Archive | October 2013

Homebrew Bottling 2013-10-28 (Scotch Ale)

I finally bottled that peated Scotch Ale I’ve had in the fermenter for six months. I used a pound of peated malt in it, and holy shit can you taste it. It’ll definitely be a sipper, not a gulper. Fine by me.

Anyway, the trub at the bottom of the bottling bucket was the thickest I’ve ever seen.


Hard to tell from the photo, but it actually nearly clogged the spigot on the bottling bucket. Might be because of that three ounces of Willamette I dry-hopped with. (Maybe.)


Looks like a final gravity of 1.005 or so. Lower than anticipated. Probably end up being around 8.0-8.5% ABV. I’ll do a full review once it’s carbed up and ready to drink.


Video Review: Green Flash Le Freak

I don’t have much to say that isn’t in the video, so just watch and enjoy.

I’m planning on doing a viewer/reader response video for next Friday, so if you’ve got questions/comments you want me to respond to, place them somewhere I can see them in the next few days.

Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 17: Wood-Aged Beers and the GABF

We’re trying something new now, using Google Hangouts to record a live video stream, which I then download, pull the audio from, and annotate. Hence there are a few bugs in the overall process. Namely, apparently we missed the first minute or so of the broadcast. We’ll start the broadcast a few minutes early next time, which I’ll trim out of the finished episode. I’ve embedded the video at the bottom of the post if you prefer that version.

Download episode.

Show notes:

0:00 to 1:30 Introductions.
1:30 to 15:57 What we’ve been drinking. I talk about the Stone Double Bastard 2010 3L and Firestone Walker XVI, both of which I consumed during the Breaking Bad finale, and Short’s Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. (Don’t Panic.) Jamison was drinking a Firestone Walker Double Jack at the time of recording, and had recently had their Velvet Merkin, which had a disappointing lack of barrel character for him. He also talks a bit about a 2012/2013 vertical of Sierra Nevada Narwhal. Lee swears he hasn’t been drinking any Labatt products, and was currently drinking the third beer in the Garrison Single Hop Series, a single-hopped East Kent Goldings beer. He briefly talks about the Stone/Wil Wheaton collaboration, the Wootstout, and also talks about a local pale ale with green tea from a new Nova Scotia brewery. Ryan was drinking the R&R Coconut IPA during the show, and had had some of a 2003 3L Double Bastard at a recent bottle share. Also, yeah, a couple of Cantillons. Just because.
15:57 to 16:38 Good segues and oral sex from supermodels.
16:38 to 31:00 Beer news: Duvel-Mortgaat and Boulevard are merging.
31:00 to 58:00 Jamison wanted to talk a bit about wood-aged beers. We all assumed it was going to be a classic Jamison rant, but he ended up having a much more contemplative perspective on his topic. We go on an extended conversation about the history, use, practice, and theory of wood in beer.
58:00 to 1:19:10 Ryan just got back from the Great American Beer Fest. We talk about his experiences there, and also a lot about some of the polticial issues surrounding having your beer at the festival.
1:19:10 to 1:23:12 Wrapping up and where you can find us on the internet.

This is the article I was referencing from a Mystery Brewing co-founder entitled “Thoughts From a Brewer on NOT Winning at the GABF.” Worth a read for anyone discussing the GABF medals.

Ryan and my 500th subscriber Malt Liquor Extravaganza!

Mini-Review: Firestone Walker Walker’s Reserve Porter

I was going to do a video for this one, but I didn’t want to have to bother with that whole process. Let’s just do a quickie text review while my pasta noodles finish cooking.

Firestone Walker always has the prettiest bottles

Firestone Walker always has the prettiest bottles

Pours dark brown/black with a bit of ruddy amber here and there. Two-finger head dissipates quickly. Smells sweet, mostly raisins and licorice, standard for a porter.

Firestone Walker Walker's Reserve Porter in my brand new Stone IRS glass

Firestone Walker Walker’s Reserve Porter in my brand new Stone IRS glass

Taste pretty much follows the nose, with perhaps a hint more roast than anticipated. Very thin on the body. Overall this is perfectly fine, but there’s not much going on. I expect a lot more than this from a Firestone Walker 22oz bottle release. Bottle date is 5/3/13 so it’s only five months old — age shouldn’t be an issue here. Not that I’m getting oxidation notes or anything.

According to the Firestone Walker website this one is best consumed within 120 days of bottling, so I’ve hung onto it a bit longer than recommended. They also say it’s fermented in their wood barrel system, although I’m not really getting any wood on this one.

Overall, it’s a pretty classic robust porter, but nothing quite worth seeking out as amazing. I’d take Founders Porter or Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald any day.

Hyperlocalization and Brewpubs: A Response to Elharlock

So, in response to my video the other day, fellow Beertuber Lee (a href =””>channel here) gave a video response talking about Canadian beer brands, national and local, and how the Canadian beer scene differs from the American scene.

It’s an excellent discussion of those issues, and Lee’s a great personality, so you should definitely check out the vid. (Lee’s also been on the podcast a couple of times, and I consider him a friend, so there!)

My response is below. I basically just clarify a bit of the original video regarding breweries vs. brewpubs: when I speak of the hyper-locality of the future of craft beer, I’m thinking more in terms of having your local (non- or limited-bottling) brewpub that serves as your go-to spot for day-to-day beer, as opposed to a network of ten thousand bottling breweries fighting for their slice of the pie. I don’t think I mention this in the video, but in the brewing cities of Europe in the middle ages up through industrialization, most beer was made in “home breweries” that operated much the way a bakery might work today. Small, local, artisinal brewers making decent beer to serve to those in the neighborhoods around them sounds like a great future for craft beer in America (and anywhere else, for that matter.)

Of course, opinions vary, so please feel free to leave yours in the comments below. I’m going to be doing a “respond to comments” video soon, so look forward to that.

0:00 to 0:47 Introductions
0:47 to 2:35 Talking about brewpubs as hyperlocal beer
2:35 to 4:05 Kalamazoo as a hyperlocal beer market? Maybe?
4:15 to end Thanking Lee for his response and learning a bit about craft beer in Canada.

Solo Beer Chat 1: National Beer Brands

Those of you obsessed with me (ladies) are already aware of the new project I’m doing where I open a beer, drink through it, and talk about some issue related to the craft beer industry (or my life) in the process. The video ends when the beer is over, which makes it easy for me to edit but also makes for long, sometimes meandering videos.

Well, now I’m adding the content for the podcast. I’ve used Audacity to clean up the audio for the podcast, but otherwise the content is the same. This is meant for those who (like me) would rather take the audio with them rather than watch the video on Youtube. This is an experiment, so we’ll see what the stats look like after a few weeks when determining whether I continue on this path.


Show Notes

0:00 to 3:00 Introductions and Green Flash West Coast IPA
3:00 to 6:24 The place for national beer brands
6:24 to 9:12 Talking about personal issues With a couple of members of the beertube community
9:12 to 14:50 The future of beer (Spoiler alert! Hopefully local, innovative, and high-quality.)
14:50 to Finishing the beer and finishing the video.

Lee’s great video talking about our fellow Beertubers: