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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Honey Badger Spiced Apple Wheat

WOW!  Nailed my mash temp again!  My O.G. is going to be 1.093.  Which means approximately 9.5-10% ABV!  This going to be BIG!  Oh yeah, "And the honey badger don't care!  He don't give a sh*t!"  LOL  (You gotta see the honey badger video.)  I will keep you posted on the progression of this one!  I'm glad I made the batch 5.5 gallons instead of 5.  It would have been bigger than that.  Thanks for reading and it is time for a cold one!  CHEERS!  

Honey Badger Apple Spice Wheat

O.k.  I opted to do a 75 min boil instead of 60 min.  15 mins in bittering hops have been added.  Smells great!  The wife doesn't think so, though.  With 15 mins left on the boil, the wort chiller will go in to sanitize it.  ( I made it today as a gift to myself!)  I've been wanting to get one for some time.  At 5 mins left on the boil, the spices will go in.  I want the flavor of the spices but not the astringents that sometimes come with them.  I'm hoping to have a starting gravity of about 1.080.  That shoulb make it about 8.5% ABV.  I'll post the gravity when I obtain just before fermentation.  Thanks for reading! 

Honey Badger Spiced Apple Wheat Beer

Hello all!  Sorry for the hiatus.  Life and the holidays, etc.  Anyhow..... Time to brew!  Honey Badger Spiced Apple Wheat is started!  This beer will be a Spiced Holiday beer with a kick!  I'm using 2 row brewers malt, honey malt, wheat malt, flaked wheat, flaked oats, and liqiud wheat extract.  Some spices and apple juice will round out the flavor as well as some agave nectar.  I'll keep you posted on the details.  About 20 minutes into the mash currently.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Video Documentary: How Beer Saved The World

I just viewed How Beer Saved The World, a documentary on inventions that all stemmed from the production of beer.  Refrigeration, pasteurization, factories, etc., all stemmed from the production of beer.  Even the modern day antibiotic, tetracycline, discovered in 1948, was found in ancient bones from Egypt!  AMAZING!  If you haven't viewed the documenatry, please do!  If you are a beer fan as I am, you will find it very interesting.  Just remember some of the facts the next time you enjoy a cold one!  I know I will!  CHEERS!   

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Helios Ale by Victory Brewing, Downington, PA review

Hazy golden-orange hued farmhouse style ale, 7.5 ABV.  Aroma of citrus and sweet malt.  Sweet on the palate as a Belgian style ale should be, hints of spiciness from the yeast, an imported Belgian strain, gives flavors of clove and black pepper.  I seem to find a grapefruit rind-like flavor lingering on the finish.  A very easy drinking beer which packs a wallop like most Belgians do.  Victory Brewing Company produces excellent brews from Pennsylvania.  I really enjoy their beers!  Cheers!   Thanks for reading! 

Deschutes Obsidian Stout review

Instantly became one of my favorite stouts!  Dark, smooth and very delicious!  If you like stout you have to try this one!  Deep dark black in color with a thick tan head.  Flavors of chocolate and coffee, but not overwhelming.  Smooth and creamy body.  Very light hops finish.  A most excellent stout!  From my favorite Brewery!  Deschutes Brewery, Bend Oregon.  Cheers!  Have one for me! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Amplified Amber Update

This beer turned out great.  Caramel on the nose and palate followed up by generous aromas and flavors of 4 different hops varieties.  Chinook, Centennial, and Citra in the boil, then the remainder of them bursted at 2 minutes left on the boil, and East Kent Goldings for the dry hop make this a fantasticly aromatic brew!  The flavors disquise the fact that it is 8.4% and packs quite a wallop!
Well, it is about time to brew again, and keeping in line with the winter season, my next brew will be a Spiced Apple Wheat Winter Ale.  Shooting for 7% ABV with this one so I can enjoy more than one at a sitting!  Thanks for reading!  Bottoms up!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Amplified Amber Ale

