Posts Tagged ‘2 cents’

Beer News

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Before I start what looks to be a serious post I want to share something with you. A week or two ago when the Sam Adams scandal was still in the news I ran across this image from destonio.net

samadamsporter

With this recession going on alot of the beer news revolves around declining sales for the big brewers of urine cheap beer, and Oregon’s ridiculous 1900% tax increase on beer. In fact these stories have so dominated Oregon’s beer industry that no one noticed that Kid Rock is jumping on the micro brew band wagon with his own beer. I want to do what everyone else is doing though and focus on the taxes. What does a 1900% tax increase look like? well broken down to it’s smallest serving size it comes out to a 15¢ tax on a 12oz bottle of beer, rather then the less than a penny tax we have right now. Add that back up though, and it amounts to $50 in taxes on a barrel of beer, right now the tax is $2.60.  According to Kurt Widmer of Widmer Brothers Brewing this will raise your $4 pint to $5.50. Oregon has a far richer history with the micro brew industry than most states, and many brewers fear that adding such a big load on the industry all at once may force the micro brewers to start cutting jobs in order to cut costs, cut back distribution, and may even put small brew pubs out of business. Now what are the chances of this passing? Well they are pretty slim. Historically Oregon doesn’t like beer taxes, but the fact that every year these politicians put it out there, and every year we say no, says something about how well they listen to us.

I made some Welsh Rabbit today using my spoiled beer, I’ll tell ya tomorrow how it tasted

Green Beer

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

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I plan to get a tap report done on Monday or Tuesday, so check back then.

Just to get it out of the way. This post is neither about young (green) beer, nor is it about that monstrosity that people drink on St. Patrick’s Day to make them feel Irish. It’s about how brewing your own beer can not only be fun, but helpful for the environment. Now I’m not a huge fan boy of the green movement. In fact the word green makes me shudder at times, but when I can do my part to help the earth I will. That being said, homebrewing is not only fun and tasty, but also greener, even at it’s most basic, then buying a sixer from the store. When I started brewing my equipment consisted of a small pot, a funnel, and two 2 ltr Pepsi bottles for fermentors. Even though the beverages that came from this process weren’t the tastiest, they were palatable, fun too make, and fairly green come to think of it. After all, I was saving all that energy that goes into making the glass bottles, the cans, and not to mention the gas used in shipping. Now I’m somewhat of a classier brewer, with a big brew pot, a couple carboys, and a bottling setup. Yet still, all my bottles I use are my empties from when I get a hankering while walking down the beer isle, and when I do make a beer delivery to a friends house it’s on my bike. Brewing is so simple and easy that you can even do it with supplies lying around the house. Have an empty bottle with a resealable lid? What about a funnel? In fact the less “proper” your brew equipment the more like the early American brewers you’ll be, and what patriotic American would thumb their nose at that? So considering this I hereby assert that whoever doesn’t brew and drink their own beer is guilty of polluting the environment, and is unpatriotic. Therefore I say let’s pop open a cold one and have a toast, to patriotism, and saving the earth one beer at a time.

Terms Of Endearment

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

dictionary-iconBrewers like to make complicated words up for their hobby, and this has created a problem of sorts for me. A lot of my friends apparently have no clue what a lot of the terms I use mean, and why should they, since many of them don’t brew. So to overcome this obstacle, and prevent the vacant looks, here’s a list of some brewing terms, and what they mean.

  • Primary – This is the vessel in which the initial or “primary” fermentation occurs
  • Secondary– This term refers to the vessel where the secondary fermentation occurs, but most homebrewers use it when referring to the vessel used for clarifying and aging the beer.
  • Gruit –  This is an older style of beer brewed using herbs such as Yarrow instead of Hops
  • Original Gravity/”OG” – This is the measurement of dissolved sugars in the wort, and is generally used to get an idea of how much alcohol will be in your beer
  • Bottle Conditioning – This can either refer too the process where beer is allowed to carbonate in the bottle by means of yeast and sugar, or it can refer to aging the beer once it’s bottled
  • Lager – Beer is broken down in to two distinct styles, Lager and ale. A lager is made using a bottom fermenting yeast, and is usually fermented at colder temperatures
  • Ale – Ale is the flip side of the coin, and is made using a top fermenting yeast, usually at warmer temperatures
  • Dry Hoping – This refers to adding hops to the secondary in order to give the beer a strong hop smell, and a bright hop taste. Some brewers will use this to refer to the hops added in the last minutes of the boil.
  • Green – A beer that has not aged and is still considered young. Green beers tend have a stronger and brighter hop bitterness.
  • Grain Bag – This one is just simply a fine mesh bag used too hold grains or hops during the steeping and boiling
  • Sparge – Sparging is straining the wort to remove any solid material from the hops or grain. Many brewers include rinsing wort from the grains or hops back into the wort as part of sparging.
  • Wort – This is simply your beer before it’s fermented