Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Eve menu 2015

Adult Cheese plate with figs and fresh fruit
Pettole - anchovy, locatelli
Clams Casino
Fried smelt
Smoked Salmon
Baccala with potatoes/onions
Grilled Shrimp
Grilled Pompano with Lime

Mike's seafood pasta (crab, clams, anchovy)

Mini hot dogs
cheese plate

Tammy cookies 
Cream wafers
Cherry chocolate kiss
Blueberry cheesecake
Cherry cheese cake
Pumpkin Log

Christmas Eve Tap list 2015

Here is the Christmas Eve tap list:
“Nollaig shona duit”
That’s how to say “Merry Christmas” in the Irish.
Thank you for coming to our house to celebrate Christmas Eve.
Here is what is on tap for 2015:

German Vienna Lager: 5% ABV
Gem├╝tlichkeit is a German saying that describes the good feeling of the holidays. German Vienna is a light colored and malty German lager. Hopefully you experience this feeling here tonight.

Mrs. Claus’ Secret
American Pale Ale: 5% ABV
What makes Mr. Claus so jolly? What indeed.
This blonde ale is a hoppy, light colored beer that boasts plenty of aroma from American hops. Her secret is late kettle hops to make the beer flavorful and not bitter. Columbus, Apollo, Simcoe, Cascade is the hop blend.

American Stout: 5% ABV
If Santa drinks a few of these he most certainly could get himself into trouble.  This dark roasty beer has notes of chocolate and caramel.
Pull the tap forward to fill glass. Let the beer settle for a minute or two and then push the tap backward for a creamy head.

Le Chevelle est levee
French/Belgian Saison : 6% ABV
A little play on words for our good friend Michael’s favorite toy.
Saison is fruity and spicy ale that is flavor driven by the special yeast that makes it.  See if you can figure the underlying flavors as well as the inspiration for this beer’s name. Hint on the name – One of Cosmo’s friends

Wild Elf
American Wild Ale: 5.2% ABV
Ale made with real wild elf. Aged on black and red currants from the garden along with various wild cultures from a Michigan brewery.

Jamison Cask Ale: 3.5% ABV

Low alcohol easy drinking cask ale for the cook.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Saison - 09/07/15

September 7, 2015.  109 days until Christmas Eve.

This is beer one of the tap list for this years Christmas Eve. A Saison is a orange colored beer with fruit and spice flavors from the Saison yeast strain. I used White Labs 585 - Saison III. This yeast is supposed to be fruity and produce an easy drinking beer.

Brew day was uneventful. I did throw a little spice in the end of the boil - 3 camomile tea bags.
I also used 1/2# brown sugar and 1/2# of white sugar.
This was also a split batch. I pitched a Brett Saison from The Yeast Bay into a separate carboy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fat Tire in Jamison!

First Fat Tire in Jamison

I picked up two beers in the Lips of Faith series so they are distributing their sours as well.

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Belgium Brewing distributing in PA starting 8/31/15

Be prepared to see this logo around town as New Belgium is finally coming to PA.
Fat Tire is sometimes considered a "Craft gateway beer", but I always enjoy one whenever  I go out west. It was a pleasant treat that I looked forward to. Now I can enjoy one at home.

Hopefully their Lips of Faith line will be distributed as well.

If only we could see more Cantillion and Heretic!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 Harvest Pale Ale - 08/16/15

Harvested my hops today. I bit early this year but this when the schedule allows so I picked the top cones of the bones and donated the rest of the hops. I ended up with 1# dried hops (Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, Cascade) with the later two being double the first by weight.
I ended up with as 5 gallon bucket full of dried hops for a 8 gallon batch.
Grain bill - 65% 2 row, 27% 6 row, 5% victory, 3% c20
I bittered with a small amount of Warrior for 18 ibus at 60 minutes. The harvest hops were added at flameout and I had a 30 minute stand. I then chilled with a immersion chiller for about 70 minutes to 65F, then rested 30 minutes to let everything drop out.
Transferred to 2 carboys with OG 1.056.