Taste test at 1 week:  great caramel on the nose and palate with citrus and grapefruit notes in flavor from the hops.  Carbonation is coming along.  A little light at one week, so another week or so should hopefully do it!  Definitely a warmer with the higher alcohol content.  Thanks for reading!  Cheers!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Amplified Autumn Amber Ale

It's ready to bottle!  I'll be bottling later this afternoon.  FG is going to be 1.026, ABV 8.4%.  Flavor is good, slightly sweet with caramel flavors from the crystal malt and brown sugar.  Hops bitterness is good, finish is crisp and clean.  Some time conditioning should balance everything out nicely!  Definitely goes down easy and is very warming!  Perfect for cool Autumn nights!  Thanks for reading!  CHEERS!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Amplified Autumn Amber Ale

Hello all!  Gravity test of the Amber tonight and it is at 1.026.  (ABV 8.4%)  Yeast is still active.  May be able to bottle this weekend if gravity stabilizes.  Flavor is good.  Caramel notes from the Crystal malt and brown sugar.  Good balance of hoppiness and nice clean finish.  Definitely a winter warmer with the higher alcohol content.  Thanks for reading!  Cheers! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Amplified Amber

Hello again!  I tested the the batch to see where the gravity is.  It is at 1.034 and falling as the yeast is still very active.  (ABV around 7.33 %)  Taste is good.  The brown sugar is smoothing things out wonderfully and adding a nice molasses sweetness!  Went ahead and dry hopped with East Kent Goldings hops.  Smells great coming off the airlock!  Can't wait for this one to finish up!  Should be another 3-5 days at this rate.  If so it will be bottled this weekend!  Color is a deep amber.  Thanks for reading!  Cheers!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

AmplifiedAmber Ale.......

Hello all.  Racked the Amber to secondary and had a taste.  Wow!  Extremely dry though.  So I added brown sugar to the secondary.  Still have activity and small krausen.  It was 8.2% ABV at secondary racking.  After adding the brown sugar syrup, the gravity bumped up from 1.028 to 1.044.  So the yeast is still gobbling the up the brown sugar!  May not be able to bottle for maybe another week.  Didn't dry hop yet as the bitterness seemed higher than I wanted, but after the addition of the sugar it will tame down.  I'll check another reading in a few days to see where it is.  Thanks for reading!  Cheers!  Steve

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tommyknocker's Mother Lode Sampler

Hello!  On my beer menu tonight is Tommyknocker Brewing's Mother Lode Sampler.  It contains two each of the following:  Jack Whacker Wheat with Lemon Grass, Maple Nut Brown Ale, Vienna Amber, Pick Axe IPA, Butt Head Bock, And Hop Strike Black IPA. 

I am a fan of Tommyknocker and Maple nut Brown is one of my favorites.  I can't wait to try Hop Strike Black IPA as I haven't had it yet, and as for the rest, they are all great beers.  The Bock is the seasonal throw in at this time.  Nice selection overall!

If you like variety this is a great buy!

Thanks for reading!

Amplified American Amber Ale (AAAA)

Hello all!  I brewed up an American Amber Ale this morning.  I wanted a good Amber Ale in my repertoire, but something a little different, so I wanted to "Amp" it up a little and was shooting for 7.5 - 8% ABV, but my OG is telling me it will be much bigger than that!  My expected OG was to be around 1.070, but as I must have nailed my mash temp, I ended up with an OG of 1.090!  (20 points higher gravity than I was expecting)  If it ferments properly, ABV will be around 10%!  WHOA!

I opted for four different hops varieties to get some good flavors, Chinook, Centennial, and Citra for the boil, then I will dry hop with East Kent Goldings.  I will use a total of 5 ounces in this batch which is the most I have used to date!  (I am a hophead, ya know!) 
As for the grains I kept it very simple.  Caramel 60 and toasted oats, again for something different, and amber malt extract.  I actually like brewing with extract, though some think it is inferior to all grain brewing.  As long as it tastes great, that is all that matters! 

The yeast is starting to become active tonight and there is bubbling in my airlock, which means I should have a good krausen by morning.  I'll keep uou posted!

