Monthly Archive for July, 2009

Oakshire's Imperial IPAs

My friend Joe dropped off a sample of Oakshire’s two Imperial IPAs because I had to miss the Sasquatch Brew Fest, and because he’s a nice guy. He’s also a stellar brewer, as is evident after having sampled both of the IIPAs. One, Hop Vice, was smooth and interesting without being overly sweet, and the Amarillos gave it a very lovely bitter and aromatic quality. The Perfect Storm is more of a Northwest style Imperial IPA, though not nearly as intoxicatingly sweet as most, and it kept a better balance of ingredients than most in the style. Both had what I consider an appropriate amount of bitter, and a perfect amount of hop aroma and sweet, citrusy flavor that makes me weak in the knees. I doubt there’s any way to pick these up anywhere soon, but next year, do yourself a favor and cop one.

*note* I know this comes off as total ass kissing, but Joe’s a great friend, a great brewer, and he hooked me up with these great beers.

Flask failure

While I was drying off my 1 liter Erlenmeyer flask yesterday, I heard a strange pop. I had just used it to culture a yeast starter for a beer, and after cleaning it up, there was a sickening clink that caused me to pause. A quick check revealed a long crack across the bottom of the flask. Luckily, this didn’t happen while I was boiling a mini-wort for the starter, or when I set the nearly boiling contents in to an ice bath. Best yet, it didn’t happen when the vessel was full of a bajillion yeast cells waiting to eat my fermentable sugars and poop out alcohol.

Do not use

Do not use

Now it’s time to shop for a new one. 1L has worked fine, but wouldn’t 2L be finer?

Nugget Please!

I just finished brewing an IPA for my friends’ wedding at the end of the month. Scott is also brewing several beers for the occasion and I offered to take on one of the batches to lighten his burned a bit. I love brewing for people’s weddings – people I know anyway – and love it when the beer actually turns out well. Normally I’ve just brewed pales or hoppy ambers to have something that was accessible for guests. This time I’m brewing an IPA that’d I’d drink. It highlights Nugget hops for the sole reason that I could name it “Nugget Please,” which is a play on an ODB album from back in college when Tom and I met. He and I both enjoy our hip-hop, and while ODB is neither of our favorites, it was much better than the other name I’d come up with that I’ll tell you in private at some time in the future if you’re curious.

Anyway, ( I start a paragraph with “anyway” when it becomes apparent that I need to be doing something other than blogging) the beer finished at 1.060 and will probably finish around 6% abv (a little high for weddings…forgive me..) but also clocks in at around 80 IBU, which is also a little high for a wedding. Oh well, Nugget please.

malt bill

  • 12 lbs 2-row
  • 1 lbs domestic Munich
  • 1 lbs domestic wheat
  • 1 lbs domestic crystal 20L

hop bill

  • 1.5 oz Nugget (14% aa) @ 60 minutes
  • 1 oz Nugget @ 15 min
  • 0.5 Nugget @ 10 min
  • 1 oz Amarillo (8% aa) @ 5 min
  • 1 oz Amarillo @ 2 min
  • 2 oz Nugget in the keg

I got some Safale S-05 for the yeast. Couldn’t bring myself to put Chimay yeast in to something that promises to be raw and crude.

Dark obSession

Thirstday Thursday night Michelle, Madeline and I walked over to Saraveza for their Black Session tailgate party. It was a warm evening, but the place was crowded. We tried to get on a list to try the beer, ended up sharing a table with a great couple who were also there to try the new darker sibling of session. After a bit of a wait, we had our first sample of the dark substance. Simply put, it’s a good beer. The darkness is actually a nice nutty and almost but not quite peaty version of the lighter session. The beer is simple but still interesting, and really could be the perfect domestic answer to something like Negra Modelo.

The brewer John Harris was on hand and mingling. I thanked him for last fall’s doppelboch and picked his brain about their use of super high alpha hops (CTZs) as the only hops in Grandson of Spot IPA. Then I had to eat dinner. It was one of the best (if not the) best Bratwurst I’ve ever had. The brat itself was perfectly cooked, juicy, spicy and sweet. Then, it was topped with mustard, ketchup, onions, sauerkraut, and sweet relish. I was rather nervous about the relish, but it was great.

Happy Craft Beer Month

July in Oregon is awesome. Our governor will soon proclaim this to be Craft Beer Month, and we’ll celebrate the work of our brewing sons and daughters. How do you celebrate craft beer month? Find an event of course! There’s the obvious Oregon Brewers Festival later this month, but there are so many smallish events this month that there’s probably something pouring near you. The Oregonian (it’s one of those old fashioned newspapers) had a great pull-out in the June 30th edition that you can fold up and stick in your pocket like a smartphone, though it works better for swatting flies than does a phone.