7pm Hm

I’ll just tell you the truth: today got away from me.

But I’ll tell you what; let’s try for a drink tomorrow, shall we? I’ll have a post for you then and we’ll be even steven.

Two Pales

So now my pale ale experiment has come to a conclusion and it’s time for some results!

The first one-the one I made second but had to bottle first, due to an accident-has a nice orangey nose with the malt character passing quickly into a drying sensation, not unlike white wine.

It’s also ferociously carbonated. Seriously: it was ready to go within a week of bottling and has only become more effervescent since then. It’s not impossible to drink by any means and the bubbles mean there’s a sensation of lightness as well as a palate cleansing moment that makes it fantastic with nachos. Or any other pub grub. Now I just need to find the pub that will let me bring this in so I can have it whilst eating meatball subs with bacon and chicken strips.

Dear Universe: Please make a meatball sub with bacon and chicken strips, extra provolone. For me. I’ll be extra good and write about it on the blog, I promise.

Then we have the second beer-which I brewed first but bottled second-has a sweeter flavor to it, much less hop nose and no bite, with less carbonation as well. Though the carbonation still sparks on the near-tip of my tongue, right behind where you’d taste sweet the best. From a visual perspective, they look very, very similar: I’m hard pressed even from the photos, to tell one apart from the other. They’re both clear and pretty close in hue.

This is a good beer, a little easier to drink than the other but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s the second beer I’ve had tonight or if it’s actually easier.

I mean, at some point, I’m just happy it’s homebrew. Recipes will be posted next week!

7pm I don’t wanna

I don’t want to do it today. I’m tired and have had a headache since 3pm. I forgot to do a Friday post and I’m sorry about that: I was on the road.

I’m having to endure mediocre rock hits of the 80’s. This may indicate to the regular reader that I am not at Bailey’s and that is precisely the case. I am visiting a new joint called Pints because it’s new and I want to see what’s up.

I got the Seismic IPA and it is not very IPA-ish. The nose is too malty and the bitterness at the end isn’t even bitter, it’s more dirty.

I am not happy. Not just because of this beer-which is not good-but because I am having to endure ‘Danger Zone‘ via the radio they have piped in.

I should not have to endure Danger Zone more than once a fucking decade.

This atmosphere is bad and they should feel bad. I mean, who is this for? Who is this place trying bring in, with their beer not to style and their Bon Jovi? Is this for business types who don’t care? Hipsters? The beer isn’t good enough for the beer crowd and the setting doesn’t feel social enough for the social crowd. There just isn’t any personality, to me, but worst of all: the beer just isn’t good. A good beer will overcome a lot of other misfires.

I need to go. Too late, I realize I’ve forgotten to take a picture. The bartender is nice enough; asks me how I liked the IPA.

Sigh. I hate being the bearer of bad news. I just want to go home. But I try to break it to him in a constructive way, what I felt was wrong (nose, bitterness, an unpleasant taste at the end) and let it go. He tells me he thinks their IPA is better than Walking Man’s and I just don’t know how to respond, except to say thank you for the service.

Lawnmower Season Has Begun

It’s my opinion the best part of yardwork is the beer you get to have afterward. I probably said that before and I’ll likely said as long as I have to go out and do yardwork.

I was fortunate enough to snag an Omission ale when Rob Widmer kindly brought some by to the Oregon Brew Crew for our meeting last Thursday and I saved it just for today because it looks like the kind of beer to have after mowing.

Gluten free ales seem  to be all the rage, lately. Can’t for the life of me understand why. Is there really that big of a market for gluten-free beers? I suppose so since Widmer seems to be on the track and I’m told many other people will be following suit, not to mention all the smaller breweries mining this particular vein.

Now how they made this beer is unknown: proprietary secrets, I’m told, at least for now but here’s what I can tell you: it tastes like a lager to me man. The Saaz nose hint, a touch of corn chip flavor at the end, it all adds up to a summertime hot day thirst quencher. I wouldn’t always pick this beer but almost hot days certainly wouldn’t refuse one- hell I might even look for it.

Also if I’m having a beer before noon this is definitely on the list of things to have because it isn’t going to throw me off for a big drunken loop that’s always a good thing.

I can’t quite place it but there is something a little off about its taste, a little strange something. Who knows, maybe it’s because everything is so close? It is almost as if they hit this the right end of the uncanny valley for beers where gluten-free brews taste so close to an actual beer that almost there but they’re still something just a hint off, I just can’t place it. I just know it’s a little different.

Nevertheless I approve of this beer I look forward to further refinements but there might make to the Omission.

7pm Conditional Love

You know, I got nothin’ today. Let’s talk about the beer.

It’s a pale ale by Falling Sky and it’s got the bitterness of an IPA. This isn’t working for me, which is odd to say since I usually like IPAs. However, without some malt backbone to bridge from a no-beer moment to a hop moment and carry me back again, I’m hard pressed to enjoy this ale. Perhaps I’ve had this beer too soon in the season and I’d like it more in the early Summer.

I can’t say that the beer is flawed, so much as I can say that it’s just not to style.