Thanks for reading!  Cheers!  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cranberry (Oat) Spiced Holiday Ale

The Cranberry Oat Spiced Holiday Ale is ready for bottling.  The final gravity is 1.028 which will put the alcohol at 6.03%.  Lower than expected, but that is o.k.  It will be very drinkable, though.  I was wanting the alcohol content ot be closer to 8%, but with the wheat base, I think it would have been unbalanced so I am happy with it!

The flavor profile is coming along nicely.  The flavors of the spices are coming through with the slight tartness of the cranberry juice, and the toasted oats are finally coming through.  With carbonation and chilling, this will be a tasty brew!  It will be great for Thanksgiving!

I'm going to prime with 4.5 ozs of corn sugar and will add some vanilla extract for aroma and flavor.  I'll taste one in a week, then one in two weeks, and will keep you posted on how it is conditioning!
Since it is a wheat based beer, it will have some haze and cloudiness to it, which is natural. 

Thanks for reading!  Cheers!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cranberry Spice Holiday Ale update

Hello All!  Just a quick note on the holiday ale.  Gravity check yielded approximately 6.03% ABV.  Flavor is good!  Definitely a wheat backbone and the spice notes are coming through.  Not aggressively though, but definitely there.  Cranberry is hiding in the background and the slight tartness comes out in the finish along with some nice caramel flavor from the brown sugar.  This is shaping up great!  I don't think I'll add anything else as the flavor profile is pretty close to what I was aiming for.  The gravity measured at 1.028 and starting was 1.074.  I may let it stay longer in the secondary and check it in about a week.  Thanks for reading!  Cheerio! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cranberry Spice Holday Ale

Hello!  Did a taste test on the ale today.  Gravity is about 1.030 or so so it is still a little high.  Still has about a week or two to go yet.  Body is medium-full still.  Flavor is coming along nicely.  Subtle tartness of cranberry with hints of spices.  Just what I was shooting for.  Since it is wheat based I don't want the flavors to be overpowering.  Debating on some finishing flavor just before bottling.  I'll keep you posted on what I decide, if any.  Thanks for reading!  Cheers! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cranberry (Oatmeal) Spice Holiday Ale

Well, a quick namechange for now.  I don't know if the oatmeal will come through or not, as I added my cranberry, brown sugar and spice reduction to the secondary and racked on top of it.  The color is an interesting deep golden to light brown and there is only a trace of crimson from the cranberry juice cocktail reduction.  Flavor is good.  Current ABV before addition to secondary is approx 5.77%.  This is a definitely a full-bodied beer due to the toasted oat addition.  It should fare well with the slightly higher alcohol content since it will be a winter warmer style holiday brew.  More to follow soon.  Thanks for reading.  Cheers!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Ale

O.k.  This is an off the wall recipe I came up with for the  holidays.  I wanted something different so I'm giving it a shot.  I wanted a holiday beer something other than all the Pumpkin Ales out there, so this will have cranberry juice in it as well as some cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  I'm using some biscuit malt for the "bready" flavor and aroma, some toasted torrified wheat for flavor and head retention, and toasted oats of course for flavor.  Smells good at the steeping so far!
Time to start the boil.  Some wheat liquid malt extract to keep along the lines of wheat flour for baking.  Just went in so now bringing up to a boil.  Smells like toasty goodness already!
A  nice mahogany color which will be a little redder when the  cranberry juice gets added later.  Tastes delicous already.  Hops going in now and the timer starts for 60 minutes. 
I love the smell of hops!  MMMMGood!
Towards the end of the boil I'll add the brown sugar, cranberry juice, vanilla, and spices.  Then it'll go into the fermenter with the yeast for about a week, then get transferred to secondary.  I'll keep you posted!
Cheers!  Steve

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cherry Hoppin' Ale

Week two in the bottle results:  Aroma of fresh cherries, and other fruit, and just a whiff of smoke.  Flavor: Nice sweetness upfront from the cherries and the malt, transitioning to cherry tartness, a little smoke in the background, and a nice lingering flavor of tart cherries. There is also a light hint of citrus from the hops.
I created this beer for summer barbecues and it complements barbecued foods very well.  The smoke pairs well with foods cooked on the grill, and the tartness balances the sweetness of barbecue rubs and sauces.  I think a little more age on it will balance it out, so we'll give it a try in about two weeks!  Thanks for reading!  Cheers! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Full Sail Brewing

