Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weisenbock Test Drive....

Time for a test drive of the Weisenbock and the Raspberry Weisenbock. It is early, but they are both well carbonated. The weisenbock is smooth and tasty. The raspberry needs a bit more time to mellow, though it is still very drinkable. This beer is supposed to be a bit higher in alcohol than my version. I brainfarted during the mash... Still a good beer...and....ok, I'll have another!
The Weisenbock.

The pair. In fairness, I did pour the raspberry right before the photo. Can u tell I don't filter? Should have secondaried to clear it a bit more....

Hops Rhizomes are here

I ordered 10 rhizomes. 2 of 5 different hops varieties. They came today. a little bit of hops education. New hops plants are started from a clipping of an underground runner called a rhizome. (male plants seed, but with unknown traits.) Since the hops that we use in beer comes from the female plant we want only females. Each spring the hops farmers go to the fields and clip rhizomes from existing plants to propagate more female plants. The root below is about 6 inches long and shows signs of growth.
This root is then planted a couple inches below the surface. It takes about three years for the plant to achieve full productivity. The first year it grows a root system and a small bine (not a vine, but a bine). Second year more vegetative growth and in the third year it is at full production and can grow to 25 feet in length.

I now have about 28 plants of varying ages from rhizomes to 3 years old. (I say about, because I transplanted some and I'm not sure of their status....)

With any luck, I will be getting more and more hops as time goes by.... Now if the sun would come out and the weather warm up...that would be good.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weisenbock (Raspberry & Otherwise) bottled

Bottled both of the Weisenbocks tonight. This was a split batch with 2 1/2 gallons of standard weisenbock and 2 1/2 gallons of raspberry weisenbock. As you can see the yeast climbed the wall inside the carboy.
The standard...
Great color...and tastes great....

OK...the raspberry....kinda crusty...but nice color, and aroma...
A bit darker and a little bit redder....
Not sure how the raspberry will be early on, but may be better with a little age....time will tell..

Friday, March 18, 2011

Drinking my Lake Effect

After a lengthy bottle conditioning....I am now drinking the Lake Effect.... Yummy! It is malty, a bit sweet, but very drinkable.... It was supposed to be a winter brew...but, hey...I'll drink beer anytime..... :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hefe in the bottle

I bottled the "Susanne-eweisen" yesterday. It smelled and tasted great on the way into the bottles.

Looks a bit cruddy, but....wait for it.....!!!
Nice golden color...
Siphoning into the bottling bucket.
A mix of bottle sizes....all appropriate for different occasions....
Next up.... Gotta bottle the weisenbock......

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Black IPA Bottled

Bottled the Black IPA this morning.... Looks, smells and tastes great.

Siphoning to the bottling bucket

in the bottling bucket.

Puttin' it in the bottle

Put the beer in 3 different types of bottles....just for fun. 1 liter EZ cap, 1/2 liter and 12 oz bottles.

UP NEXT....gotta bottle both the Hefe and Weizenbock.....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bottling stinks! Black IPA

I spent some time cleaing and sanitizing bottles today. Bottling stinks! But, now they are ready and I'll bottle the Black IPA tomorrow.

The Hefeweizen and Weizenbock are also ready. Luckily, some of the work I did today prepped the bottles for those as well...

It's Alive!

When I transplanted my hops from the "starter" buckets last fall, I wasn't quite sure how they would take the change.

WELL, today I noticed growth on my first transplant. Looks like I'll have Glacier hops at least....

Waitin' on the rest....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Philadelphia Craft Beer Festival

We volunteered at the Philly Beerfest this past Saturday. It is one of the top 10 beerfests in America. Me and 2499 of my friends were at each of the two sessions. A noisy, but friendly crowd. Some really good beers!

The Navy Yard in Philadelphia. A great venue. (soon to be converted to office space. :( )
The band....
In PA, volunteers can serve beer. Here's one of our volunteers.
Here I am wearing my new Brewing Network T-shirt....brew strong.
Some rowdy revelers with confetti poppers.
Lot of fun and some great barrel aged beers.
Next up? AC beerfest. Just drinkin' there....not volunteering at that one.

Can you find good craft beer in AC? Sure!

I was on a mission to find some craftbeers in AC.

While I was walking the boardwalk. I came across fermentation heaven. There was enough sugar in this place to fire up half the kids in the entire state of NJ.... Wow!

I finally pulled up a stool in Firewaters.
And voila!
Granted about 1/2 were mainstream, but the other half weren't bad. And they rotate taps pretty frequently. (bartenders had to step back a couple times to find the newbies)
Some pretty good stuff. Where is it? In the Tropicana Casino Hotel. In their marketplace.

Tun Tavern - Atlantic City,NJ

What do you think of when you go to AC? Craft beer, right? I took a gamble on the beers at Tun Tavern.

The 5 course sampler.

What is wrong with this picture?

My trip to the tun was quick. Guess that tells ya how the beers were. Average. And, at least the beers on the list at the time of my visit, not very interesting.
I understand having to have mainstream beers on tap. BUT, to shoulder your craft beer taps between two Bud Beers...auggggghhhh.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Moved the Black IPA to prep for bottling

I moved the black IPA this morning. I wanted to get it off the trub (crud at the bottom)(and sides) and prep it for bottling. I'll let it re-settle and bottle Monday.

Final gravity was 1.015. ABV 7.2%. Tasted good going into the carboy....


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ordered some new hop plants

I put in an order for 10 new hop rhizomes. I'll have the Upstate Director of Hops oversee the nursery project. I'll probably end up with a few more new ones this season.

AND, waiting to see how last years plants wintered. Hope to see new growth in a couple weeks...