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!