I'm enjoying Full Sail Brewing's Pale Ale and Amber Ale tonight.  The pale is smooth and quite hoppy which in turn make it slightly bitter, but since I'm a hophead, it tastes great to me all the same!  The amber has a deep amber color and is sweet and malty balanced well by the hops.  Both are great beers!  This is an underappreciated brewery out of Oregon.  Give them a try!  I don't think you'll be disappointed.  I know I'm not!  Cheers! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Congrats to Dad and Dudes Breweria

Congratulations to Dad and Dudes Breweria for attaining the title of Best Brewpub from Channel 7 A List.  It is a contest to find the best local places to enjoy, be it food, beverage, shopping, entertainment, etc.    This is one my favorite places to enjoy a good brew and great pizza.  I highly recommend it!  Congrats again Dad and Dudes!  Keep up the great work!  Cheers!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cherry Hoppin' Ale

Hello all!  Quick update on the Cherry Hoppin' Ale.  Tasted it today, one week in the bottle, and it is coming along great!  Aromas of malt, cherries, and grapefruit, with the tastes of sweet malt, cherries, and a lingering finish of pink grapefruit!  Wow!  The Citra hops are fantastic!  They give a great fruity aroma and citrus aroma and flavors that are outstanding!  These are becoming one of my favorite hop varieties!  Goes well with the cherries and pale malts I used in this beer.  There is a "brag and shwag" coming up soon at The Brew Hut that I will attend and take some of these in to see what others have to say about it.  I'll keep you posted!  Thanks again for reading!  Cheers! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cherry Hoppin' Ale Bottled

Hi all!  Well after checking on the Chery Hoppin' Ale tonight, it had clarified pretty well already, so it is now bottled!  4.5 gallons = 42 bottles of Cherry Malted Goodness!  Now I just have to wait two weeks for bottle conditioning.  UGH!  (I did get a little sample from the bottom of the bucket, though!)  Even flat and at room temperature, it tasted great!  It has great body to it and I'm betting it comes from the pectin in the cherries.  I did a few minor tweaks to the 5 gallon batch that didn't happen in the first batch, a little torrified wheat for head retention and some American Vienna malt for balance, so we'll see where we end up!  I'll keep you all posted!  Thanks for reading!  Cheers!

Cherry Hoppin Ale

Racked to tertiary for clearing for 3 days and will bottle on Wednesday.  It tastes great already!  Then two weeks conditioning.  I hate the wait!  But it is always well worth it!  Thanks for reading!  Prost!   

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dad and Dudes Breweria

A visit to our Local Dad and Dudes Breweria in Centennial, CO was a fantastic experience!  We enjoyed Popper Rolls, pizza dough rolled out thin, smothered in cream cheese, topped with fresh sliced jalapenos, rolled back up, and baked to perfection!  Delicious! 
I enjoyed a Liquid Resume Pale Ale, malts, and hops balanced perfectly, that was absolutely great!  I also enjoyed a Toffee Porter and let me tell you, it was fantastic!  The aroma and flavor of toffee in a beautiful smooth porter was spectacular!  We enjoyed it with dessert which was called, "Sweetza".  (Smores Pizza)  Pizza dough topped with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and mini marshmallows, baked until melted and gooey, then topped with 2 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream and a huge mound of whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce!  Absolutely rich and divine!
We have been to Dad and Dudes twice now and it never disappoints! 
Thanks for reading, Cheers!

