning the wort into beer – I had fermentation within 6 hours and this morning it was going crazy. I’ll be watching the temperature to see if it gets too warm, in which case I’ll move it down into the basement.