Sor-Rye Too

I like this photo but it’s not representative of how foamy the Sor-Rye is, for the most part. It’s pours a good head on it, fir certain, with some nice grassy notes in the aroma. Doubling the amount of Sorachi Ace hops does seem to have done the trick: I’ve got a nice hop presence throughout but…I was expecting something more lemony, more citrus.

When I was describing this beer to a pal, he said; How did you come up with the recipe? And I told him I’d read about the concept in a book and thought it sounded good.

“So, you’re expecting it to taste like something but you have no idea how it should taste?”

Oh. Well when you put it like that suddenly this beer seems as lot better. There’s a nice malty streak in the middle, a bit roasted as something one might find in a scotch ale. I’m going to chalk that up to the red wheat malt, which was a new addition for this beer. It worked.

I think that Sor-Rye needs a little hop variety. The Sorachi are fine but maybe something to help accentuate either the nose or the bitterness might help this beer stand a little taller.

That said, it’s a good one and will probably go into regular rotation.

Brew Date 2.23.14

Steeping malts
2 lb c80
1 lb rye
1 lb red wheat

Fermentables
7 lb LME

Hops
1.5 oz Sorachi Ace @60
1.5 oz Sorachi Ace @30
1 oz Sorachi Ace @ 5

Yeast
British II-Wyeast, starter made 12 hrs previous

OG 1.072

FG 1.02

ABV 7.04%

Bottled 3.15

Where I Want To Go: Eagle Eye

At the Eagle Eye. It’s a day of terrible food and ok beer and we hope for the bestest.

Still, I am in needs and I want to make myself known more at places near my living space. The only way to do that is to go there and have yourself a drink or two.

I’m less enamored with the tap list and the Upright #4 Wheat I’ve ordered is in line with that. It’s got the mouthfeel I would expect from a wheat, a bit of density I can feel around the middle and sides of my tongue but there’s a saison element, strong clove flavors from the yeast, I presume- that if I’d known was there I probably would’ve avoided it. I don’t think this beer is flawed, it’s just not for me.

I gotta remember to research myself in situations like this. I knew there were bottles before I arrived! I should’ve chosen one of them, because the selection of bottles is pretty broad, albeit focused on the major breweries. And beer from a bottle or can? Totally OK.

Food is…no. Don’t do that. I am rewarded with what I expected, though. It’s hearty. It isn’t good.

80’s-ish “rock” is on via the radio and this is not a place that suggests such music. The Eagle Eye is not pedantic and dull. There’s local art of the odd and possibly macabre variety on the walls. Big, shiny speakers are mounted on the wall to blare sound (which they aren’t doing but still,the potential is there!) The walls are in vibrant colors, deep blues, pale greens, yellows: all very rich.

I feel like there’s an identity that hasn’t been established here yet. It’s waiting for something, though I am not sure what. What I do know is that Starship’s “We Built This City” has no place here. Or anywhere, really but especially here.

The Eagle Eye is off to a decent start though because the beer selection is good and the staff is nice, so there’s a good vibe. The patrons seem to know the bartender and everyone is friendly, which is always a good sign in my opinion. She’s telling a story to the patrons about how she failed her driving test (short version, too many attempts to make small talk with the tester lead to distractions).

I just think it needs to embrace its weird side, instead of trying to be a little bit of something for anyone. Go full out. If the vibe continues to be kind, you’ll bring in the locals as well as the weirdos.

Spring Beer & Wine Fest 2014 (reviews)

I both attended and served at the Spring Beer & Wine fest and for the most part, I had a pretty good time. I never really click with the SB&WF, though. There are so many non-beer related things that I wonder what’s going on.

Also, as a server, just a PSA for everyone wanting a beer: behave. I am a volunteer, not your friend and they don’t pay me enough to put up with your shit.

And now, the (mildly) edited notes!

Krauskis Gun Barrel IIPA is solid, sweet, grapefruit but not just bitter! I liked this beer because it had more to offer than the standard grapefruit bitterness. Look for more of their stuff int the future.

Heathen Vanstersam (pictured) a pale with a grassy nose, light beer nice finish.  I liked this beer enough to serve at Heathen’s station the next day and was glad I was able to recommend it vs their IPA, which was also good but stole far too much attention.