Cherry Hoppin' Ale

O.k.  Today is the seventh day in secondary and I still have gentle but active fermentation going.  The Ale is clearing well and it's dark ruby color is beautiful!  Thinking of possibly racking to tertiary.  I'll wait a few more days.  I'll check th gravity today to see where it is.  Cheers! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cherry Hoppin' Ale update

I just took a hydrometer reading to see where the ale is at.  It is still fermenting ever so slightly after 4 days in the secondary.  Alcohol by volume is around 5.7 - 6% by my readings, but we still have some time to go.  I didn't want to dump the sample back into the fermenter, so I gave it a taste.  It is coming along nicely!  The light maltiness is complemented by the cherries.  The bitterness of the hops seems to be right on also.  The dry hops are giving a big nose of passionfruit which is great with the cherries.  The finish is cisping up as the residual sugars are being devoured by the yeast.  A light whiff of smoke is slightly evident on the finish due to the small amount of smoked malt added to the grist.  This makes a great summer beer!  I may bump the smoked malt up just a tad to make it a great barbecue beer!  Cheers!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cherry Hoppin' Ale

The Cherry Hoppin' Ale went into secondary fermentation this morning.  Over 3 pounds of juiced bing cherries and 2 ounces of hops will give this beer the aroma and flavor that makes it delicious! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cherry Hoppin' Ale

5 gallons Cherry Hoppin' Ale in the fermenter!  The test batch was great so I exploded the recipe and it is fermenting nicely!  5 of 5 great reviews can't be wrong, especially since the test batch of 2 gallons is history.  Bummer, but I keep staring at the fermenter in the basement.....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cherry Hoppin' Ale

The test batch of Cherry Hoppin' Ale is about gone!  It turned out great.  Bing Cherries and dry hops added to a nice Pale Ale recipe I created makes for great beer!  My testers all agreed, so the recipe has been scaled up to 5 gallons and the cherries have been purchased!  I'll keep you posted on production.  Thanks for reading!  Steve

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just tried the dry hopped cherry ale and it is fantastic! Another week and it will be even better!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hmmm...What to brew next?  I'm thinking an all grain batch of Rye Ale as I cannot find one to sample anywhere.  Maybe even a Smoked Ale  again as I cannot locate one in the area to imbibe.  I guess you could say I am leaning toward German style beers..... I'll keep you posted!  Thanks for reading!

Dry Hopped Cherry Pale Ale

Well, the micro batch of Dry Hopped Cherry Pale Ale is in bottles conditioning.  One more week before tasting!  I don't think I can wait that long!  So......I'll wait!  UGH!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sweet Stout Production

5 lbs Specialty Grains
 Hello all!  I'm going to walk you through my latest batch of beer I created on July 9, 2011.  It is a sweet stout sometimes referred to as a milk or cream stout because of the addition of lactose which makes for a smooth and creamy mouth feel.
I started with 5 lbs of specialty grains which I purchased from The Brew Hut and milled it at the store.  Milling is a process of crushing grain between rollers to expose the insides where all the sugars are maintained.  We need those to get into our wort so our yeast will have some good eats.  The specialty grains also add color, body, and flavor to our wort.

Heating some water

 Here I am heating the water to a temperature of about 165 F so when I place the grains in the temp will drop to about 152 F for optimum extraction of sugars.  Proper temperatures must be maintained to ensure the best possible product.  If the temperature is too high, over 170 F some tannins may be leeched from the grain and hulls causing that drying, tongue biting feeling, often associated with red wines.  We don't want that!

Steeping the Grain

    The grains are steeping nicely!  As you can see some color is imparted almost instantly as the grains meet the water.  I steep the grains for 30 minutes, then remove from the wort.  I don't wring the grain socks as that can leech the tannins and astringents in to the wort.  I just let them drip until it slows almost to a stop.  

Boiling the wort

 Now we get rolling!  To a gentle boil that is!  I bring the temperature of the wort up and add any adjuncts that I need in my wort.  Things like hops for bittering and flavor, lactose, any other sugars, herbs, spices, malt extracts either liquid concentrate or dry powder form, etc.  The boil will last 60 minutes.  Hops can be added in separate additions throughout the entire boil.  A teaspoon of Irish Moss is usually added with 15 minutes left on the boil.  Irish Moss is dried seaweed that is used as a clarifying agent that assists in removal of excess proteins.