The brewery was super hot - close to a 100F  while brewing. The boil was controlled as it should have been. The relay in the control panel must not switch off correctly with the heat.  I've had this problem before. If this starts occurring more often I may have to replace the boil circuit relay, but my gut tells me the control panel is too small. With all the man hours I have into that panel, I'm hoping this is an occasional problem on hot days.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hoe de Garden (Belgian Wit) and Little Cousin (American Pale Ale) 05/16/2015

Hoe de Garden - Belgian Wit - OG 1.046
Spiced with Orange/Grapefruit peel, chamomile, coriander
50/50 wheat/pils
mash ph 5.29 -
no sparge
Bella hop bittering/Hallertau (5 grams) flameout
WLP400 - 1L starter 1 day

Little Cousin - American Pale Ale OG 1.046
Golden promise 93%, 7% carafoam
mash ph 5.3 - no sparge
All flameout hops (9oz-3oz of each) Chinook, Columbus,Galaxy whirlpool 10 minutes
2 oz of Columbus at start of chilling.
Chill to 70f
Rest for 45min.
Pitch WLP001 - 1L starter 1 day

Brewery issue - I have an oring going bad on a hose connector. I pulled the connector out and will replace it before it leaks or causes a burn.
No pressure fermentation for 30 hours then put air lock on.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nita Nee Stout - Irish Dry Stout - 4/25/15

Second brew of day - Irish Dry stout.
I was going to do a no sparge but I forgot to add roasted barley at mash out so I did a batch sparge.
Overshoot target will have to cut with boiled water to drop the alcohol level.
Used a 3/4# rice that we didn't like - it should be just sugar in the boil.
London Ale - wlp013, flaked barley, 2 row, roasted barley - EKG.
Was fermenting in a few hours and is pretty much at terminal gravity in 3 days.
Counterflow chiller.
No issues on brew day.
The new grain mill is great.

All Nighter - English Standard Bitter - 04/25/15

Today is a double brew day to build the pipeline for Shannon's graduation party.
First up an English Standard Bitter.
Hoped with Bramling Cross - mildly hopped. Hoping for a little interesting flavor.
My favorite "English malt" - Golden Promise, 1/2# of English C120, 1/4# of special roast, and 1/4# of invert#2. 
Yorkshire Yeast -repitch from English Brown Ale - 3 week old yeast.

New mill - Monster mill - used standard gap setting and it is a much better mill.
Used counterflow chiller and no sparge to speed up brew day.
No issues - was fermenting in a few hours.

Summer Session - Kolsch 04/18/15

Brewed a Kolsch today. I actually made a double batch and split the fermentation between WLP003, WLP029, Wyeast 2565. I have heard that 2565 is sometimes preferred over WLP029 so I wanted to check that out and wlp003 is a platinum White labs Kolsch strain that I happened to pick up.

I had some mill issues again and I've decided to replace my mill with a different brand.
I ordered a Monster Mill at the end of this brewday. I was tired of fighting with the other mill.

Had to double grind the grain because the mill was not crushing the kernels. I ended up overshooting my conversion efficiency and will add boiled water back to cut the alcohol level back down to a more session beer. This is beer three for Shannon's graduation party, three more to go.

I used Kolsch malt, it's a little like a vienna but not as sweet.
Hallertauer Mittelfrueh hops.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lady Luck Lager - Munich Helles - 4/3/15

I brewed a Munich Helles tonight. Munich Helles is one of my favorite styles.
Easy drinking malt focused pale gold clean lager.
This beer will be on tap for Shannon's graduation party.

