Archive for May, 2009

Methode Champenoise

Friday, May 29th, 2009

If you haven’t voted for the style of my next brew make sure you do here
Also Señor Brew is taking votes on naming his kegs here

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Recently I heard about methode Champenoise, and it really has intrigued me. So much so that I think I may do it for all my future competition submissions. So since the process intrigued me so much I figured I’d explain how to do something I’ve never tried before.

Methode Champenoise is a process used in making champagne that removes all yeast sediment from the carbonated product. This would definitely come in handy in a situation like a competition where you want your bottle conditioned beer to come out as clear as possible. That and shooting plugs of yeast sounds like a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. So how does it work? Well I’m getting to that.

The first step in methode Champenoise is riddling your bottles. This is done by placing the bottle in a riddling rack or for the more do it yourselfers with small amounts you can place the bottles upside down. As the bottles carbonate yeast sediment in the bottle will settle in the neck of the bottle. For riddling racks the bottles have to be turned periodically to ensure an even spread to the sediment. Riddling can take awhile since you have to wait for all sediment in the beer to fall out. To help it along I’d probably crash cool the bottles upside down after they have carbonated. That way a several month process could be knocked down to a month.

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After riddling has taken place you freeze the necks of the bottles up to the top of the sediment in a brine and dry ice solution. This will turn the yeast sediment into one big ice plug. Next you pop the crown cap, shoot your plug, top off the bottle with more beer, and recap. The whole process from shooting the plug to recaping should only take seconds, not minutes. Once this is done then you should supposedly have a sediment free beer.

If anyone has done this, or does try it I’d love to hear how it worked for you.

Choose My Next Beer

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

career20choice202I’ve decided I enjoy leaving my brewing schedule up to you guys once in awhile. But true to form I need to put my own spin on things. So I’ve decided to let people vote on a style for me to brew using the comments, and then once style is down I will toss out some beers in that style for you to choose from. So here are your style choices.

I have kept the number of choices low to force some kind of consensus

Amber Ale
Barleywine
Brown Ale
IPA
Stout
Wheat
Rye

To vote for a style just let me leave a comment on this post with your vote.

An Alcohol Free Weekend

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

no_beerSo this last Saturday and Sunday I went to a Mariners game, did a drawing for a brewing kit, and walked around Pikes Place Market. The one thing I didn’t do though was drink a single beer. Talk about lame. Right across the street from SAFECO Field was Pyramid Brewery, perhaps Washingtons biggest brewery, and I didn’t go in for a pint. Walking around Pikes Place we saw Pikes Place brewery, and again I abstained. Talk about torture for a beer fan. All that local Seattle beer, and not a drop to drink.

The beer highlight for the weekend was a $7 O’Douls at Safeco. All in all O’Douls makes pretty good near beer. It tasted somewhat like a pilsner. But at $7 a bottle one was my limit, even if it was a non-alcoholic beer. Instead I tried a few craft sodas this weekend (two of which were imports) and spent the days relaxing with friends. Did I miss beer? Sure I did. When I was drinking that O’Douls, or walking by those breweries you bet I wanted to go in, sample some beers, and post about it. But overall it was nice to relax with friends without wondering how I could do a write up for my blog. To be honost I could have done without the whole market atmosphere of Pikes Place though. But that’s another post.

If Saturday and Sunday were alcohol free though then Monday and Tuesday were all about beer. Monday we did an actual tasting for relatives of my homebrew, and I got four bombers of Rogue from my cousin. Tuesday though was strange. Without even trying it seemed every conversation became about beer. We were talking about our second jobs and hobbies, beer came up. I went to Mt Angel Sausage Co. for lunch, and they were picking out beers and wanted my opinion. I went to Bavarian House after work for a pint, and the server thought I was too young to be drinking “dark beer”, and we ended up talking about beer. It seems whether or not I want/force it too my life revolves more and more around beer lately.

Mr Beer Drawing

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

The winner has been notified, and I will let you know who it is when I get a response.

Mr Beer Drawing from 72mm Blogs on Vimeo.

Memorial Day and Beer

Monday, May 25th, 2009

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Memorial Day is the second biggest holiday in terms of beer sales in the United States. For many people it means a three day weekend full of camping and BBQ’s, many breweries also have sales/tastings around memorial day. While I’m all for good beer and good times, I can’t help but wonder if craft beer should be taking advantage of this holiday. Sure brewers weren’t the ones that took a patriotic holiday and morphed it into a party, and sure macro brewers have been taking advantage of it for years. But isn’t the philosophy of craft beer about being different? Being better?

Memorial Day was founded as a day of remembrance in the north to honor those slain in the Civil War, with the  south choosing to honor their dead on separate days. When memorial day became about honoring all Americas slain though the government set a date for the whole nation to honor those who died for our country. Over the years though memorial day has morphed for many into a day of play lived out in a beery haze. By craft brewers encouraging people to spend their memorial day having fun in a buzzed state how are we honoring our dead?

