Friday, September 25, 2009

Ok - so not too bad!

Surprisingly, the Jennerator is better than I thought. There is nothing really wrong with the flavor. The color is spot on perfect. It is basically what I thought it should be. Overall, I would give it a B. It still needs to carbonate a little bit more. Probably be good in a week or two.

Might try and do a hard apple cider next. That is really easy. Just ferment apple juice.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Um, ya...

I finally bottled the dopplebock. Hopefully, it will turn out ok. We'll see in a few weeks.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I racked the dopplebock to the secondary fermentation tank yesterday. I looked back and saw that it started fermenting on March 16th - 2 1/2 months ago! I have no idea how this is going to turn out. I dont think it was supposed to take that long - but whatever - we'll see....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It just keeps going....and going....and going....

The Jennerator is still fermenting...It's been a while - but no worries...

Shawn and I saw the movie Beer Wars - it was pretty good...but made me depressed about opening a brewery. It takes a ton of money and is really difficult. What a big surprise!

Anyway - at one point in the movie, they went to a bar and asked people what beer they drank. Most people said Bud, Miller, or Coors. Then they asked them if they thought they could tell which was which in a blind taste test. Everybody thought they could. BUT nobody could tell the difference.

That led me to want to see if me and my friends could tell the difference. We got bottles of Bud Light, cans of Miller Lite, and bottles of Coors Light. Basically, it was almost impossible for me to tell them apart. I did correctly identify Coors, based mainly on color. It looked the lightest to me. I could not tell them apart based on taste at all. Jenn didn't get any right. My one friend got them all right! She said they smelled different to her. My other friend got 1 right too.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Doing good..

The Jennerator is doing well...still bubbling slowly away - the recipe I have said primary fermentation would take 2 weeks. It was 2 weeks on Sunday and it is still going...not a big deal - the beer tells you when its ready - not the other way around. Probably another week or two - then rack to secondary. This will take 3-4 weeks and is done to condition and "lager" the beer.

I spoke with the owner of Heater Allen Brewery this morning. He was very helpful and I learned a lot. Mainly that I have a long way to go and really know nothing about brewing on a commercial scale...but it was fun. I gave him a bottle of Mustang Sally as a thank you - he seemed to get a kick out of the name. I bought 2 bottles of his doppelbock and am looking forward to trying them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A friend's fridge!

Notice 3 OGBC products!!!!

It's really cool to see the beers that you made in a friend's fridge.

He's really got some nice top shelf brews!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Saraveza is one of the top beer joints in Oregon  -   right up there with Belmont Station.

They had Pliny the Elder on tap today - it was awesome - Tim and I created a new motto:
"Don't replace it with what you blew, replace it with something new!"  They tapped 3 new kegs while we were there! Double Mountain Alt, Ommegang Rouge, and Allagash Triple - nice combo!

I was talking to my friends about beer.  One was so dramatic - she believes that fermentation is "literally magic" and an "act of God" - which many people have believed for thousands of years.   She loves the sour taste of Belgian beers - the earthy, barnyard flavor  - it's "actually living history in a glass".  Am glad to be here during this time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Doppel Bock tour!

First I had Lion Double Bock - from the Czech Republic - a fine Euro style double bock - clean, pale, crisp - I liked it.

Then I went to Widmer - they had a dark Doppelbock - very malty, not bad.

Then - Capitol Brewing- from Wisconsin - made a Blonde Doppelbock - much like the Czech beer - not bad - 7.6% abv - quite a nice beer

Then Celebrator Doppelbock - straight from Germany - considered one of the best in the world - not bad either - I liked it - smooth, sweet, malty...just like how it is supposed to be.

I know these descriptions wont tell the reader much about the flavor of these beers, but I am trying to build my own palate.

It will be cool to see how my beer turns out...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hop Rhizomes!

Old Growth got into the hop producing world today!

I got my 2 rhizomes today. I wanted to take a picture of them, but I forgot until after I planted them. Basically, they look like roots - about 5 inches long, half inch think.

I got 1 Magnum - which is a super awesome bittering hop - very high alpha acid content - 11.5. From Main Street: "A great bittering hop. This hop is from Germany and has a very low cohumulone level, which gives it a very clean, non-harsh bittering. Not recommended for flavoring or aroma."

I also got 1 Mt Hood - this will be a finishing or aroma hop: "A Hallertauer hybrid. This hop is bred to resemble true German Hallertauer (as opposed to American-grown Hallertauer). It has a strong floral characteristic and can be used in any beer where Hallertauer is called for."

I don't think you get anything the first year - the second year they are more established.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Dark German Lager is bubbling!

I pitched the yeast in the wort last night.

For some reason the wort didn't cool as fast as I have seen in the past. After a few more hours than usual, the wort got down under 80 degrees. I pitched the yeast and placed the carboy in my garage. I had thought this would be cool enough to get the beer down to a good lager fermenting temperature.

This morning the temp on the carboy was 62 - not quite cold enough. So I placed it in the fridge and it is currently at 52 - which I think is good.

It will be interesting to see how well I can regulate the temperature. Also, the starter yeast smelled great...real German lager!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Jennerator!

