Archive for January, 2008

BYO Magazine January-February Issue

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

So, I probably got this magazine like over a month ago now and have slowly been reading it. This is what I have remembered.

BYO Magazine January-February Issue

This was their beer & oak issue, OK BYO you have my attention. There was a cool piece on barrel aging with professionals. Basically they asked the same questions to several different professional breweries about barrel aging. Some of the breweries were Stone, Avery, Russian River, and Jolly Pumpkin. All of the answers may not have been that interesting, but I always find it intersting to hear what the pros have to say, especially Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River. They also had a pretty informative article on preparing, maintaining, and filling new and used barrels. Something I’m sure I would have read up on if I ever pursued a barrel but not to much that I already knew. In their replicator section they then included five different recipes for “barrel aged” beers. I don’t know how much I trust these recipes some time, but they could be good to use as a launch-pad.

Later in the issue was an all to familiar account of the 2008 hop scenario labeled “The Bitter End”. I think the article was fine, though it is starting to sound like beating a dead horse at this point, but CC actually did a decent job stringing it all together. In a nutshell hop supplies are horrible this year and demand is ever rising, be prepared to make substitutions and pay about 4X what you were paying before for hops. There was another decent article by John Palmer in the Advanced Brewing section about lautering efficiency. I remember it being good and I also remember it being very similar to what is published in his book. It is one of those articles I will probably go back and read sometime soon. Over all not a bad issue of BYo from what I can remember.


Monday, January 7th, 2008

I got a promotion at work, and today I start my new position.

Art Guild Avalon

Well, I officially start my new position. I enter the training period which is supposed to be only two weeks long. One week of soft training and one week of heavy training. But I’ll be moving from the Shipping and Receiving Regulator to the Purchasing Manager, a significant move. I’m actually quite excited to no longer be doing what I am doing, but also quite nervous about beginning the new position. I feel as if I could have a better training regime established I’d be more positive about the change, but for now it seems a little daunting. Change is good.

First Kegs

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

So I made a step in the right direction to move from bottling to kegging, I bought my first batch of kegs.

Corny Kegs

A fellow BeerAdvocate I met at Guy’s house during his stout tasting was Aaron (leftmindedrighty). He lives in the Philadelphia area and works part time at the local homebrew store by him Keystone Homebrew Supply. We were talking about kegs and he said he could always get them through Keystone. He mentioned a fair price so I asked him to pick me up four. So yesterday at the Drafting Room we made the exchange. I can’t wait to play with these guys. I think the Abbey Ale and RYPA will be the first two in kegs.

One Final Victory for Heavyweight

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Yesterday was the One Final Victory for Heavyweight event at The Drafting Room in Exton, PA and you know I was there.

Baltic Thunder

The basis for the event was basically Victory was releasing a new beer, Baltic Thunder, which was  a remake of a Heavyweight beer, Perkuno’s Hammer. Supposedly the story goes like this, Heavyweight Brewery closed in 2006 after about ten years of mild success to a very devout fan base. One of the beers Heavyweight brewed was called Perkuno’s Hammer and was a Baltic Porter style beer, which is a beer style that not many people make and was one of their most popular. This beer was so popular that after they closed Victory came up with a way (bought the rights?) to re-brew the beer to make it still available as a Victory product. Well, all of this happened in the middle of 2007. After about six months of legal nonsense of name issues, and label issues, and bottling issues Victory finally released Baltic Thunder their Baltic Porter beer brewed in honor of Perkuno’s Hammer.

So yesterday at the event it was the official release of Baltic Thunder plus one of the last kegs of Perkuno’s Hammer was also tapped. Like most people I did a side-by-side tasting of the two beers to see how the original has held up and to see how similar the new one was. Unfortunately the Perkuno’s Hammer didn’t fair too well, it was slightly oxidized and sour, but the Baltic Thunder was fantastic. The Baltic Thunder was very rich and malty with a slight chocolate note in the back. I picked up a couple 22oz bottles at $8 a piece to only later find out they were selling them at Victory for $3, suckage.

They also had a lot of other really great beers on tap suck as Seven Threads Symposium Ale,  Heavyweight’s Baltus, Heavyweight’s Lunacy, Victory’s Harvest Ale and Pils, Victory’s Abbey 6, Victory’s Hop Wallop on cask, and a bunch of very limited Heavyweight bottles. The Symposium Ale was blended for 2005 Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia, this amalgamation consists of Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, Flying Fish Porter, Independence Oatmeal Stout (RIP), Iron Hill Pig Iron Porter, Nodding Head Grog, Stoudt’s Fat Dog Stout, Victory Storm King and Yard’s IPA. If you ask me that’s eight breweries not seven, go figure. Anyway it was a really neat beer that I’m sure will never be reproduced again.

I got lucky and Dave, Catherine, Lyric, and Colin came down and joined me for lunch. I called them to see if they were interested in grabbing lunch not really having any idea how far Exton was from their house or knowing if they were available. Lucky enough they were around and able to come down. I think everyone had a good time, I know my time was better because they were there. Overall it was a really cool little beer event, I wish there was a Drafting Room or similar type place closer to home.

Chicken Boom-Badi-Addas

Friday, January 4th, 2008

You call them chicken breast, my family calls them chicken boom-badi-addas. “Could I have my Chicken a la king without the alla-alla?”

