Monthly Archive for April, 2012

Avocado Leaf Pale Ale

I was recently given a homebrew from a coworker. Not an entirely unique thing, but when she said it was brewed with avocado leaves, I was intrigued. It’s a partial-mash beer. The carbonation is great, the beer is a nice hazy pale, and the aroma is predominantly malt but with an earthy sweetness that I’m not familiar with. The taste is great – I’m actually surprised by the beer – for an extract beer it’s very clean and there’s not too much sweetness or anything. It’s really good – and there’s just something different about it that is intriguing. I’ve never had avocado leaves in anything so I have nothing to compare it to.

There’s not much hop to it, but I understand why. The leaves apparently came from a friend in Hawaii, and were steeped and added to the wort. It’s definitely a recipe worth brewing again.

Imperial BIPA

Today’s brew went from normal to Imperial when the hot liquor tank ran out of hot water. I was shooting for an IPA with a nice biscuit flavor. Thus BIPA. All told, the OG was 1.078 and I managed to pull off a full 10 gallons.

Grain

  • 18 lbs 2-row
  • 6 lbs Pilsner
  • 1 lbs Munich
  • 1 lbs Biscuit

Hops

  • 3 oz Simcoe @ 60min
  • 1 oz Newport @ 60min
  • 2 oz Simcoe @ 20 min
  • 2 oz Simcoe @ 10min
  • 1 oz Amarillo @ 7min
  • 1.5 oz Simcoe @ 5min
  • 1 oz Simcoe in keg

Other

  • 1 packet of Safale S05 in 1.5L starter
  • 1 smack pack Wyeast NW ale yeast
  • blend the two at inoculation

I debated whether to have two separate batches with a unique yeast, but given the initial gravity, I opted to mix and pitch to make sure both beers got a running start.

Oak-aged Bourbon Porter kegged

After 3 months sitting on bourbon soaked and toasted oak chips, I’ve kegged the remaining robust porter. It smells great and the sample I had while racking the beer suggests that it’s going to be a doozy. Stay tuned.

Banquet draft tower – for all your office party needs

Banquet Tap tower

I built this banquet tap tower for Michelle’s office christmas party in December. It’s a simple block of CVG Douglas fir with a hole straight-thru for a beer spigot and a partial groove in the bottom that allows it to be attached to a desktop with a C-clap. It started out as a part of a jockey-box, but after reading a fair amount, I decided that for the purposes of a party (or a wedding), the 5-gallon kegs usually get finished before they can cool down, and having the keg under the desk in a bucket of ice would be cheaper and less foamy than trying to get a jockey box dialed in.

Anyway, it worked well, looked nice, and was fun to make with some scrap I had laying around. I re-sawed some of the CVG fir to glue to the sides so that it would be CVG all the way around. It seemed a shame to have only 2 pretty sides. I didn’t finish it – and I probably should given the wet nature of beer – but unfinished fir just looks so lovely. Personally, I like it better with the short tap-handle. Next step will be to make a matching handle.