Ready for fermentation

I've cooled the wort to 68 F and added enough water to make 5 gallons.  I use a dry yeast and pitch it directly onto the surface of the wort, wait for 30 minutes, then aerate using a gentle swirling motion.  The yeast will become active in 24 to 48 hours and a krausen, will form.  It is a dirty looking froth on the surface of the beer that is formed as the yeast are doing their work.  The beer will start swirling with activity and sometimes it is fun just to watch!  Temperature from this point on is crucial!  The recommended temperature for ales is 65-75 F.  If the temperture gets above 75 F then the risk of of "hot" alcohol flavors may present.  Too cool and the yeast will become dormant and go to sleep.

Active Fermentation

As you can see, there is a murky krausen formed.  We are in active fermentation.  The yeast will devour the sugars in the beer producing alcohol and carbon dioxide as by products.  As the sugar level in the beer drops, the yeast will become less active and settle out.  Some remain suspended in the beer which we will need later at bottling time for final conditioning or carbonating.  The yeast will settle out to the bottom of the bottle after carbonation.

More to come soon!  

Hi all!  Sorry it's been a few days.  Life you know?  Anyhow, the Sweet Stout production continues in the secondary fermenter.  The yeast is still active after 5 days in the secondary, and should start slowing soon.  We should be able to bottle this weekend, and of course I'll take a little taste to be sure we're on track!  I'll post more pictures soon also.  Thanks for reading!

O.k. follow up on the Sweet Stout.  I thought I was going to have carbonation problems, but after moving the beer to a warmer location in the house, it is starting to carbonate better after only 2 days.  I'll check again in a week, then in two weeks.  Bottoms up!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

German Altbier follow up

Hello!  The German Altbier is carbonating very well!  The flavor is good and the sweetness is starting to dry some.  I still get the aroma of brown sugar with a nice roasted malt flavor and nice bittering from the hops.  I'll post a picture soon when I enjoy one tonight.  Cheers!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

German Altbier Update

Hello!  Our German Altbier is coming along nicely!  After one week in bottles it is carbonating well.  It still has a week left for bottle conditioning.  This beer has a nose of caramel and brown sugar, with the taste of toasted malt and caramel.  Currently it has a slightly more defined hops bitterness but I believe it will smooth with more aging.  I will update in a week on this beer.  Thanks for reading!  Steve

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dry Dock Brewing's Latest Offerings

Today I sampled some great beers at Dry Dock Brewing.  The first was Bligh's Old Ale.  Let me tell you this beer is fantastic!  The brewers take their HMS Bounty Old Ale, which is one of my favorites, rack it to Stranahan's, another fine Colorado label, used whiskey barrels, then age it for seven months!  Let me tell you, WOW!  The aroma and sweetness from the whiskey and the woodiness of the barrel makes for one intriguing glass of brew that is even served in a brandy snifter to allow the drinker to savor the aroma and flavor!  Fantastic!

The other beer I tried at Dry Dock was the Munich Dunkel, or Dunkel-stiltskin, as they are calling it at the tap.  This is a dark amber/red color mildly hopped American wheat beer.  It has a slight sweetness and nice toasted malt flavor.  Very drinkable and definitely enjoyable.  In fact I had to go back that night and fill my growler to enjoy some more!  (For those of you that don't know, a growler is a half-gallon jug that once purchased, it can be refilled many times over.)  Very Green option!

I hope you enjoy this post!  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

German Altbier Homebrew

O.k.  I am re-acquainting myself with homebrewing after a very long hiatus due to life in general.  Janell bought me an ultra brewing kit for father's day from The Brew Hut in Aurora.  (She is the best wife ever!)  We decided to start with a middle of the road brew called German Altbier.  Dark amber in color slight bitterness from the hops and a lower alcohol content for drinkability.  It was made June 16, 2011, and is now in bottles "conditioning", (carbonating) for two weeks.  Come on July 9!  This was a good kit recommended by the fine folks at The Brew Hut.  I will keep you posted on how it turns out. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I am starting a blog to review food and beverages at local establishments in Aurora, CO, and the surrounding denver metro area.  I am also an avid craft beer brewer so there will be information on homebrewing as well.  Thanks for reading and your providing feedback!