Summary of brew Day:
I'm still using the Northern Brewer mill. The problem is that the rollers don't always grab the grain and if they do the husk isn't always broken. Once I get a coupon I'll be getting a Monster Mill.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Over the Wall (Berliner Weisse) and Don't Get Grahammed (English Brown Ale) 3/21/15

Double batch brew day. The next 5 or 6 beers are to be served at Shannon's graduation party June 13.
A couple problems on brew day (mill, mash tun temperature probe):
1. The Northern Brewer mill that I bought to replace the barley crusher is not very good. I had to keep playing with the gap to get it crush. That will be going up on eBay. I'm going to purchase a Monster Mill and hopefully that will resolve my ongoing mill issues.
2. The temperature probe on my mash tun has been finicky. It was giving all kinds of strange readings on brew day the last few brew days. I ordered a new probe and sent the other back for repair. I should have a spare anyway.
Here are the beers brewed:

Berliner weisse:
Berliner weisse was 50%pils, 40% wheat, 10% flaked barley.
Mash hop - 15 minute boil
Split fermentation
4 day .75L starter of Omega Labs Lactobacillus blend for 72 hours at 67F
4 day .75L starter of White Labs Lactobacillus Brevis for 72 hours at 67F
Then split 1L starter of Wyeast German Ale into each.
4% ABV

English Brown Ale:
83% Maris Otter/Golden Promise
4% special roast
4% victory
4% c60
5% pale chocolate
EKG 25 IBU - First wort, then 14 grams at 20 min.
Split fermentation wlp013, wlp037
4.5% ABV

Next up: Kolsch

Wednesday, March 11, 2015



“… utepils simply means any beer enjoyed outside, at any time of the year, but it is true that the first one of the season is a much anticipated ritual.” Inspired by http://thebeerengineblog.com

Amen Brother.  All the snow isn't gone, but it's been a long winter. Two days of 50 plus weather and some of the lawn is visible and the garden is only 6" deep. It's been a long time since I raised a glass to the setting sun after work. Come on spring...
I'm looking for aparagus shoots before hop shoots...

This particular beer is a 1890 recipe from Whitbread brewery - Mild X.
See Ron's blog for "The Homebrewers Guide To Vintage Beer":

Shut up about Barclay Perkins: Let's Brew Wednesday - 1911 Heineken Pils

Shut up about Barclay Perkins: Let's Brew Wednesday - 1911 Heineken Pils

Multiple LBW posts? Something must be lurking for the finale!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Little Joe 2/28/15

The never ending winter and I haven't brewed in a long time.
I decided this morning with the temperature forecasted to break 32 degree/0 Celsius I was going to brew. So I came up with a 5% Pale Ale recipe targeting 30 ibus. All late hops (hop bursting) using Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe and good fresh WLP001 in a 1.5L starter.

I brew in the garage with the electric brewery so weather isn't a problem but I still need water.
Water source was frozen, so I had to come up with an alternate water source to run through the carbon filter. The temperature dropped to 20 degrees before brew day was finished.
I used the hop back and the counter flow chiller. Chilled the wort to 68 no problem.
I still like the immersion chiller the best but with the water so cold and the chance to use the hop back I used the counterflow. I'll have to rig both counterflow and plate chiller up at the same time and see if I can drop the temperature fast as I want.
I'm going to make another batch of this beer using the immersion chiller and see I can taste the difference.

Check the wort today on 3/9/15 and I'm at 1.014. So maybe a few more points to drop in gravity then I'll keg it up for St. Joseph's Feast Day on 3/19.

 My patron saint don't you know. 

What else would a little Paddy like to drink other than a low abv American Pale Ale!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Vintage Beer -book review

I read an interesting book tonight.
Vintage Beer by Patrick Dawson

I cracked open the last bottle of Russian Imperial Stout I brewed in 2009 during the read.

If you're into aging beers, it's a good read.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Stout - Guinness - Batch 200 tasting notes

Tasting notes for:

Served on beer engine:
Smooth, creamy, roasty, dark sugars, dark fruit esters.
This will be my stout recipe for a while. I should have made a double batch.

This is on the beer engine now. So, if you want some, stop over soon before it's gone!