Monday, December 29, 2008

The Blizzard of 08 is done!

We had a nice Christmas break with 12 inches of snow falling in the Beaverton area. This is considered a TON around here. We all survived - although some co workers had a tree fall on his house and another guy had a branch break through his wind shield while he was driving!

Shawn transferred Ms. Sally to the secondary fermentation on Sunday. Now we wait 4 weeks. Then we bottle - should be on track for middle of February!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mustang Sally Fermenting

We spent Sunday afternoon in the usual brewing-day fashion - brewing good beer, drinking good beer, watching Ravens football on a plasma TV, and grillin' steaks. Does it get any better? I don't think it does.

Mustang Sally went into the primary as thick as molasses. She's blub-blubbin' as I write this. We've got a monster on our hands, here. We'll need to be real patient for Sally, as she's going to take longer than her pale brothers to deliver her goodness. We gotta slow that Mustang down.

But when she's ready, oh man, she's gonna treat us right. Hey, make your own jokes, friends!

Expect Mustang Sally Imperial Stout to be ready to drink in 6 to 8 weeks. Expect a chocolately goodness you simply won't find in a commercial beer. Expect something amazing.

-S, very much jealous of that Russian River field trip

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Holidays!

For Thanksgiving, Jenn and I drove down to Northern California/San Francisco area. We had a great time. While in SF, we visited with a friend - thanks Paula!!!! - saw the Golden Gate bridge, went to Chinatown, and rode a trolley all in one day!

We also stayed in Santa Rosa, CA - home to one of the best breweries in the country - Russian River! We had a great time there. The pub was pretty cool and the people were friendly. We brought back a bunch of shirts, glasses, and beer! Go Pliny!

In order to survive the winter months here in the rainy Northwest - Shawn and I are going to brew an Imperial Stout. Mustang Sally Super Stout will begin this afternoon. At 10% ABV- this monster beer should be awesome and will definitely keep us warm!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Super Bee Wheat review - plus other news

The president of my company gave Super Bee Wheat a pretty good review. He really liked it and wanted more! He said it was a great beer to eat pizza with!

In other news, Jabba the Hop is in Shawn's fridge and should be ready by now. He is away until the middle of November, so we'll have to wait to try it.

I got a new beer book for my birthday that has some awesome recipes in it. My next beer will be an Imperial Stout. The book also had a recipe for a Double IPA from the brewer that makes Pliny - so we will definitely make that sometime!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jabba the Hop

We bottled Roid Rage 2.0 yesterday -which I am going to call Jabba the Hop. There are a lot of cool label ideas that we can do with that one.

The smell and taste of the beer was really awesome. Super fruity and really good. This will be the best beer so far!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Roid Rage Goes Secondary

Roid Rage 2 was racked to the secondary on Wednesday. Racking went smoothly, and the beer percolated happily upon being stoppered by the airlock.

This time, for the dry hopping, Greg purchased 2oz of Cascade and 2oz of New Zealand Riwaka, which is a souped-up Saaz variety. We don't have any experience with NZR, but as I opened the air-tight package, wow! It smells great - it's fresh, strong, and spicy. Anyone who likes Ninkasi Tricerahops DIPA will appreciate the grapefruit tones found in NZR. This may be one of the secret ingredients in the legendary Pliney the Elder...

Just my suspicion.

Expect RR2 to be bottled in about 7-10 days, and drinkable perhaps a week later.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Roid Rage Version 2.0

We started a new batch of Roid Rage this weekend. We are going to enter it in a Homebrew competition sponsored by Bridgeport Brewing. The beer is due by the end of October, so we have plenty of time. Taking into account some of the comments we got from the State Fair reviews of Roid Rage 1.0, we decided to really kick things up a notch. We added a lot more hops. We were lucky to use fresh Nugget hops from my friends Jon and Cathy's "hop yard." We also used extra pale malt instead of pale malt. Hopefully, these things will make Roid Rage bigger, bolder, and better.