I began the "yeast starter" for the next beer today. It will be a German style doppelbock. From wikipedia: "Doppelbock or double bock is a Bavarian speciality beer that was first brewed by the monks of St. Francis of Paula. Alcohol content ranges from 6% to over 10% by volume. Historic versions had lower alcohol content and higher sweetness, and was considered "liquid bread" by the monks. Most versions are dark colored, but pale versions do exist. The color ranges from deep gold to dark brown in color, with a large, creamy, persistent head ranging from white for pale versions to off-white for darker versions, although doppelbocks with higher alcohol content may not display good head retention. It has a very strong malty aroma, with some toasty aromas. Some alcohol aroma may be present, and darker versions may have a chocolate-like or fruity aroma. The flavor is very rich and malty, with toasty flavors and noticeable alcoholic strength. Most versions are fairly sweet, due to little or no hop flavor. Paler versions may have a drier finish. Examples include Spaten Optimator, Tucher Bajuvator, Troeg's Troegenator, Augustiner Maximator, Weihenstephan Korbinian, Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock, EKU 28°, Eggenberg Urbock 23, Samichlaus, Abita Andygator, and Birra Moretti La Rossa. The Minim monks who originally brewed Doppelbock named their beer "Salvator", which today is trademarked by Paulaner. In homage to the original, it is traditional for breweries to give their Doppelbocks names that end in "-ator".[1] In Estonia, "Double Bock", which has 8% alcohol by volume is especially popular among the youth."

This will be the first time we have made a lager - as opposed to all of our previous beers, which were ales. Lagers tend to need more yeast, so you do a starter to make more yeast.

The major differences are that lager yeast need lower temperatures to ferment than ale yeast does. And it will take much longer to make. The primary fermentation will take 2 weeks in my garage - which is between 50-55 degrees. Then I will give the yeast a "diacetyl rest. " Without going into to much detail, I'll bring the solution inside the house to raise the temperature for 2 days. Then, the lagering will begin. This secondary fermentation will take place in my spare fridge at about 35-40 degrees for 8-10 weeks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mustang Sally a success!

We had a good time Saturday night. Everyone seemed to enjoy the beers.

First, the Mustang Sally Super Stout - that beer is good, really good. Chocolatey, intense, dark, heavy hitting, somehow seemed like it was barrel aged. Very smooth and not bitter. This is a sipping beer. At 10%, you really cant drink too much. I think it turned out great and was very happy. This beer will age very well - look forward to tasting around Christmas.

We also had Jabba the Hop, Super Bee, Band Camp, and the very last bottle of Roid Rage.

Just for fun, we did a raffle. The first prize was a bottle of our homemade Amish root beer. By the way, I will need to get more syrup, everyone really liked it. I think Tim - Crystal's boyfriend - won the root beer. The second prize went to a four pack of our beer. Gizelle won that, but later traded it to Tracy for a 2 liter of root beer. Tim Miller won the grand prize - which was a Old Growth t shirt (which I am modeling) and a big bottle of stout!

I think for our next beers, Shawn will try to replicate Roid Rage and I will attempt our first lager - a German style doppleboch!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Amish Root Beer is good!

I tested a 2 liter bottle last night. It turned out pretty good. There might be some minor adjustments I could make in the future. I like the sweetness level - I don't like super sweet soda. Jenn said she would like it more with a little bit more sugar. I was very pleased with the carbonation level. Lots of bubbly burpy goodness.

We are getting ready for our "Meet the Brewers" night. I have some good ideas for some door prizes or maybe a raffle. It should be a fun time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dark Chocolatey Goodness!!

Shawn and I bottled our Imperial Stout tonight. As Shawn said, "For something that doesn't have any chocolate in it, this thing is like drinking a dark chocolate bar."
The alcohol content is well hidden on the back end. But don't be fooled, this monster will knock you out!
It seemed fairly mellow and smooth, which is what I like. I think the bubbles will help make the beer even smoother.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Meet the Brewers" Night!

We are going to host our First "Meet the Brewers" night at our house on Saturday, March 7th. More specific details later...

We plan on showcasing our newest creation - Mustang Sally Super Stout. We'll also have tastings of our previous brews: Jabba the Hop, Super Bee Wheat, and maybe a bottle or two of Band Camp and Roid Rage! There will even be a non-alcoholic root beer made from syrup purchased straight from the Amish in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Mark your calenders for this seminal event in Northwest brewing history!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Trinity Brewing Company

Normally, I am biased towards Northwest beers and breweries. During a recent trip to Colorado, I got a chance to check out Trinity Brewing Company

This was a cool place. It's probably one of the few truly hippie breweries that I have seen. 75% of the menu was vegetarian/vegan - which is really unique for a brewpub. Everything in the building is recycled, reclaimed timber, etc. The bar top is made from glass shards of old broken bottles the guys drank when making the place.

The brewery opened about 4 months ago. They serve the beers in 10 different glasses - one glass for each style of beer. The servers wash out the glass, pour the beer - with foam overflowing - then wash the outside of the glass off.

I had 3 different Trinity beers. The first was Flo IPA on CO2 - which is "conventional" style. The second was the Awaken stout on cask. Usually I don't like cask, but this one was ok. It was aged with tangerine, rosemary, and Dreadlock hops (never heard of). If you don't like rosemary, you wouldn't like this beer. You could really smell and taste it. The third was the Flo IPA on cask. This was aged on jasmine, lavender, clove, Crystal, Kent, and Willamette hops. It was a unique beer.

Overall, I would definitely go back. I have mixed feelings about trying to be SO different that they make beers that aren't really that drinkable. But - on the other hand - I like to try new things! This place was truly for "beer snobs" - no Bud or Coors here!