Tag Archives: red

Red Ale Success

This beer came our great.

That might be boring to say but it really did come out very well! It’s got a strong malt back to it, there’s a lovely head on it, and the beer finishes clean.

What do you talk about when you have success? Should I say, ‘Too bad you can’t have some’?

That feels like a dick move. I’d rather just be proud of myself for getting this beer done well. If there is a criticism to be made, it might be that the beer is a bit strong for summer; the malt translates to alcohol and I probably should not drink this one post-lawnmowing.

But aside from that? I think I can be justifiably proud. So I’ll just move on to the recipe.

Before that, though; I want to say that there will probably not be a Monday post, due to a multi-day attendance at the Oregon Brew Fest! I just feel like I’m going to need a day to recover, but who knows? Maybe I’ll be rarin’ to go.

Brew dates: 5.24.13

Steeping grains
1 lb C80
1 lb Vienna
4oz C 120

7 lb LME
1 lb Dry light

handful Glacier in preboil
.75 oz Amarillo @ 60
.25 oz Wataku @ 60
.75 oz Glacier @30
.25 oz Amarillo @30
.75 oz Wataku @ 10

1/8th tsp Irish Moss @ 5 min

Yeast: Hopworks ale yeast (2nd use)

OG: 1.072
FG: 1.023

Put into secondary 6.11

ABV: 6.63%

New To Me: Gemini

I suppose I ought to tell the truth: the Gemini isn’t new to me. When we moved to the neighborhood, this was the first place we came to get a beer, after a heinous week of lifting boxes and putting dishes into cabinets. I remember they had Burnside’s Sweet Heat ale-a pale with jalapeno-on tap, which I avoided. I have never liked that beer and the reason this memory sticks out is because it never seemed to leave. I needed this beer to rotate, to have some other option available!

Someone has heard my pleas because the Sweet  Heat is finally gone. I opt for Coalition’s red ale, while lady had the Lolita, which is a margarita with pomegranate instead of lime. In truth, I think the Gemini is more of a cocktail place anyway, which means I have chosen..less wisely.

The red ale gives me a stronger bitter flavor as I go: that doesn’t seem right, especially since there’s no hop nose. It makes for an unbalanced ale which isn’t as pleasant to drink. Still, it seems like the first time in a while since I’ve gotten my beer in a non-chilled glass. That’s probably just me remembering the dive bars over the ones that know how to serve a beer.

The girlfriend sings “She’s Gone” along with the jukebox while noshing on chips. This is followed by something from the Ramones, which I bob my head to.

I like it.

No one is here now, yet it’s super lively on weekends. At the moment, it’s quiet enough that we can chat and hang out but I’ve also had a nice time when it is more rambunctious, sidestepping through crowds on New Years Eve, a DJ casting beats from the corner. I’ve been here enough times to know that the food is solid and getting free chips to munch on with your drink never sucks.

But I don’t think the Gemini is a beer place; it may not even be a pub in the way that I tend to think of these joints. It’s got a funky vibe to it with stained glass chandeliers out of the 70’s hanging around, giving everything a red velvet gloss to it. The staff is friendly and the Gemini seems to run at a neighborhood pace; just a little slower than you might expect, but with people who seem to get that you’re from ’round here, so take your time and enjoy.

Dad’s Collaboration

Red ale, made with DadWhen my Dad came to visit a few months ago, I promptly took the opportunity to rope him into making a beer with me. He’s the one who bought me my starting kit and by extension, is responsible for this blog. In a roundabout way, if you will. So here we go: a basic red that we made together!

This beer is tasty–little sweet, with a fruity nose from a head that evaporates like a thief in the night. The brew is carbonated though: has a faint sparkly finish, maybe a shadow towards champagne.

I’m glad I made it with him: I’m not sure how fond of it he’d be. The caramel takes over pretty quickly in the nose but it’s balanced by the dryness of the finish so…it’s good. Not quite great. Definitely good, though.

Room for improvement but we can enjoy it for now.

Date: 4.29.12

Steeping grains
C15-.75 lb
c 120 .5 lb

Fermentables: 7 lb LME

1.75 oz Crystal @ 60
5/8th oz Dom Sterling @ 60
1.25 oz Crystal @30
.5 oz Dom Sterling @ 30

Reused Hopworks yeast

OG: 1.06
TG: 1.012
FG: 1.02

Bottled 5.26.12

ABV: 6.26%


7pm Voiceless

My illness has lingered, clawing at my throat and making my vocal chords the rusted out nightmare of a shipwreck off the Bermuda Triangle. Plus, it hurts to talk.

So I’m sitting on the rail, listening to the bartender  hold court (he’s telling people about how corporations are going into local shows to make sure musicians aren’t using samples) and the man next to me quote a comedy show I’ve never heard of (‘I once ran naked through a bowling alley for $3’) while I fight off a slight headache and drink Stone‘s ’09 13th Anniversary imperial red.