I say the craft beer industry should stand up. It should show what it;s made of, and that it can be different. That craft beer is the unique industry that it claims to be, and not just gourmet beer for people with money. Let’s reclaim our holiday! I understand not everyone can, or has the desire too, go to a grave site and place flowers. So instead let’s honor the dead as drinkers honor everything. At 3pm Pacific time join me in taking a break from the fun, and take a second to remember our fallen heroes and toast to their honor. Because today isn’t a holiday for beer, BBQ’s, and boating. Today is a holiday for America.

The More I Drink

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

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I figured I should do more today then just remind everyone that today is the last day to enter the drawing. But what should I post about? I have a ton of posts stored away for a rainy day, or just sitting around waiting for me to do more research, or just ideas that have failed. So why not toss one of those up? I don’t know to be honest, but I will blame it on last night. After all beer kills brain cells right? So therefore last night has killed the cells that did my thinking….. There may not have been many there to begin with, but still. The reason I blame last night is that it’s a perfect example of why I don’t like drinking more then a couple beers at a time.

I’ll explain,

When I drink beer everything’s fine normally. I have a few, I relax, then I go about the rest of my evening. If I get buzzed though it becomes hard to stop. You’ve heard of beer munchies right? The thing where you drink alot of beer and then crave chips. Well I get the munchies, but the only thing that satisfies them is more beer. I stop before I get drunk, but even then that much beer can’t be good on the gut. Last night is a perfect example. I was craving a nice creamy stout on my way home from work and decided the stout in the fridge just wouldn’t cut it. So I get to the beer isle and can’t decide what would hit the spot. I ended up walking away with an imperial stout, an oatmeal stout, and a British IPA thinking I’d drink one, and leave the other two in reserve for another time….. Ya…..

Anyway I started off with the 22oz imperial that came in at 8.2% abv. It was really tasty for an imperial and that combined with my thirst and empty stomach the beer was empty in no time, and I was a little buzzed. I sat there for about five minutes before deciding that the oatmeal was starting to sound tasty. In another couple minutes I’d decided to have it and another 22oz beer bit the dust. Luckily I was somewhat smarter with this one and savored the creaminess of it. I was still buzzed however, and beer still sounded good, so the British style IPA came out and another pint was added to list of victims. By the time I’d finished this beer I knew I had to head to bed so I could be up in the morning so I called it quits. I went to bed with a grin on my face though, a good buzz, and three more empties to refill with my next batch.

Last Call

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

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Today is your last day to enter your name in the drawing for the Mr Beer. There are two ways to enter. One is to leave a relevant comment on any of my posts. The other is to send your favorite beer related story or experience to theweeklybrew@live.com

As I’ve said before, the drawing will take place tomorrow, I will video it, and I will post the results after the winner has gotten back to me. Have a great memorial day weekend everyone, and good luck.  🙂

Future Beer Ideas

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

It’s always a bad to get me brainstorming about weird beer ideas. A nice easy conversation about unusual beers has a tendancy to become a nightmare for traditionalist brewers as I debate the idea of black olive, chocolate PB, asparagus, and hay as adjuncts for beer.

Last night one of these conversations began with my friend Dan, and next thing I knew we were throwing out recipe ideas left and right. So for your amusement I thought I’d post a sample of the ideas we came up with. A quick warning though, a few of these have gone into recipe development, so if the idea of butter flavor in beer makes you ill then stop reading now.

Irish Coffee Stout

Irish coffee is a nice sitting by the fire in the evening drink. So with coffee stouts already existing why not try to duplicate the Irish Cream flavor and add it in? This ones in research and recipe development.

French Toast American Wheat

This one is all Dans idea, but it has intrigued me and may go into development phase soon. It would be a mellow American wheat with an ale yeast to eliminate typical banana flavors from traditional wheat beer yeasts. Adjuncts would be vanilla, maple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter flavoring. The butter flavor is the thing I keep getting hung up on.

Mocha Porter

I know Rogue has a Mocha Porter, but it just lacks the strength of coffee flavors that I’d like. mine would be a combination of something like Youngers Double Chocolate and some really intense coffee stout with some sweetness and some oatmeal for mouth feel.

Light Roast Irish Red

This is one I’ve had bouncing around for a little bit, but am still uncertain on execution. It would be an Irish Red with a light roast coffee flavor.

Salem Beer Festival?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

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As I’ve hinted at in another post there may be a new beer festival coming to Oregon, and it will be located right in our capitol. Mission Mill Museum, Capitol Brewers, and others are all in the process of trying to make this thing happen. If it gets off the ground then they’re aiming for September at the Mission Mill Museum. So far I know Seven Brides has been officially approached, and others probably have also. It will be great to finally have a beer festival in our own backyard. From my research I think I’m the first one to break this online, so it’s hard finding details. As they become available though I’ll post updates. If anyone has any information send me an email at theweeklybrew@live.com