Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category

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But What Does it Taste Like?

November 23, 2008

Coors two new advertising campaigns are based on it’s cans.  The first extols the virtue of the wide mouth, the better to ‘git it in ya’, while the second brags about cans that tell you when the beer is cold because it is so damned difficult to gauge the temperature of your own beer.

I guess that’s how it goes when your beer is devoid of any actual flavor.

Maybe their next ad campaign needs to involve sex and canoes.

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Bad Beer

September 19, 2008

I had a batch of beer go bad.  I’ve been brewing off and on for 15 years (mainly off) and this was the first batch that went bad.

Actually, it wasn’t the entire batch.  I brewed somewhere around 8.5 gallons (I was shooting for 10) and it was sitting in two 5 gallon carboys waiting to be kegged. It was my first attempt at all-grain brewing, a nice, light, hoppy IPA, perfect for late summer.

Well, either I didn’t properly sanitize the carboy or the racking hose because when we got home from our honeymoon, I found a secondary fermenter with 5 gallons of beer and about 4 ounces of cottage cheese growing in it.  Manny thinks we should have at least tried it before pouring it out but I’m not that brave.

It was a real bummer to pour it out but it was actually a good reminder of the importance of properly sanitizing our beer gear.  We’ve made a lot of beer in the past year and a half with no problems and I think I was probably getting a little lax when cleaning up.  I mean, why go to all the trouble of sanitizing every single surface!  The beer always seems to be fine.

Well, now I know.  It is not always fine.

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Wedding Pictures

September 8, 2008

Here are a couple of photos from the wedding.

We’ll upload the rest of them to a photo sharing site once we get them and I’ll post the link.  You can click each photo to enlarge.

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Turkey Day!

November 21, 2007

No posting for a couple of days as we’re heading west towards the Hood Canal for a Thanksgiving extravaganza.

We got a house full of people, a turkey to fry and all of the fixings.  My brother and a friend of ours from High School are in the air, winging their way towards Seattle as I type.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Lazy Man’s Ale

May 9, 2007

Working late with little time for blogging.

Here’s the latest beer label.

Manny, Master Brewer, realized the beer needed to age a little longer to bring out some of the more subtle flavors. He wisely let it sit in the fermenter for a couple extra weeks.

Hence the name.

Lazy Man’s Red

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Manny’s Red Ale

February 28, 2007

I came in this evening after work to the wondrous smell of grains steeping on the stove.

Yes! Manny was making beer.

With the Porter safely bottled away, it was time to start on the next batch.

Manny had made a trip back to the Cellar over the weekend and brought back the ingredients for a red ale. Today was his day off so he was able to get an early afternoon start on the brew.

One thing you quickly learn, unless you’re brewing with kegs or doing big batches, you’re still going to have to buy beer.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the three of us combined drink a six pack of beer a night on average. That’s 72 ounces a night, 504 ounces a week. A five gallon batch of beer is only 640 ounces and that’s a lot of work for less than ten days worth of beer.

Actually though, that’s OK with me. I don’t want to give up all of great beers we have up here in the Northwest.

Here, Manny is in the midst of steeping the grains:

Steeping the Beer

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Victory Porter

February 25, 2007

The beer is done!

Last night, Michele, Manny, Brook and I cracked open a couple of cold bottles and it tasted great. It’s got great color and a nice creamy head. Delicious stuff!

The beer was bottled a couple of weeks back the night before the Superbowl. My least favorite part of bottling is the cleaning and thankfully, Brook and Michele were nice enough to take care of that step. Fortunately we have an old slate sink in the basement that made the job a lot easier.

Bottles in Sink

Cleaning Bottles

Along with Brook and Michele, Hawey was also over for the bottling party. Besides some minor confusion with one of the pieces of tubing, it was a painless project (and later, when I got online to figure out the weird tubing, I learned that the way we finally decided to do it was actually the right way). Overall it took about around three hours but we weren’t really in any hurry.

Group Shot

After we bottled it up, we put them in the closet above the basement stairs. They sat undisturbed for a couple of weeks until last Friday when I opened one to see if it were ready. It tasted good but it was pretty flat. I suspected that the closet wasn’t getting warm enough to get the yeast going. So I moved the bottles to Alli’s room, putting them on the floor surrounding a heater vent and covering them with a blanket. I think it helped because a week later they opened with a satisfying hiss of CO2.

The recipe is from The Celler Homebrew up at 145th and Greenwood. I’ll definitely try it again.

Since the beer was bottled the night before the Superbowl, I am naming it in honor of the Indianapolis Colts. It’s the Victory Porter.

Cheesy, yes, but not as cheesy as the labels I cooked up last night.

Victory Porter Label

And defintely not as cheesy as this picture of the bottes around my signed Edgerrin James football.

Victory Porters

(Special Note: The idea to put the bottles around the football was mine but I had an assist on the overall design from one Manny Hamburger, cheese display designer and Patriots fan. “Hills and valleys, Joe. Hills and valleys.”)