The Super Bee Wheat is coming along nicely. Every time I open a bottle, it is smoother and better. With all that honey, it seems to be taking a lot longer to fully bottle condition.

I started fooling around with the kegging system. I am going to make some old time sarsaparilla soda once I get everything figured out.

We had our bottle of Pliny the Elder. Only 72 bottles were brought up to Portland and the store was limiting purchases to 1 per person. It is awesome!! It is the type and quality we are striving for. Super hoppy, super bitter - but in a good way, just plain amazing. We are planning a road trip down to Santa Rosa, CA sometime in November.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blue Ribbon Winning Label Design

We won the Label Competition at the State Fair. Many thanks to Pete for his fine work. The Roid Rage label was proudly on display with the blue ribbon next to it.

One cool thing was that we got to see the tasting notes the judges gave our 2 beer submissions. It was the first time we got professional feedback on our beers. We got scores of "good" for both. That is kind of like the middle of the road - not great - but not horrible.

I tried the Super Bee - it needs more time to get fully carbonated. The taste was not what I was expecting. I'm interested to get Shawn's take on the flavor.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Do you like your gut rotted out?

If so, you'll love Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey!
They sell this stuff at my local liquor store. $10 for a mason jar. It's more a novelty than a serious hard alcohol. Honestly, its not as bad as I thought it would be, but definitely not that good. There is really almost no taste, but you can certainly feel the burn. The smell is like bad tequila. I wouldn't use this for anything other than sticking a wick in it and having a nice camping lantern.

In other news...
We are getting ready to go to the fair this weekend. Should be good. Hoping for at least one Blue Ribbon. Also, Poison is playing that night - so with Brett Micheals in town - anything can happen!
We bottled Super Bee Wheat - should be ready by next week.
Shawn made some Cream Soda - I am anxious to try that!

Friday, August 15, 2008

"It's a Major Award!" - the Dad from A Christmas Story

This just in -

I received a call from the Oregon State Fair inviting us to the Awards Ceremony on August 30th.

We entered 2 beers and the label competition. She wouldn't tell me what we won, but she said we had a ribbon and a prize pack waiting for us.

So now we can definitely say we are "Award Winning" - at least in some respect.

Shawn and I were joking that before we were just 2 schmucks with bad day jobs, now we are 2 schmucks with bad day jobs and an award!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Now, it's up to the judges...

My beautiful and lovely wife, Jenn, drove down to Salem today to drop off the beer for the State Fair Homebrew competition. The awards are announced at the end of August during the fair, so we'll let you know how things go.

We are very excited. We entered the Roid Rage into the Imperial IPA category. We have no idea how many other people enter this thing - so it will be a learning experience. We entered the Band Camp in the American Pale ale category. We also entered 3 labels that our friend Pete did into the label competition.

I tried the Band Camp last night. It still needs a few days to fully carbonate. It has a nice color. You can taste the ginger. I'll reserve final judgement until later next week.

We will rack the Super Bee to the secondary this week for sure. We want to make sure the fermentation is at least 95% completed. Shawn said that sometimes with honey - it can be sneaky. You think it's done, but its really not. In that case it would leave the beer sweet - more like malty honey juice than actual beer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Company Logo Unveiled!

Many thanks to my friend Pete for his winning design. As advertised, Pete will get free beer for life. My sister, Heather, also contributed some design ideas. Thanks for all your support. Pete also made some 2nd generation label designs too. I will release those at some point in the future.

Monday, July 28, 2008

OGBC Now in the Kegging Business

Old Growth now has kegging equipment. On Saturday I was able to retrieve all of my gear from an old friend I hadn't seen in a long time. Surprisingly, everything I left with him he managed to keep together each time he'd moved since last I saw him. Apparently my gear followed him to 3 different homes. I can't believe he held onto it the whole time.

Now folks will be able to enjoy OGBC products on tap, once kegging begins.