The brew tastes like chocolate and chalk. I’m suddenly back in 5th grade being punished for eating a Hershey bar in class by being forced to lick the chalkboard.

I wave the bartender down, my throat punishing me for every hoarsely buzzed note: “So, this isn’t good, right?”

He replies, “I think it’s a little bit past it’s prime,” while making a  non-committal motion with his hands. The patron next to me agrees; something’s wrong with this beer.

“I can pour you something else if you like,” the barkeep offers.

Pelican Riptide redI would indeed like. I go for Pelican‘s Riptide, this merely a red instead of an imperial.

And just like that, I’ve got a better beer, one that’s almost too easy to drink but in a good way. All but the definition of a session ale, maybe (maybe!) just a little high at 5.3%, this is what to drink when I’m in a drinkin’ mood. I can hang out for a few hours, drink this and still feel like I’m making sense. It’s just malty enough to have some throughline of taste, a very crisp finish with the whiff of citrus there, like lemon water, to complete the quenching element of this beverage.

With no desire to speak, I’m listening to the dull stoner one-drop, the muted clank of a tipped glass breaking, the warning that Jolly Pumpkin isn’t producing a pumpkin beer and a discussion about Northern California where bikers grow weed to smoke meth while the man next to me takes a photo of an old lamb doll, the kind that could find a home in the Velveteen Rabbit to post on some social media site, somewhere.

I hope kids still read the Velveteen Rabbit. It’s a rare commentary to suggest that loving something makes it real, instead of love being the proof that something is real. I rather like that.

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.

Men’s Room Red

mens room red bottleI dig this beer. First, I like that logo. I know, there’s cliche all over the place but it’s fun and there’s still plenty of room in the beer world for fun.

Second, I like the concept. Elysian seems to be doing some cool tribute beers (I’m thinking of the Loser here) and this brew, connected to the Men’s Room radio show helps support military families through the Fisher House. So that’s a win.

Finally, I like the beer as a beer. It’s a good red with some nice bitterness at the end but hearty malty goodness to give it a bunch of spine. At 5.6% ABV it’s strong enough to be ‘manly’ (I can’t quite convey irony with that yet so you’ll just have to accept a parenthetical) but not so powerful that you can’t have a few.

And I got it as a gift for Thanksgiving from a friend. So it’s a win all around.

52 Weeks 49: Leavenworth Nosferatu

Lompoc Nosferatu redI pretty much had to get this beer because of the name. Next week it just wouldn’t be as much fun to drink.

Tho’ honestly, it’s not that much fun to drink right now. For a red ale it feels a little thin in the body and has quite the bitter punctuation afterward. I can’t help but think that I’m just missing something with this beer, though. Maybe it’s intentionally tilted towards IPAs? But neglecting the body of a red ale-that just seems out of whack, you know? I realize the name is something to live up to, but I’d rather sink my teeth into this beer than have it the other way around.

I’m drinking it in a hurry, so I can have another. I don’t feel I can be blamed for this.

Reflecting generally makes me pensive. Birthdays, New Year’s Eve, anniversaries; I tend to look at  things in such a way that tilts toward the grim. I’m going to try and change this for the coming event. I can’t say that things have turned out the way I thought they would when I started this project but I’d like to try and frame my viewpoint in a way that lets me see the benefits this time.

If change is a constant in the Universe (and let’s just say that it is) then that makes the rough times easier to endure, the better days sweeter to enjoy, and maybe the ability to let it all be what it is and let it go when things are said and done. I don’t mean to get too metaphysical; some of the hard truths of my unemployment are there right in front of my audience. But it isn’t all bad and I would like to approach the next three weeks with that in mind. 

A man just walked into the joint, navy blue fleece with a white logo on the back and a baseball cap, unhappily demanding a shot with a $100 bill. When he found out there was no liquor to have, he bought someone at the bar a drink in an exasperated way, tipped five bucks, and left. Outside the bar he had what appeared to be a fruitless discussion with another man in a white jacket and baseball cap (but no blue logo, which would’ve been delicious) and disappeared. 

In comparison, I’m having a pretty good night as I happened to be at the bar when this gentleman ordered his drink, so I got the beer. A Hale’s fresh hop ale, which is smooth and biscuity. His loss is certainly my gain, so I’m giving a little ‘thanks, man’ to that random stranger. Someday I’ll have $100 to break and by god I’ll buy someone a beer with it. 

And finally, a brief apology to my readers; I had Friday’s post all set up and I just forgot to publish it. Of course, this comes right after I have a conversation with Jim about respecting your audience. The timing is perfect, right? Just like when the color announcer in a football game tells you that the Seahawks haven’t thrown an interception all game, you just know that the next play Hass is tossing it to someone he shouldn’t. 

Ah well. I’ll post it soon.