All posts by grotusque

My name is Dan and I like a lot of things, but this blog will be about the beer I drink and occasionally make. Well. Mostly.

IPA #2 2021

IPA 2 for 2021, in glass on table.

My second IPA has a danky nose, not quite forest, but no citrus scents. Solid head, though; tiny bubbles on top that are dense and white. The overall color is darker than I intended but all that I could get  was amber liquid malt, so….there you have it.

The head is pleasantly ticklish on my lip, and the middle of the beer isn’t too intense. But the roasted elements of the liquid malt seem to show up and add an extra acrid quality to the finishing bitterness. As a result, there’s a little bit of a ‘roof of the mouth’ scouring element. I’m using my tongue to wipe away the flavors. Not because it’s bad, but because I want to cleanse my palate.

Call this an ‘almost there’. I think if the roasted qualities weren’t present, I’d have a beer I enjoy more.

Brew Date: 8/8/21

Steeping grains
3 lb Munich
3 Lb Lamonta pale
2 lb Vienna

Fermentables: 3 lb liquid Munich

1/5 oz Centennial, 1 oz Galaxy @60
.5 oz Galaxy, 1 oz Centennial @20

Yeast: Imperial’s Flagship (2nd use)

OG: 1.062

FG: 1.01

Added .5 Galaxy Aug 13
Bottled: 8/15

ABV: 7.0%

Front Porch Chats #80

New Spring brewing white ale in glass, outside on table

The white ale from New Spring Brewing has a lemon pepper nose, a little coriander in the middle and a very crisp finish. It’s about as good as you could ask for, on what is probably the last warm fall day. 

I saw this video from the Vlogbrothers this week and while I encourage you to watch it, please allow me to summarize for those who don’t have twenty minutes to spare:

The internet, like radio or the printing press before it, is a brand new thing for people and so, just like radio of the printing press, we are doing it badly. It is going to take some time for people to get a handle on it and we should do so in ways that don’t crush people who want to create content, but don’t let the hook off of those who want to use “the algorithm” as an excuse for why white nationalists, anti-vaxxers or con artists get promoted on their platform. 

However, in the case of ‘the algorithm’ I think the defense of ‘we didn’t choose this’ is seriously disingenuous. You wrote the algorithm to do something, smart guy. When it does what you told it to, you’re still responsible. You gave orders and there were commands executed at your direction. 

That we don’t have a better grasp of how to internet is scary, in and of itself. That it comes at a time when we are facing a triple threat of fascism, pandemics, and climate crisis-any one of which will end life as we know it-seems both spectacularly unfortunate and bone chilling. 

It’s also just a little funny, if bleak humor is your jam and these days, it ought to be. Just to keep your sanity. 

However, there’s no reason to give up hope. Hope is what makes this survivable. That we still have millions of people working every day to make themselves better, make their relationship to each other and the planet less toxic, trying to tame the seemingly unbridled and near limitless forces that get to broadcast ‘fuck you, got mine’ to the world faster than I can type. 

Sure we don’t know how, just yet. But once upon a time, we didn’t know how to get to the moon, or make a vaccine, or make beer. Or push ‘send’ and transmit a message that could be received by over a billion people. 

So let’s get there. 


I made a run of IPAs during July/August and here’s the start of ’em!

IPA in glass

Nose has a quality like cut grass, but much sharper, as if it was broken pine needles. Green, but intense.

There isn’t much to the midrange, in this beer. It doesn’t lack malt but it doesn’t want to let the malt stick around for long. No, get that outta here, we’ve got some bitterness to introduce.

The bitterness, fortunately for me, isn’t overwhelming. It lingers and it’s almost got an herbal quality to it, but it stops short. The tongue scraping isn’t necessary.

It’s drinkable (which is a low bar but I do meet it!) and not so overpowering that it would wreck a palate, I think. But it definitely fits the criteria for more modern IPA hoppiness. No complains.

