Category Archives: homebrew

Oh, the drama

So, in the OBC newsletter, this comic runs:

And K. G. says on the listserve:
“…Now correct me if I’m wrong for stating my opinion, but it disturbs me that some one can draw a statement of a man that is drinking a beer and waiting for a bar to blow up and everyone inside but him, is going to die, just so he can blatantly throw his political view into the words of this destroyed pub, are you Tre’s brother? I am a former Marine and combat vet and have earned the right to question this disgraceful point of view shown in our news letter. With this being said I will not be part of this organization, and you will never receive money or time from me again. Please remove me from your list serve.”

He’s got a complaint, and I get it; we generally keep our politics separate so we can focus on the beer, and this comic getting through was a slip in the editorial policy. It happens. 

But I have a little bit to say about his statement, which I’m doing here and not at the listserve because we don’t do politics on the listserve. 

For the record, it’s not your service as a Marine that gives you the right to question the point of view presented in that comic. While your service is appreciated, it’s your status as an American citizen (in this country) that gives you this right. You don’t earn that right. I agree that the political nature of this comic is out of place, but your tantrum here is also unwarranted. You sound like a bitter whiner, instead of someone who’s got a legitimate issue, and the fact that you’re just going to take your toys and go home cements this. 

So maybe you could step off that high horse, accept the apologies that will most certainly follow, and move along? Because if you aren’t willing to do that, I really don’t want you around.

I could use a win

I poured out 5 gallons of the wit beer, because it tasted like death. To be accurate, it tasted like rotten creamed corn, and smelled like swamp water. Pouring bottles of beer down the sink is rarely a good feeling, but when it comes after failing a recipe and not being sure why, well that’s just sucks. Going upstairs to have a beer afterward, I have New Belgian’s Mothership Wit in my fridge.  I can’t help but wonder; Why the fuck doesn’t my beer taste like this? as I drink.

However, I want to move forward so I bottle the mild I’ve got in the newly empty bottles. It has a nose like honeysuckle, coming from the Kent Golding hops, and that gives me great hope for this batch of beer. I’m going to try and give this two weeks in the bottle before I crack one open-but most likely I’ll try it on Sunday, everhopeful. While cleaning my equipment I spied the porter I’d set aside a month ago.

Originally modeled after a recipe I found called ‘Black Widow Porter’, I found that the initial tastes of my beer were…uninspiring. This happens, but it’s still a bit of a downer when I spend a month working on a beer, only to have it come out flat. (ha-ha)

I\'m pleasedAs you can see, things have changed and much for the better. There’s a chocolate malt head on this beer and it tastes damn fine. The molasses component has receded giving way to a mocha element. It’s somewhere in between chocolate and coffee, with a touch of nuttiness in there.

I could probably leave it for a bit longer, too; there were tiny little gobbules of yeast dropping out of the beer, even as I poured it into the glass–I could see the CO2 generating from them as they stuck to the side. I just might do that.

I will be setting a few aside long-term; my Dad has mentioned on a couple of occasions that he wishes he could have some of my beer, and certainly Mrs. Malting will love this beer. It’s excellent, and right up her alley as taste goes.

It’s good to get a win sometimes. (And yes, I know I look rather goofy in this photo)

I’ve also started the next beer; a light-hybid thing with a NW Ale yeast from Wyeast that smelled like grape juice when I poured it in. I have no idea what’s coming from that.


Sometimes brewing itself is an exercise in frustration.

The porter I let sit for another week…and it’s still has no carbonation. Tasty, but nothing effervescent to back it up! So I’m setting it aside for a month. See how it behaves after some time in its room.

I have been trying to re-create a wit beer ever since I made one with a team 3 years ago. It won a contest and was served to people who paid for it! That’s a particularly proud moment for me, as you might imagine. Sadly, I have been failing to re-create this beer. I just bottled it Sunday night, and took a sip from the pre-bottle conditioned leftovers.

It tastes like water. Sour water. That’s not right.

The one good thing that’s going to come of this is the Cheswick Ale ‘clone’ I’m making was put into secondary fermentation, and that tasted pretty good. At least like beer. So I’m giving this wit a week, no more, to shape up. If it tastes like death on Sunday, fuck that, I’m dumping it and moving to a beer with lager malt and lots of hops. (I currently  have an abundance of hops)

After that I’ll start on a brown ale with belgain yeast, that Impy Malting and I brainstormed and decided to call Old Church. I had something like that last night (which I’ll use in a post next week) that tasted pretty good.

This may (not) be as good as it gets

I bottled a porter 2 Sundays ago, and usually after a week I like to bust my beer open and see how it tastes.
The nose has a heavy molasses component-so strong, I’m almost surprised the beer is actually viscous. And the flavors are very nice; sweet, but set just so slightly back by a bitterness that comes from dark malts. There’s a nutty flavor there, probably from the malts I put in (I changed the recipe, but lost my notes!) and that helps lengthen it a bit too, flavorwise.
But there’s no effervescence whatsoever. I was hoping after 10 days that there would be some, but zip. I’m drinking a flat beer. A very tasty beer, but a flat one.
However, it’s entirely possible that this beer just needs more time, so I will let it sit for another 7 days.