Chicken Boom-badi-addas

Check out the boobs on that bird, nice! Tonight for dinner I made a beer-can chicken but took it up a notch, or two maybe. First I brined my first chicken. I used a simple brine of 1 cup sea salt, 1 cup white sugar, and 1 gallon cold water. I then also added the rind of one lime to the brine. I let the chicken soak in the brine in the fridge for five hours. While the chicken was brining, I took said lime and juiced the two halves. I then stuffed the halves with a butter and herb mixture and froze them. When the chicken was done brining I rinsed it well twice. I then brushed the whole chicken with about two TBSPs of vegetable oil nd the juice from one lime. I then rubbed the chicken inside, outside, and under the skin with “traditional” beer-can chicken rub. I then inserted the frozen lime and butter halves under the skin onto the breasts. This gave the appearance that the chicken had a boob job, but better served the purpose of a cool melt to moisturize the boobs. The chicken was then cooked on the grill beer-can-style with wood chips for approximately an hour and a half. I served the chicken with a warm fresh spinach salad with toasted pine nuts and balsamic dressing. It was a good winter’s feast.

100 Bottles of Beer

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

OK, it’s actually 96 bottles, but who’s counting?


Tonight I played my favorite homebrew game: de-label, clean, rinse, sanitize, and cover bottles in preparation of bottling – yeah! Actually, I got lucky, out of the 96 bottles only 12 needed to be de-labeled. Other than that it was really just going through the motions. Oh yeah, don’t you hate it when you become “smart” after years of being “stupid”? Actually, I guess it has only been a year, since we’ve been in the new house, but I figured out a way tonight to save myself some back-breaking work. Typically I would fill my coolers for soaking and stuff on the floor which meant at some point the coolers full of liquid (10-12 gallons / 80-96 pounds) had to be lifted and moved to be drained. Instead this time I set up my coolers on stools (about three feet high) and was able to just hook up a hose to the valve and open it to let gravity drain the liquid except for maybe the last two gallons. I am so smart, S-M-R-T! Anyway, it just made too much sense after I did it.

I’m pretty sure these bottles will be used this weekend to bottle the Vader and the Tripel.

RYPA Yeast

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Well, I guess the expired tube of yeast I used with the RYPA was a non-issue.


Geez, this was a two month expired tube of White Labs California Ale yeast 001, looks to be doing just fine. Actually, I have never seen this yeast blow-up like in this picture, normally it is a much more mellow yeast. I wonder if the rye would have anything to do with it…?

I also just realized that I am basically maxed out right now. I have four beers in secondary fermenters and one beer in primary (still one empty carboy), and I used my last carboy stopper with the RYPA. So technically I could still brew one more and just not put a stopper in the top of the carboy, use a blow-off tube or something. But hopefully I’ll have two or three of the batches bottles by the 13th of January which should be the next brew day with my brother doing the long anticipated Uncle Tupelo Honey Stout, which would be ready in time for St. Patrick’s Day (already!). We’ll see …

New Year’s Day

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Hopefully 2008 is finding everyone healthy and happy so far. This year for NYE we went down to Dogfish Head again for their five course beer dinner and NYE festivities.

New Year’s Eve 2007

This was Dave, Jody, Karen, and I’s second year going to DFH for NYE and it was even more fun this year than last year. Last year we went to the early seating (6PM) for dinner and then went back to the beach house to celebrate New Year’s. This year we went to the late seating (8PM) for dinner and then stayed at DFH to watch the band they had, Nate Myers and the Aces, and then stayed the night in Rehoboth at the Brighton Suites Hotel. The dinner turned out to be even better than I remember last years dinner being. Only the first course was a little off to me (capers and olives = double strike), but it was a great idea that just didn’t mesh with my taste buds. The band was pretty cool too. They kind of were heavy-harmonica blues-influenced rock. It seemed as if the room took a little bit to warm up to them, but by midnight the place was jumping especially with a great cover of Jump Around by House of Pain. Below is the menu from the dinner:

1st course
Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad
With shallots, sweet potatoes, olives and capers
½ pint of Pangaea

2nd course
Crab Soufflé
With asparagus hollandaise
Pint of 60 Minute IPA

3rd course
Raspberry Fort Sorbet
With lime infusion

4th course
Grilled Duck Cassoulet
With Smoked oyster mushrooms and white truffle
Pint of 90 Minute IPA

5th course
Triple Chocolate Mousse Tower
With blue cheese anglaise
½ Pint of Chicory Stout with a shot of Blue Hen Chocolate Vodka

Midnight Champagne toast

And is if this post isn’t going to look too long already, here are the lyrics to a new song my friend Erik Mitchell has recently wrote that I think are very appropriate for New Year’s Day, well, at least for some up us. He also has these lyrics and a bunch of other stuff posted on his myspace page so go check him out there.

The Morning After A Long Night
Words/Music: Erik Mitchell

Woke up this morning
Cigarette butt stuck to my head
Mumbling, fumbling, grumbling, bumbling
Stumbling my way out of bed
Made my way to the bathroom
Asked myself “What the hell did I done?”
The only thing that’s clear I had a fight with alcohol
And it won

It’s the morning after a long night
You know my head isn’t quite right now
The morning after a long night

My bloodshot eyes tell the story
So do the ink stamps on both of my hands
They’re not Livestrong bracelets
They’re over-21 wristbands
My head is propped up on the toilet
My body’s splayed out on the floor
I bargain with the porcelain god
But he knows I’ve been there before

It’s the morning after a long night
You know my head isn’t quite right now
The morning after a long night

You know it’s hard to remember
Everything that I had to drink
But considering the state I’m in
Looks like I got some time to think…
Bottle of rum and some 151
And shot of tequilla, a six-pack of Zima
Some SoCo and Lime, a carafe of white wine
Sex on the Beach, Schapps — PEACH!
Kahlua and cream and a dirty martini
The vodka was mild and the Turkey was Wild
Whisky Sours on the hour, Jagermeister!

It’s the morning after a long night
You know my head isn’t quite right now
The morning after a long night
It’s the morning after a long night
You know my head isn’t quite right now
The morning after a long night

©2007 Old City Music