Brew date: 7/24/21

Steeping grains
3.5 lb Maris Otter
3.5 2 Row
1 lb Biscuit

Fermentables: 3 lb Golden dry malt

1 oz Ekuanot and Chinook @60
.5 oz Chinook, 1 oz Ekuanot @30

Yeast: Imperial’s Flagship

OG: 1.062

FG: 1.012

Added .5 oz Chinook 6 days in

Bottled 7/31


Front Porch Chats #80

This Chocolate Brandy Alexander is from Breakside and it’s a milk stout aged in brandy barrels. This feels very much like my kinda beer.

Breakside brewing's Chocolate Brandy Alexander in glass on table outside.

I’ve let it warm up for a few minutes before taking a sip and it was definitely worth it. Coco on the nose, compliments a dark chocolate dryness on the finish, and in the middle there’s a twist of that brandy, smoothed out by the milk. It is a treat yourself kinda beer.

I know it has been a long year for many of us and I know that I personally am deeply frustrated, frequently angry and occasionally frightened of what may come. Maybe that sounds familiar. I’m not sure how it can’t, to anyone who is both paying attention and hoping for a better, kinder future.

But having a glass full of luxury is reminding me to remind you to treat yourself occasionally. Kindly, and in ways that help you (and maybe others!) but to not forget to do so.

Learning how to be kind to oneself often means practicing by being kind to others-but in that process, a lot of us forget to be kind to ourselves, too.

So hey: Live a little. Just for you.

Front Porch Chats 79

Humble Sea brewing's Used Car Salesman pale ale, in glass outside.

This Used Car Salesman pale ale isn’t right. Something on the finish tastes dirt like and I don’t think I’m going to finish this. What good would that do? I don’t like it and you know I don’t like it and why.

I’m not sure what Humble Sea brewing had in mind with this beer, but there’s a distinct aftertaste of a pebble in my mouth.

Fortunately, I have a backup beer. We should all have backup beers. In my case, it’s Mt Tabor brewing’s Sack Lunch Lager, which was made with a lime purée. Think Corona, without the pesky need to shove a lime in the neck, and in a container that doesn’t skunk the beer within 5 minutes because it’s light struck, and you’ll have it.

It’s pretty solid but as with any good lager, it makes me wish I was eating nachos. The lime just makes me want nachos more.

I wonder how many limes are in my future.

What with (effectively) 52 people deciding that getting paid is more important than doing the work to save the country-and maybe the planet-I can’t help but wonder if there will be a climate for limes, in the near future.

Make no mistake: every single one of those Senators (and Representatives, for that matter) who are deciding to refuse to do things like; allow the government to run, or pay our bills, or move along what is very popular legislation, they’re all doing it because they’re getting paid to do that.

As Upton SInclair once noted: It is very difficult to get a man to believe a thing, when his paycheck relies on him not believing it.

To put my feelings about that mildly; it sucks. We aren’t being sold out because of a principle, because of a genuine dedication to an ideal.

We’re being sold out for money.

It’s cheap, too, to buy a Senator. I mean, you or I can’t do it. But for someone who has money, oh, it’s cheap. Thousands…maybe, just maybe hundreds of thousands.

But, you know; house money. As in, what it would take for a regular person to buy a house, that’ll do it to get a Senator. In the meantime, someone like Bezos has a yacht to service his super yacht and doesn’t blink twice about paying someone what he makes in twenty seconds for ten years worth of what will amount to trillions.

I never thought I’d be living in a third world country but here I am; the children go hungry, the water is unfit to drink in multiple places, everybody is poor, except for the clearly wealthy, women lack basic rights, the police act like a military force and the government-from the Congress to the Supreme Court to the Presidency, doesn’t want to heed the will of the people.

It’s enough to give a person some anxiety. Which, looking around, it seems like we all have.

And we so clearly could do better. But we can’t because of money.

It’s enough to make one reconsider capitalism, ennit?

Today’s second pint goes to the fundraiser from last week’s video.

Common Ales: Ninkasi Megadlodom

Got a monster 2-fer this week! (Unfortunately, I messed up and deleted the good photo and kept a blurry one so…no picture this time).