I have a sudden need for totchoes. Pulled pork with ’em. This beer would actually go great with a run of tatchoes, a fat wedge of lime squeezed over it all, pulled pork in the middle. Or, barbeque. Any barbeque.  Hearty sausages grilled into skewers with peppers and potatoes, hint of sauce. I can get behind that.

Damnit. Now I’m hungry.

So this beer makes me hungry. Is that a good beer or a bad one? It certainly has its place but if I’m going to insist (which I have) that if a beer requires a piece of fruit in order to be good, then it’s not a proper beer, then I suppose saying that this beer would be good with fries gives this beer a qualifier that also falls under the fruit category.

That run on sentence sounded better in my head. It probably also made more sense but what’cha gonna do? You’re here, I’m here. That sentence is out there and it can’t be taken back anymore. You’re going to have to love me for it, despite it all.

There’s a Tshirt waiting to happen. “You’re going to have to love me for it, despite it all.”

But not this beer. I can make my love for beer conditional.

A very short SB&WF review

I volunteered at the Spring Beer & Wine Fest for the Oregon Brew Crew on Friday night. The event seemed a little less active than in previous years and I wasn’t sure why. Other volunteers suggested that it was because we were having our first truly nice day in four months and I suppose that’s as good a reason as any.

But I wasn’t going to let something like the sun get in the way of free beer tastings. So with my tokens for volunteering, I went around and checked out a few breweries I’d never heard of before.

Goodlife Brewing had an interesting beer in their 29’er India Brown Ale. I didn’t dig on the combo because I got more pine notes than I would’ve liked but I think it could be done.

Harvester Brewing had an amazing dark ale that had roasted chestnuts in it. Whatever they’re doing next, I want to try.

Mt. Tabor Brewing had a cascadian dark ale that everyone else loved but I hated. It was everything I don’t like in a CDA: hops with a acrid coffee flavor at the end.

Flyer’s Brewery had a Peacemaker Porter I liked.

Long Brewing did a kolsh that I thought was solid.

And that’s that.

7pm That’s weird

I’m drinking Beer Valley‘s Heavy Sugar’s Braggot, which has a spicy flavor at the end, not unlike a beer that has been given a jalapeno kick. It’s not quite as intense but it’s certainly notable to me, as I’m sensitive to such flavors.

I don’t think it’s supposed to be like that. It’s so unusual, I have to go back up and make sure I was served the correct beer. I was. Geoff has a sample of the beer. The look on his face tells me a lot but I ask anyway: “I’m not crazy, am I?”

“No, you’re not,” he says with a shake of his head.

So now I’ve got a mystery on my hands. I was served the correct beer, we’ve verified that. Still, something is wrong and nobody has a description of the beer or what’s going on with it so…everyone is at a loss.

I kind of love this. Nobody knows anything and all there is to do is wait until other sources talk to the people at Bailey’s and give more data.

But in the meantime, I kinda hate this beer. I have said before: I do not drink beer to get spicy flavors, I drink it to kill spicy flavors. On top of that, there is the jarring moment between what I’m expecting and what I’ve gotten that I can’t get around. Let’s get something else, because I’m certain I can do better than this beer.

On the other hand, there’s a chance I’ll be able to talk about this beer again later when more information comes up, which means I’ll have something else to write about. That’s always cool.

The best beer I should never pour

So, for anyone who wants to know how the dunkel I made turned out…it’s pretty much in the title.

Sad but true. There’s some awesome flavors in the actual beer itself; coffee and chocolate, very smooth and it’s a lighter beer, very drinkable from a mouthfeel perspective.

But if you pour it, as I have done here, then you’re in for a bad time. There’s a very strong sulfur note there and there’s just no getting around the fact that this is very, very offputting to anyone who wants to, say, drink it.

Now, on the upside, I bottle my beer. So if I don’t put this into a glass, voila! Problem (mostly) solved. It’s almost all upside. And it’s way better than the last lager I attempted to make.

Still, it’s not quite there and, though I tried to give the yeast a diacytil rest to cut down on the sulfur note, it was to no avail. Still, there’s always next year.


Brew Date: 2.8.12

.75 lb 2 row
.25 Cafka 2
.25 Caramel

7 lb LME

1 oz Crystal @ 60
.75 oz Hallertauer @ 15

McPolander yeast from Wyeast-this yeast was acquired from Europe and is part of an experiment done with the Oregon Brew Crew.

OG: 1.064

FG: 1.016

TG: 1.024

ABV: 6.25%

Additional notes: Made a starter using 1cup dry malt extract, 4cups water, boiled, put into growler and set aside for a night.
Pitched yeast when wort was approx 54 degrees, set into dark room, hoped for best. No action so after 24 hrs I put it into laundry room: 4 days later it had gone up to 60 and started to get active, put back into subbasement.
3 days in subbasement, sulfur coming off brew (at about 58 degrees) so moved into slightly warmer climes for 2 days, until I didn’t smell sulfur coming off and then back to subbasement, temps got down to about 56.

3.11.12-bottling day
Still a strong scent of sulfur as I put it into the bottling bucket. I’d put it into the laundry room two days prior in order to work off some of those flavors but it doesn’t look like that worked.