Ah, and it also means anytime Greg or I need a dose of cold Roid Rage, we need only stumble down into the trusty garage and push a button.

Life is good.


Band Camp Summer Ale in the bottles!

Band Camp Summer Ale was bottled on 7/23/08.

End gravity sat at about 1.058, putting it at about 5.5% ABV.

Shown in the photo is Greg's original label, in all its radiant beauty. Never mind the incorrect date stamp. Greg received some new labels for our beers recently (from a friend of his) and I'm sure he's wanting to show them off to everyone. I won't spoil it, but I will say they are excellent and professional, yet they also quite succinctly capture the spirit of the originals.

Band Camp Summer Ale will be ready to drink in about a week.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Latest Happenings...

Band Camp Summer Ale should be bottled on Monday 7/21.

We plan on submitting Band Camp and Roid Rage to the Oregon State Fair. They have an annual home brew competition. The entry deadline is the last week of July. If we win anything, you can bet I'll be putting "Award Winning" somewhere on the labels! Also - they have a label design contest - so we'll see how that goes.

Super Bee Wheat is fermenting away. Because of the amount of honey in that one - we plan on it taking a little longer than usual to go through the primary - then at least 2-3 weeks in the secondary. It will be well into August before that one is done.

We'll probably do another round of Roid Rage next. See if we can duplicate our first edition. Consistency is the mark of a master home brewer.

I got a fridge from a former co worker for the garage. Hopefully, we plan on converting that into a kegerator sometime in August.

We haven't gotten any logo ideas yet - so everyone better get on that!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Super Bee is buzzing!

After a very hot afternoon in my kitchen and some minor technical challenges, Super Bee Wheat is on its way!

Apparently, my kitchen stove top does not do a very good job of boiling large quantities of liquids. It took FOREVER for the water to get boiling. It also didn't help that it was about 95 degrees in my house.

We used 2 pounds of Orange Blossom honey and 1 pound of Poison Oak honey - so we shall see!

That's one of the things I like about brewing. It's like Christmas morning - you never know how things are going to turn out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

This one time, in band camp...

Band Camp Summer Ale was racked to the secondary last night. It has a light copper color so far. Within a couple of hours of racking, clarifying had already begun. It should be light and refreshing. It was dry-hopped as well, so there should be some fruity tastes and smells to come out of it. There won't be too much in the way of bitterness.

Expect it to be ready for bottle-conditioning in about a week or week and a half.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey

This stuff is for real. 94 proof. The color of magma! The taste is soooo smoooooth. Such a long slow burn- really warming. Each label is hand written. If you drink bourbon, you will love this. If you drink scotch, you will love this. American single malt at its finest. Highly recommended.

Check their site: Stranahan's

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Logo Design Contest

The name Old Growth Brewing comes from the term "old growth forests" that once dominated the Northwest. To me - it means really big trees and pristine wilderness. A place undisturbed by the activities of men. It is where the BIG boys play!! A place where nature still rules.

So - I am going to have a contest to help design the logo. The only guideline is that some shade of green be used. So get your creative juices flowing!!! Think about giant sequoias, doug firs, redwoods! These are the tallest, oldest living things on the planet! Think snow melt fed mountain streams, moss covered rain forests!

I retain the right to not pick any ideas submitted or to "pick and choose" parts from several ideas. I am the judge and will solely determine the winner. That person (or group) will get free beer for life.*

*Some restrictions may apply.

Roid Rage IPA

This is our flagship beer. Lots of hops, floral aroma, not too much bitterness, caramel color. This beer is a great example of a Northwest style India Pale Ale. Around 7% alcohol, this beer packs quite a punch.

So far, everyone has said they like it. It is very easy to drink, and goes down way too fast.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A long time ago... a garage in Beaverton, Oregon, a dream was born.

This is the initial post of my latest creation: Old Growth Brewing Company.

I have a lot of ideas and we will see how this blog evolves.