Ninkasi’s Megalodom IPA has decided to lean into the citrus IPA characteristics. However, the nose offers a drier, more bitter quality-it reminds me of bitter orange that I’ve used to spice saisons I’ve made.

This is a good thing, not just because it isn’t overly sweet. The bitter orange scent also persists as I drink the beer and that helps give the Megalodom some staying power.

There is still some sugary elements from the malt and the beer exhibits this both in the midrange and the viscosity. There’s something a bit weighty and slick about the Megs which has me wondering what the ABV is.

10%. Whoa.

But, the finishing bitterness keeps things in check and for such a strong beer, I have to confess it’s pretty well balanced. Giving this one a thumbs up.

Common Ales: Rogue Colossal Claude

Longtime readers of the blog may recall that I cannot resist any beer named after a monster.

Rogue Colossal Claude IPA in glass on table next to can of same.

Hence, we have Rogue’s Colossal Claude IIPA. Look, there’s a dragon on the label named Claude. I’m supposed to say no to that?

Except: It’s Rogue. And Rogue has rested on its laurels since the 90’s, as far as I’m concerned. So, a little suspicion going into this beer.

The nose faded incredibly fast; despite a persistent head, I had to work hard to get the tropical fruits qualities that were initially present. As in: between me noticing them, taking a sip, and then going to write them down, the olfactory qualities all but evaporated.

The beer is…actually a bit bland. Which is not a good thing to say about an IIPA. I can get some malt character and even sense some bitterness but everything about his beer is insisting that I work for it.

It’s not good. It might be bad. I am picking up a little butterscotch here-which means bad things-but mostly the Claude fails to leave much of an impression at all.

It really is a Loch Ness beer. I can tell you I had it, but I can’t prove it to you.

Front Porch Chats #78/Second Pint PDX Saints

Take a look at this video while I sip on this Kaptain Kolsch from White Bluffs brewing. It’ll give me a chance to figure out what to tell you about it.

The nose has a faint honey malt quality, and a little hop spice to it, too. Which I’m surprised, but pleased by.

The flavors really follow up on this, too. It’s a little sweeter than I like my kolsch and it seems to be just a touch heavier on the tongue than expected. The finish, however, is very sparkly and a little hop spicy, and that presents a nice counterweight on the beer. I’m digging this, even though it isn’t my favorite take on the style Check it out.

So, a pal of mine who is Black brought that video to my attention. It reminded me that there are whole subcultures out there, really cool things being done by all kinds of amazing people, that I just don’t know about. Or wouldn’t know about, unless people who aren’t like me didn’t cross my path with it.

Which had me putting a little gratitude out there for everyone I know, really; they all have lives and inroads to communities that I just have no knowledge of.

Now, that thought had me recalling this video from Philosophy Tube. I’ll TL:DR (and heavily paraphrase/condense) it for you:

There are two kinds of ignorance; the kind of knowledge that you don’t know, and the kind of knowledge that is kept from you.

The first kind of ignorance is inevitable, and in some ways necessary. We cannot know everything-it’s just beyond us. Relying on people who do know things we don’t, well: that’s trust. That’s how you build community.

But the second kind….that can be how you destroy communities. I’m not suggesting that everything should be available to be known by everyone, per se.

I am saying, though, that when someone doesn’t want you to know how Black people were treated in America, there is a very reasonable question that comes to me: Why?

Why don’t people want you to know about, say, the Tulsa massacre or the time we bombed our own citizens because racism?

That immigrant populations and neighborhoods are statistically less crime ridden than established communities?

And so on. Hell, it’s even part of the brewing community: Black people and women were the brewers of this country when it was founded and until I got into the craft, I had no idea about their contributions.

Which leads me back to the video at the top: how cool is this thing that a Black man did, inspired by a Black band, that is now making a whole lot of people happy? Why didn’t I know about this thing sooner? (Well, because I can’t know everything and that’s OK).

My point is, denying people the truth when they ask for it is a fast way to create distrust. Lying to them a way to make chaos.

What kinds of ignorance are we willing to accept?

Just something to chew on.

Today’s second pint goes to PDX Saints.