3 Mugs imperial red has a whip cream nose and banana finish. Creamy but not a good thing for the style.

Backwoods Blueberry wheat. Has a nice blueberry nose that runs through. Not heavy and the blueberry isn’t overpowering. Good beer.

Fire Mountain Summer IPA. Not bitter. Sweetness is cloying? Ugh not for me. (I was nicer to this beer than perhaps I should have been, because I got into a conversation with someone who really liked it. However, it didn’t have any characteristics of an IPA; nothing in the nose, not a hint of bitterness in the finish. It’s hard for me to insist that something is bad when someone really likes it. I should have phrased my criticisms; not to style).

Awesome’s strong ale (picture) has a finish that is acrid. Overwhelms the rest of the beer and messes up what could have been a solid drink

Orange Collar from Blue Dog mead tastes… Hint of sour nose but the drink is light not too sweet and just amazing. Apparently it’s coming out in cans, so get it.

Laht Neppur Piper Canyon scotch ale. It’s nice, malty hint of smoke…and then banana! What the fuck?

Cider Riot Everybody Pogo hoppy cider
This is what refreshingly tart tastes like: sweet tart you can drink. I liked it but I’m not sure I’d have pint after pint. Maybe on hotter days!

Where I Want To Go: Slingshot

Spring has shown its face to Portland, flashing a bit of leggy sunshine before reminding us why umbrellas are a fashion statement. I’ve come to the Slingshot because it’s close to home: The rain is encouraging me to stay nearby.

Winter may have left us, but its crabby sister is here.

The Outcast from Crux has a lot going on there. Mostly citrus, but somehow there’s a vein of sweetness in there, keeping it from going off the rails. It’s bitter, don’t get me wrong and what I can get from the nose is in that citrusy hop family but…

The pour is a good pour for the kind of place the Slingshot wants to be: local punk rock dive. It’s not a great pour for a beer drinker, because there isn’t a lick of head on this. Still, I think it was poured into a non-chilled glass so you take your pluses and minuses.

Doesn’t seem that late on a Monday but Foster Street, easily visible from my vantage, is a ghost town. Or maybe it’s just later than I feel. Spring is there, the light was up but the clouds have come to have their say in our lives and all we can do is let them speak.

Nobody else is noticing, nobody looks outside: I crane back to sneak glances at them.

If they are alone, they’re on the rail and to a person, they have shot glasses in front of them in addition to whatever else they may have. The knit caps, Dead Moon t’s contrast with a woman in a beautiful leather jacket with a bigger shot glass than anyone else on the rail and I realize, we have an upper crust punk bar. The city is getting cooler? Bigger? Hard to say.

Maybe I should make this my local. It’s a proper walk from the house: enough to stretch the legs but not so much that I get tired. Between the punk rock and the old school country on the PA, the music won’t annoy me. I can step out enough to breathe and the beer is good here. There are a lot of pros.

I wish I had someone to bounce the Outcast off of. It’s a good beer -very good- but I need some help. The finish is very, very crisp and the alcohol lingers on the tongue, competing with the bitterness. It siren calls for a sister and, as is often the problem, my glass is now half empty.

Still, on nights like this I’d want an extra Outcast in order to keep the rain from bothering me on the way home. Maybe I’ll have one anyway; it feels early enough.

How To: IPA (Waiting)

This is the part where we wait.

I’m afraid it doesn’t get too much more interesting than that. Brewing requires some patience and over the years, I’ve learned not to rush through the fermentation process.

Now, because this is an amateur blog, I failed to take a photo of step two in the waiting process but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

What you can see is the beer a few days after the yeast has been pitched. That white stuff on the top? That means that it’s fermenting and all is going according to plan. Always a good sign!

Step two of this process comes after all that white stuff has settled out–between that and a lack of activity in the airlock, I can be pretty sure the yeast is tuckered out. This is when I transfer it to another carboy, so I can add in more hops in order to provide the kind of nose that is expected from an IPA. Usually, it’s desirable to leave those hops in for at least three days, and for this beer I think I left it in for a week.